Historically the heart of Paris, the Ile de la Cité boasts three major monuments : Notre-Dame, Sainte-Chapelle, and the Conciergerie. Also strong on government buildings such as the Palais de Justice, the Hôtel-Dieu and the Préfecture, the result is a bizarre mixture of the sublime and the banal. Some residents manage to squeeze in between the medieval monuments, living along the quais or on the delightful place Dauphine, while the flower market occupies a square behind the Préfecture, constantly passed by police cars and ambulances that, sirens wailing, tear past the soaring Gothic towers of Notre-Dame. This relaxed eclecticism is perhaps symbolic of the entire city : nothing is sacred, but every area eventually has its monument.