How It Became Paris

with Nathaniel Drew

1 hour, 44 minutes
16 videos

Travel back in time to discover the untold stories behind 12 Parisian landmarks.

About This Course

From the controversial, experimental structure of the Eiffel Tower to the extensive network of tunnels underneath Paris that became a burial site for the dead, there is much to discover about Paris’ landmarks. Nathaniel Drew peels back the layers of a city that he’s lived in for almost two years, sharing the untold stories that lie within some of Paris’ most important sites. We’ll take you behind the architecture to teach you about the human stories and the changing landscape of Paris. We’ll share the places where you’ll find traces of the Roman empire in Paris and how to spot the missing piece of the Louvre. There are many surprises that lurk within the landmarks and arrondissements of Paris that can only enrich your experience and understanding of this romantic city. And, among these stories, we will also share advice on how to plan your visit to these places if you decide to travel to Paris. Whether you’re planning a trip here, live here, or are just wanting to do some armchair travel from your home, this course will give you a deeper understanding of one of the most iconic cities in the world: Paris.

What You'll Learn

  • An overview of the geography of Paris

  • The intricate stories behind twelve of Paris' landmarks: the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Thermes de Cluny, Arènes de Lutèces, Quartier Latin, Île de la Cité, the Louvre, Bastille, the Catacombes, the Haussmann Redesign, le Sacré Coeur, Moulin Rouge

  • The symbolism and significance behind these sites

  • How the history of Paris has influenced the city that we see today

  • Advice on how to logistically plan your visit to these sites

Watch Some Samples

We've pulled out a few clips to give you a better idea of what to expect in the course

Course Breakdown

Chapter 1



Course host, Nathaniel Drew, introduces the course and shares what you can expect to learn about Paris’ landmarks in the lessons to come.

Chapter 2

Paris: An Overview

Get to Know the Map of Paris

Nathaniel shares a map breakdown of Paris, from the arrangement of its arrondissements, or districts, to the key tourist attractions that can be found beyond the city’s boundary.

Paris: A (Brief) History

Get a brief overview of the history of Paris and learn about some of the key events that have shaped France’s capital city.

Chapter 3

The Landmarks

Map Overview of Landmarks

In this lesson, Nathaniel Drew gives an overview of the landmarks covered in this course.

Eiffel Tower

If it weren’t for science, the Eiffel Tower might not have become the iconic landmark it is today. Learn the history of the most famous monument on Paris’ skyline and get recommendations on how to visit.

Arc de Triomphe

Learn the symbolism and stories behind the sculptures and etchings adorning the Arc De Triomphe, and discover how this monument details a lot of French history.

Les Thermes de Cluny & Arènes de Lutèces

Explore the influence of the Roman Empire on Paris as Nathaniel Drew guides you around a colosseum and a roman bath site found near Paris’ city center.

Quartier Latin

In this lesson, Nathaniel shows us one of his favorite neighborhoods of Paris: the Latin District. Discover some of the overlooked history in this area and marvel at how life in medieval Paris might have looked.

Île de la Cité

The island of Île de la Cité is where you’ll find the center of the city. Learn why the geography of this place is so important and explore some of its most notable buildings, including the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Le Louvre

The Louvre wasn’t always an art museum — it’s had several different uses throughout its life. Nathaniel Drew peels back the layers of this incredible art museum and offers advice for how to visit.

Place de la Bastille

In this lesson, Nathaniel shares the story of the Bastille prison and where you can find the metallic marks are all that remain of this iconic fortress today.


You might know the Catacombes as a place to honor the dead, but there is actually much more to this series of tunnels. Nathaniel takes us underground to share how the Catacombes were instrumental to the liberation of Paris.

The Haussmann Redesign

Learn the story of Paris’s iconic city planner, Georges-Eugène Haussmann, and explore the designs and regulations he put in place that helped to shape how Paris looks today.

Le Sacré Coeur

Explore the district of Montmartre in northern Paris, and learn the interesting story of how and why the Basilica of Sacre Coeur was constructed.

Moulin Rouge

Nathaniel remains in Montmartre to share how the area gained its reputation for indulgent parties and explain how the Moulin Rouge theatre became a household name.

A Greener Paris

Nathaniel wraps up the course by looking to the future and shares how Paris is becoming a greener and more pedestrian-friendly city.

Meet Your Instructor

Nathaniel Drew

Nathaniel Drew

Nathaniel Drew is a travel photographer and filmmaker who fell in love with languages many years ago and has dedicated himself to slow traveling through Latin America and Europe and documenting his experiences online. He believes the way to unlock the places he spends time in is through learning to speak and therefore think like the locals. This has led him to fluency in French, Spanish & Italian. He is now studying Portuguese and has plans to one day tackle Arabic.

Nathaniel Drew

How It Became Paris

with Nathaniel Drew