The funny thing about living in a big city is that most inhabitants only know its present – but cities are living organisms, constantly changing and evolving with time. Paris has been a city for two thousand years, but Bercy was a village almost two thousand years before that, and it only became a part of the French capital in 1860. Bercy existed as an independent French village for nearly four thousand years, and when you step off the metro there, you have the feeling of walking into a different world. The village borders the Seine, and long served as an important commercial centre, particularly for wine trading. Many of the old wine warehouses, with their big red doors and provincial stone facades, still stand today, preserved as a shopping mall and baking school, a brick and mortar testament to the history of independent Bercy.