Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Fortuitous Internet Searches: Paris in the 17th Century

View of Paris

While searching for a city plan for Orleans, I stumbled across a great 3D view of Paris in 1620. For most city GM tasks, I like city plans and maps better, but a view like this is wonderful for giving the feel of being there and of helping you, or your players, to see what the characters in that time period saw. And since the Montgolfier and Wright brothers were still in the future, no one in the 17th century saw a city with the sort of overhead or aerial view that maps provide. 

If all I got out of this fortuitous search was this map, I'd be ecstatic. But it gets way better. In checking out the page where the view is from I found the Wikipedia site for Paris in the 17th Century. I've only just started browsing, but this is AMAZING!

Sections on Beggars, Charities, and Thieves; Craftsmen and corporations, Daily Life including street lighting, dining out, sports and game, and fireworks displays, Theater, Music, Ballet...the list goes on and on. Look at the the table of contents to get an idea of scope of information provided for running an RPG set in 17th century Parisc and notice the useful way the information is laid out. And if you aren't running an historical campaign, you can still use the information to add tons of detail to a fantasy city.


    1 Paris under Henry IV
    2 Paris under Louis XIII
    3 Paris under Louis XIV
        3.1 Turmoil and the Fronde
        3.2 "The new Rome"
    4 The city grows
    5 Parisians
        5.1 Beggars and the poor
        5.2 Charities - Renaudot and Vincent De Paul
        5.3 Thieves and the Courtyard of Miracles
    6 City government
    7 Industry and commerce
        7.1 Royal manufacturies
        7.2 Craftsmen and corporations
        7.3 Luxury goods
    8 Religion
    9 Daily life
        9.1 Public transportation
        9.2 Street lights
        9.3 Water
        9.4 Food and drink
        9.5 Cabarets
        9.6 Coffee and the first cafés
        9.7 Processions, carrousels and fireworks
        9.8 Sports and games
    10 Press
    11 Education
        11.1 Academies
        11.2 University
        11.3 Primary education
    12 Gardens and promenades
    13 Culture and the arts
        13.1 Literature
        13.2 Theater
        13.3 Comédie-Française
        13.4 Music and opera
        13.5 Ballet
        13.6 Architecture
        13.7 Painting and sculpture
    14 Chronology
    15 References
        15.1 Bibliography
        15.2 Notes and citations

If you have any interest in this time period...CHECK IT OUT!


  1. FYI, your link is broken. Great find!

  2. Thanks for the heads up Tom. It should be working now.