Paris

Paris

Overview
Paris (ˈpærɪs; French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

: paʁi) is the capital
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 and largest city in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, situated on the river Seine
Seine
The Seine is a -long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Saint-Seine near Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre . It is navigable by ocean-going vessels...

, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

 region
Régions of France
France is divided into 27 administrative regions , 22 of which are in Metropolitan France, and five of which are overseas. Corsica is a territorial collectivity , but is considered a region in mainstream usage, and is even shown as such on the INSEE website...

 (or Paris Region). The city of Paris, within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements
Arrondissements of Paris
The city of Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements municipaux administrative districts, more simply referred to as arrondissements . These are not to be confused with departmental arrondissements, which subdivide the 101 French départements...

) largely unchanged since 1860, has an estimated population of 2,211,297 (January 2008), but the Paris metropolitan area has a population of 12,089,098, (January 2008), and is one of the most populated metropolitan areas
Largest population centres in the European Union
Different countries deal differently with large cities. Athens, for example, has about four million inhabitants, but it has been divided into many municipalities making the city proper of Athens one of the smaller European capitals, with about 800,000 inhabitants...

 in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

.
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Timeline

845   Paris is sacked by Viking raiders, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collects a huge ransom in exchange for leaving.

1295   The first treaty forming the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France against England is signed in Paris.

1390   First trial for witchcraft in Paris leading to the death of three people.

1418   An insurrection delivers Paris to the Burgundians.

1431   Henry VI of England is crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris.

1572   Marriage in Paris of the future Huguenot King Henry IV of Navarre to Marguerite de Valois, in a supposed attempt to reconcile Protestants and Catholics.

1578   King Henri III lays the first stone of the Pont Neuf (''New Bridge''), the oldest bridge of Paris.

1588   French Wars of Religion: Henry III of France flees Paris after Henry of Guise enters the city.

1765   After a campaign by the writer Voltaire, judges in Paris posthumously exonerate Jean Calas of murdering his son. Calas had been tortured and executed in 1762 on the charge, though his son may have actually committed suicide.

1778   American Revolutionary War: In Paris the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce are signed by the United States and France signaling official recognition of the new republic.

 
Encyclopedia
Paris (ˈpærɪs; French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

: paʁi) is the capital
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 and largest city in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, situated on the river Seine
Seine
The Seine is a -long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Saint-Seine near Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre . It is navigable by ocean-going vessels...

, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

 region
Régions of France
France is divided into 27 administrative regions , 22 of which are in Metropolitan France, and five of which are overseas. Corsica is a territorial collectivity , but is considered a region in mainstream usage, and is even shown as such on the INSEE website...

 (or Paris Region). The city of Paris, within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements
Arrondissements of Paris
The city of Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements municipaux administrative districts, more simply referred to as arrondissements . These are not to be confused with departmental arrondissements, which subdivide the 101 French départements...

) largely unchanged since 1860, has an estimated population of 2,211,297 (January 2008), but the Paris metropolitan area has a population of 12,089,098, (January 2008), and is one of the most populated metropolitan areas
Largest population centres in the European Union
Different countries deal differently with large cities. Athens, for example, has about four million inhabitants, but it has been divided into many municipalities making the city proper of Athens one of the smaller European capitals, with about 800,000 inhabitants...

 in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. Paris was the largest city in the Western world for about 1,000 years, prior to the 19th century, and the largest in the entire world between the 16th and 19th centuries.

Paris is today one of the world's leading business
Business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

 and cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 centres, and its influences in politics
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, entertainment
Entertainment
Entertainment consists of any activity which provides a diversion or permits people to amuse themselves in their leisure time. Entertainment is generally passive, such as watching opera or a movie. Active forms of amusement, such as sports, are more often considered to be recreation...

, media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

, fashion
Fashion
Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person...

, science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

, and the arts
ARts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

 all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities
Global city
A global city is a city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system...

. It hosts the headquarters of many international organizations such as UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

, the OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade...

, the International Chamber of Commerce
International Chamber of Commerce
The International Chamber of Commerce is the largest, most representative business organization in the world. Its hundreds of thousands of member companies in over 130 countries have interests spanning every sector of private enterprise....

 or the informal Paris Club
Paris Club
The Paris Club is an informal group of financial officials from 19 of some of the world's biggest economies, which provides financial services such as war funding, debt restructuring, debt relief, and debt cancellation to indebted countries and their creditors...

. Paris is considered as one of the greenest and most liveable
World's most livable cities
The world's most liveable cities is an informal name given to any list of cities as they rank on a reputable annual survey of living conditions. Two examples are the Mercer Quality of Living Survey and The Economists World's Most Livable Cities .Liveability rankings are designed for use by...

 cities in Europe. It is also one of the most expensive.

Paris and the Paris Region
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

, with €552.1 billion (US$768.9 billion) in 2009, produce more than a quarter of the gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 of France. According to 2008 estimates, the Paris agglomeration is Europe's biggest or second biggest city economy and the sixth largest in the world. The Paris Region hosts the headquarters of 33 of the Fortune Global 500
Fortune Global 500
The Fortune Global 500 is a ranking of the top 500 corporations worldwide as measured by revenue. The list is compiled and published annually by Fortune magazine....

 companies, the highest such concentration in Europe, hosted in several business districts, notably La Défense
La Défense
La Défense is a major business district of the Paris aire urbaine. With a population of 20,000, it is centered in an orbital motorway straddling the Hauts-de-Seine département municipalities of Nanterre, Courbevoie and Puteaux...

, the largest dedicated business district in Europe. The Paris region has the highest concentration of higher education students in the European Union, is the first in Europe in terms of research and development capability and expenditure and is considered as one of the best cities in the world for innovation. With about 42 million tourists annually in the city and its suburbs, Paris is the most visited city in the world. The city and its region contain 3,800 historical monuments
Monument historique
A monument historique is a National Heritage Site of France. It also refers to a state procedure in France by which national heritage protection is extended to a building or a specific part of a building, a collection of buildings, or gardens, bridges, and other structures, because of their...

 and four UNESCO World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

.

Etymology


The name Paris derives from that of its earliest inhabitants, the Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

ish tribe known as the Parisii. The city was called Lutetia
Lutetia
Lutetia was a town in pre-Roman and Roman Gaul. The Gallo-Roman city was a forerunner of the re-established Merovingian town that is the ancestor of present-day Paris...

 (more fully, Lutetia Parisiorum, "Lutetia of the Parisii"), during the Roman era of the 1st to the 6th century, but during the reign of Julian the Apostate
Julian the Apostate
Julian "the Apostate" , commonly known as Julian, or also Julian the Philosopher, was Roman Emperor from 361 to 363 and a noted philosopher and Greek writer....

, (360–363) the city was renamed Paris.

It is considered that the name of the Parisii tribe comes from the Celtic Gallic word parisio meaning "the working people" or "the craftsmen."

Since the mid-19th century, Paris has been known as Paname ([panam]) in the Parisian slang
Slang
Slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's language or dialect but are considered more acceptable when used socially. Slang is often to be found in areas of the lexicon that refer to things considered taboo...

 called argot
Argot
An Argot is a secret language used by various groups—including, but not limited to, thieves and other criminals—to prevent outsiders from understanding their conversations. The term argot is also used to refer to the informal specialized vocabulary from a particular field of study, hobby, job,...

 ( Moi j'suis d'Paname, i.e. "I'm from Paname"). The singer Renaud
Renaud
Renaud, born Renaud Séchan, is a French singer, songwriter and actor.Renaud may also refer to:* Renaud , a male French given name* Renaud , a 1783 opera by Antonio Sacchini* Renaud, Quebec, part of Laval, Quebec...

 repopularized the term amongst the young generation with his 1976 album Amoureux de Paname
Amoureux de Paname
Amoureux de Paname is the title by which the unnamed debut album from French singer-songwriter Renaud is commonly known. It was released in 1975 by Polydor Records, and while not a commercial success, anti-bourgeoisie songs like "Hexagone" caused considerable public interest and provided Renaud a...

 ("In love with Paname").

Paris has many nicknames, but its most famous is "La Ville-Lumière" ("The City of Light" or "The Illuminated City"), a name it owes first to its fame as a centre of education and ideas during the Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

, and later to its early adoption of street light
Street light
A street light, lamppost, street lamp, light standard, or lamp standard is a raised source of light on the edge of a road or walkway, which is turned on or lit at a certain time every night. Modern lamps may also have light-sensitive photocells to turn them on at dusk, off at dawn, or activate...

ing.

Paris' inhabitants are known in English as "Parisians" and in French as Parisiens (paʁizjɛ̃). Parisians are often pejoratively called Parigots (paʁiɡo), a term first used in 1900 by those living outside the Paris region.
See Wiktionary for the name of Paris in various languages other than English and French.

History



Origins


The earliest archaeological signs of permanent settlements in the Paris area date from around 4200 BC. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ic Senones
Senones
The Senones were an ancient Gaulish tribe.In about 400 BC they crossed the Alps and, having driven out the Umbrians settled on the east coast of Italy from Forlì to Ancona, in the so-called ager Gallicus, and founded the town of Sena Gallica , which became their capital. In 391 BC they invaded...

, inhabited the area near the river Seine
Seine
The Seine is a -long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Saint-Seine near Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre . It is navigable by ocean-going vessels...

 from around 250 BC. The Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 conquered the Paris basin in 52 BC, with a permanent settlement by the end of the same century on the Left Bank
Rive Gauche
La Rive Gauche is the southern bank of the river Seine in Paris. Here the river flows roughly westward, cutting the city in two: looking downstream, the southern bank is to the left, and the northern bank is to the right....

 Sainte Geneviève Hill
Montagne Sainte-Geneviève
The Montagne Sainte-Geneviève is a hill on the left Bank of the Seine in the 5th arrondissement of Paris.On the top of the Montagne, one can visit the Panthéon or the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, which is often full of students from La Sorbonne and other nearby universities...

 and the Île de la Cité
Île de la Cité
The Île de la Cité is one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine within the city of Paris . It is the centre of Paris and the location where the medieval city was refounded....

. The Gallo-Roman town was originally called Lutetia
Lutetia
Lutetia was a town in pre-Roman and Roman Gaul. The Gallo-Roman city was a forerunner of the re-established Merovingian town that is the ancestor of present-day Paris...

, but later Gallicised to Lutèce. It expanded greatly over the following centuries, becoming a prosperous city with a forum, palaces, baths, temples, theatres, and an amphitheatre.
 

The collapse of the Roman empire and the 5th-century Germanic invasions
Migration Period
The Migration Period, also called the Barbarian Invasions , was a period of intensified human migration in Europe that occurred from c. 400 to 800 CE. This period marked the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages...

 sent the city into a period of decline. By AD 400, Lutèce, largely abandoned by its inhabitants, was little more than a garrison town entrenched into a hastily fortified central island. The city reclaimed its original appellation of "Paris" towards the end of the Roman occupation.

Merovingian and Feudal Eras


The Paris region was under full control of the Germanic Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 by the late 5th century. The Frankish king Clovis the Frank
Clovis I
Clovis Leuthwig was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the leadership from a group of royal chieftains, to rule by kings, ensuring that the kingship was held by his heirs. He was also the first Catholic King to rule over Gaul . He was the son...

, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. The late 8th century Carolingian dynasty displaced the Frankish capital to Aachen
Aachen
Aachen has historically been a spa town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen was a favoured residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany. Geographically, Aachen is the westernmost town of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, ...

; this period coincided with the beginning of Viking invasions that had spread as far as Paris by the early 9th century.

Repeated invasions forced Parisians to build a fortress on the Île de la Cité
Île de la Cité
The Île de la Cité is one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine within the city of Paris . It is the centre of Paris and the location where the medieval city was refounded....

. One of the most remarkable Viking raids was on 28 March 845, when Paris was sacked and held ransom, probably by Ragnar Lodbrok
Ragnar Lodbrok
Ragnar Lodbrok was a Norse legendary hero from the Viking Age who was thoroughly reshaped in Old Norse poetry and legendary sagas.-Life as recorded in the sagas:...

, who left only after receiving a large bounty paid by the crown. The weakness of the late Carolingian
Carolingian
The Carolingian dynasty was a Frankish noble family with origins in the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD. The name "Carolingian", Medieval Latin karolingi, an altered form of an unattested Old High German *karling, kerling The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the...

 kings of France led to the gradual rise in power of the Counts of Paris; Odo, Count of Paris
Odo, Count of Paris
Odo was a King of Western Francia, reigning from 888 to 898. He was a son of Robert the Strong, count of Anjou, whose branch of the family is known as the Robertians....

 was elected king of France by feudal lords, and the end of the Carolingian empire came in 987, when Hugh Capet, count of Paris, was elected king of France. Paris, under the Capet
House of Capet
The House of Capet, or The Direct Capetian Dynasty, , also called The House of France , or simply the Capets, which ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328, was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians. As rulers of France, the dynasty...

ian kings, became a capital once more.

Middle Ages to 19th century



Paris's population was around 200,000 when the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

 arrived in 1348, killing as many as 800 people a day; and 40,000 died from the plague in 1466. During the 16th and 17th centuries, plague visited the city for almost one year out of three. Paris lost its position as seat of the French realm during occupation of the English-allied Burgundians
Duchy of Burgundy
The Duchy of Burgundy , was heir to an ancient and prestigious reputation and a large division of the lands of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy and in its own right was one of the geographically larger ducal territories in the emergence of Early Modern Europe from Medieval Europe.Even in that...

 during the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

, but regained its title when Charles VII of France reclaimed the city from English rule in 1436. Paris from then on became France's capital once again in title, but France's real centre of power would remain in the Loire Valley
Loire Valley
The Loire Valley , spanning , is located in the middle stretch of the Loire River in central France. Its area comprises approximately . It is referred to as the Cradle of the French Language, and the Garden of France due to the abundance of vineyards, fruit orchards, and artichoke, asparagus, and...

 until King Francis I
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

 returned France's crown residences to Paris in 1528.

During the French Wars of Religion
French Wars of Religion
The French Wars of Religion is the name given to a period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants . The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, such as the House of Bourbon and House of Guise...

, Paris was a stronghold of the Catholic party
Catholic League (French)
The Catholic League of France, sometimes referred to by contemporary Roman Catholics as the Holy League, a major player in the French Wars of Religion, was formed by Duke Henry of Guise in 1576...

. In August 1572, under the reign of Charles IX
Charles IX of France
Charles IX was King of France, ruling from 1560 until his death. His reign was dominated by the Wars of Religion. He is best known as king at the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.-Childhood:...

, while many noble Protestants were in Paris on the occasion of the marriage of Henry of Navarre – the future Henry IV
Henry IV of France
Henry IV , Henri-Quatre, was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France....

 – to Margaret of Valois, sister of Charles IX, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre occurred; begun on 24 August, it lasted several days and spread throughout the country.

In 1590 Henry IV unsuccessfully laid siege to the city in the Siege of Paris
Siege of Paris (1590)
The Siege of Paris took place in 1590 during the French Wars of Religion when the French Royal Army under Henry of Navarre, and supported by the French Huguenots, failed to capture the city of Paris defended by the Catholic League, and finally successfully relieved by the Spanish-Catholic army...

. During the Fronde
Fronde
The Fronde was a civil war in France, occurring in the midst of the Franco-Spanish War, which had begun in 1635. The word fronde means sling, which Parisian mobs used to smash the windows of supporters of Cardinal Mazarin....

, Parisians rose in rebellion and the royal family fled the city (1648). King Louis XIV
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

 then moved the royal court permanently to Versailles
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles , or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. In French it is the Château de Versailles....

, a lavish estate on the outskirts of Paris, in 1682. A century later, Paris was the centre stage for the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, with the Storming of the Bastille
Storming of the Bastille
The storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris on the morning of 14 July 1789. The medieval fortress and prison in Paris known as the Bastille represented royal authority in the centre of Paris. While the prison only contained seven inmates at the time of its storming, its fall was the flashpoint...

 on 14 July 1789 and the overthrow
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 of the monarchy in September 1792.

19th century



Paris was occupied by Russian and Allied armies upon Napoleon
Napoleon I
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

's defeat on the 31 March 1814
Six Days Campaign
The Six Days Campaign was a final series of victories by the forces of Napoleon Bonaparte as the Sixth Coalition closed in on Paris....

; this was the first time in 400 years that the city had been conquered by a foreign power. The ensuing Restoration
Bourbon Restoration
The Bourbon Restoration is the name given to the period following the successive events of the French Revolution , the end of the First Republic , and then the forcible end of the First French Empire under Napoleon  – when a coalition of European powers restored by arms the monarchy to the...

 period, or the return of the monarchy under Louis XVIII
Louis XVIII of France
Louis XVIII , known as "the Unavoidable", was King of France and of Navarre from 1814 to 1824, omitting the Hundred Days in 1815...

 (1814–1824) and Charles X
Charles X of France
Charles X was known for most of his life as the Comte d'Artois before he reigned as King of France and of Navarre from 16 September 1824 until 2 August 1830. A younger brother to Kings Louis XVI and Louis XVIII, he supported the latter in exile and eventually succeeded him...

, ended with the July Revolution
July Revolution
The French Revolution of 1830, also known as the July Revolution or in French, saw the overthrow of King Charles X of France, the French Bourbon monarch, and the ascent of his cousin Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orléans, who himself, after 18 precarious years on the throne, would in turn be overthrown...

 Parisian uprising of 1830. The new 'constitutional monarchy' under Louis-Philippe ended with the 1848 "February Revolution
French Revolution of 1848
The 1848 Revolution in France was one of a wave of revolutions in 1848 in Europe. In France, the February revolution ended the Orleans monarchy and led to the creation of the French Second Republic. The February Revolution was really the belated second phase of the Revolution of 1830...

" that led to the creation of the Second Republic
French Second Republic
The French Second Republic was the republican government of France between the 1848 Revolution and the coup by Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte which initiated the Second Empire. It officially adopted the motto Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité...

.

Throughout these events, cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 epidemics in 1832 and 1849 ravaged the population of Paris; the 1832 epidemic alone claimed 20,000 of the population of 650,000.

The greatest development in Paris's history began with the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 creation of a network of railways that brought an unprecedented flow of migrants to the capital from the 1840s. The city's largest transformation came with the 1852 Second Empire under Napoleon III; his préfet
Préfet
A prefect in France is the State's representative in a department or region. Sub-prefects are responsible for the subdivisions of departments, arrondissements...

, Baron Haussmann
Baron Haussmann
Georges-Eugène Haussmann, commonly known as Baron Haussmann , was a French civic planner whose name is associated with the rebuilding of Paris...

, levelled entire districts
Haussmann's renovation of Paris
Haussmann's Renovation of Paris, or the Haussmann Plan, was a modernization program of Paris commissioned by Napoléon III and led by the Seine prefect, Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann, between 1853 and 1870...

 of Paris' narrow, winding medieval streets to create the network of wide avenues and neo-classical façades that still make up much of modern Paris; the reason for this transformation was twofold, as not only did the creation of wide boulevards beautify and sanitize the capital, it also facilitated the effectiveness of troops and artillery against any further uprisings and barricades for which Paris was so famous.

The Second Empire ended in the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 (1870–1871), and a besieged Paris under heavy bombardment surrendered on 28 January 1871. The discontent of Paris' populace with the new armistice-signing government seated in Versailles resulted in the creation of the Paris Commune
Paris Commune
The Paris Commune was a government that briefly ruled Paris from March 18 to May 28, 1871. It existed before the split between anarchists and Marxists had taken place, and it is hailed by both groups as the first assumption of power by the working class during the Industrial Revolution...

 government, supported by an army created in large part of members of the city's former National Guard
National Guard (France)
The National Guard was the name given at the time of the French Revolution to the militias formed in each city, in imitation of the National Guard created in Paris. It was a military force separate from the regular army...

 that would both continue resistance against the Prussians and oppose the army of the "Versaillais" government. The Paris Commune ended with the Semaine Sanglante ("Bloody Week"), during which roughly 20,000 "Communards" were executed before the fighting ended on 28 May 1871. The ease with which the Versaillais army overtook Paris owed much to Baron Haussmann's renovations.

France's late 19th-century Universal Expositions made Paris an increasingly important centre of technology, trade, and tourism. Its most famous were the 1889 Exposition universelle
Exposition Universelle (1889)
The Exposition Universelle of 1889 was a World's Fair held in Paris, France from 6 May to 31 October 1889.It was held during the year of the 100th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, an event traditionally considered as the symbol for the beginning of the French Revolution...

 to which Paris owes its "temporary" display of architectural engineering progess, the Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is a puddle iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. Built in 1889, it has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world...

, a structure that remained the world's tallest building until 1930; the 1900 Universal Exposition
Exposition Universelle (1900)
The Exposition Universelle of 1900 was a world's fair held in Paris, France, from April 15 to November 12, 1900, to celebrate the achievements of the past century and to accelerate development into the next...

 saw the opening of the first Paris Métro
Paris Métro
The Paris Métro or Métropolitain is the rapid transit metro system in Paris, France. It has become a symbol of the city, noted for its density within the city limits and its uniform architecture influenced by Art Nouveau. The network's sixteen lines are mostly underground and run to 214 km ...

 line.

20th century


During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Paris was at the forefront of the war effort, having been spared a German invasion by the French and British victory at the First Battle of the Marne
First Battle of the Marne
The Battle of the Marne was a First World War battle fought between 5 and 12 September 1914. It resulted in an Allied victory against the German Army under Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke the Younger. The battle effectively ended the month long German offensive that opened the war and had...

 in 1914. In 1918–1919, it was the scene of Allied
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 victory parades and peace negotiations. In the inter-war period
Interwar period
Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe....

 Paris was famed for its cultural and artistic communities and its nightlife. The city became a gathering place of artists from around the world, from exiled Russian composer Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky ; 6 April 1971) was a Russian, later naturalized French, and then naturalized American composer, pianist, and conductor....

 and Spanish painters Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

 and Dalí
Salvador Dalí
Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol , commonly known as Salvador Dalí , was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres,Spain....

 to American writer Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

.


On 14 June 1940, five weeks after the start of the Battle of France
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

, an undefended Paris fell to German occupation forces. The Germans marched past the Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
-The design:The astylar design is by Jean Chalgrin , in the Neoclassical version of ancient Roman architecture . Major academic sculptors of France are represented in the sculpture of the Arc de Triomphe: Jean-Pierre Cortot; François Rude; Antoine Étex; James Pradier and Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire...

 on the 140th anniversary of Napoleon
Napoleon I
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

's victory at the Battle of Marengo. German forces remained in Paris until the city was liberated
Liberation of Paris
The Liberation of Paris took place during World War II from 19 August 1944 until the surrender of the occupying German garrison on August 25th. It could be regarded by some as the last battle in the Battle for Normandy, though that really ended with the crushing of the Wehrmacht forces between the...

 in August 1944 after a resistance uprising, two and a half months after the Normandy invasion. Central Paris endured World War II practically unscathed, as there were no strategic targets for Allied bombers (train stations in central Paris are terminal station
Terminal Station
Terminal Station is a 1953 film by Italian director Vittorio De Sica. It tells the story of the love affair between an Italian man and an American woman. The film was entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Festival.-Production:...

s; major factories were located in the suburbs). Also, German General von Choltitz did not destroy all Parisian monuments before any German retreat, as ordered by Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

, who had visited the city in 1940.

In the post-war era, Paris experienced its largest development since the end of the Belle Époque
Belle Époque
The Belle Époque or La Belle Époque was a period in European social history that began during the late 19th century and lasted until World War I. Occurring during the era of the French Third Republic and the German Empire, it was a period characterised by optimism and new technological and medical...

 in 1914. The suburbs began to expand considerably, with the construction of large social estates known as cités and the beginning of the business district La Défense
La Défense
La Défense is a major business district of the Paris aire urbaine. With a population of 20,000, it is centered in an orbital motorway straddling the Hauts-de-Seine département municipalities of Nanterre, Courbevoie and Puteaux...

. A comprehensive express subway network, the RER
RER
The RER is a rapid transit system in France serving Paris and its suburbs. The RER is an integration of a modern city-centre underground rail and a pre-existing set of commuter rail lines. It has several connections with the Paris Métro within the city of Paris. Within the city, the RER...

, was built to complement the Métro and serve the distant suburbs, while a network of freeways was developed in the suburbs, centred on the Périphérique
Périphérique (Paris)
Boulevard Périphérique is a controlled-access dual-carriageway ring road in Paris, France. One of the busiest highways in Europe, the Périphérique is the generally-accepted boundary between the city proper of Paris and its suburbs...

 expressway encircling the city.

Since the 1970s, many inner suburbs of Paris (especially the northern and eastern ones) have experienced deindustrialization
Deindustrialization
Deindustrialization is a process of social and economic change caused by the removal or reduction of industrial capacity or activity in a country or region, especially heavy industry or manufacturing industry. It is an opposite of industrialization.- Multiple interpretations :There are multiple...

, and the once-thriving cités have gradually become ghettos for immigrants and oases of unemployment. At the same time, the city of Paris (within its Périphérique expressway) and the western and southern suburbs have successfully shifted their economic base from traditional manufacturing to high-value-added services and high-tech manufacturing, generating great wealth for their residents whose per capita income is among the highest in Europe. The resulting widening social gap between these two areas has led to periodic unrest since the mid-1980s, such as the 2005 riots
2005 civil unrest in France
The 2005 civil unrest in France of October and November was a series of riots by mostly Muslim North African youths in Paris and other French cities, involving mainly the burning of cars and public buildings at night starting on 27 October 2005 in Clichy-sous-Bois...

 which were concentrated for the most part in the northeastern suburbs.

Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

, died at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital
Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital
The Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital is a teaching hospital located in Paris, France. Part of the Assistance publique - Hôpitaux de Paris, it is one of Europe's largest hospitals...

 in Paris on 31 August 1997, after a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma
Pont de l'Alma
Pont de l'Alma is an arch bridge in Paris, crossing the Seine. It was named to commemorate the Battle of Alma during the Crimean War, in which the Franco-British alliance achieved victory over the Russian army on September 20, 1854....

 tunnel.

21st century


In order to alleviate social tensions in the inner suburbs and revitalise the metropolitan economy of Paris
Economy of Paris
Paris is one of the engines of the global economy. In 2007 the GDP of the Paris Region as calculated by INSEE was US$731.3 billion at market exchange rates. If it were a country, in 2007, the Paris Region would be the 17th largest economy in the world, with an economy nearly as large as that...

, several plans are currently underway. The office of Secretary of State for the Development of the Capital Region was created in March 2008 within the French government. Its office holder, Christian Blanc
Christian Blanc
Christian Blanc is a French politician.He was a member of the Saint-Simon Foundation think-tank. Blanc was elected to the National Assembly to represent the third district of Yvelines on 15 December 2002, replacing Anne-Marie Idrac, who had stood down to on nomination to become president of the RATP...

, is in charge of overseeing President Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

's plans for the creation of an integrated Grand Paris
Grand Paris
Grand Paris is the name of an initiative launched by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for "a new global plan for the Paris metropolitan region" It has led to a new transportation master plan for the Paris region and to plans to develop several areas around Paris.-Development:The plan was first...

 ("Greater Paris") metropolitan authority (see Administration section below), as well as the extension of the subway network to cope with the renewed growth of population in Paris and its suburbs, and various economic development projects to boost the metropolitan economy, such as the creation of a world-class technology and scientific cluster and university campus on the Saclay
Saclay
Saclay is a commune in the southwestern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.It is best known for the large scientific facility CEA Saclay, mostly dealing with nuclear and particle physics....

 plateau in the southern suburbs.

In parallel, President Sarkozy also launched in 2008 an international urban and architectural competition for the future development of metropolitan Paris. Ten teams, which bring together architects, urban planners, geographers, and landscape architects, will offer their vision for building a Paris metropolis of the 21st century in the Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

 era and will make a prospective diagnosis for Paris and its suburbs that will define future developments in Greater Paris for the next 40 years. The goal is not only to build an environmentally sustainable metropolis but also to integrate the inner suburbs with the central City of Paris through large-scale urban planning operations and iconic architectural projects.

Meanwhile, in an effort to boost the global economic image of metropolitan Paris, several skyscrapers (300 m (984 ft) and higher) have been approved since 2006 in the business district of La Défense
La Défense
La Défense is a major business district of the Paris aire urbaine. With a population of 20,000, it is centered in an orbital motorway straddling the Hauts-de-Seine département municipalities of Nanterre, Courbevoie and Puteaux...

, to the west of the city proper, and are scheduled to be completed by the early 2010s. Paris authorities also stated publicly that they are planning to authorise the construction of skyscrapers within the city proper by relaxing the cap on building height for the first time since the construction of the Tour Montparnasse
Tour Montparnasse
Tour Maine-Montparnasse , also commonly named Tour Montparnasse, is a tall office skyscraper located in Paris, France, in the area of Montparnasse. Constructed from 1969 to 1972, it was the tallest skyscraper in France until 2011, when it was surpassed in height by the Tour First...

 in the early 1970s.

Geography



Paris is located in the north-bending arc of the river Seine
Seine
The Seine is a -long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Saint-Seine near Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre . It is navigable by ocean-going vessels...

 and includes two islands, the Île Saint-Louis
Île Saint-Louis
The Île Saint-Louis is one of two natural islands in the Seine river, in Paris, France . The island is named after King Louis IX of France ....

 and the larger Île de la Cité
Île de la Cité
The Île de la Cité is one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine within the city of Paris . It is the centre of Paris and the location where the medieval city was refounded....

, which form the oldest part of the city. Overall, the city is relatively flat, and the lowest point is 35 m (115 ft) above sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

. Paris has several prominent hills, of which the highest is Montmartre
Montmartre
Montmartre is a hill which is 130 metres high, giving its name to the surrounding district, in the north of Paris in the 18th arrondissement, a part of the Right Bank. Montmartre is primarily known for the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré Cœur on its summit and as a nightclub district...

 at 130 m (427 ft).

Excluding the outlying parks of Bois de Boulogne
Bois de Boulogne
The Bois de Boulogne is a park located along the western edge of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, near the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt and Neuilly-sur-Seine...

 and Bois de Vincennes
Bois de Vincennes
The Bois de Vincennes is a park in the English landscape manner to the east of Paris. The park is named after the nearby town of Vincennes....

, Paris covers an oval measuring 86.928 km² (34 sq mi) in area. The city's last major annexation of outlying territories in 1860 not only gave it its modern form but also created the twenty clockwise-spiralling arrondissements
Arrondissements of Paris
The city of Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements municipaux administrative districts, more simply referred to as arrondissements . These are not to be confused with departmental arrondissements, which subdivide the 101 French départements...

 (municipal boroughs). From the 1860 area of 78 km² (30 sq mi), the city limits were expanded marginally to 86.9 km² (34 sq mi) in the 1920s. In 1929, the Bois de Boulogne
Bois de Boulogne
The Bois de Boulogne is a park located along the western edge of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, near the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt and Neuilly-sur-Seine...

 and Bois de Vincennes
Bois de Vincennes
The Bois de Vincennes is a park in the English landscape manner to the east of Paris. The park is named after the nearby town of Vincennes....

 forest parks were officially annexed to the city, bringing its area to the present 105.39 km² (41 sq mi).

Climate


Paris has the typical Western European oceanic climate
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

 which is affected by the North Atlantic Current
North Atlantic Current
The North Atlantic Current is a powerful warm ocean current that continues the Gulf Stream northeast. West of Ireland it splits in two; one branch, the Canary Current, goes south, while the other continues north along the coast of northwestern Europe...

. Over a year, Paris' climate can be described as mild and moderately wet.

Summer days are usually warm and pleasant with average temperatures hovering between 15 and 25 °C, and a fair amount of sunshine. Each year, however, there are a few days where the temperature rises above 32 °C (90 °F). Some years have even witnessed some long periods of harsh summer weather, such as the heat wave of 2003
2003 European heat wave
The 2003 European heat wave was the hottest summer on record in Europe since at least 1540. France was hit especially hard. The heat wave led to health crises in several countries and combined with drought to create a crop shortfall in Southern Europe...

 where temperatures exceeded 30 °C (86 °F) for weeks, surged up to 40 °C (104 °F) on some days and seldom cooled down at night. More recently, the average temperature for July 2011 was +17.6 °C, with an average minimum temperature of 12.9 ° and an average maximum temperature of 23.7 °C.

Spring and autumn have, on average, mild days and fresh nights, but are changing and unstable. Surprisingly warm or cool weather occurs frequently in both seasons.

In winter, sunshine is scarce; days are cold but generally above freezing with temperatures around 7 °C (45 °F). Light night frosts are however quite common, but the temperature will dip below -5 °C for only a few days a year. Snowfall is rare, but the city sometimes sees light snow or flurries with or without accumulation.
Recently, notably in 2009 and 2010, cold waves brought repeated heavy snowfalls (15 cm (5.91 in) in 2010) and temperatures plummeting to -10 °C and -20 °C in the Paris suburbs.

Rain falls throughout the year, and although Paris is not a very rainy city, it is known for heavy sudden showers. Average annual precipitation is 652 mm (25.7 in) with light rainfall fairly distributed throughout the year. The highest recorded temperature is 40.4 °C (105 °F) on 28 July 1948, and the lowest is a -23.9 °C on 10 December 1879.

Cityscape



Architecture




Much of contemporary Paris is the result of the vast mid-19th century urban remodelling
Haussmann's renovation of Paris
Haussmann's Renovation of Paris, or the Haussmann Plan, was a modernization program of Paris commissioned by Napoléon III and led by the Seine prefect, Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann, between 1853 and 1870...

. For centuries, the city had been a labyrinth of narrow streets and half-timber houses, but, beginning with Haussman's advent, entire quarters were leveled to make way for wide avenues lined with neo-classical stone buildings of bourgeoisie standing. Most of this 'new' Paris is the Paris we see today.

The building code has seen few changes since, and the Second Empire plans are in many cases still followed. The "alignement" law is still in place, which regulates building façades of new constructions according to a pre-defined street width. A building's height is limited according to the width of the streets it borders, and under the regulation, it is difficult to get an approval to build a taller building.

Many of Paris' important institutions are located outside the city limits. The financial (La Défense
La Défense
La Défense is a major business district of the Paris aire urbaine. With a population of 20,000, it is centered in an orbital motorway straddling the Hauts-de-Seine département municipalities of Nanterre, Courbevoie and Puteaux...

) business district; the main food wholesale market (Rungis
Marché d'Intérêt National de Rungis
The Marché International de Rungis is the principal market of Paris, located in the commune of Rungis, in the southern suburbs. It is the largest wholesale food market in the world....

); schools (École Polytechnique
École Polytechnique
The École Polytechnique is a state-run institution of higher education and research in Palaiseau, Essonne, France, near Paris. Polytechnique is renowned for its four year undergraduate/graduate Master's program...

; ESSEC; INSEAD
INSEAD
INSEAD is an international graduate business school and research institution. It has campuses in Europe , Asia , and the Middle East , as well as a research center in Israel...

; HEC
HEC School of Management
HEC Paris or École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris is one of the foremost business schools in France and in Europe. It was created in 1881 by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the model of French Grandes Ecoles and has progressively become one of the most selective graduate...

); research laboratories (in Saclay
Saclay
Saclay is a commune in the southwestern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.It is best known for the large scientific facility CEA Saclay, mostly dealing with nuclear and particle physics....

 or Évry); the largest stadium (the Stade de France
Stade de France
The Stade de France is the national stadium of France, situated just north of Paris in the commune of Saint-Denis. It has an all-seater capacity of 80,000, making it the fifth largest stadium in Europe, and is used by both the France national football team and French rugby union team for...

), and the government offices (Ministry of Transportation) are located in the city's suburbs.

City of Paris

  • Place de la Bastille
    Place de la Bastille
    The Place de la Bastille is a square in Paris, where the Bastille prison stood until the 'Storming of the Bastille' and its subsequent physical destruction between 14 July 1789 and 14 July 1790 during the French Revolution; no vestige of it remains....

     (4th, 11th and 12th arrondissements, right bank) is a district of great historical significance, for not just Paris, but also all of France. Because of its symbolic value, the square has often been a site of political demonstrations.

  • Place de la Concorde
    Place de la Concorde
    The Place de la Concorde in area, it is the largest square in the French capital. It is located in the city's eighth arrondissement, at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées.- History :...

     (8th arrondissement, right bank) is at the foot of the Champs-Élysées, built as the "Place Louis XV", site of the infamous guillotine
    Guillotine
    The guillotine is a device used for carrying out :executions by decapitation. It consists of a tall upright frame from which an angled blade is suspended. This blade is raised with a rope and then allowed to drop, severing the head from the body...

    . The Egyptian obelisk
    Luxor Obelisk
    The Luxor Obelisk is a 23 metres high Egyptian obelisk standing at the center of the Place de la Concorde in Paris, France...

     is Paris' "oldest monument". On this place, on either side of the Rue Royale, there are two identical stone buildings: The eastern one houses the French Naval Ministry, the western the luxurious Hôtel de Crillon
    Hôtel de Crillon
    The Hôtel de Crillon in Paris is one of the oldest luxury hotels in the world. The hotel is located at the foot of the Champs-Élysées and is one of two identical stone palaces on the Place de la Concorde. The Crillon has 103 guest rooms and 44 suites...

    . Nearby Place Vendôme
    Place Vendôme
    Place Vendôme is a square in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France, located to the north of the Tuileries Gardens and east of the Église de la Madeleine. It is the starting point of the Rue de la Paix. Its regular architecture by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and pedimented screens canted across the...

     is famous for its fashionable and deluxe hotels (Hôtel Ritz
    Hôtel Ritz Paris
    The Hôtel Ritz is a grand palatial hotel in the heart of Paris, the 1st arrondissement. It overlooks the octagonal border of the Place Vendôme at number 15...

     and Hôtel de Vendôme
    Hôtel de Vendôme
    The Hôtel de Vendôme was built as a private home in Paris; the famous Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond worked on the hôtel.The hôtel is the main relic of what once was the most popular convent in Paris, the Vauvert Charterhouse; founded by Saint-Louis and famous for its vineyard called the Clos de...

    ) and its jewellers. Many famous fashion designers have had their salons located here.

  • Champs-Élysées
    Champs-Élysées
    The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a prestigious avenue in Paris, France. With its cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets and one of the most expensive strip of real estate in the world. The name is...

     (8th arrondissement, right bank) is a 17th-century garden-promenade-turned-avenue connecting Place de la Concorde and Arc de Triomphe
    Arc de Triomphe
    -The design:The astylar design is by Jean Chalgrin , in the Neoclassical version of ancient Roman architecture . Major academic sculptors of France are represented in the sculpture of the Arc de Triomphe: Jean-Pierre Cortot; François Rude; Antoine Étex; James Pradier and Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire...

    . It is one of the many tourist attractions and a major shopping street of Paris.

  • Les Halles
    Les Halles
    Les Halles is an area of Paris, France, located in the 1er arrondissement, just south of the fashionable rue Montorgueil. It is named for the large central wholesale marketplace, which was demolished in 1971, to be replaced with an underground modern shopping precinct, the Forum des Halles...

     (1st arrondissement, right bank) were formerly Paris' central meat and produce market, and, since the late 1970s, are a major shopping centre around an important metro
    Rapid transit
    A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

     connection station (Châtelet – Les Halles, the biggest in the world). The old Halles were destroyed in 1971 and replaced by the Forum des Halles. The central market of Paris, the biggest wholesale food market in the world, was transferred to Rungis
    Marché d'Intérêt National de Rungis
    The Marché International de Rungis is the principal market of Paris, located in the commune of Rungis, in the southern suburbs. It is the largest wholesale food market in the world....

    , in the southern suburbs.

  • Le Marais
    Le Marais
    Le Marais is a historic district in Paris, France. Long the aristocratic district of Paris, it hosts many outstanding buildings of historic and architectural importance...

     (3rd and 4th arrondissements) is a trendy Right Bank district. It is architecturally very well-preserved, and some of the oldest houses and buildings of Paris can be found there. It is a very culturally open place. It is also known for its Chinese, Jewish and gay communities.

  • Avenue Montaigne
    Avenue Montaigne
    Avenue Montaigne is a street in the 8th arrondisement of Paris, France-Name origin:Avenue Montaigne was originally called the allée des Veuves because women in mourning gathered there, but the street has changed much since those days of the early 18th century. The current name comes from Michel...

     (8th arrondissement), next to the Champs-Élysées, is home to luxury brand labels such as Chanel
    Chanel
    Chanel S.A. is a French fashion house founded by the couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, well established in haute couture, specializing in luxury goods . She gained the name "Coco" while maintaining a career as a singer at a café in France...

    , Louis Vuitton
    Louis Vuitton
    Louis Vuitton Malletier – commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton , or shortened to LV – is a French fashion house founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. The label is well known for its LV monogram, which is featured on most products, ranging from luxury trunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, shoes,...

     (LVMH
    LVMH
    LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton S.A., better known as LVMH, is a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate headquartered in Paris, Île-de-France, France. The company was formed after the 1987 merger of fashion house Louis Vuitton with Moët Hennessy, a company formed after the 1971 merger...

    ), Dior
    Christian Dior
    Christian Dior , was a French fashion designer, best known as the founder of one of the world's top fashion houses, also called Christian Dior.-Life:...

     and Givenchy
    Givenchy
    Givenchy is a French brand of clothing, accessories, perfumes and cosmetics with Parfums Givenchy.The house of Givenchy was founded in 1952 by designer Hubert de Givenchy and is a member of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Pret-a-Porter...

    .

  • Montmartre
    Montmartre
    Montmartre is a hill which is 130 metres high, giving its name to the surrounding district, in the north of Paris in the 18th arrondissement, a part of the Right Bank. Montmartre is primarily known for the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré Cœur on its summit and as a nightclub district...

     (18th arrondissement, right bank) is a historic area on the Butte, home to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur
    Basilica of the Sacré Cœur
    The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica , is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France. A popular landmark, the basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city...

    . Montmartre has always had a history with artists and has many studios and cafés of many great artists in that area.

  • Montparnasse
    Montparnasse
    Montparnasse is an area of Paris, France, on the left bank of the river Seine, centred at the crossroads of the Boulevard du Montparnasse and the Rue de Rennes, between the Rue de Rennes and boulevard Raspail...

     (14th arrondissement) is a historic Left Bank area famous for artists' studios, music halls, and café life. The large Montparnasse – Bienvenüe
    Montparnasse - Bienvenüe (Paris Metro)
    Montparnasse — Bienvenüe is a station of the Paris Métro which is a transfer point between lines 4, 6, 12 and 13. It is the third-busiest station on the metro system in Montparnasse at the intersection of the 6th, 14th and 15th arrondissements.-Location:...

     métro
    Paris Métro
    The Paris Métro or Métropolitain is the rapid transit metro system in Paris, France. It has become a symbol of the city, noted for its density within the city limits and its uniform architecture influenced by Art Nouveau. The network's sixteen lines are mostly underground and run to 214 km ...

     station and the lone Tour Montparnasse
    Tour Montparnasse
    Tour Maine-Montparnasse , also commonly named Tour Montparnasse, is a tall office skyscraper located in Paris, France, in the area of Montparnasse. Constructed from 1969 to 1972, it was the tallest skyscraper in France until 2011, when it was surpassed in height by the Tour First...

     skyscraper
    Skyscraper
    A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building of many stories, often designed for office and commercial use. There is no official definition or height above which a building may be classified as a skyscraper...

     are located there.

  • Avenue de l'Opéra
    Avenue de l'Opéra
    The Avenue de l'Opéra is a Haussmanian avenue situated in the centre of Paris, France. It runs from the Louvre to the Palais Garnier, which was Paris's main opera until it was replaced by the Opéra Bastillein 1989....

     (9th arrondissement, right bank) is the area around the Opéra Garnier and the location of the capital's densest concentration of both department stores and offices. A few examples are the Printemps
    Printemps
    Printemps is a French department store .The flagship Printemps store is located on Boulevard Haussmann in the IXe arrondissement of Paris along with other well-known department stores like Galeries Lafayette. There are other Printemps stores in Paris and throughout France...

     and Galeries Lafayette
    Galeries Lafayette
    - History :In 1893 Théophile Bader and his cousin Alphonse Kahn opened a fashion store in a small haberdasher's shop at the corner of rue La Fayette and the Chaussée d'Antin, Paris. In 1896, the company purchased the entire building at n°1 rue La Fayette and in 1905 the buildings at n°38, 40 et...

     grands magasins (department stores), and the Paris headquarters of financial giants such as BNP Paribas
    BNP Paribas
    BNP Paribas S.A. is a global banking group, headquartered in Paris, with its second global headquarters in London. In October 2010 BNP Paribas was ranked by Bloomberg and Forbes as the largest bank and largest company in the world by assets with over $3.1 trillion. It was formed through the merger...

     and American Express
    American Express
    American Express Company or AmEx, is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Three World Financial Center, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States. Founded in 1850, it is one of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The company is best...

    .

  • Quartier Latin
    Latin Quarter
    Latin Quarter is a part of the 5th arrondissement in Paris.Latin Quarter may also refer to:* Latin Quarter , a British pop/rock band* Latin Quarter , a 1945 British film*Latin Quarter, Aarhus, part of Midtbyen, Aarhus C, Denmark...

     (5th and 6th arrondissements, left bank) is a 12th-century scholastic centre formerly stretching between the Left Bank's Place Maubert and the Sorbonne
    University of Paris
    The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

     campus. It is known for its lively atmosphere and many bistro
    Bistro
    A bistro, sometimes spelled bistrot, is, in its original Parisian incarnation, a small restaurant serving moderately priced simple meals in a modest setting. Bistros are defined mostly by the foods they serve. Home cooking with robust earthy dishes, and slow-cooked foods like cassoulet are typical...

    s. Various higher-education establishments, such as Sciences Po Paris, the École Normale Supérieure
    École Normale Supérieure
    The École normale supérieure is one of the most prestigious French grandes écoles...

    , Mines ParisTech, and the Jussieu university campus
    Jussieu Campus
    The Jussieu Campus is a higher education campus located in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, France, which is the main campus of the Pierre and Marie Curie University ....

    , make it a major educational centre in Paris.

  • Faubourg Saint-Honoré (8th arrondissement, right bank) is one of Paris' high-fashion districts, home to labels such as Hermès
    Hermès
    Hermès International S.A., or simply Hermès is a French high fashion house established in 1837, today specializing in leather, lifestyle accessories, perfumery, luxury goods, and ready-to-wear...

     and Christian Lacroix
    Christian Lacroix
    Christian Marie Marc Lacroix is a French fashion designer. The name may also refer to the company he founded.-Early life:Lacroix was born in Arles, Bouches-du-Rhône in southern France. At a young age he began sketching historical costumes and fashions. Lacroix graduated from high school in 1969...

    .



In the Paris area

  • La Défense
    La Défense
    La Défense is a major business district of the Paris aire urbaine. With a population of 20,000, it is centered in an orbital motorway straddling the Hauts-de-Seine département municipalities of Nanterre, Courbevoie and Puteaux...

     (straddling the communes
    Communes of France
    The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

     of Courbevoie
    Courbevoie
    Courbevoie is a commune located very close to the centre of Paris, France. The centre of Courbevoie is situated 2 kilometres from the outer limits of Paris and 8.2 km...

    , Puteaux
    Puteaux
    Puteaux is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located in the heart of the Hauts-de-Seine department from the center of Paris....

    , and Nanterre
    Nanterre
    Nanterre is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located west of the center of Paris.Nanterre is the capital of the Hauts-de-Seine department as well as the seat of the Arrondissement of Nanterre....

    , 2.5 km (2 mi) west of the city proper) is a key suburb of Paris and one of the largest business centres in the world. Built at the western end of a westward extension of Paris' historical axis from the Champs-Élysées
    Champs-Élysées
    The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a prestigious avenue in Paris, France. With its cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets and one of the most expensive strip of real estate in the world. The name is...

    , La Défense consists mainly of business high-rises. Initiated by the French government in 1958, the district hosts 3500000 m² (37,673,686 sq ft) of offices, making it the largest district in Europe developed specifically for business. The Grande Arche
    Grande Arche
    La Grande Arche de la Défense is a monument and building in the business district of La Défense and in the commune of Puteaux, to the west of Paris, France...

     (Great Arch) of la Défense, housing a part of the French Transports Minister's headquarters, ends at the central Esplanade, around which the district is organised.


  • Plaine Saint-Denis (straddling the communes of Saint-Denis
    Saint-Denis
    Saint-Denis is a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris. Saint-Denis is a sous-préfecture of the Seine-Saint-Denis département, being the seat of the Arrondissement of Saint-Denis....

    , Aubervilliers
    Aubervilliers
    Aubervilliers is a commune in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.-Name:In medieval times the name Aubervilliers was recorded as Alberti Villare, meaning "estate of Adalbert"...

    , and Saint-Ouen
    Saint-Ouen, Seine-Saint-Denis
    Saint-Ouen is a commune in the Seine-Saint-Denis department. It is located in the northern suburbs of Paris, France 6.6 km from the centre of Paris....

    , immediately north of the 18th arrondissement
    XVIIIe arrondissement
    The 18th arrondissement , located on the Rive Droite , is one of the 20 arrondissements of Paris, France...

    , across the Périphérique
    Périphérique (Paris)
    Boulevard Périphérique is a controlled-access dual-carriageway ring road in Paris, France. One of the busiest highways in Europe, the Périphérique is the generally-accepted boundary between the city proper of Paris and its suburbs...

     ring road) is a former derelict manufacturing area that has undergone large-scale urban renewal in the last 10 years. It now hosts the Stade de France
    Stade de France
    The Stade de France is the national stadium of France, situated just north of Paris in the commune of Saint-Denis. It has an all-seater capacity of 80,000, making it the fifth largest stadium in Europe, and is used by both the France national football team and French rugby union team for...

    , around which is being built the new business district of LandyFrance, with two RER
    RER
    The RER is a rapid transit system in France serving Paris and its suburbs. The RER is an integration of a modern city-centre underground rail and a pre-existing set of commuter rail lines. It has several connections with the Paris Métro within the city of Paris. Within the city, the RER...

     stations (on RER lines B
    RER B
    The RER B is one of the five lines in the RER rapid transit system serving :Paris, France.The line runs from the northern termini Aéroport Charles de Gaulle and Mitry-Claye to the southern termini Robinson and Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse ....

     and D
    RER D
    The RER D is one of the five lines in the RER rapid transit system serving :Paris, France.The line officially runs from the northern terminus Orry-la-Ville – Coye to the southern terminuses Melun and Malesherbes...

    ) and possibly some skyscrapers. In the Plaine Saint-Denis are also located most of France's television studio
    Television studio
    A television studio is an installation in which a video productions take place, either for the recording of live television to video tape, or for the acquisition of raw footage for post-production. The design of a studio is similar to, and derived from, movie studios, with a few amendments for the...

    s as well as some major movie studios.

  • Val de Seine
    Val de Seine
    The Val de Seine is one of the more important business districts of the Paris agglomeration. Located southwest of the city, it spreads along a bend of the Seine, mainly in the municipalities...

     (straddling the 15th arrondissement and the communes of Issy-les-Moulineaux
    Issy-les-Moulineaux
    Issy-les-Moulineaux is a commune in the southwestern suburban area of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris. On 1 January 2003, Issy-les-Moulineaux became part of the Communauté d'agglomération Arc de Seine along with the other communes of Chaville, Meudon, Vanves and Ville-d'Avray...

     and Boulogne-Billancourt
    Boulogne-Billancourt
    Boulogne-Billancourt is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris. Boulogne-Billancourt is a sub-prefecture of the Hauts-de-Seine department and the seat of the Arrondissement of Boulogne-Billancourt....

     to the southwest of central Paris) is the new media hub of Paris and France, hosting the headquarters of most of France's TV networks (TF1
    TF1
    TF1 is a national French TV channel, controlled by TF1 Group, whose major share-holder is Bouygues. TF1's average market share of 24% makes it the most popular domestic network...

     in Boulogne-Billancourt, France 2
    France 2
    France 2 is a French public national television channel. It is part of the state-owned France Télévisions group, along with France 3, France 4, France 5 and France Ô...

     in the 15th arrondissement, Canal+
    Canal+
    Canal+ is a French premium pay television channel launched in 1984. It is 80% owned by the Canal+ Group, which in turn is owned by Vivendi SA. The channel broadcasts several kinds of programming, mostly encrypted...

     and the international channels France 24
    France 24
    France 24 is an international news and current affairs television channel. The service is aimed at the overseas market, similar to BBC World News, DW-TV, NHK World and RT, and broadcast through satellite and cable operators throughout the world. During 2010 the channel started broadcasting through...

     and Eurosport
    Eurosport
    Eurosport is a pan-European television sport network operated by French broadcaster TF1 Group. The network of channels are available in 59 countries, in 20 different languages providing viewers with European and international sporting events...

     in Issy-les-Moulineaux), as well as several telecommunication and IT
    Information technology
    Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

     companies such as Neuf Cegetel
    Neuf Cegetel
    Neuf Cegetel is a French wireline telecom services provider and a mobile virtual network operator offering different services to consumers, enterprises and wholesale customers, ranking number two in the country...

     in Boulogne-Billancourt or Microsoft
    Microsoft
    Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

    's Europe, Africa & Middle East regional headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux.

Monuments and landmarks


Three of the most famous Parisian landmarks are the 12th-century cathedral
Cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

 Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris , also known as Notre Dame Cathedral, is a Gothic, Roman Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. It is the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris: that is, it is the church that contains the cathedra of...

 on the Île de la Cité
Île de la Cité
The Île de la Cité is one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine within the city of Paris . It is the centre of Paris and the location where the medieval city was refounded....

, the Napoleonic
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
-The design:The astylar design is by Jean Chalgrin , in the Neoclassical version of ancient Roman architecture . Major academic sculptors of France are represented in the sculpture of the Arc de Triomphe: Jean-Pierre Cortot; François Rude; Antoine Étex; James Pradier and Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire...

 and the 19th-century Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is a puddle iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. Built in 1889, it has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world...

. The Eiffel Tower was a "temporary" construction by Gustave Eiffel
Gustave Eiffel
Alexandre Gustave Eiffel was a French structural engineer from the École Centrale Paris, an architect, an entrepreneur and a specialist of metallic structures...

 for the 1889 Universal Exposition, but the tower was never dismantled and is now an enduring symbol of Paris. The Historical axis
Axe historique
The Axe historique is a line of monuments, buildings and thoroughfares that extends from the centre of Paris, France, to the west. It is also known as the "Voie Triomphale" ....

 is a line of monuments, buildings, and thoroughfares that run in a roughly straight line from the city-centre westwards.

The line of monuments begins with the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

 and continues through the Tuileries Gardens
Tuileries Palace
The Tuileries Palace was a royal palace in Paris which stood on the right bank of the River Seine until 1871, when it was destroyed in the upheaval during the suppression of the Paris Commune...

, the Champs-Élysées
Champs-Élysées
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a prestigious avenue in Paris, France. With its cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets and one of the most expensive strip of real estate in the world. The name is...

, and the Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
-The design:The astylar design is by Jean Chalgrin , in the Neoclassical version of ancient Roman architecture . Major academic sculptors of France are represented in the sculpture of the Arc de Triomphe: Jean-Pierre Cortot; François Rude; Antoine Étex; James Pradier and Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire...

, centred in the Place de l'Étoile
Place de l'Étoile
The Place Charles de Gaulle, , historically known as the Place de l'Étoile , is a large road junction in Paris, France, the meeting point of twelve straight avenues including the Champs-Élysées which continues to the east. It was renamed in 1970 following the death of General and President Charles...

 circus. From the 1960s, the line was prolonged even farther west to the La Défense
La Défense
La Défense is a major business district of the Paris aire urbaine. With a population of 20,000, it is centered in an orbital motorway straddling the Hauts-de-Seine département municipalities of Nanterre, Courbevoie and Puteaux...

 business district dominated by a square-shaped triumphal Grande Arche
Grande Arche
La Grande Arche de la Défense is a monument and building in the business district of La Défense and in the commune of Puteaux, to the west of Paris, France...

 of its own; this district hosts most of the tallest skyscrapers in the Paris urban area. The Invalides
Les Invalides
Les Invalides , officially known as L'Hôtel national des Invalides , is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's...

 museum is the burial place for many great French soldiers, including Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

; and the Panthéon church is where many of France's illustrious men and women are buried.

The former Conciergerie
Conciergerie
La Conciergerie is a former royal palace and prison in Paris, France, located on the west of the Île de la Cité, near the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. It is part of the larger complex known as the Palais de Justice, which is still used for judicial purposes...

 prison held some prominent Ancien Régime members before their deaths during the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. Another symbol of the Revolution are the two Statues of Liberty
Replicas of the Statue of Liberty
Hundreds of smaller replicas of the Statue of Liberty have been created worldwide.-Pont de Grenelle:This second Statue of Liberty in Paris is near the Grenelle Bridge on the Île aux Cygnes, a man-made island in the river Seine , 11.50 m high. Inaugurated on July 4, 1889, it looks southwest,...

 located on the Île aux Cygnes on the Seine and in the Luxembourg Garden
Jardin du Luxembourg
The Jardin du Luxembourg, or the Luxembourg Gardens, is the second largest public park in Paris The Jardin du Luxembourg, or the Luxembourg Gardens, is the second largest public park in Paris The Jardin du Luxembourg, or the Luxembourg Gardens, is the second largest public park in Paris (224,500 m²...

. A larger version of the statues was sent as a gift from France to America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in 1886 and now stands in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

's harbour.

The Palais Garnier
Palais Garnier
The Palais Garnier, , is an elegant 1,979-seat opera house, which was built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. It was originally called the Salle des Capucines because of its location on the Boulevard des Capucines in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, but soon became known as the Palais Garnier...

, built in the later Second Empire
Second French Empire
The Second French Empire or French Empire was the Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, between the Second Republic and the Third Republic, in France.-Rule of Napoleon III:...

 period, houses the Paris Opéra and the Paris Opera Ballet
Paris Opera Ballet
The Paris Opera Ballet is the oldest national ballet company in the world, and many European and international ballet companies can trace their origins to it...

, while the former palace of the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

 now houses one of the most renowned museums in the world. The Sorbonne
Sorbonne
The Sorbonne is an edifice of the Latin Quarter, in Paris, France, which has been the historical house of the former University of Paris...

 is the most famous part of the University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

 and is based in the centre of the Latin Quarter. Apart from Notre Dame de Paris, there are several other ecclesiastical masterpieces, including the Gothic 13th-century Sainte-Chapelle
Sainte-Chapelle
La Sainte-Chapelle is the only surviving building of the Capetian royal palace on the Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris, France. It was commissioned by King Louis IX of France to house his collection of Passion Relics, including the Crown of Thorns - one of the most important relics in medieval...

 palace chapel and the Église de la Madeleine
Église de la Madeleine
L'église de la Madeleine is a Roman Catholic church occupying a commanding position in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. It was designed in its present form as a temple to the glory of Napoleon's army...

.

Parks and gardens




Two of Paris' oldest and famous gardens are the Tuileries Garden
Tuileries Garden
The Tuileries Garden is a public garden located between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. Created by Catherine de Medicis as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564, it was first opened to the public in 1667, and became a public park after the...

, created in the 16th century for a palace on the banks of the Seine
Seine
The Seine is a -long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Saint-Seine near Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre . It is navigable by ocean-going vessels...

 near the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

, and the Left bank
Rive Gauche
La Rive Gauche is the southern bank of the river Seine in Paris. Here the river flows roughly westward, cutting the city in two: looking downstream, the southern bank is to the left, and the northern bank is to the right....

 Luxembourg Garden, another former private garden belonging to a château built for Marie de' Medici
Marie de' Medici
Marie de Médicis , Italian Maria de' Medici, was queen consort of France, as the second wife of King Henry IV of France, of the House of Bourbon. She herself was a member of the wealthy and powerful House of Medici...

 in 1612. The Jardin des Plantes
Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes is the main botanical garden in France. It is one of seven departments of the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle. It is situated in the 5ème arrondissement, Paris, on the left bank of the river Seine and covers 28 hectares .- Garden plan :The grounds of the Jardin des...

, created by Louis XIII's doctor Guy de La Brosse
Guy de La Brosse
Guy de La Brosse , was a French botanist, doctor, and pharmacist. A physician to King Louis XIII of France, he is also notable for the creation of a major botanical garden of medicinal herbs, which was commissioned by the king...

 for the cultivation of medicinal plants, was Paris' first public garden.

A few of Paris' other large gardens are Second Empire
Second French Empire
The Second French Empire or French Empire was the Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, between the Second Republic and the Third Republic, in France.-Rule of Napoleon III:...

 creations: The former suburban parks of Montsouris
Montsouris
Parc Montsouris is a public park in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, on the rive gauche The park is fifteen hectares in area, and it is styled as an English garden, a genre popular since the early 19th century...

, Parc des Buttes Chaumont, and Parc Monceau
Parc Monceau
Parc Monceau is a semi-public park situated in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France, at the junction of Boulevard de Courcelles, Rue de Prony and Rue Georges Berger. At the main entrance is a rotunda. The park covers an area of 8.2 hectares ....

 (formerly known as the "folie de Chartres") are creations of Napoleon III
Napoleon III of France
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte was the President of the French Second Republic and as Napoleon III, the ruler of the Second French Empire. He was the nephew and heir of Napoleon I, christened as Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte...

's engineer Jean-Charles Alphand
Jean-Charles Alphand
Jean-Charles Adolphe Alphand, born in 1817 and died in 1891, interred at Père Lachaise Cemetery , was a French Engineer of the Corps of Bridges and Roads...

. Another project executed under the orders of Baron Haussmann
Baron Haussmann
Georges-Eugène Haussmann, commonly known as Baron Haussmann , was a French civic planner whose name is associated with the rebuilding of Paris...

 was the re-sculpting of Paris' western Bois de Boulogne
Bois de Boulogne
The Bois de Boulogne is a park located along the western edge of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, near the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt and Neuilly-sur-Seine...

 forest-parklands; the Bois de Vincennes
Bois de Vincennes
The Bois de Vincennes is a park in the English landscape manner to the east of Paris. The park is named after the nearby town of Vincennes....

, on the city's opposite eastern end, received a similar treatment in years following.

Newer additions to Paris' park landscape are the Parc de la Villette
Parc de la Villette
The Parc de la Villette is a park in Paris at the outer edge of the 19th arrondissement, bordering the Boulevard Périphérique, which is a ring road around Paris, and the suburban department of Seine-Saint-Denis.-History:...

, built by the architect Bernard Tschumi
Bernard Tschumi
Bernard Tschumi is an architect, writer, and educator, commonly associated with deconstructivism. Born of French and Swiss parentage, he works and lives in New York and Paris. He studied in Paris and at ETH in Zurich, where he received his degree in architecture in 1969...

 on the location of Paris' former slaughterhouse
Slaughterhouse
A slaughterhouse or abattoir is a facility where animals are killed for consumption as food products.Approximately 45-50% of the animal can be turned into edible products...

s; the Parc André Citroën
Parc André Citroën
Parc André Citroën is a public park located on the left bank of the river Seine in the XVe arrondissement of Paris. The park was built on the site of a former Citroën automobile manufacturing plant, and is named after company founder André Citroën.-History:In 1915, Citroën built his factory on...

, and gardens being laid to the periphery along the traces of its former circular "Petite Ceinture
Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture
The Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture was a Parisian railway that, from 1852, was a circular connection between Paris' main railroad stations within the fortified walls of the city...

" railway line: Promenade Plantée
Promenade Plantée
The Promenade plantée or the Coulée verte is a narrow, 4.7 km parkway in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, France.- Overview :The Promenade plantée is a extensive green belt that follows the old Vincennes railway line...

.

Water and sanitation



Paris in its early history had only the Seine
Seine
The Seine is a -long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Saint-Seine near Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre . It is navigable by ocean-going vessels...

 and Bièvre rivers for water. Later forms of irrigation were a 1st-century Roman aqueduct from southerly Wissous (later left to ruin); sources from the Right bank hills from the late 11th century; from the 15th century, an aqueduct
Aqueduct
An aqueduct is a water supply or navigable channel constructed to convey water. In modern engineering, the term is used for any system of pipes, ditches, canals, tunnels, and other structures used for this purpose....

 built roughly along the path of the abandoned Wissous aqueduct; also, from 1809, the canal de l'Ourcq
Canal de l'Ourcq
The Canal de l'Ourcq is a 108.1 km long canal of the Paris Basin with 10 locks. It was built at a width of 3.2 m but was enlarged to 3.7 m , which permitted use by more pleasure boats...

, providing Paris with water from less-polluted rivers to the northeast of the capital, and "God's Tears", a bi-annual rainstorm, which stopped in the early 20th century as a natural phenomenon. Paris would have its first constant and plentiful source of drinkable water only from the late 19th century.
From 1857, the civil engineer Eugène Belgrand
Eugène Belgrand
Eugène Belgrand was a French engineer who made significant contributions to the modernization of the Parisian sewer system during the 19th century rebuilding of Paris. Much of Belgrand's work remains in use today.-Civil engineering:...

, under Napoleon III
Napoleon III of France
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte was the President of the French Second Republic and as Napoleon III, the ruler of the Second French Empire. He was the nephew and heir of Napoleon I, christened as Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte...

's Préfet
Préfet
A prefect in France is the State's representative in a department or region. Sub-prefects are responsible for the subdivisions of departments, arrondissements...

 Haussmann
Baron Haussmann
Georges-Eugène Haussmann, commonly known as Baron Haussmann , was a French civic planner whose name is associated with the rebuilding of Paris...

, oversaw the construction of a series of new aqueducts that brought water from locations all around the city to several reservoirs built atop the Capital's highest points of elevation. From then on, the new reservoir system became Paris' principal source of drinking water, and the remains of the old system, pumped into lower levels of the same reservoirs, were from then on used for the cleaning of Paris' streets. This system is still a major part of Paris' modern water-supply network.

Paris has over 2,400 km of underground passageways dedicated to the evacuation of Paris' liquid wastes. Most of these date from the late 19th century, a result of the combined plans of the Préfet
Préfet
A prefect in France is the State's representative in a department or region. Sub-prefects are responsible for the subdivisions of departments, arrondissements...

 Baron Haussmann
Baron Haussmann
Georges-Eugène Haussmann, commonly known as Baron Haussmann , was a French civic planner whose name is associated with the rebuilding of Paris...

 and the civil engineer Eugène Belgrand
Eugène Belgrand
Eugène Belgrand was a French engineer who made significant contributions to the modernization of the Parisian sewer system during the 19th century rebuilding of Paris. Much of Belgrand's work remains in use today.-Civil engineering:...

 to improve the then-very unsanitary conditions in the Capital. Maintained by a round-the-clock
24/7
24/7 is an abbreviation which stands for "24 hours a day, 7 days a week", usually referring to a business or service available at all times without interruption...

 service since their construction, only a small percentage of Paris' sewer réseau has needed complete renovation.

In 1982, then mayor Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

 introduced the motorcycle-mounted Motocrotte
Motocrotte
The Motocrotte, officially called Caninette was a small motorized vehicle designed to clean up dog faeces in Paris, France.Introduced in 1982 by then mayor Jacques Chirac, the idea was to provide a rapid mobile strike force, which could travel great distances with access to sidewalks in a minimum...

 to remove dog
Dog
The domestic dog is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in...

 faeces from Paris streets. The project was abandoned in 2002 for a new and better enforced local law which now fines dog owners up to 500 euros for not removing their dog faeces. It was estimated at the time of their removal, that the fleet of 70 Motocrottes were cleaning up only 20% of dog faeces on Parisian street – at an annual cost of £3million.

Cemeteries


Paris' main cemetery was located to its outskirts on its Left Bank from the beginning of its history, but this changed with the rise of Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 and the construction of churches towards the city-centre, many of them having adjoining burial grounds for use by their parishes. Generations of a growing city population soon filled these cemeteries to overflowing, creating sometimes very unsanitary conditions.

Condemned from 1786, the contents of all Paris' parish cemeteries were transferred to a renovated section of Paris' then suburban stone mines outside the Left Bank "Porte d'Enfer" city gate (today 14th arrondissement's place Denfert-Rochereau
Place Denfert-Rochereau
Place Denfert-Rochereau, previously known as Place d'Enfer, is a public square located in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, France, in the Montparnasse district, at the intersection of the boulevards Raspail, Arago, and Saint-Jacques, and the avenues René Coty, Général Leclerc, and , as well as the...

). Part of this network of tunnels and remains can be visited today on the official tour of the Catacombs. After a tentative creation of several smaller suburban cemeteries, Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 provided a more definitive solution in the creation of three massive Parisian cemeteries outside the city tax wall called the Wall of the Farmers-General
Wall of the Farmers-General
The Wall of the Farmers-General was built between 1784 and 1791 by the Ferme générale, the corporation of tax farmers. It was one of the several city walls of Paris built between the early Middle Ages to the mid 19th century. It was 24 kilometers long and roughly followed the route now occupied by...

. Open from 1804, these were the cemeteries of Père Lachaise
Père Lachaise Cemetery
Père Lachaise Cemetery is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris, France , though there are larger cemeteries in the city's suburbs.Père Lachaise is in the 20th arrondissement, and is reputed to be the world's most-visited cemetery, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to the...

, Montmartre
Montmartre Cemetery
Montmartre Cemetery is a cemetery in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, France.-History:Cemeteries had been banned from Paris since the shutting down of the Cimetière des Innocents in 1786, as they presented health hazards...

, Montparnasse
Montparnasse Cemetery
Montparnasse Cemetery is a cemetery in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris, part of the city's 14th arrondissement.-History:Created from three farms in 1824, the cemetery at Montparnasse was originally known as Le Cimetière du Sud. Cemeteries had been banned from Paris since the closure, owing to...

, and later Passy
Passy Cemetery
The Passy Cemetery is a famous cemetery located at 2, rue du Commandant Schlœsing in Passy, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, France.-History:...

.

When Paris annexed all communes to the inside of its much larger ring of suburban fortifications in 1860, its cemeteries were once again within its city walls. New suburban cemeteries were created in the early 20th century: The largest of these are the Cimetière Parisien de Saint-Ouen
Saint-Ouen, Seine-Saint-Denis
Saint-Ouen is a commune in the Seine-Saint-Denis department. It is located in the northern suburbs of Paris, France 6.6 km from the centre of Paris....

, the Cimetière Parisien de Bobigny
Bobigny
Bobigny is a commune, or town, in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris. Bobigny is the préfecture of the Seine-Saint-Denis département, as well as the seat of the Arrondissement of Bobigny...

-Pantin
Pantin
Pantin is a commune in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris. It is one of the most densely populated municipalities in Europe. Its post code is 93500.Pantin was once the site of Motobecane's operations...

, the Cimetière Parisien d'Ivry
Ivry-sur-Seine
Ivry-sur-Seine is a commune in the Val-de-Marne department in the southeastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris....

, and the Cimetière Parisien de Bagneux
Bagneux, Hauts-de-Seine
Bagneux is a commune in the southern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.-Transport:Bagneux is served by Bagneux station on Paris RER line B...

.

Entertainment and performing arts


The largest opera houses of Paris are the 19th century Opéra Garnier (historical Paris Opéra) and modern Opéra Bastille
Opéra Bastille
L'Opéra Bastille ' is a modern opera house in Paris, France. It is the home base of the Opéra national de Paris and was designed to replace the Palais Garnier, which is nowadays mainly used for ballet performances....

; the former tends towards the more classic ballets and operas, and the latter provides a mixed repertoire of classic and modern. In middle of 19th century, there were two other active and competing opera houses: Opéra-Comique
Opéra-Comique
The Opéra-Comique is a Parisian opera company, which was founded around 1714 by some of the popular theatres of the Parisian fairs. In 1762 the company was merged with, and for a time took the name of its chief rival the Comédie-Italienne at the Hôtel de Bourgogne, and was also called the...

 (which still exists to this day) and Théâtre Lyrique
Théâtre Lyrique
The Théâtre Lyrique was one of four opera companies performing in Paris during the middle of the 19th century . The company was founded in 1847 as the Opéra-National by the French composer Adolphe Adam and renamed Théâtre Lyrique in 1852...

 (which in modern times changed its profile and name to Théâtre de la Ville
Théâtre de la Ville
The Théâtre de la Ville is one of the two theatres built in the 19th century by Baron Haussmann at Place du Châtelet, Paris; the other being the Théâtre du Châtelet...

).

Theatre traditionally has occupied a large place in Parisian culture. This still holds true today, and many of its most popular actors today are also stars of French television. Some of Paris' major theatres include Bobino
Bobino
Bobino at 20 rue de la Gaîté, in the Montparnasse area of Paris , France, is a music hall theatre that has seen most of the biggest names of 20th century French music perform there....

, Théâtre Mogador
Théâtre Mogador
Théâtre Mogador founded in 1913 and designed by Bertie Crewe, is a Parisian music hall theatre located at 25, rue de Mogador in the 9th district. It seats 1,800 people on three tiers.In 1913 financier Sir Alfred Butt rented an area in Paris...

, and the Théâtre de la Gaîté-Montparnasse
Théâtre de la Gaîté-Montparnasse
The Théâtre de la Gaîté-Montparnasse is a venue situated at 26, rue de la Gaîté, in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris, in the 14th arrondissement...

. Some Parisian theatres have also doubled as concert halls. Many of France's greatest musical legends, such as Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf , born Édith Giovanna Gassion, was a French singer and cultural icon who became widely regarded as France's greatest popular singer. Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being ballads...

, Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Auguste Chevalier was a French actor, singer, entertainer and a noted Sprechgesang performer. He is perhaps best known for his signature songs, including Louise, Mimi, Valentine, and Thank Heaven for Little Girls and for his films including The Love Parade and The Big Pond...

, Georges Brassens
Georges Brassens
Georges Brassens , 22 October 1921 – 29 October 1981), was a French singer-songwriter and poet.Brassens was born in Sète, a town in southern France near Montpellier...

, and Charles Aznavour
Charles Aznavour
Charles Aznavour, OC is an Armenian-French singer, songwriter, actor, public activist and diplomat. Besides being one of France's most popular and enduring singers, he is also one of the best-known singers in the world...

, found their fame in Parisian concert halls: Legendary yet still-showing examples of these are Le Lido
Le Lido
Le Lido is a cabaret and burlesque house on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, France, famous for its exotic shows, which rival those of Las Vegas and where Elvis Presley gave an impromptu concert...

, Bobino
Bobino
Bobino at 20 rue de la Gaîté, in the Montparnasse area of Paris , France, is a music hall theatre that has seen most of the biggest names of 20th century French music perform there....

, l'Olympia and le Splendid
Le Splendid
Le Splendid is the name of the café-théâtre company founded by a collection of writers and actors in the 1970s - Christian Clavier, Michel Blanc, Gérard Jugnot, Thierry Lhermitte , Josiane Balasko, Marie-Anne Chazel, Bruno Moynot and Claire Magnin...

.

The Élysées-Montmartre, much reduced from its original size, is a concert hall today. The New Morning is one of few Parisian clubs still holding jazz concerts, but the same also specialises in "indie" music. In more recent times, the Le Zénith hall in Paris, La Villette
Parc de la Villette
The Parc de la Villette is a park in Paris at the outer edge of the 19th arrondissement, bordering the Boulevard Périphérique, which is a ring road around Paris, and the suburban department of Seine-Saint-Denis.-History:...

 quarter and a "parc-omnisports" stadium in Bercy
Bercy
Bercy is a neighborhood in the 12th arrondissement of Paris. It is the city's 47th administrative neighborhood. -History:Some of the oldest vestiges of human occupation in Paris were found on the territory of Bercy, dating from the late Neolithic . The name of Bercy, or Bercix, appeared for the...

 serve as large-scale rock concert halls.


Several yearly festivals take place in Paris, such as Rock en Seine
Rock en Seine
The Rock en Seine festival is a two or three-day Rock 'n roll festival, held at Domaine National de Saint-Cloud, Château de Saint-Cloud's park West of Paris, inside the garden designed by Le Nôtre...

.
Parisians tend to share the same movie-going trends as many of the world's global cities, that is to say with a dominance of Hollywood-generated film entertainment. French cinema comes a close second, with major directors (réalisateurs) such as Claude Lelouch, François Truffaut
François Truffaut
François Roland Truffaut was an influential film critic and filmmaker and one of the founders of the French New Wave. In a film career lasting over a quarter of a century, he remains an icon of the French film industry. He was also a screenwriter, producer, and actor working on over twenty-five...

, Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard is a French-Swiss film director, screenwriter and film critic. He is often identified with the 1960s French film movement, French Nouvelle Vague, or "New Wave"....

, Claude Chabrol
Claude Chabrol
Claude Chabrol was a French film director, a member of the French New Wave group of filmmakers who first came to prominence at the end of the 1950s...

, and Luc Besson
Luc Besson
Luc Besson is a French film director, writer, and producer. He is the creator of EuropaCorp film company. He has been involved with over 50 films, spanning 26 years, as writer, director, and/or producer.-Early life:...

, and the more slapstick/popular genre with director Claude Zidi
Claude Zidi
Claude Zidi is a French film director and screenwriter who is noted for his mainstream burlesque comedies. Born in Paris, he started as a cameraman and then cinematographer, and made his directorial and screenwriting debut in 1971...

 as an example. European and Asian films are also widely shown and appreciated. A specialty of Paris is its very large network of small movie theatres. In a given week, the movie fan has the choice between around 300 old or new movies from all over the world.

Many of Paris' concert/dance halls were transformed into movie theatres when the media became popular beginning in the 1930s. Later, most of the largest cinemas were divided into multiple, smaller rooms: Paris' largest cinema today is by far le Grand Rex
Le Grand Rex
Le Grand Rex is the largest cinema, theater and music venue in Paris, with 2,800 seats. An atmospheric theatre, the cinema features a starred "sky" overhead, as well as interior fountains. The cinema is a landmark of Art Deco style architecture. It features the largest screen in Europe, called...

 theatre with 2,800 seats, whereas other cinemas all have fewer than 1,000 seats. There is now a trend toward modern multiplexes that contain more than 10 or 20 screens.

Cuisine



Paris' culinary reputation has its base in the diverse origins of its inhabitants. In its beginnings, it owed much to the 19th-century organisation of a railway system that had Paris as a centre, making the capital a focal point for immigration from France's many different regions and gastronomical cultures. This reputation continues through today in a cultural diversity that has since spread to a worldwide level thanks to Paris' continued reputation for culinary finesse and further immigration from increasingly distant climes.

Hotels were another result of widespread travel and tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

, especially Paris' late-19th-century Expositions Universelles (World's Fairs). Of the most luxurious of these, the Hôtel Ritz
Hôtel Ritz Paris
The Hôtel Ritz is a grand palatial hotel in the heart of Paris, the 1st arrondissement. It overlooks the octagonal border of the Place Vendôme at number 15...

, appeared in the Place Vendôme
Place Vendôme
Place Vendôme is a square in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France, located to the north of the Tuileries Gardens and east of the Église de la Madeleine. It is the starting point of the Rue de la Paix. Its regular architecture by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and pedimented screens canted across the...

 in 1898, and the Hôtel de Crillon
Hôtel de Crillon
The Hôtel de Crillon in Paris is one of the oldest luxury hotels in the world. The hotel is located at the foot of the Champs-Élysées and is one of two identical stone palaces on the Place de la Concorde. The Crillon has 103 guest rooms and 44 suites...

 opened its doors on the north side of the Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde
The Place de la Concorde in area, it is the largest square in the French capital. It is located in the city's eighth arrondissement, at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées.- History :...

, starting in 1909.

Tourism


Since 1848, Paris is a popular destination by rail network, with Paris at its centre. Among Paris' first mass attractions drawing international interest were the above-mentioned Expositions Universelles that were the origin of Paris' many monuments, namely the Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is a puddle iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. Built in 1889, it has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world...

 from 1889. These, in addition to the capital's Second Empire embellishments, did much to make the city itself the attraction it is today.

Paris receives around 28 million tourists per year (42 in the whole Paris Region), of which 17 million are foreign visitors. Its museums and monuments are among its highest-esteemed attractions; tourism has motivated both the city and national governments to create new ones. The city's most prized museum, the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

, welcomes over 8 million visitors a year, being by far the world's most-visited art museum. The city's cathedrals are another main attraction: Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris , also known as Notre Dame Cathedral, is a Gothic, Roman Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. It is the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris: that is, it is the church that contains the cathedra of...

 and the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur receive 12 million and eight million visitors, respectively. The Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is a puddle iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. Built in 1889, it has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world...

, by far Paris' most famous monument, averages over six million visitors per year and more than 200 million since its construction. Disneyland Paris is a major tourist attraction for visitors to not only Paris but also the rest of Europe, with 14.5 million visitors in 2007.

The Louvre is one of the world's largest and most famous museums, housing many works of art, including the Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa is a portrait by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. It is a painting in oil on a poplar panel, completed circa 1503–1519...

 (La Joconde) and the Venus de Milo
Venus de Milo
Aphrodite of Milos , better known as the Venus de Milo, is an ancient Greek statue and one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture. Created at some time between 130 and 100 BC, it is believed to depict Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love and beauty. It is a marble sculpture, slightly...

 statue. Works by Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

 and Auguste Rodin
Auguste Rodin
François-Auguste-René Rodin , known as Auguste Rodin , was a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past...

 are found in Musée Picasso
Musée Picasso
The Musée Picasso is an art gallery located in the Hôtel Salé in rue de Thorigny, in the Marais district of Paris dedicated to the work of the artist Pablo Picasso .-Building:...

 and Musée Rodin
Musée Rodin
The Musée Rodin in Paris, France, is a museum that was opened in 1919 in the Hôtel Biron and surrounding grounds. It displays works by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin....

, respectively, while the artistic community of Montparnasse
Montparnasse
Montparnasse is an area of Paris, France, on the left bank of the river Seine, centred at the crossroads of the Boulevard du Montparnasse and the Rue de Rennes, between the Rue de Rennes and boulevard Raspail...

 is chronicled at the Musée du Montparnasse
Musée du Montparnasse
The Musée du Montparnasse is a museum at 21 Avenue du Maine, in the 15th arrondissement, Montparnasse Quarter of Paris, France.The museum opened its doors on May 28, 1998...

. Starkly apparent with its service-pipe exterior, the Centre Georges Pompidou
Centre Georges Pompidou
Centre Georges Pompidou is a complex in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles, rue Montorgueil and the Marais...

, also known as Beaubourg, houses the Musée National d'Art Moderne
Musée National d'Art Moderne
The Musée National d'Art Moderne is the national museum for modern art of France. It is located in Paris and is housed in the Centre Pompidou in the 4th arrondissement of the city. Created in 1947, it was then housed in the Palais de Tokyo and moved to its current location in 1977...

.

Art and artifacts from the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 and Impressionist
Impressionism
Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s...

 eras are kept in Musée Cluny and Musée d'Orsay
Musée d'Orsay
The Musée d'Orsay is a museum in Paris, France, on the left bank of the Seine. It is housed in the former Gare d'Orsay, an impressive Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture,...

, respectively, the former with the prized tapestry cycle The Lady and the Unicorn
The Lady and the Unicorn
The Lady and the Unicorn is the modern title given to a series of six tapestries woven in Flanders of wool and silk, from designs drawn in Paris in the late fifteenth century, The suite, on display in the Musée du Moyen-Âge, is often considered one of the greatest works of art of the Middle...

. Paris' newest (and third-largest) museum, the Musée du quai Branly, opened its doors in June 2006 and houses art from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas.

Many of Paris' once-popular local establishments have come to cater to the tastes and expectations of tourists, rather than local patrons. Le Lido
Le Lido
Le Lido is a cabaret and burlesque house on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, France, famous for its exotic shows, which rival those of Las Vegas and where Elvis Presley gave an impromptu concert...

, the Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge is a cabaret built in 1889 by Joseph Oller, who also owned the Paris Olympia. Close to Montmartre in the Paris district of Pigalle on Boulevard de Clichy in the 18th arrondissement, it is marked by the red windmill on its roof. The closest métro station is Blanche.The Moulin Rouge is...

 cabaret-dancehall, for example, is a staged dinner theatre spectacle, a dance display that was once but one aspect of the cabaret's former atmosphere. All of the establishment's former social or cultural elements, such as its ballrooms and gardens, are gone today. Much of Paris' hotel, restaurant and night entertainment trades have become heavily dependent on tourism.

Sports


Paris' most popular sport clubs are the association football club Paris Saint-Germain FC
Paris Saint-Germain FC
Paris Saint-Germain Football Club , also known simply as Paris Saint-Germain and familiarly as Paris SG or PSG , is a professional association football club based in Paris, France. The club was founded on 12 August 1970, thanks to the merger of Paris FC and Stade Saint-Germain...

, the basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 team Paris-Levallois Basket
Paris-Levallois Basket
Paris-Levallois Basket is a French professional basketball club from the Paris area. It was founded in 2007 with the merger of Paris Basket Racing, from the city of Paris, and Levallois Sporting Club Basket, from the nearby commune of Levallois-Perret...

, and the rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 club Stade Français. The 80,000-seat Stade de France
Stade de France
The Stade de France is the national stadium of France, situated just north of Paris in the commune of Saint-Denis. It has an all-seater capacity of 80,000, making it the fifth largest stadium in Europe, and is used by both the France national football team and French rugby union team for...

, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

, is located in Saint-Denis
Saint-Denis
Saint-Denis is a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris. Saint-Denis is a sous-préfecture of the Seine-Saint-Denis département, being the seat of the Arrondissement of Saint-Denis....

. It is used for football, rugby union and track and field athletics. It hosts annually French national rugby team
France national rugby union team
The France national rugby union team represents France in rugby union. They compete annually against England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in the Six Nations Championship. They have won the championship outright sixteen times, shared it a further eight times, and have completed nine grand slams...

's home matches of the Six Nations Championship
Six Nations Championship
The Six Nations Championship is an annual international rugby union competition involving six European sides: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales....

, French national association football team
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

 for friendlies and major tournaments qualifiers, and several important matches of the Stade Français rugby team.

In addition to Paris Saint-Germain FC
Paris Saint-Germain FC
Paris Saint-Germain Football Club , also known simply as Paris Saint-Germain and familiarly as Paris SG or PSG , is a professional association football club based in Paris, France. The club was founded on 12 August 1970, thanks to the merger of Paris FC and Stade Saint-Germain...

, the city has a number of other amateur football clubs: Paris FC
Paris FC
Paris Football Club is a French association football club based in Paris. The club was founded in 1969 and currently play in the Championnat National, the third level of French football. Paris plays its home matches at the Stade Charléty located in the 13th arrondissement of Paris...

, Red Star
Red Star Saint-Ouen
Red Star Football Club 93 is a French association football club based in Saint-Ouen located in the northern suburbs of Paris. The club was founded in 1897 and currently play in the Championnat National, the third level of French football...

, RCF Paris
RCF Paris
Racing Club de France – Levallois 92 is a French association football club formerly based in Colombes, a suburb of Paris. In 2009, the club moved to nearby Levallois-Perret after the club reached a financial agreement with the commune. Racing was founded in 1882 as a sports club and is one of the...

 and Stade Français Paris
Stade Français Paris (football)
Stade Français Football is a French association football team based in Paris and playing in suburb town of Vaucresson. The team is the football section of omnisport club Stade Français, whose rugby section, Stade Français Paris, is currently the most successful...

. The last is the football section of the omnisport club of the same name, most notable for its rugby team.

The Paris region currently boasts two teams in the top level of French rugby union, Top 14. Currently, the most prominent side is Stade Français, which is also the only one of the two to be based in the city proper. The other Top 14 team in the region is Racing Métro 92, currently based in the western suburb of Colombes
Colombes
Colombes is a commune in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.-History:On 13 March 1896, 17% of the territory of Colombes was detached and became the commune of Bois-Colombes ....

. Racing Métro is the successor to Racing Club de France, which contested the first-ever French championship final against Stade Français in 1892.

Paris also hosted the 1900
1900 Summer Olympics
The 1900 Summer Olympics, today officially known as the Games of the II Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1900 in Paris, France. No opening or closing ceremonies were held; competitions began on May 14 and ended on October 28. The Games were held as part of...

 and 1924
1924 Summer Olympics
The 1924 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the VIII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1924 in Paris, France...

 Olympic Games and was venue for the 1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

 and 1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

 FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body...

s and for the 2007 Rugby World Cup
2007 Rugby World Cup
The 2007 Rugby World Cup was the sixth Rugby World Cup, a quadrennial international rugby union competition inaugurated in 1987. Twenty nations competed for the Webb Ellis Cup in the tournament, which was hosted by France from 7 September to 20 October. France won the hosting rights in 2003,...

.

Although the starting point and the route of the famous Tour de France
Tour de France
The Tour de France is an annual bicycle race held in France and nearby countries. First staged in 1903, the race covers more than and lasts three weeks. As the best known and most prestigious of cycling's three "Grand Tours", the Tour de France attracts riders and teams from around the world. The...

 varies each year, the final stage always finishes in Paris, and, since 1975, the race has finished on the Champs-Elysées. Tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

 is another popular sport in Paris and throughout France. The French Open
French Open (tennis)
The French Open |Roland Garros]]) is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks between late May and early June in Paris, France, at the Stade Roland Garros. It is the premier clay court tennis tournament in the world and the second of the four annual Grand Slam tournaments – the other three are...

, held every year on the red clay of the Roland Garros
Stade Roland Garros
Le Stade de Roland Garros is a tennis venue located in Paris, France. It hosts the French Open tennis tournament , a Grand Slam event played annually in May and June. The facility was constructed in 1928 to host France's first defense of the Davis Cup...

 National Tennis Centre near the Bois de Boulogne
Bois de Boulogne
The Bois de Boulogne is a park located along the western edge of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, near the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt and Neuilly-sur-Seine...

, is one of the four Grand Slam
Grand Slam (tennis)
The four Major tennis tournaments, also called the Slams, are the most important tennis events of the year in terms of world tour ranking points, tradition, prize-money awarded, strength and size of player field, and public attention. They are the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and...

 events of the world professional tennis tour. The 2006 UEFA Champions League Final
2006 UEFA Champions League Final
The 2006 UEFA Champions League Final was the final match of the 2005–06 UEFA Champions League, Europe's primary club football competition. The showpiece event was contested between Barcelona of Spain and Arsenal of England at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris, France, on Wednesday, 17...

 between Arsenal
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

 and FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona
Futbol Club Barcelona , also known as Barcelona and familiarly as Barça, is a professional football club, based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain....

 was played in the Stade de France
Stade de France
The Stade de France is the national stadium of France, situated just north of Paris in the commune of Saint-Denis. It has an all-seater capacity of 80,000, making it the fifth largest stadium in Europe, and is used by both the France national football team and French rugby union team for...

. Paris hosted the 2007 Rugby World Cup
2007 Rugby World Cup
The 2007 Rugby World Cup was the sixth Rugby World Cup, a quadrennial international rugby union competition inaugurated in 1987. Twenty nations competed for the Webb Ellis Cup in the tournament, which was hosted by France from 7 September to 20 October. France won the hosting rights in 2003,...

 final at Stade de France on 20 October 2007.

Economy


With a 2009 GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 of
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

552.1 billion (US$768.9 billion), the Paris region has one of the highest GDPs in Europe, making it an engine of the global economy; were it a country, it would rank as the seventeenth-largest economy in the world, almost as large as the Dutch economy. The Paris Region is France's premier centre of economic activity: While its population accounted for 18.8% of the total population of metropolitan France
Metropolitan France
Metropolitan France is the part of France located in Europe. It can also be described as mainland France or as the French mainland and the island of Corsica...

 in 2009, its GDP accounted for 29.5% of metropolitan France's GDP. Activity in the Paris urban area, though diverse, does not have a leading specialised industry (such as Los Angeles with entertainment industries or London and New York with financial industries in addition to their other activities). Recently, the Paris economy has been shifting towards high-value-added service industries (finance
Financial services
Financial services refer to services provided by the finance industry. The finance industry encompasses a broad range of organizations that deal with the management of money. Among these organizations are credit unions, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, consumer finance companies,...

, IT services, etc.) and high-tech manufacturing (electronics, optics, aerospace, etc.).

The Paris region's most intense economic activity through the central Hauts-de-Seine
Hauts-de-Seine
Hauts-de-Seine is designated number 92 of the 101 départements in France. It is part of the Île-de-France region, and covers the western inner suburbs of Paris...

 département and suburban La Défense
La Défense
La Défense is a major business district of the Paris aire urbaine. With a population of 20,000, it is centered in an orbital motorway straddling the Hauts-de-Seine département municipalities of Nanterre, Courbevoie and Puteaux...

 business district places Paris' economic centre to the west of the city, in a triangle between the Opéra Garnier
Palais Garnier
The Palais Garnier, , is an elegant 1,979-seat opera house, which was built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. It was originally called the Salle des Capucines because of its location on the Boulevard des Capucines in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, but soon became known as the Palais Garnier...

, La Défense
La Défense
La Défense is a major business district of the Paris aire urbaine. With a population of 20,000, it is centered in an orbital motorway straddling the Hauts-de-Seine département municipalities of Nanterre, Courbevoie and Puteaux...

 (the largest dedicated business district in Europe.), and the Val de Seine
Val de Seine
The Val de Seine is one of the more important business districts of the Paris agglomeration. Located southwest of the city, it spreads along a bend of the Seine, mainly in the municipalities...

. Paris' administrative borders have little consequences on the limits of its economic activity: Although most workers commute from the suburbs to work in the city, many commute from the city to work in the suburbs. Although the Paris economy is largely dominated by services, it remains an important manufacturing powerhouse of Europe, especially in industrial sectors such as automobiles, aeronautics, and electronics. Over recent decades, the local economy has moved towards high-value-added activities, in particular business services. The Paris Region hosts the headquarters of 33 of the Fortune Global 500
Fortune Global 500
The Fortune Global 500 is a ranking of the top 500 corporations worldwide as measured by revenue. The list is compiled and published annually by Fortune magazine....

 companies.

The 1999 census indicated that, of the 5,089,170 persons employed in the Paris urban area, 16.5% worked in business services, 13.0% in commerce (retail and wholesale trade), 12.3% in manufacturing, 10.0% in public administration
Public administration
Public Administration houses the implementation of government policy and an academic discipline that studies this implementation and that prepares civil servants for this work. As a "field of inquiry with a diverse scope" its "fundamental goal.....

s and defence
Defense industry
The defense industry, also called the military industry, comprises government and commercial industry involved in research, development, production, and service of military materiel, equipment and facilities...

, 8.7% in health
Public health
Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals" . It is concerned with threats to health based on population health...

 services, 8.2% in transportation and communications, 6.6% in education, and the remaining 24.7% in many other economic sectors. In the manufacturing sector, the largest employers were the electronic
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

 and electrical industry (17.9% of the total manufacturing workforce in 1999) and the publishing and printing industry (14.0% of the total manufacturing workforce), with the remaining 68.1% of the manufacturing workforce distributed among many other industries. Tourism
Tourism in Paris
With about 42 million tourists per year , Paris is the third most visited city in the world after Orlando and New York City, and the first by international visitors . The city and its region contain 3,800 historical monuments and four UNESCO World Heritage Sites...

 and tourist related services employ 6.2% of Paris' workforce, and 3.6% of all workers within the Paris Region. Unemployment
Unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

 in the Paris "immigrant ghettos
Banlieue
In francophone areas, banlieues are the "outskirts" of a city: the zone around a city that is under the city's rule.Banlieues are translated as "suburbs", as these are also residential areas on the outer edge of a city, but the connotations of the term "banlieue" in France can be different from...

" ranges from 20 to 40%, according to varying sources.

Sociology


Paris Ouest (ie: Western Paris) is an expression referring to the wealthiest, most exclusive and prestigious residential area of France.

Located in the central and western part of Paris, it roughly follows Paris' Voie Royale (Royal Way) or Axe historique (historical axis): a line of monuments, buildings and thoroughfares that extends from the former royal Palace
Royal Palace
** Palace of Nakhchivan Khans, Nakhchivan* Belgium: Royal Palace of Brussels* Brazil** Paço Imperial** Paço de São Cristóvão** Summer Palace* Bulgaria: Royal Palace, today housing the National Art Gallery* Cambodia: Royal Palace of Cambodia* China...

 of the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

 through the Tuileries, the Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde
The Place de la Concorde in area, it is the largest square in the French capital. It is located in the city's eighth arrondissement, at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées.- History :...

, the Champs Élysées, the Place de l'Etoile
Place de l'Étoile
The Place Charles de Gaulle, , historically known as the Place de l'Étoile , is a large road junction in Paris, France, the meeting point of twelve straight avenues including the Champs-Élysées which continues to the east. It was renamed in 1970 following the death of General and President Charles...

 and all the way to Neuilly-sur-Seine
Neuilly-sur-Seine
Neuilly-sur-Seine is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.Although Neuilly is technically a suburb of Paris, it is immediately adjacent to the city and directly extends it. The area is composed of mostly wealthy, select residential...

.

Paris Ouest has long been known as French high society's favorite place of residence, comparable to New York's Upper East Side
Upper East Side
The Upper East Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, between Central Park and the East River. The Upper East Side lies within an area bounded by 59th Street to 96th Street, and the East River to Fifth Avenue-Central Park...

, LA's Beverly Hills or London's Mayfair
Mayfair
Mayfair is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster.-History:Mayfair is named after the annual fortnight-long May Fair that took place on the site that is Shepherd Market today...

 and Belgravia
Belgravia
Belgravia is a district of central London in the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Noted for its immensely expensive residential properties, it is one of the wealthiest districts in the world...

, to such an extent that the phrase "Paris Ouest" has been associated with great wealth
Wealth
Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or material possessions. The word wealth is derived from the old English wela, which is from an Indo-European word stem...

, elitism
Elitism
Elitism is the belief or attitude that some individuals, who form an elite — a select group of people with intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most...

 and social hegemony in French popular culture as well as in some masterpieces of French literature such as Balzac's La comédie humaine
La Comédie humaine
La Comédie humaine is the title of Honoré de Balzac's multi-volume collection of interlinked novels and stories depicting French society in the period of the Restoration and the July Monarchy .-Overview:...

 or Proust's In Search of Lost Time
In Search of Lost Time
In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past is a novel in seven volumes by Marcel Proust. His most prominent work, it is popularly known for its considerable length and the notion of involuntary memory, the most famous example being the "episode of the madeleine." The novel is widely...

.

The cultural, social and economic influence of the area has played a prominent role throughout French history and is still highly vivid in nowadays' French elite. Paris Ouests standards of life were also highly influential in educating foreign elites, especially in Europe, Russia and Northern America (see Frick Collection
Frick Collection
The Frick Collection is an art museum located in Manhattan, New York City, United States.- History :It is housed in the former Henry Clay Frick House, which was designed by Thomas Hastings and constructed in 1913-1914. John Russell Pope altered and enlarged the building in the early 1930s to adapt...

). And so Paris Ouest should be seen as not only a geographic area but also a social attitude symbolized by French high society's habit
Habit (psychology)
Habits are routines of behavior that are repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously. Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting it, because a person does not need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking routine tasks...

s and way of life.

The "Rive Gauche" (Left Bank of the Seine
Seine
The Seine is a -long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Saint-Seine near Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre . It is navigable by ocean-going vessels...

) generally implies a sense of bohemianism and creativity as it was the Paris of artists, writers, philosophers and students. The counterpart of the Rive Gauche of Paris is the Rive Droite (Right Bank), a term used to refer to a level of elegance and sophistication not found in the more bohemian Left Bank.

Demographics


The population of the city of Paris was 2,125,246 at the 1999 census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

, lower than its historical peak of 2.9 million in 1921. The city's population loss mirrors the experience of most other core cities in the developed world that have not expanded their boundaries. The principal factors in the process are a significant decline in household size, and a dramatic migration of residents to the suburbs between 1962 and 1975.

Factors in the migration include de-industrialisation
Deindustrialization
Deindustrialization is a process of social and economic change caused by the removal or reduction of industrial capacity or activity in a country or region, especially heavy industry or manufacturing industry. It is an opposite of industrialization.- Multiple interpretations :There are multiple...

, high rent, the gentrification
Gentrification
Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities. Urban gentrification is associated with movement. Consequent to gentrification, the average income increases and average family size...

 of many inner quarters, the transformation of living space into offices, and greater affluence among working families. The city's population loss was one of the most severe among international municipalities and the largest for any that had achieved more than 2,000,000 residents. These losses are generally seen as negative for the city; the city administration is trying to reverse them with some success, as the population estimate of July 2004 showed a population increase for the first time since 1954, reaching a total of 2,144,700 inhabitants.

Density


Paris is one of the most densely populated cities in the world
World
World is a common name for the whole of human civilization, specifically human experience, history, or the human condition in general, worldwide, i.e. anywhere on Earth....

. Its density, excluding the outlying woodland parks of Boulogne
Bois de Boulogne
The Bois de Boulogne is a park located along the western edge of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, near the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt and Neuilly-sur-Seine...

 and Vincennes
Bois de Vincennes
The Bois de Vincennes is a park in the English landscape manner to the east of Paris. The park is named after the nearby town of Vincennes....

, was 24,448 inhabitants per square kilometre (63,320/sq mi) in the 1999 official census, which could be compared only with some Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

n megapolis
Megalopolis (city type)
A megalopolis is typically defined as a chain of roughly adjacent metropolitan areas. The term was used by Oswald Spengler in his 1918 book, The Decline of the West, and Lewis Mumford in his 1938 book, The Culture of Cities, which described it as the first stage in urban overdevelopment and...

. Even including the two woodland areas, its population density was 20,164 inhabitants per square kilometre (52,224.5/sq mi), the fifth-most-densely populated commune in France following Le Pré-Saint-Gervais
Le Pré-Saint-Gervais
Le Pré-Saint-Gervais is a commune in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris. With a density of 23,396 inhabitants per square kilometres at the last French census of 1999, Le Pré-Saint-Gervais is officially the most densely populated municipality in...

, Vincennes
Vincennes
Vincennes is a commune in the Val-de-Marne department in the eastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris. It is one of the most densely populated municipalities in Europe.-History:...

, Levallois-Perret
Levallois-Perret
Levallois-Perret is a commune in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris.-Name:The name Levallois-Perret comes from two housing developments, Champerret and Village Levallois , and which resulted in the incorporation of the...

, and Saint-Mandé
Saint-Mandé
Saint-Mandé is a commune of the Val-de-Marne department in Île-de-France in the eastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris. It is one of the most densely populated municipalities in Europe.-History:...

, all of which border the city proper.

The most sparsely populated quarters are the western and central office and administration-focussed arrondissements
Arrondissements of Paris
The city of Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements municipaux administrative districts, more simply referred to as arrondissements . These are not to be confused with departmental arrondissements, which subdivide the 101 French départements...

. The city's population is densest in the northern and eastern arrondissements; the 11th arrondissement had a density of 40,672 inhabitants per square kilometre (105,340/sq mi) in 1999, and some of the same arrondissement's eastern quarters had densities close to 100,000/km2 (260,000/sq mi) in the same year.

Paris agglomeration


The city of Paris covers an area much smaller than the urban area of which it is the core. At present, Paris' real urbanisation, defined by the pôle urbain
Pôle urbain
In France, a pôle urbain is a statistical area defined by INSEE for the measurement of contiguously built-up areas...

 (urban area) statistical area, covers 2845 km² (1,098 sq mi), or an area about 27 times larger than the city itself. The administration of Paris' urban growth is divided between itself and its surrounding départements: Paris' closest ring of three adjoining departments, or petite couronne ("small ring") are fully saturated with urban growth, and the ring of four departments outside of these, the grande couronne départements, are only covered in their inner regions by Paris' urbanisation. These eight départements form the larger administrative Île-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

 région; most of this region is filled, and overextended in places, by the Paris aire urbaine.

The Paris agglomeration has shown a steady rate of growth since the end of the late 16th century French Wars of Religion
French Wars of Religion
The French Wars of Religion is the name given to a period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants . The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, such as the House of Bourbon and House of Guise...

, save brief setbacks during the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Suburban development has accelerated in recent years: With an estimated total of 11.4 million inhabitants for 2005, the Île-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

 région shows a rate of growth double that of the 1990s.

Immigration


By law, French censuses do not ask questions regarding ethnicity or religion, but do gather information concerning one's country of birth. From this it is still possible to determine that Paris and its aire urbaine (metropolitan area) is one of the most multi-cultural in Europe: At the 1999 census, 19.4% of its total population was born outside of metropolitan France
Metropolitan France
Metropolitan France is the part of France located in Europe. It can also be described as mainland France or as the French mainland and the island of Corsica...

. At the same census, 4.2% of the Paris aire urbaines population were recent immigrants (people who had immigrated to France between 1990 and 1999), in their majority from Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 and Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

. 37% of all immigrants in France live in the Paris region.

The first wave of international migration to Paris started as early as 1820 with the arrivals of German peasants fleeing an agricultural crisis in their homeland. Several waves of immigration followed continuously until today: Italians and central European Jews during the 19th century; Russians after the revolution of 1917
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

 and Armenians fleeing genocide
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

 in the Ottoman Empire; colonial citizens during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and later; Poles between the two world wars; Spaniards, Italians, Portuguese, and North Africans from the 1950s to the 1970s; North African Jews after the independence of those countries; Africans and Asians since then.

The Paris metropolitan region or "aire urbaine" is estimated to be home to some 1.7 million Muslims of all races, making up between 10%–15% of the areas population. However, without official data, the margin of error of these estimates is extremely high as it is based on one's country of birth (someone born in a Muslim country or born to a parent from a Muslim country is considered as a "potential Muslim"). According to the North American Jewish Data Bank, an estimated 310,000 Jews also live in Paris and the surrounding Île-de-France region, an area with a population of 11.7 million inhabitants. Paris has historically been a magnet for immigrants, hosting one of the largest concentrations of immigrants in Europe today.

Immigrants and their children in départements of Île-de-France (Greater Paris)


According to INSEE
INSEE
INSEE is the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies. It collects and publishes information on the French economy and society, carrying out the periodic national census. Located in Paris, it is the French branch of Eurostat, European Statistical System...

, French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies, responsible for the production and analysis of official statistics in France, 20% of people living in the city of Paris are immigrants and 41.3% of people under 20 have at least one immigrant parent. Among the young people under 18, 12.1% are of Maghrebi origin, 9.9% of Subsaharan African origin (not including persons from French West Indies) and 4.0% of South European origin. About 35% of people (4 millions) living in Greater Paris
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

, are either immigrant (17%) or born to at least one immigrant parent (18%).
Département Immigrants Children under 20 with at least one immigrant parent
Number % département % Ile-de-France Number % département % Ile-de-France
Paris (75) 436'576 20 22.4 162'635 41.3 15.4
Seine-Saint-Denis
Seine-Saint-Denis
- Culture :A number of hip hop artists come from the Seine-Saint-Denis, including one of the first major hip-hop groups in France, NTM, as well as Lord Kossity, or more recent acts such as Tandem or Sefyu.- Miscellaneous topics :...

 (93)
394'831 26.5 20.2 234'837 57.1 22.2
Hauts-de-Seine
Hauts-de-Seine
Hauts-de-Seine is designated number 92 of the 101 départements in France. It is part of the Île-de-France region, and covers the western inner suburbs of Paris...

 (92)
250'190 16.3 12.8 124'501 34 11.8
Val-de-Marne
Val-de-Marne
Val-de-Marne is a French department, named after the Marne River, located in the Île-de-France region. The department is situated to the southeast of the city of Paris.- Geography :...

 (94)
234'633 18.1 12 127'701 40 12.1
Val-d’Oise (95) 185'890 16.1 9.5 124'644 38.5 11.8
Yvelines
Yvelines
Yvelines is a French department in the region of Île-de-France.-History:Yvelines was created from the western part of the defunct department of Seine-et-Oise on 1 January 1968 in accordance with a law passed on 10 January 1964 and a décret d'application from 26 February 1965.It gained the...

 (78)
161'869 11.6 8.3 98'755 26.4 9.3
Essonne
Essonne
Essonne is a French department in the region of Île-de-France. It is named after the Essonne River.It was formed on 1 January 1968 when Seine-et-Oise was split into smaller departments.- History :...

 (91)
150'980 12.6 7.7 94'003 29.6 8.9
Seine-et-Marne
Seine-et-Marne
Seine-et-Marne is a French department, named after the Seine and Marne rivers, and located in the Île-de-France region.- History:Seine-et-Marne is one of the original 83 departments, created on March 4, 1790 during the French Revolution in application of the law of December 22, 1789...

 (77)
135'654 10.7 7 90'319 26 8.5
Île-de-France
Île-de-France
Île-de-France may refer to:In places:* Île-de-France , historical province of France* Île-de-France , modern French administrative région* Île-de-France , constituency in the European Parliament...

1'950'623 16.9 100 1'057'394 37.1 100

(source : Insee, EAR 2006)

Reading: 436 576 immigrants live in Paris, representing 20 % of Parisians and 22.4 % of immigrants in Ile-de-France.
162 635 children under 20 with at least one immigrant parent live in Paris, representing 41.3% of the total of children under 20 in Paris
and 15.4 % of the total of children under 20 with at least one immigrant parent in Ile-de-France.

Administration


Paris, its administrative limits unchanged since 1860 (save for the addition of two large parks), is one of a few cities that have not evolved politically with its real demographic growth; this issue is at present being discussed in plans for a "Grand Paris" (Greater Paris) that will extend Paris' administrative limits to embrace much more of its urban tissue.

Capital of France



Paris is the seat of France's national government. For the executive, the two chief officers each have their own official residences, which also serve as their offices. The President of France resides at the Élysée Palace
Élysée Palace
The Élysée Palace is the official residence of the President of the French Republic, containing his office, and is where the Council of Ministers meets. It is located near the Champs-Élysées in Paris....

 in the 8th arrondissement, while the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of France
The Prime Minister of France in the Fifth Republic is the head of government and of the Council of Ministers of France. The head of state is the President of the French Republic...

's seat is at the Hôtel Matignon
Hôtel Matignon
The Hôtel Matignon is the official residence of the Prime Minister of France. It is located in the VIIe arrondissement of Paris, France.The address of Hotel Matignon is 57 rue de Varenne, Paris, France.-History:...

 in the 7th arrondissement. Government ministries are located in various parts of the city; many are located in the 7th arrondissement, near the Matignon.

The two houses of the French Parliament are also located on the Left Bank
Rive Gauche
La Rive Gauche is the southern bank of the river Seine in Paris. Here the river flows roughly westward, cutting the city in two: looking downstream, the southern bank is to the left, and the northern bank is to the right....

. The upper house, the Senate, meets in the Palais du Luxembourg in the 6th arrondissement, while the more important lower house, the Assemblée Nationale, meets in the Palais Bourbon
Palais Bourbon
The Palais Bourbon, , a palace located on the left bank of the Seine, across from the Place de la Concorde, Paris , is the seat of the French National Assembly, the lower legislative chamber of the French government.-History:...

 in the 7th. The President of the Senate, the second-highest public official in France after the President of the Republic, resides in the "Petit Luxembourg", a smaller palace annex to the Palais du Luxembourg.

France's highest courts are located in Paris. The Court of Cassation
Court of Cassation (France)
The French Supreme Court of Judicature is France's court of last resort having jurisdiction over all matters triable in the judicial stream but only scope of review to determine a miscarriage of justice or certify a question of law based solely on points of law...

, the highest court in the judicial order, which reviews criminal and civil cases, is located in the Palais de Justice
Palais de Justice, Paris
The Palais de Justice , located in the Île de la Cité in central Paris, France, is built on the site of the former royal palace of Saint Louis, of which the Sainte Chapelle remains. Thus the justice of the state has been dispensed at this site since medieval times...

 on the Île de la Cité
Île de la Cité
The Île de la Cité is one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine within the city of Paris . It is the centre of Paris and the location where the medieval city was refounded....

, while the Conseil d'État, which provides legal advice to the executive and acts as the highest court in the administrative order, judging litigation against public bodies, is located in the Palais Royal
Palais Royal
The Palais-Royal, originally called the Palais-Cardinal, is a palace and an associated garden located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris...

 in the 1st arrondissement
Ier arrondissement
The 1st arrondissement of Paris is one of the 20 arrondissements of the capital city of France.Situated principally on the right bank of the River Seine, it also includes the west end of the Île de la Cité...

.

The Constitutional Council
Constitutional Council of France
The Constitutional Council is the highest constitutional authority in France. It was established by the Constitution of the Fifth Republic on 4 October 1958, and its duty is to ensure that the principles and rules of the constitution are upheld.Its main activity is to rule on whether proposed...

, an advisory body with ultimate authority on the constitutionality of laws and government decrees, also meets in the Palais Royal
Palais Royal
The Palais-Royal, originally called the Palais-Cardinal, is a palace and an associated garden located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris...

.

City government


Paris has been a commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

 (municipality) since 1834 (and also briefly between 1790 and 1795). At the 1790 division (during the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

) of France into communes, and again in 1834, Paris was a city only half its modern size, but, in 1860, it annexed bordering communes, some entirely, to create the new administrative map of twenty municipal arrondissements
Arrondissements of Paris
The city of Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements municipaux administrative districts, more simply referred to as arrondissements . These are not to be confused with departmental arrondissements, which subdivide the 101 French départements...

 the city still has today. These municipal subdivisions describe a clockwise spiral outward from its most central, the 1st arrondissement.

In 1790, Paris became the préfecture
Préfecture
A prefecture in France can refer to :*the Chef-lieu de département, the town in which the administration of a department is located;*the Chef-lieu de région, the town in which the administration of a region is located;...

 (seat) of the Seine département, which covered much of the Paris region. In 1968, it was split into four smaller ones: The city of Paris became a distinct département of its own, retaining the Seine's departmental number of 75 (originating from the Seine départements position in France's alphabetical list), while three new départements of Hauts-de-Seine
Hauts-de-Seine
Hauts-de-Seine is designated number 92 of the 101 départements in France. It is part of the Île-de-France region, and covers the western inner suburbs of Paris...

, Seine-Saint-Denis
Seine-Saint-Denis
- Culture :A number of hip hop artists come from the Seine-Saint-Denis, including one of the first major hip-hop groups in France, NTM, as well as Lord Kossity, or more recent acts such as Tandem or Sefyu.- Miscellaneous topics :...

 and Val-de-Marne
Val-de-Marne
Val-de-Marne is a French department, named after the Marne River, located in the Île-de-France region. The department is situated to the southeast of the city of Paris.- Geography :...

 were created and given the numbers 92, 93, and 94, respectively. The result of this division is that today Paris' limits as a département are exactly those of its limits as a commune, a situation unique in France.

Municipal offices


Each of Paris' twenty arrondissements has a directly elected council (conseil d'arrondissement), which, in turn, elects an arrondissement mayor. A selection of members from each arrondissement council form the Council of Paris
Council of Paris
The Council of Paris is the deliberative body responsible for the governing of Paris, the capital of France. It possesses simultaneously the powers of a Paris City Council and those of a General Council for the Département de Paris, as defined by the so-called PLM Law of 1982 that redefined the...

 (conseil de Paris), which, in turn, elects the mayor of Paris.

In medieval times, Paris was governed by a merchant-elected municipality whose head was the provost of the merchants. In addition to regulating city commerce, the provost of the merchants was responsible for some civic duties such as the guarding of city walls and the cleaning of city streets. The creation of the provost of Paris
Provost (civil)
A provost is the ceremonial head of many Scottish local authorities, and under the name prévôt was a governmental position of varying importance in Ancien Regime France.-History:...

 from the 13th century diminished the merchant Provost's responsibilities and powers considerably.
Composition of the Council of Paris
Party Seats
Socialist Party
Socialist Party (France)
The Socialist Party is a social-democratic political party in France and the largest party of the French centre-left. It is one of the two major contemporary political parties in France, along with the center-right Union for a Popular Movement...

72
Union for a Popular Movement
Union for a Popular Movement
The Union for a Popular Movement is a centre-right political party in France, and one of the two major contemporary political parties in the country along with the center-left Socialist Party...

55
The Greens
The Greens (France)
The Greens were a Green political party to the centre-left of the political spectrum in France. They had officially been in existence since 1984, but their spiritual roots could be traced as far back as René Dumont’s candidacy for the presidency in 1974...

9
French Communist Party
French Communist Party
The French Communist Party is a political party in France which advocates the principles of communism.Although its electoral support has declined in recent decades, the PCF retains a large membership, behind only that of the Union for a Popular Movement , and considerable influence in French...

8
New Centre
New Centre
New Centre , also known as the European Social Liberal Party is a centre-right political party in France, formed by the members of the Union for French Democracy – including a majority of former parliamentarians – who did not agree with François Bayrou's...

8
Citizen and Republican Movement
Citizen and Republican Movement
The Citizen and Republican Movement is a political party in France. The party replaced, in 2002, the Citizens' Movement founded by Jean-Pierre Chevènement, who left the Socialist Party in 1993 due to his opposition to the Persian Gulf War and to the Maastricht Treaty...

5
Miscellaneous Left 2
Left Party
Left Party (France)
The Left Party is a French democratic socialist political party. It seeks to emulate the German political party Die Linke led by Gesine Lötzsch and Klaus Ernst.- History :...

2
MoDem
Democratic Movement (France)
The Democratic Movement , MoDem) is a centrist, social liberal and pro-European French political party that was founded by centrist politician François Bayrou to succeed his Union for French Democracy and to contest the 2007 legislative election, after his strong showing in the 2007 presidential...

1


A direct representative of the king, in a role resembling somewhat the préfet of later years, the Provost (prévôt) of Paris oversaw the application and execution of law and order in the city and its surrounding prévôté (county) from his office in the Grand Châtelet
Grand Châtelet
The Grand Châtelet was a stronghold in Ancien Régime Paris, on the right bank of the Seine, on the site of what is now the Place du Châtelet; it contained a court and police headquarters and a number of prisons....

. Many functions from both provost offices were transferred to the office of the crown-appointed lieutenant general of police upon its creation in 1667. For centuries, the prévôt and magistrates of the Châtelet clashed with the administrators of the Hôtel de Ville
Hôtel de Ville, Paris
The Hôtel de Ville |City Hall]]) in :Paris, France, is the building housing the City of Paris's administration. Standing on the place de l'Hôtel de Ville in the city's IVe arrondissement, it has been the location of the municipality of Paris since 1357...

 over jurisdiction; the latter notably included the quartiniers, each of whom was responsible for one of the sixteen quartiers
Quarter (country subdivision)
A quarter is a section of an urban settlement.Its borders can be administratively chosen , and it may have its own administrative structure...

 (which were in turn divided into four cinquantaines, each with its cinquantainier, and those in turn were divided into dizaines, administered by dizainiers):

All of these men were in principle elected by the local bourgeois. At any one time, therefore, 336 men had shared administrative responsibility for street cleaning and maintenance, for public health, law, and order. The quartiniers maintained the official lists of bourgeois de Paris, ran local elections, could impose fines for breaches of the bylaws, and had a role in tax assessment. They met at the Hôtel de Ville to confer on matters of citywide importance and each year selected eight of "the most notable inhabitants of the quarter", who together with other local officials would elect the city council.


Even though in the course of the 18th century these elections became purely ceremonial, choosing candidates already selected by the royal government, the memory of genuine municipal independence remained strong: "The Hôtel de Ville continued to bulk large in the awareness of bourgeois Parisians, its importance extending far beyond its real role in city government."

Paris' last Prévôt des marchands
Provost (civil)
A provost is the ceremonial head of many Scottish local authorities, and under the name prévôt was a governmental position of varying importance in Ancien Regime France.-History:...

 was assassinated the afternoon of the 14 July 1789 uprising that was the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 Storming of the Bastille
Storming of the Bastille
The storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris on the morning of 14 July 1789. The medieval fortress and prison in Paris known as the Bastille represented royal authority in the centre of Paris. While the prison only contained seven inmates at the time of its storming, its fall was the flashpoint...

. Paris became an official "commune" from the creation of the administrative division on 14 December the same year, and its provisional "Paris commune" revolutionary municipality was replaced with the city's first municipal constitution and government from 9 October 1790. Through the turmoil of the 1794 Thermidorian Reaction
Thermidorian Reaction
The Thermidorian Reaction was a revolt in the French Revolution against the excesses of the Reign of Terror. It was triggered by a vote of the Committee of Public Safety to execute Maximilien Robespierre, Antoine Louis Léon de Saint-Just de Richebourg and several other leading members of the Terror...

, it became apparent that revolutionary Paris' political independence was a threat to any governing power: The office of mayor was abolished the same year, and its municipal council one year later.
Although the municipal council was recreated in 1834, for most of the 19th and 20th centuries, Paris — along with the larger Seine département
Départements of France
The departments of France are French administrative divisions. The 101 departments form one of the three levels of local government, together with the 22 metropolitan and 5 overseas regions above them and more than 36 000 communes beneath them...

 of which it was a centre — was under the direct control of the state-appointed préfet
Préfet
A prefect in France is the State's representative in a department or region. Sub-prefects are responsible for the subdivisions of departments, arrondissements...

 of the Seine, in charge of general affairs there; the state-appointed Prefect of Police
Prefecture of Police
The Prefecture of Police , headed by the Prefect of Police , is an agency of the Government of France which provides the police force for the city of Paris and the surrounding three suburban départements of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val-de-Marne...

 was in charge of police in the same jurisdiction. Save for a few brief occasions, the city did not have a mayor until 1977, and the Paris Prefecture of Police is still under state control today.

Despite its dual existence as commune and département, Paris has a single council to govern both; the Council of Paris, presided over by the mayor of Paris, meets as either as a municipal council (conseil municipal) or a departmental council (conseil général), depending on the issue to be debated.

Paris' modern administrative organisation still retains some traces of the former Seine département jurisdiction. The Prefecture of Police
Prefecture of Police
The Prefecture of Police , headed by the Prefect of Police , is an agency of the Government of France which provides the police force for the city of Paris and the surrounding three suburban départements of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val-de-Marne...

 (also directing Paris' fire brigades), for example, has still a jurisdiction extending to Paris' petite couronne of bordering three départements for some operations such as fire protection or rescue operations, and is still directed by France's national government. Paris has no municipal police force, although it does have its own brigade of traffic wardens.

Capital of the Île-de-France région



As part of a 1961 nation-wide administrative effort to consolidate regional economies, Paris as a département became the capital of the new région
Régions of France
France is divided into 27 administrative regions , 22 of which are in Metropolitan France, and five of which are overseas. Corsica is a territorial collectivity , but is considered a region in mainstream usage, and is even shown as such on the INSEE website...

 of the District of Paris, renamed the Île-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

 région in 1976. It encompasses the Paris département and its seven closest départements. Its regional council members, since 1986, have been chosen by direct elections.

The prefect of the Paris département (who served as the prefect of the Seine département before 1968) is also prefect of the Île-de-France région, although the office lost much of its power following the creation of the office of mayor of Paris in 1977.

Intercommunality


Few of the above changes have taken into account Paris' existence as an agglomeration
Agglomeration
In the study of human settlements, an urban agglomeration is an extended city or town area comprising the built-up area of a central place and any suburbs linked by continuous urban area. In France, INSEE the French Statistical Institute, translate it as "Unité urbaine" which means continuous...

. Unlike in most of France's major urban areas such as Lille
Lille
Lille is a city in northern France . It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country behind those of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Lille is situated on the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium...

 and Lyon
Lyon
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

, there is no intercommunal entity in the Paris urban area, no intercommunal council treating the problems of the region's dense urban core as a whole; Paris' alienation of its suburbs is indeed a problem today, and considered by many to be the main causes of civil unrest such as the suburban riots in 2005. A direct result of these unfortunate events is propositions for a more efficient metropolitan structure to cover the city of Paris and some of the suburbs, ranging from a socialist idea of a loose "metropolitan conference" (conférence métropolitaine) to the right-wing idea of a more integrated Grand Paris ("Greater Paris").

One of the main reasons for such incoherence has been the fear felt by the French State in front of such a huge agglomeration and the desire to tap its wealth. Since the Middle Ages and particularly since the 1649 troubles (La Fronde), Paris has been considered as a source of danger. The authoritarian king Louis the XIVth built Versailles as a new political center, away from the dangerous city crowds. The conflict between the State and the City reached a climax with the Revolution of 1871 (La Commune) : the French Assembly in Bordeaux decided Paris would no longer be the capital city, while the Paris Commune discussed declaring Paris independent of France. Since then, one of the foundations of the centralized French State has been to widely distribute Paris wealth while depriving the agglomeration and keeping it divided into 8 departments and 1 200 communes. (For an analysis of the long hostility against Paris, see http://www-ohp.univ-paris1.fr ). Of the 22 metropolitan French regions, 19 are regularly subsidized — mostly by Paris resources — while Paris suburbs lack necessary equipment.

Education


In the early 9th century, the emperor Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

 mandated all churches to give lessons in reading, writing and basic arithmetic to their parishes, and cathedrals to give a higher-education in the finer arts of language, physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

, music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, and theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

; at that time, Paris was already one of France's major cathedral towns and beginning its rise to fame as a scholastic centre. By the early 13th century, the Île de la Cité
Île de la Cité
The Île de la Cité is one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine within the city of Paris . It is the centre of Paris and the location where the medieval city was refounded....

 Notre-Dame
Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris , also known as Notre Dame Cathedral, is a Gothic, Roman Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. It is the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris: that is, it is the church that contains the cathedra of...

 cathedral school had many famous teachers, and the controversial teachings of some of these led to the creation of a separate Left-Bank Sainte-Genevieve
Genevieve
St Genevieve , in Latin Sancta Genovefa, from Germanic keno and wefa , is the patron saint of Paris in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox tradition...

 University that would become the centre of Paris' scholastic Latin Quarter best represented by the Sorbonne
Sorbonne
The Sorbonne is an edifice of the Latin Quarter, in Paris, France, which has been the historical house of the former University of Paris...

 university.

Twelve centuries later, education in Paris and the Paris region (Île-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

 région) employs approximately 330,000 persons, 170,000 of whom are teachers and professors teaching approximately 2.9 million children and students in around 9,000 primary, secondary, and higher education schools and institutions.

Primary and secondary education


Paris is home to several of France's most prestigious high-schools such as Lycée Louis-le-Grand
Lycée Louis-le-Grand
The Lycée Louis-le-Grand is a public secondary school located in Paris, widely regarded as one of the most rigorous in France. Formerly known as the Collège de Clermont, it was named in king Louis XIV of France's honor after he visited the school and offered his patronage.It offers both a...

 and Lycée Henri-IV. Other high-schools of international renown in the Paris area include the Lycée International de Saint Germain-en-Laye
Lycée International de Saint Germain-en-Laye
The Lycée International of Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a French public school located in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, on the western outskirts of Paris. It is one of the most prestigious schools in France, historically achieving 99% to 100% success rate on the French baccalauréat...

 and the École Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel
École Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel
The École Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel is an elite private day school in Paris, France. It was founded in 1955 by Jeannine Manuel, and also has a separate boarding school campus in Lille. EABJM is known for its rigorous bilingual curriculum...

.

Higher-education


As of the academic year 2004–2005, the Paris Region's 17 public universities, with its 359,749 registered students, comprise the largest concentration of university students in Europe. The Paris Region's prestigious grandes écoles
Grandes écoles
The grandes écoles of France are higher education establishments outside the main framework of the French university system. The grandes écoles select students for admission based chiefly on national ranking in competitive written and oral exams...

 and scores of university-independent private and public schools have an additional 240,778 registered students, that, together with the university population, creates a grand total of 600,527 students in higher education that year.

Universities



The cathedral of Notre-Dame
Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris , also known as Notre Dame Cathedral, is a Gothic, Roman Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. It is the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris: that is, it is the church that contains the cathedra of...

 was the first centre of higher-education before the creation of the University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

. The universitas was chartered by King Philip Augustus
Philip II of France
Philip II Augustus was the King of France from 1180 until his death. A member of the House of Capet, Philip Augustus was born at Gonesse in the Val-d'Oise, the son of Louis VII and his third wife, Adela of Champagne...

 in 1200, as a corporation granting teachers (and their students) the right to rule themselves independently from crown law and taxes. At the time, many classes were held in open air. Non-Parisian students and teachers would stay in hostels, or "colleges", created for the boursiers coming from afar.

Already famous by the 13th century, the University of Paris had students from all of Europe. Paris' Rive Gauche
Rive Gauche
La Rive Gauche is the southern bank of the river Seine in Paris. Here the river flows roughly westward, cutting the city in two: looking downstream, the southern bank is to the left, and the northern bank is to the right....

 scholastic
Scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

 centre, dubbed "Latin Quarter
Latin Quarter
Latin Quarter is a part of the 5th arrondissement in Paris.Latin Quarter may also refer to:* Latin Quarter , a British pop/rock band* Latin Quarter , a 1945 British film*Latin Quarter, Aarhus, part of Midtbyen, Aarhus C, Denmark...

" as classes were taught in Latin then, would eventually regroup around the college created by Robert de Sorbon
Robert de Sorbon
Robert de Sorbon was a French theologian, the chaplain of Louis IX of France, and founder of the Sorbonne college in Paris....

 from 1257, the Collège de Sorbonne
Collège de Sorbonne
The Collège de Sorbonne was a theological college of the University of Paris, founded in 1257 by Robert de Sorbon, after whom it is named. With the rest of the Paris colleges, it was suppressed during the French Revolution. It was restored in 1808 but finally closed in 1882. The name Sorbonne...

. The University of Paris in the 19th century had six faculties: law, science, medicine, pharmaceutical studies, literature, and theology.

Following the 1968 student riots, there was an extensive reform of the University of Paris, in an effort to disperse the centralised student body. The following year, the former unique University of Paris was split between thirteen autonomous universities ("Paris I" to "Paris XIII") located throughout the City of Paris and its suburbs. Each of these universities inherited only some of the departments of the old University of Paris, and are not generalist universities. Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne, Paris II Pantheon-Assas, Paris-Descartes, and Paris-Nanterre, inherited the Law School; Paris Descartes University inherited the School of Medicine as well; Pierre and Marie Curie University and Paris-Diderot the scientific departments, the Paris-Sorbonne University inherited the Arts and Humanities, etc.

In 1991, four more universities were created in the suburbs of Paris, reaching a total of seventeen public universities for the Paris (Île-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

) région. These new universities were given names (based on the name of the suburb in which they are located) and not numbers like the previous thirteen: University of Cergy-Pontoise, University of Évry Val d'Essonne, University of Marne-la-Vallée
University of Marne la Vallée
The University Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée is a French university, in the Academy of Créteil.-See also:* List of public universities in France by academy...

, École supérieure Robert De Sorbon and University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines
Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University
Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University is a French university, in the Academy of Versailles.- Sciences :Located in Versailles and Le Chesnay....

.

Grandes écoles


The Paris region hosts France's highest concentration of the prestigious grandes écoles
Grandes écoles
The grandes écoles of France are higher education establishments outside the main framework of the French university system. The grandes écoles select students for admission based chiefly on national ranking in competitive written and oral exams...

 – specialised centres of higher-education outside the public university structure. The prestigious public universities are usually considered grands établissements
Grands établissements
The grands établissements are French public institutions under ministerial charter under the administrative category referred to as Établissements publics à caractère scientifique, culturel et professionnel...

. Most of the grandes écoles were relocated to the suburbs of Paris in the 1960s and 1970s, in new campuses much larger than the old campuses within the crowded city of Paris, though the École Normale Supérieure
École Normale Supérieure
The École normale supérieure is one of the most prestigious French grandes écoles...

 has remained on rue d'Ulm in the 5th arrondissement.

The Paris area has a high number of engineering schools, led by the prestigious Paris Institute of Technology (ParisTech
ParisTech
ParisTech the Paris Institute of Technology is one of the collegiate universities in France. It gathers 11 of the best French engineering schools, covering nearly the whole spectrum of engineering science, and 1 business school, aiming to be of comparable status to the most famous universities of...

) which comprises several colleges such as École Polytechnique
École Polytechnique
The École Polytechnique is a state-run institution of higher education and research in Palaiseau, Essonne, France, near Paris. Polytechnique is renowned for its four year undergraduate/graduate Master's program...

, École des Mines
École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris
The École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris was created in 1783 by King Louis XVI in order to train intelligent directors of mines. It is one of the most prominent French engineering schoolsThe École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris (also known as Mines ParisTech, École des Mines de...

, Télécom Paris
École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications
Télécom ParisTech is one of the most prestigious and selective grandes écoles in France and one of the finest institutions in the field of Telecommunications...

, Arts et Métiers
École Nationale Supérieure d'Arts et Métiers
Arts et Métiers ParisTech is the French leading engineering school in the fields of mechanics and industrialization.The school trained 85,000 engineers since its foundation in 1780 by the Duke of La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt....

, and École des Ponts et Chaussées
École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées
Founded in 1747, the École nationale des ponts et chaussées , often referred to as les Ponts, is the world's oldest civil engineering school...

. There are also many business schools, including INSEAD
INSEAD
INSEAD is an international graduate business school and research institution. It has campuses in Europe , Asia , and the Middle East , as well as a research center in Israel...

, ESSEC, HEC
HEC School of Management
HEC Paris or École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris is one of the foremost business schools in France and in Europe. It was created in 1881 by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the model of French Grandes Ecoles and has progressively become one of the most selective graduate...

 and ESCP Europe. The administrative school such as ENA
École nationale d'administration
The École Nationale d'Administration , one of the most prestigious of French graduate schools , was created in 1945 by Charles de Gaulle to democratise access to the senior civil service. It is now entrusted with the selection and initial training of senior French officials...

 has been relocated to Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

, the political science school Sciences-Po
Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris
The Institut d'études politiques de Paris , simply referred to as Sciences Po , is a public research and higher education institution in Paris, France, specialised in the social sciences. It has the status of grand établissement, which allows its admissions process to be highly selective...

 is still located in Paris' Left bank
Rive Gauche
La Rive Gauche is the southern bank of the river Seine in Paris. Here the river flows roughly westward, cutting the city in two: looking downstream, the southern bank is to the left, and the northern bank is to the right....

 7th arrondissement. The Parisian school of journalism CELSA department of the Paris-Sorbonne University is located in Neuilly-sur-Seine .

The grandes écoles system is supported by a number of preparatory schools that offer courses of two to three years' duration called Classes Préparatoires, also known as classes prépas or simply prépas. These courses provide entry to the grandes écoles. Many of the best prépas are located in Paris, including Lycée Louis-le-Grand
Lycée Louis-le-Grand
The Lycée Louis-le-Grand is a public secondary school located in Paris, widely regarded as one of the most rigorous in France. Formerly known as the Collège de Clermont, it was named in king Louis XIV of France's honor after he visited the school and offered his patronage.It offers both a...

, Lycée Henri-IV, Lycée Saint-Louis
Lycée Saint-Louis
The lycée Saint-Louis is a higher education establishment located in the VIe arrondissement of Paris, in the Latin Quarter. It is the only public French lycée exclusively dedicated to classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles...

, Lycée Janson de Sailly
Lycée Janson de Sailly
Lycée Janson de Sailly is a lycée located in the XVIe arrondissement of Paris, France. It is generally considered as one of the most prestigious lycées in Paris...

, and Lycée Stanislas. Two other top-ranking prépas (Lycée Hoche
Lycée Hoche
The Lycée Hoche is a public secondary school located in Versailles, not very far away from the famous Palace of Versailles. Formerly, it had been a nunnery founded by French queen Maria Leszczyńska. However, after the French Revolution, it became a school in 1803...

 and Lycée privé Sainte-Geneviève
Lycée privé Sainte-Geneviève
The Lycée Sainte-Geneviève is a private lycée, located in Versailles and providing preparatory classes for grandes écoles. It was founded in Paris, April 1854...

) are located in Versailles, near Paris. Student selection is based on school grades and teacher remarks. Prépas are known to be very demanding in terms of work load and psychological stress.

Libraries


The Bibliothèque nationale de France
Bibliothèque nationale de France
The is the National Library of France, located in Paris. It is intended to be the repository of all that is published in France. The current president of the library is Bruno Racine.-History:...

 (BnF) operates libraries in Paris, among them François-Mitterrand Library, Richelieu Library, Louvois, Opéra Library, and Arsenal Library.

The American Library in Paris opened in 1920. It is a part of a private, non-profit organization. The modern library originated from cases of books sent by the American Library Association to U.S. soldiers in France. An incarnation existed in the 1850s.

Transport


Paris is the head of barge and ship navigation on the Seine and is the fourth most important port in France (after Marseille, Le Havre, and Dunkerque). The Loire, Rhine, Rhone, Meuse and Scheldt rivers can be reached by canals connecting with the Seine. Paris is also a major rail, highway, and air transportation hub. Three international airports, Orly, Roissy and le Bourget
Paris – Le Bourget Airport
Paris – Le Bourget Airport is an airport located in Le Bourget, Bonneuil-en-France, and Dugny, north-northeast of Paris, France. It is now used only for general aviation as well as air shows...

, serve the city. The city's subway system, the , was opened in 1900.

Paris has been building its transportation system throughout history and continuous improvements are on-going. The Syndicat des transports d'Île-de-France (STIF), formerly Syndicat des transports parisiens (STP) oversees the transit network in the region.

The members of this syndicate are the Île-de-France region
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

 and the eight departments of this region. The syndicate coordinates public transport and contracts it out to the RATP (operating 654 bus
Bus (RATP)
RATP operates the majority of buses in Paris, and a significant number of lines in its suburbs. Other suburban lines are operated by private operators grouped in a consortium known as Optile ....

 lines, the Métro
Paris Métro
The Paris Métro or Métropolitain is the rapid transit metro system in Paris, France. It has become a symbol of the city, noted for its density within the city limits and its uniform architecture influenced by Art Nouveau. The network's sixteen lines are mostly underground and run to 214 km ...

, three tramway lines, and sections of the RER
RER
The RER is a rapid transit system in France serving Paris and its suburbs. The RER is an integration of a modern city-centre underground rail and a pre-existing set of commuter rail lines. It has several connections with the Paris Métro within the city of Paris. Within the city, the RER...

), the SNCF
SNCF
The SNCF , is France's national state-owned railway company. SNCF operates the country's national rail services, including the TGV, France's high-speed rail network...

 (operating suburban rails
Transilien
The Transilien is the brand name for suburban railway services of the SNCF-owned railway network operating within the Île-de-France région...

, one tramway line and the other sections of the RER) and the Optile
Optile
Optile is a public transport organisation, created in October 2000 from a merger between several private bus companies serving suburban Paris...

 consortium of private operators managing 1,070 minor bus lines.

The Métro
Paris Métro
The Paris Métro or Métropolitain is the rapid transit metro system in Paris, France. It has become a symbol of the city, noted for its density within the city limits and its uniform architecture influenced by Art Nouveau. The network's sixteen lines are mostly underground and run to 214 km ...

 is Paris' most important transportation system. The system, with 300 stations (384 stops) connected by 214 km (133 mi) of rails, comprises 16 lines, identified by numbers from 1 to 14, with two minor lines, 3bis and 7bis, so numbered because they used to be branches of their respective original lines, and only later became independent. In October 1998, the new line 14
Paris Metro Line 14
Line 14 of the Paris Métro system connects the stations Saint Lazare and Olympiades on a north-west south-east diagonal across the centre of Paris. It is the twelfth busiest of sixteen lines on the network, and as of 2011, the only one to be operated completely automatically; the second such line...

 was inaugurated after a 70‑year hiatus in inaugurating fully new métro lines. Because of the short distance between stations on the Métro network, lines were too slow to be extended further into the suburbs, as is the case in most other cities. As such, an additional express network, the RER
RER
The RER is a rapid transit system in France serving Paris and its suburbs. The RER is an integration of a modern city-centre underground rail and a pre-existing set of commuter rail lines. It has several connections with the Paris Métro within the city of Paris. Within the city, the RER...

, has been created since the 1960s to connect more-distant parts of the urban area. The RER consists in the integration of modern city-centre subway and pre-existing suburban rail. Nowadays, the RER network comprises five lines, 257 stops and 587 km (365 mi) of rails.

In addition, the Paris region
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

 is served by a light rail network of four lines, the tramway: Line T1 runs from Saint-Denis
Saint-Denis
Saint-Denis is a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris. Saint-Denis is a sous-préfecture of the Seine-Saint-Denis département, being the seat of the Arrondissement of Saint-Denis....

 to Noisy-le-Sec
Noisy-le-Sec
Noisy-le-Sec is a commune in the eastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.-Heraldry:-Transport:Noisy-le-Sec is served by Noisy-le-Sec station on Paris RER line E.-Personalities:*Hassoun Camara,footballer...

, line T2 runs from La Défense
La Défense
La Défense is a major business district of the Paris aire urbaine. With a population of 20,000, it is centered in an orbital motorway straddling the Hauts-de-Seine département municipalities of Nanterre, Courbevoie and Puteaux...

 to Porte de Versailles, line T3
Paris Tramway Line 3
Tramway line T3 is the first modern tramway in :Paris proper. Opened on 16 December 2006, it is known as the tramway des Maréchaux because it follows the boulevards des maréchaux, a series of boulevards that encircle Paris along the route of the former Thiers Wall . The boulevards are, with three...

 runs from Pont du Garigliano to Porte d'Ivry, line T4 runs from Bondy
Bondy
Bondy is a commune in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.-Name:The name Bondy was recorded for the first time around AD 600 as Bonitiacum, meaning "estate of Bonitius", a Gallo-Roman landowner.-History:...

 to Aulnay-sous-Bois
Aulnay-sous-Bois
Aulnay-sous-Bois is a commune in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris.In October and November 2005, it gained national and international attention as one of the focuses of the French suburb riots.-Name:...

. Six new light rail lines are currently in various stages of development.
The new ferry service Voguéo
Voguéo
Voguéo was a water taxi service operated on the River Seine and the River Marne in the Île-de-France .The Syndicat des transports d'Île-de-France adopted the service in 2007. It started on 28 June 2008 between the Gare d'Austerlitz in the 13th arrondissement of Paris and the École Vétérinaire de...

 was inaugurated in June 2008, on the rivers Seine and Marne.
Paris is a central hub of the national rail network. The six major railway stations — Gare du Nord
Gare du Nord
Paris Nord is one of the six large terminus railway stations of the SNCF mainline network for Paris, France. It offers connections with several urban transportation lines, including Paris Métro and RER...

, Gare Montparnasse
Gare Montparnasse
Paris Montparnasse is one of the six large terminus railway stations of Paris, located in the Montparnasse area in the XIVe arrondissement. The station was opened in 1840, and rebuilt completely in 1969...

, Gare de l'Est
Gare de l'Est
is one of the six large SNCF termini in Paris. It is in the 10th arrondissement, not far from the Gare du Nord, facing the Boulevard de Strasbourg, part of the north-south axis of Paris created by Baron Haussmann...

, Gare de Lyon
Gare de Lyon
Paris Lyon is one of the six large railway termini in Paris, France. It is the northern terminus of the Paris–Marseille railway. It is named after the city of Lyon, a stop for many long-distance trains departing here, most en route to the south of France. In general the station's SNCF services run...

, Gare d'Austerlitz
Gare d'Austerlitz
Paris Austerlitz is one of the six large terminus railway stations in Paris. It is situated on the left bank of the Seine in the southeastern part of the city, in the XIIIe arrondissement...

, and Gare Saint-Lazare
Gare Saint-Lazare
Paris Saint-Lazare is one of the six large terminus train stations of Paris. It is the second busiest in Paris, behind the Gare du Nord, handling 274,000 passengers each day.-History:...

 — are connected to three networks: The TGV
TGV
The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

 serving four High-speed rail
High-speed rail
High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union include for upgraded track and or faster for new track, whilst in the United States, the U.S...

 lines, the normal speed Corail
Corail (train)
Corail is the name given to a class of passenger rail cars of the SNCF that first entered commercial service in 1975. When introduced, Corail carriages featured air-conditioning, and superior levels of comfort, suspension and sound-proofing than previous InterCity carriages and gave arguably the...

 trains, and the suburban rails (Transilien
Transilien
The Transilien is the brand name for suburban railway services of the SNCF-owned railway network operating within the Île-de-France région...

).
Paris is served by two major airports: Orly Airport, which is south of Paris; and the Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, in Roissy-en-France
Roissy-en-France
Roissy-en-France is a commune in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, France, in the Val d'Oise department. It is located from the center of Paris....

, which is one of the busiest in the world and is the hub for the unofficial flag carrier
Flag carrier
A flag carrier is a transportation company, such as an airline or shipping company, that, being locally registered in a given country, enjoys preferential rights or privileges, accorded by the government, for international operations. It may be a state-run, state-owned or private but...

 Air France
Air France
Air France , stylised as AIRFRANCE, is the French flag carrier headquartered in Tremblay-en-France, , and is one of the world's largest airlines. It is a subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group and a founding member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance...

. A third and much smaller airport, Beauvais Tillé Airport, located in the town of Beauvais
Beauvais
Beauvais is a city approximately by highway north of central Paris, in the northern French region of Picardie. It currently has a population of over 60,000 inhabitants.- History :...

, 70 km (43 mi) to the north of the city, is used by charter and low-cost airlines. The fourth airport, Le Bourget
Le Bourget Airport
Paris – Le Bourget Airport is an airport located in Le Bourget, Bonneuil-en-France, and Dugny, north-northeast of Paris, France. It is now used only for general aviation as well as air shows...

, nowadays hosts only business jets, air trade shows and the aerospace museum.

The city is also the most important hub of France's motorway network, and is surrounded by three orbital freeways: the Périphérique
Périphérique (Paris)
Boulevard Périphérique is a controlled-access dual-carriageway ring road in Paris, France. One of the busiest highways in Europe, the Périphérique is the generally-accepted boundary between the city proper of Paris and its suburbs...

, which follows the approximate path of 19th-century fortifications around Paris, the A86
A86 autoroute
A86 is the second ring road around Paris. A86 follows an irregular path around Paris with the distance from the city centre varying from...

 motorway in the inner suburbs, and finally the Francilienne
Francilienne
The Francilienne is a partial ring road around Île-de-France , France, lying outside the A86.The planned ring is approximately in diameter, similar in size to London's M25 motorway....

 motorway in the outer suburbs. Paris has an extensive road network with over 2000 km (1,243 mi) of highways and motorways. By road, Brussels can be reached in three hours, Frankfurt in six hours and Barcelona in 12 hours. By train, London is now just two hours and 15 minutes away, Brussels can be reached in 1 hour and 22 minutes (up to 26 departures/day), Amsterdam in 3 hours and 18 minutes (up to 10 departures/day), Cologne in 3 hours and 14 minutes (6 departures/day), and Marseille, Bordeaux, and other cities in southern France in three hours.

Cycling


Paris offers a bike sharing
Community bicycle program
A bicycle sharing system is a service in which bicycles are made available for shared use to individuals who do not own them. Bicycle sharing systems can be divided into two general categories: "Community Bike programs" organized mostly by local community groups or non-profit organizations; and...

 system called Vélib'
Vélib'
' is a large-scale public bicycle sharing system in Paris, France. Launched on 15 July 2007, the system has expanded to encompass over 20,000 bicycles and 1,202 bicycle stations, located across Paris and in some surrounding municipalities...

 with more than 20,000 public bicycles distributed at 1,450 parking stations, which can be rented for short and medium distances including one way
One-way traffic
One-way traffic is traffic that moves in a single direction. A one-way street is a street either facilitating only one-way traffic, or designed to direct vehicles to move in one direction.-General signs:...

 trips.

Health



Health care and emergency medical service in the city of Paris and its suburbs are provided by the Assistance publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
Assistance publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
The Assistance publique – Hôpitaux de Paris is the public hospital system of the city of Paris and its suburbs...

 (AP-HP), a public hospital system that employs more than 90,000 people (practitioners and administratives) in 44 hospitals. It is the largest hospital system in Europe.

International relations



Paris has numerous partner cities, but according to the motto "Only Paris is worthy of Rome; only Rome is worthy of Paris.", the only sister city
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 of Paris is Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

.

Gallery



See also


  • Outline of France
  • Large Cities Climate Leadership Group
    Large Cities Climate Leadership Group
    The Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, now officially known as the C40 is a group of cities working to reduce urban carbon emissions and to adapt to climate change. It believes it has an important role to play as cities contain around 50% of the world population, consume 75% of the world's...

  • Megacity
    Megacity
    A megacity is usually defined as a metropolitan area with a total population in excess of 10 million people. Some definitions also set a minimum level for population density . A megacity can be a single metropolitan area or two or more metropolitan areas that converge. The terms conurbation,...

  • Paris chronology
    Paris chronology
    * 52 BC - Lutetia, later to become Paris, is built by the Gallo-Romans* 1113 - Pierre Abélard opens his school* 1163 - Building of Notre Dame begins* 1257 - The Sorbonne University is founded...

  • Paris Exposition
    Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes
    The International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts was a World's fair held in Paris, France, from April to October 1925. The term "Art Deco" was derived by shortening the words Arts Décoratifs, in the title of this exposition, but not until the late 1960s by British art critic...



External links