This map shows the contours of Paris during the medieval period (probably in the 12th or 13th century), when the city was restricted to a small circle of land near the Seine, and surrounded by a fortified wall. The place housing the present-day Louvre Museum
was once part of the fortified wall on the western edge. Abbeys lay around the exterior near the wall, underlining the central role of the Catholic Church during the period. Much of present-day Paris, including the area known as Montmartre to the north, were rural towns.