Paris's reputation as one of the most beautiful capital cities in the world is long-standing, and owes much of its impact to the harmonious architecture. In this illustrated book, the author examines the origins and development of Paris and attempts to identify exactly how that architectural harmony has been achieved. The emphasis of the book is on street architecture, but Sutcliffe also discusses major buildings in relationship to their influence on the city as a whole. The persistence of visual harmony is linked to the classical tradition of French design created in the 17th Century, but extensive consideration is also given to the effect of building regulations, the property market, and the training and mentality of French architects on the creation of the Parisian landscape. The author also looks at the various periods of French history in which departure from the familiar architectural traditions was threatened - the 1790s, for example, and the Second Empire. He concludes by examining some of the most recent architectural features that have been built in Paris since the 1970s, and the result is a fascinating urban history which fully explains Paris's origins and growth.