Bert Olivier
Bert Olivier

I love Paris in the springtime…

How many people still know that song, I wonder. Or the one where Dean Martin sings “Oh, what I’d give for a moment or two, under the bridges of Paris with you … ” The point is that Paris is, and has been for a long time, one of — if not THE — most romantic cities in the world, as we are rediscovering, not having been here for a number of years. It should come as no surprise that Paris is the most visited city in the world; where a city like Prague is equally beautiful, perhaps, Paris offers comparable beauty, but on a much larger scale.

Even if one has been into the Notre Dame Gothic cathedral, entering it again is to be interpellated (justly “interrupted”) all over again by its singular “distribution of the sensible”, to use Ranciere’s expression for the manner in which artworks — in this case a magnificent Gesamtkunstwerk in the shape of architecture — organise or structure the world of the senses along lines of social inclusion and exclusion. In the case of Gothic architecture like the Notre Dame (Our Lady) the way in which the sensible world was (and still is, even if only fleetingly, as one enters that once hallowed space), structured, is visible, almost tangible, in the relation between the vertical and the horizontal lines of the church, the verticals joining high above you in the characteristic shape of the Gothic arch, pointing upwards towards ethereal spaces exceeding even the imposing height of the towering cathedral. What this meant for late medieval society, was that the implied hierarchy of earthly and heavenly spaces was replicated on earth, the corruptible realm, as it is embodied in the figures of saints in rows of adoration, focusing on the Virgin Mary, or on Jesus Christ, all of whom find their stony representation (including that of John the Baptist, carrying his head in his hands) sculpted into the imposing arches of the three main entrances.

In this theocentric world, long gone, the “distribution of the sensible world” was indeed hierarchical, with office bearers of the church — the most powerful institution in Europe at the time — occupying the highest positions in society, although they were themselves arranged hierarchically (literally, according to priesthood) from the highest position of pope (the representative of God on earth, on St Peter’s “throne”) through those of the cardinals and the bishops to the priests, nuns and novices. Even kings and emperors required the backing of the church when engaging in important enterprises, just like today, when the economic sphere dominates (and no longer the religious, or the political), politicians need the backing of banks and corporations. Speaking of which, what strikes one when entering Notre Dame, is the clash between the bygone religious world of the late middle ages and the postmodern, globalised world with its camera-and iPad-wielding tourists, invading every nook and cranny in the once hallowed cathedral. At least, in that theocentric space charity played a pervasive role, so that the poor were assured of a modicum of care, but today, in the heartless world of capitalism, even in Paris, in a country with one of the best social security systems in the world, one notices beggars and homeless people in the streets.

Just down the road from Notre Dame is the jewel in the crown of late medieval architecture, the breathtakingly beautiful Sainte-Chapelle, built in the 13th century during the reign of Louis IX. Its two chapels, a lower and a higher, mark the high point of high Gothic architecture. Compared to the interior of Notre Dame, it is ornate in the extreme with its tall, stained-glass windows (upper chapel) the15 panels of which comprise more than a thousand scenes from various books in the Christian Bible and tell the biblical story of humankind from the creation to Christ’s resurrection. Walking into the upper chapel, one’s immediate reaction is one of breathless astonishment — not even St Peter’s in Rome can match the sheer, concentrated opulence of the overwhelming array of stained glass, gold-leaf ornamentation and statuary comprising this comparatively small space, although it is a quite different kind of opulence, compared to the amount of Baroque one witnesses in St Peter’s. Here, too, one is confronted by the uniquely medieval “distribution of the sensible”, except that Sainte-Chapelle adds all the earthly splendour with which royalty was endowed, which is in this particular embodiment distinctly dedicated to that from which the King derived his earthly power, namely the spiritual realm.

Walking around Paris, where I am to present a paper at an international conference, we notice divergent instances of the “distribution of the sensible”. The famous Arc de Triomphe, built to commemorate Napoleon’s most famous victory at the battle of Austerlitz, for instance, is redolent with the fusion of power representing the ruler of the nation state with mythical iconography employed in the service of someone who wished to be perceived in quasi-mythical (Roman) terms as far as his imperial conquests were concerned. One cannot help noticing the anachronistic juxtaposition of motor cars speeding around the Arc and the huge structure itself, a contrast which is itself an index of the complex postmodern world we inhabit. Such contrasts abound in Paris, nowhere more conspicuously than at the Louvre Art Museum — to my mind the most impressive in the world — where IM Pei’s “glass” pyramid pursues a tense dialogue with the Renaissance style of the colossal building.

One could write more than one book on the art and architecture of Paris, of course, so I won’t pursue this topic further at present. What I would like to say further concerns the people of Paris, who are much friendlier than their apparently undeserved reputation would suggest, and have come to our rescue spontaneously on several occasions when we were scrutinising our Paris map. Moreover, as my partner remarked when we were walking back to our apartment in Montparnasse through the Luxembourg Palace gardens — where hundreds of people were sitting on the lawns in groups, laughing and chatting — they seemed conspicuously happy and relaxed. And many of them were reading. Small wonder that the French are known for being a highly “intellectual” culture. We could learn from them. It was also noticeable how many young people there were among them, preferring the company of their peers in these beautiful surroundings to being couch potatoes in front of television sets, watching soapies or sport. For a moment there I envied them the freedom to use these public spaces in such a carefree manner. We have a long way to go in South Africa before we can do so with impunity.

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    • zipozonke Mpumlwana

      Paris is indeed the most romantic city in the world, it is romantic in its richness in heritage, culture and history. Well…it is nonetheless romantic in that the French are synonymous with love and romanticism. As a student I would love to go and explore and venture out into the streets of Paris and learn more about the place however, I am more inclined to learn more about South Africa and its heritage and its history and how I could create a South African Paris that is also seen as romantic.

      I was deeply take by your last paragraph and I sincerely concur when you say “we have a long way to go in South Africa before we can do so with impunity”. It is important to realize why South Africans prefer the “comfort” of their homes rather than the “mugging” open streets of South Africa or why they prefer their couches rather than the robbing green grass of the South African parks. Paris has interlocking corridors of intimate spaces where people active the spaces, into spaces to gather and have conversations and streets that are more pedestrian dominated while our “interlocking corridors” are dark alleys with one light and our streets are managed by vehicles.

      Yes,there is a lot we can learn and take from the romanticism (richness) of Paris and a South African Architect can only hope to create an “I Love South Africa in Springtime”.

    • Fabian Smith

      Like many other people, I would still love to visit Paris and stroll through the Luxembourg Palace gardens, view the beautiful collection of fine works within the Louvre, and experience Paris. Throughout this article I could not help trying to envision South Africa becoming in some way similar to Paris. It seems that our “distribution of the sensible” may come into question on that matter. The priorities within our culture and the desensitization of the people to the beautiful things in life lead us a way from being able to appreciate a society, architecture and mindset similar to that of Paris. Our architectural responses to the problems we have faced in this country have nothing to do with improving the situation but more to do with distancing ourselves from the severity of the problem, we constantly build high walls, put up electric fences, close down connections to people and segregate the wealthy from the poor. When the two classes clash it is often without unity and there is a need to take advantage of the other. This is shown in the stark juxtaposition between the high rise commercial buildings (such as in Sandton) and the squatter camps. Once we move closer to an equilibrium in our classes the architecture that is truly South African will grow and represent who we are and what we have been through. Until then there will be a confusion and incoherent form of architecture across the country.

    • Bill Siziba

      As an architecture student I appreciate the beauty and cultures offered all over the world. Unfortunately I’ve never had the privilege to go to France but I’ve been told by my father who’s been there on one occasion of the sublimity that the country has to offer from the culture of the people, service delivery to the functionality of their social spaces, the Sainte Chapelle and Notre Dame perfect examples.

      I agree that South Africa in relation to the topic at hand has a long way to go for various Social economic reasons just as any African country but one thing I never take for granted is the vast beauty and rich cultures available in our country that if tapped into by educated minds can potentially evoke the same if not more appreciation by not only Africans, but Europeans visiting our continent as well.

    • Ayapha (210139897)

      i wanna agree with Paris being a romantic city,i dont know about it being the most romantic because aspects that come to mind in motivating this statement can be found in a lot of other cities that can aslo be defind as romantic.From how i see it most of these europian cities like Rome,Venice and Paris have a connected urban layout,with the large use of plaza’s between the building,these plaza’s create intimate oudoor spaces for the people,forcing them to interact.

    • Camilla Eagar

      Oh how I would love to visit Paris so that I can experience these elaborate spaces myself, while reading articles I create a mental image of how it might look because no matter how many pictures I see, these digital images will not even start to give me even a visual overview not to mention a sensual one. I have never been oversees but have done a lot of traveling within South Africa. Reading your article gives me many memories of my youth, visiting all the beautiful churches in my home land, which in my experience can I say are absolutely breath taking. When I researched some of the churches which I have seen, I was surprised to see that there were no or very few photographs and absolutely no articles about them. I find it sad to see that there is none documenting or preserving our South African Afrikaner history, everyone has written off our dyeing culture as dead…

    • Camilla Eagar


      I can understand why, it is sometimes hard to still see the beauty through all the black ashes. One could say that all culture is dyeing not only here but globally, in this age of capitalism people have a new definition of beauty and no longer care about culture and human experience as they once did. We currently live in a very temporary society and this reflects in the architecture. The Notre Dame took 97 years to complete, and the outcome was worth 97 years of work because it was built to live on forever. Today we have the technology to speed up the construction process but have we not fallen victim to the trap of the comforts of our technology where everything we do lacks hart, and the destruction process has been sped up too?

    • Makara Tlaba 212320009

      The architecture of Europe especially Paris and France is very powerful. Their old and historic buildings depict the culture that lasted for ages on their grounds, having a great and quality record of time and place. But I think it’s a bit unfair to compare Paris/France with South Africa.
      Most of those romantic Gothic cathedrals are the results of strong and undisturbed culture during medieval era. The buildings were persevered, reconstructed and taken care of, that’s why they lasted till this day. But here in Africa we’re left with results of colonialism. We don’t have massive monuments on our streets portraying the essence of time and place like Paris or France.
      I can’t deny the fact that architecture in Paris is so powerful and their historic buildings are so meaningful. Notre DameCathedrals express the power of church in the middle Ages. Large volumes and high pointed arches celebrate the power of God on Earth! It is through this historic and Romantic architecture that we see rich and meaningful culture that existed in the Middle Ages in Europe.

    • Nwabisa Madyibi

      Contemplating the art movements of the time that are synonymous with Paris, at the top of my head. The typical syntagmatic understanding of the first movements that spring to mind are the Renaissance, the Baroque and the Romanticism movements. All hailing an academic approach to art, respecting formalistic characters such as order. Moving towards dramatic and emotional aspects of reality understanding that beauty is found within those emotional distortions. As well as the power of nature above man and its use of paradoxical colours to make the person feel at the whim of nature.

      Art is a clearer language to understand beyond the hegemonic discourse that was used by hierarchical priests. Infact I wouldn’t mind being illiterate in those days considering the beauty of wrote(painted) media to the masses. It all makes sence that architecture, being the 3 dimensional tangible form of art, was used as ‘parol’ for the common sensical world. Architecture thus structured the peoples thinking in specific ways. It’s interesting in those cavernous spaces such as the Hagia Sophia, regardless of culture or background; you intuitively understand a cratological or striated space. But since these peoples way of thinking was structured by the media they were exposed to, Paris has a general understanding of the requirements of certain types of space based on a homogenous culture and common understanding.

    • Nwabisa Madyibi

      Comparing, this rich history in art movements’ formalistic characters that translated into the striated architectural and smooth nomadic public spaces in Paris, to the “multi-cultural” South African context. The cultures that are within the country have different ideas about the formalistic lines that dictate power amongst people. Trying to understand the two and putting them together is a challenge. This is why the currant struggle for integrated public space is such an issue here. This problem exasperated by the decreasing need for a solution, due to the infiltration of space of flows cutting away at our need to be human.

      By saying that South Africa has a long way to go. Are you implying that South Africa needs to try to catch up to technology and try to inventively incorporate the space of flows as the thread that binds these cultures outside of a virtual reality? Understanding that Europe is a model for what was successful in the past. But South Africa must not do the same. We must not constantly look back at them and wonder how we can achieve what they did, but think the way that they did through a process of self discovery. Especially now in this influx of contradictory ideas governing Architecture and Philosophy. What architecture and can come from a heterogenous society? Who knows, perhaps people will be singing ‘I love South Africa in the spring time!’

    • Scott Lenton

      I too have never had the privilege of visiting Paris. It is a first world city of highest order and I will be visiting it as soon as I possibly can. I have travelled abroad, but to a vastly different type of city: Denpasar in Bali, Indonesia. The stark comparison between the two cities is highly prevalent. The people of both countries also practice different religions and have a different set of values that govern their lives. I think this comes through significantly in their architecture as well as the feelings evoked and the way the common man on the street interacts with his neighbour. Paris can be perceived as an archetype for what a romantic city should poses, while Denpasar is on the other end of the scale. This is not to say that a place like Denpasar doesn’t poses it’s won moments of beauty. It most certainly does. At this time I would like to draw a comparison between the religious architecture of the two cities. Paris has some of the highest order of medieval architecture. The feelings evoked in these spaces are specific and theocentric. They are designed in such a way as to heighten the awareness of everyday man about the presence and importance of god. In Denpasar, one wonders all the way to the southernmost point of the island on the Bukit Peninsula to the Uluwatu Temple. In these temples it is a highly different experience to that of a western church, but also exceptionally moving in a different sort of way. The close connection with nature (edge of sheer cliff)

    • Scott Lenton

      inspires a higher awareness of the soul. It is a highly invigorating experience as it creates a special closeness that would be different in a traditional western church. This is not to say this isn’t achieved in medieval church, but the experiences are contrasting.

    • Judy Cizek

      I have never been to Paris, but I believe I can relate the experience of entering the Notre Dame Cathedral to my first experience in Prague, when I was very young. My entire family holiday felt like I was time travelling between a wonderfully romantic world of the late middle ages, and the postmodern, globalised world we live in. Flying in an airplane and using an underground train for the first time felt incredibly futuristic however in the next minute you’re transported back in time, walking down a cobblestone pedestrian street. Entering the St. Vitus Cathedral as a person without any prior knowledge of architectural theory, my eyes instinctively followed the vertical lines of the church interior up to behold the Gothic pointed arches, stained glass windows and intricate detailing. I knew in every fiber of my being that this was an important place, and that I was small and insignificant in comparison. (next comment)

    • Judy Cizek

      The dynamic beauty of the European monuments such as St. Vitus, their landscaped parks and first world technology is what gives European cities their charm & charisma, but South Africa has its own charm. When European tourists visit our country, they look up and marvel at the sight of so many stars in the night sky. They are overwhelmed by the wild natural beauty and vast open spaces that are right on our doorstep and they are intrigued by our own local cultures, art and architecture. We however live in Africa, not in Europe, and it is time we start identifying with Africa and how it has shaped us into who we are and to appreciate this wonderful place we call home.

    • T. Kolobe

      The architecture real painted on this blog is redolent with the fusion of power, respect of culture, history, romance, and the friendly people of Paris. It’s quite amusing to find places which are not so affected by the space of flow as the public spaces described.
      I understand the high percentage of tourism is playing a major set back at some spaces due to a large number of people and flashlights everybody documenting their experience in places of visit, and at some point the spaces loose their sence of place.

      I also understand that sence of place in Paris streets, plaza, public spaces have a strong human interaction with lack of modern mobile utilities makes one fall in love with the place more if one has experienced the congested and confined spaces in modern cities of today, with high percentage of fume extracting means of transport

    • Chelcie Akom

      Being the most visited city in the world and arguably the capital of culture, I hope to visit this beautiful city one day. Having said this, it is hard to relate and compare it to the cities we live in in South Africa. Paris possesses a cultural richness which is like nowhere else, to which it owes not only to it’s history but it’s heritage.I can only imagine what it would be like to experience this breathtaking city, whose beauty originates from its growth from a society strongly governed by art and religion.

      Through interactions with people, who have had first hand experience, and the media, I can only imagine what it would be like to walk down the streets of Paris and be taken back in time. Because we in South Africa rely so much on vehicles to get from one point to another, I believe that we miss out on what happens between these points, where there is potential for social interaction. I believe that Paris’ character originates from the vibe a pedestrian experiences as he walks down the street, passing little restaurants, shops, public squares, parks and street artists. This type of pedestrian experience emphasises a rich cultural heritage and history. The people in Paris also appreciate the architecture because architectural spaces are created in a positive way, due to it’s connectedness and strong consideration for human scale, it encourages interaction between the people and the buildings. In comparison to a city like Paris, South Africa seems quite disconnected…

    • Chelcie Akom

      I do love living in South Africa, however we have yet to develop our own identity and a sense of belonging to something more. We may not have the strong historical roots of those of European cities, but we do have historical roots that are our own and should be celebrated. If we just simply follow in the footsteps of the European cities, this will not reflect the South Africa that we are today. Even though it is unlike the pedestrian experience found in Paris, South Africa does have a certain character and vibrancy which could be more connected. And I believe that a sense of ‘uniqueness’ is what makes any city an amazing place to visit, something that could not be repeated anywhere else. Architecture that reflects our own socio-economic issues, context and lifestyle of people in our country will start to achieve this, and will make South Africa a special place to visit in it’s own right.

    • KK Mpshe 211225819

      Traditional cities are more concerned or orientated towards people especially as pedestrians. The city of Paris is traditional in nature(planning) and its both interesting and in admiration how the architecture exemplifies characteristics of Gothic movement of the 15th century and romanticism of the 18th century.

      Gothic had emphasis on verticallity and impression of height-due to the theocentric society that existed then- and Romanticism was characterized by a heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the individuals expression of emotion and imagination( the movement that came to rise after the enlightenment era) Just the pleasant emotions evoked as one walks through the city is great and the feats of buildings such as the Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle should alway be appreciated.

      Something i’d like to add about the interesting observation you made about the Arc de Triomphe stating that the contrast of motor vehicles speeding around the Arc, is that also one would think that (from the traits of Romanticism) the city would have designed the roads around the arc in a manner such that people would stop and admire the achievements of Napoleon and his men. Bringing this discussion home i would also have to agree that South Africa indeed has a long way to go, where you would find citizens enjoying city spaces rather than the comforts of their home. This is some of the consequences of the previous regime that dominated South African soil for 46 years. The ideologies of…

    • KK Mpshe 211225819

      that regime have had rippling effects in our society today. The manner in which architecture was used as a political tool is fairly evident in the structure of our cities that resemble exclusiveness.You find properties with high walls to keep people out and obscure activity majorly due to crime-which is another consequence of the economic justice that exists/(ed). It is the responsibility of Architects to deal with these issues and propose cities that counter these conditions and change our mentalities towards what we in South Africans define as city.

    • Charné Hirst

      This wondrous world in which we inhabit is, and eternally will be, empowered by a greater force that that which we can comprehend. I speak of a realm open to interpretation and infinite questionability as our cognition develops and expands. Every individual has purpose that reveals their meaning for life.

      Paris, steeply delved in architectural history and heritage, exemplifies Rancieres distribution of the sensible, with its inevitable distribution of shares and social parameters throughout the city. Paris is considered the most romantic city in the world, in order for such a statement to be conceived, it is obvious that the architecture and composition of the city have strong phenomenological ties, allowing people to experience an emotional response stimulated by the sensible distribution of space.

      Architecture such as the Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle are evidence of a conscious political effort to manifest a subliminal message of empowerment. Perhaps this is a sort of propaganda approach. These architectural beauties relished in a theocentric world and thus the verticality and emphasis on the ethereal spaces were important characteristics of the church. As Bert explained; it was not only the heavenly hierarchy characteristic of the Gothic Cathedral, but also the earthly hierarchical display of office bearers of the church which emphasizes this corruptible realm of human with spiritual authority.

      It is the hierarchical disposition of human power that engraves…

    • Charné Hirst

      It is the hierarchical disposition of human power that engraves our history books and it is the intentions of these rulers that shape architecture of that time.

    • Alana Changfoot 212203401

      I think the ‘beauty’ that you speak of is subjective. Yes, Paris is undoubtedly unique in that of its vast historical significance and that being the shaper of which the art, culture, social order and especially the city’s architecture revolves around but can that really be compared to South Africa when our country is in such an immensely different chapter to that of France. Paris was molded by tradition and hierarchical power. Idealistic beauty is what people aimed for when the body of Paris was built and now being in the kind of world we live in, freedom of thought and action can only make us appreciate the kind of beauty that was and strive for a new kind of balance within these cities. It is that balance I think that Parisian’s understand and therefore they are consciously moving away from technocentrism.
      In South Africa’s case however, we do not have that deep connection to the idealistic past of social, political and economic order. We do however know chaos and the battle between two ‘mind’s’ which have never quite come to a just understanding. And so naturally our architecture, culture, art followed suit by never really having a distinct signature. This, I think has influenced our society today, as South African’s we do not have something tangible to reason with in finding that balance of the past and present and so we concentrate on what we know.

    • Alana Changfoot 212203401


      I think circumstance and experiences of specific countries and their countrymen drive the kind of living that goes on within it. One cannot aim to be another. Each is unique in its beauty and behaviours, you can only try and understand to begin to respect it.

    • Kimon Maré (212363654)

      Paris, a small Mesolithic settlement that gradually grew into the political, economical & cultural capital of France. Being the most visited city in the world, surely it must be magnificent. As for it’s people, who wouldn’t be grumpy if “iPad wielding tourists” ask you for directions at every corner in a language not your own.

      As for the great Gothic cathedrals, maybe miss use of power? All though seeing as the goal was a quest of the divine, to honor and praise God, a higher power, I think its extravagance is directly proportionate. Today’s modern equivalent would be the monolithic corporate buildings, Built to show power, wealth.

      The are a certain series of events that led to the social structure of Paris. Ones that cannot be compared to South-Africa. As the 2nd year students had learned from john’s history class in 2013, cities that grew, not planned, does have a certain character to it. Different movement framework, which is why Paris is mainly pedestrian orientated, forcing its inhabitants to interact frequently, thus creating its romantic atmosphere. Narrow streets, quaint coffee shops, park benches, little rivers, what’s not to love?

    • Jacquiline Modu 212315757

      Romance a word we all use when evoked by deep emotions, and judging from the multiple times I have heard about how romantic Paris is one is left to only imagine. Nonetheless judging from reviews, pictures and of course this particular article I can truly agree that South Africa and most of other parts of the world do have a long way to go. To have spaces and structures created that depicts the culture and history of the place is a wonderful phenomenon to experience every day.

    • A. Pilliy ( 212219154)

      From seeing scenes of Paris in various movies I have watched as a child growing up, as young as I was when I was exposed to my first Paris experience on the TV screen I feel in love with Paris. Not even knowing much about it from a personal point of view it was already obvious to me that this was not only a the capital city of love but also one of the cities I would like to visit sometime in the future. One is bound to fall in love with Paris
      Not only does it have a rich content of heritage, culture and history it is also what makes the French become so popular amongst people. And because of such popularity it is highly impossible that one would go to Paris and not be influenced by the architecture that constructs Paris as the city of Romance. Due to that every time anyone sees the Eiffel tower the first word that comes to mind is Paris, then what it stands for and after that the eagerness to want to know more about this city.
      Unfortunately South Africa does not carry such richness to it in terms of popularity amongst tourist. Which is sad because in this country alone we do have many iconic areas of important significance. The heritage of the country is carried throughout the different 9 provinces of the country, where each province has its own story to tell both historically and heritage.
      Beside the rich history and heritage South Africa contains, it also have a fair amount of richness architecturally mainly historical tourist attractions such as Ushaka marine world…

    • Henco Rust (212215701)

      South Africa is still a growing nation, yet we struggle to realize our own potential to grow as a unity. We need to set aside the differences of the past and come to a conclusion that we are not trying to follow in Europes’ footsteps but instead, make our own. A country is reflected by its people and the people can govern the nature of the country in terms of the socio- economic, cultural, physical and technological factors. Each country reflects its own beauty and a great contributor of that is the architecture of a country. We are the rainbow nation… one of the most diverse countries in the world. It is time for us to celebrate it. Not be competitive with countries in a different league.

    • Daniel kiwanuka(210024143

      I agree that Paris is the most Romantic city in the world. I have never been to Paris to experience that for myself nut judging from what i have heard and reinforced by this blog i can imagine how rich in culture the French people are. A visit to Paris is definitely on the cards. A deliberate act of preservation of cultural heritage of the French is seen through the the architecture that has lasted through different eras and not destroyed,and the ways of life like their preference to interaction with nature, people outdoors. As a traditional city, Paris was bound to be more for the people and more pedestrian orientated promoting interaction of people hence the beautiful outdoor spaces created.
      I also agree that South Africa still has a long way to go to get to the level of Paris. As someone coming from abroad(Uganda), i would say it is extremely hard for South Africa to achieve what Paris has achieved because there are many factors that could have already “killed” their cultural heritage through the years for example; the colonialism that forced a new culture on the people; apartheid that further destabilized the society creating segregation that we experience to date; the persistent high crime rate that does not allow for people to experience the public outdoor spaces without fear of getting mugged;high level of westernization in terms of social behavior and ideas as compared to the rest of Africa.