Key facts about the capital of France, her history, economy, geography, administration. Listen to famous songs on Paris.
Since 508 A.D, Paris is the capital of France. France, a member of the European Union, is the largest country of Western Europe with 550 000 km2 and the second country in population behind Germany with 66 millions inhabitants.
The city has 2.275 million inhabitants. She is the core of Grand Paris (7,2 million inhabitants) and Ile de France region (11.9 million people). Grand Paris facts.
The city is very dynamic with 325 000 students studying at Paris University and other educational institutions, 140 theaters, 100 nightclubs, 96 cabarets, 90 movie theaters, 3 opera houses, 62 000 shopping venues. There are 6 million jobs in the Ile de France region for a GDP of 612 billion euros (83% in services), the largest of any european region.
From the Romans to today's Vth Republic, the city has a rich 2000 year history. See detailed Paris history facts.
The French Kings, who governed France, from 448 until 1848, commissioned famous Paris monuments, such as the Louvre Palace, the Invalides and Versailles Palace.
Over the centuries, faithful Parisians built beautiful Paris churches, including Notre Dame Cathedral, Sainte Chapelle, Sacre Coeur and Saint Germain des Pres.
Culture is everywhere with many world class museums, concert venues and a great variety of movie theaters.
In 2014, 45.9 million tourists visited the city and her region, including Disneyland and Versailles. The facts are that the city remains year after year the most visited one in the world ahead of London and New York City.
The top attractions in town are Notre Dame Cathedral (14.3), Disneyland (14.2 million visitors in 2014), the Sacre Coeur (11), the Louvre Museum (9.2), Versailles Palace (7.5), the Eiffel Tower (7.1), Centre Pompidou (3.4) and the Cite des Sciences (2.3).
The city is 9 miles East to West, 6 miles North to South, giving it an area of 33.5 square miles, 86.7 square kilometers. The city is 34 meters above sea level.
The Seine, the river in Paris, flows through the city from South West to South East. The North bank is the Right Bank, la Rive Droite. The South bank is the Left Bank, la Rive Gauche.
The city is divided into 20 arrondissements numbered 1 to 20. The first arrondissement contains the Ile de la Cite, the Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens.
The other arrondissements spiral from there in a clockwise direction. A zip code such as 75004 indicates Paris, 4th arrondissement. Check map of Paris Arrondissements with top sights. The large Paris City Hall is the administrative heart of the city since the Middle Ages. The facts are that the 20 arrondissement city halls have very limited power.
Under the Romans, the capital of France was Lyon (France map). Paris became the capital of France in 508 under King Clovis (picture). After centuries with no unique capital, she retrieved its status under King Philippe Auguste (picture), who reigned between 1180 and 1223. See remains of the Philippe August walls in the passageway between the Louvre parking and Museum
The city remained the capital of France until today, with one four year interruption. During German occupation (WW2 , 1940-1944), the capital of France was Vichy (France map).
The city of lights is also the romantic city of the world. Many singers romantically sang the city during the last century.