The 15th century was a time of significant upheaval and change for Paris. Here are some key events and developments that helped shape the city during this period:
The Hundred Years’ War: Paris was directly impacted by the Hundred Years’ War between England and France, which lasted from 1337 to 1453. Paris was occupied by the English from 1420 to 1436, which greatly impacted the city’s development and morale.
The Siege of Paris and Liberation: In 1429, Joan of Arc failed to liberate Paris from English control. However, the city was eventually retaken by the French in 1436 under the leadership of Charles VII. This marked the end of English rule and the beginning of a period of recovery and growth for Paris.
Renaissance and Humanism: The late 15th century marked the beginning of the Renaissance in France, and Paris became a center of humanist scholarship. The University of Paris (the Sorbonne) attracted scholars from across Europe.
Development of Printing: Around 1470, the printing press was introduced to Paris. This revolutionized the dissemination of knowledge and made books more accessible, leading to an intellectual flourishing in the city.
Architectural Developments: Despite the ravages of war, several significant architectural projects were undertaken in Paris in the 15th century. The completion of Notre-Dame Cathedral and the expansion of the Louvre were among these developments.
Population and Urban Growth: Despite the turmoil of war and occupation, Paris continued to grow and remained the largest city in Europe at the end of the 15th century. Its population was around 150,000 at the start of the century and grew to approximately 200,000 by the end of the century.
Economic Developments: Paris began to recover economically towards the end of the 15th century. Industries such as the textile trade, metalworking, and construction flourished. The Seine River continued to play a crucial role in trade and transportation.