Paris ( in English, in French) is the capital of France and the
country's most populous city. It is situated on the
river Seine, in northern
France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region (also known
as the "Paris Region"; ).
The city of Paris, within its
administrative limits largely unchanged since 1860, has an
estimated population of 2,203,817 (January 2006), but the Paris
(or metropolitan area
) has a population of
11,769,433 (January 2006), and is one of the most populated
An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris is today
one of the world's leading business
centres, and its influence in
and the arts
contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities
Region, with €533.6 billion (US$731.3 billion) in
2007, produces more than a quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP) of
According to 2005 estimates, the Paris urban
is Europe's biggest city
economy, and is fifth in the world's list of cities by GDP
. The Paris Region hosts
38 of the Fortune Global 500
companies in several business districts, notably La Défense, the largest purpose-built business district in
Europe. Paris also hosts many international
organizations such as UNESCO, the
for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Chamber of
Commerce (ICC) and the informal Paris
Paris is one of the most popular tourist
destinations in the world, with 45 million tourists every year
in the Paris Region, 60% of whom are foreign visitors. There are
numerous iconic landmarks among its many attractions, along with
world-famous institutions and popular parks.
The name Paris
derives from that of its inhabitants, the
tribe known as the Parisii
. The city was called
Lutetia ( )
(more fully, Lutetia Parisiorum, "Lutetia of the
Parisii"), during the first- to sixth-century Roman occupation, but during the reign of
Julian the Apostate (360–363)
the city was renamed Paris.
Others consider that the name of the Parisii
from the Celtic Gallic word parisio
meaning "the working
people" or "the craftsmen." Since the early 20th century, Paris has
been known as Paname
( ) in French slang
, i.e. "I'm from Paname"), a slang name
that has been regaining favor with young people in recent
Paris has many nicknames, but its most famous is "La Ville-Lumière"
(most often translated as "The City of Light"), a name it owes
first to its fame as a centre of education and ideas during the
Age of Enlightenment
, and later
to its early adoption of street
Paris' inhabitants are known in English as "Parisians" ( or ) and
in French as Parisiens
( ). Parisians are often
pejoratively called Parigots
( ), a term first used in
1900 by those living outside the Paris region, but now the term may
be considered endearing by Parisians themselves.
- See Wiktionary for
the name of Paris in various languages other than English and
The earliest archaeological signs of permanent habitation in the
Paris area date from around 4200 BC
Parisii, a sub-tribe of
the Celtic Senones,
inhabited the area near the river Seine from around
250 BC. The Romans
conquered the Paris basin in 52 BC, with a
permanent settlement by the end of the same century on the Left Bank Sainte Geneviève
Hill and the Île de la Cité. The Gallo-Roman
town was originally called Lutetia, 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 fifth-century Germanic invasions
sent the city into a
period of decline. By 400 AD
, by then largely abandoned by its inhabitants, was
little more than a garrison town entrenched into the hastily
fortified central island. The city reclaimed its original
appellation of "Paris" towards the end of the Roman occupation. The
Frankish king Clovis I
established Paris as
his capital in 508.
Middle ages to 19th century
Paris' population was around 200,000 when the Black Death
arrived in 1348, killing as many as
800 people a day, and 40,000 died from the plague in 1466. Paris
lost its position as seat of the French realm during occupation of
the English-allied Burgundians
during the Hundred Years' War
but regained its title when Charles VII of France
city from English rule in 1436. Paris from then became France's capital once
again in title, but France's real centre of power would remain in
Valley until King François
I returned France's crown residences to Paris in 1528.
During the French Wars of
, Paris was a stronghold of the Catholic party
. In August 1572,
under the reign of Charles IX
while many noble Protestants were in Paris on the occasion of the
marriage of Henry of Navarre, the future Henry IV
, to Marguerite de Valois
, sister of Charles
IX, the St. Bartholomew's
occurred; begun on 24 August, it lasted several
days and spread throughout the country. During the Fronde
, Parisians rose in rebellion and the royal
family fled the city (1648). King Louis XIV
then moved the royal court
permanently to Versailles
in 1682. A
century later, Paris was the centre stage for the French Revolution
, with the Storming of the Bastille
on 14 July
1789 and the overthrow
monarchy in September 1792.
Paris was occupied by Russian Cossack
cavalry units upon Napoleon
's defeat on the
31st of March 1814
; this was the
first time in 400 years that the city had been conquered by a
foreign power. The ensuing Restoration
period, or the return of the
monarchy under Louis XVIII
(1814-1824) and Charles X
with the July Revolution
uprising of 1830. The new 'constitutional monarchy' under Louis-Philippe
with the 1848 "February
" that led to the creation of the Second Republic
Throughout these events, cholera
in 1832 and 1849 affected the population of Paris; the 1832
epidemic alone claimed 20,000 of the then-population of
The greatest development in Paris' history began with the Industrial Revolution
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
; his préfet Haussmann levelled entire districts
Paris' narrow, winding medieval streets to create the network of
wide avenues and neo-classical façades that still make 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 that Paris
was so famous for.
The Second Empire
ended in the
and a besieged Paris under heavy bombardment surrendered on the
28th of January 1871. The discontent of Paris' populace with the
new armistice-signing government seated in Versailles
resulted in the creation of a Parisian
" government, supported by
an army in large part created from members of the City's former
, that would both
continue resistance against the Prussians and oppose the government
"Versaillais" army. The result was a bloody Semaine
that resulted in the death, many by summary
execution, of roughly 20,000 "communards" before the fighting ended
on May 28 1871.In :
"In March 1871 the Commune took power in the
abandoned city and held it for two months. Then Versailles seized the moment to attack and, in
one horrifying week, executed roughly 20,000 Communards or
suspected sympathizers, a number higher than those killed in the
recent war or during Robespierre’s
‘Terror’ of 1793–94. More than 7,500
were jailed or deported to places like New Caledonia. Thousands of
others fled to Belgium, England, Italy, Spain and the United
States. In 1872, stringent laws were passed that ruled out all
possibilities of organizing on the left. Not till 1880 was there a
general amnesty for exiled and imprisoned Communards. Meantime, the
Third Republic found itself strong enough to renew and reinforce
Louis Napoleon’s imperialist expansion—in Indochina, Africa, and
Oceania. Many of France’s leading intellectuals and artists had
participated in the Commune (Courbet was its quasi-minister of
culture, Rimbaud and Pissarro were active propagandists) or were
sympathetic to it. The ferocious repression of 1871 and after was
probably the key factor in alienating these milieux from the Third
Republic and stirring their sympathy for its victims at home and
The ease at which the Versaillais
army overtook Paris owed
much to Baron
Haussmann's earlier renovations
France's late 19th-century Universal Expositions
made Paris an
increasingly important centre of technology, trade and tourism.
famous were the 1889
Universal Exposition to which Paris owes its "temporary"
display of architectural engineering prowess, the Eiffel Tower, a structure that remained the world's tallest
building until 1930; the 1900 Universal Exposition saw
the opening of the first Paris
During World War I
, 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
In 1918–1919, it was the scene of Allied
victory parades and peace
negotiations. In the inter-war
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
and Spanish painters
to American writer Hemingway
. On 14 June 1940, five weeks
after the start of the Battle of
, Paris fell to German occupation forces, who remained
there until the city was
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
; major factories were located in the suburbs). Also,
German General von Choltitz
not destroy all Parisian monuments before any German retreat, as
ordered by Adolf Hitler
, who had
visited the city in 1940.
In the post-war era, Paris experienced its largest development
since the end of the Belle
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. A comprehensive express subway network, 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 expressway
circling around the city.
Since the 1970s, many inner suburbs of Paris (especially the north
and eastern ones) have experienced deindustrialization
, and the
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
concentrated in the north-eastern suburbs.
In order to alleviate social tensions in the inner suburbs and
revitalise the metropolitan economy of
, several plans are currently underway. The office of
Secretary of State
Development of the Capital Region was created in March 2008 within
the French government
. Its office
holder, Christian Blanc
, is in
charge of overseeing President Nicolas
's plans for the creation of an integrated Grand Paris
("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
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, landscape architects will
offer their vision for building a Paris metropolis of the 21st
century in the Kyoto Protocol
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 ( and
higher) have been approved since 2006 in the business district of
Défense, to the west of the city proper, and are scheduled
to be completed by the early 2010s. Paris authorities
also made public 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 in the early 1970s.
located in the north-bending arc of the river Seine and includes two islands, the Île
Saint-Louis and the larger Île de la Cité, which form the oldest part of the city.
Overall, the city is relatively flat, and the lowest elevation is
above sea level. Paris has several prominent hills, of which
the highest is Montmartre at .
excluding the outlying parks of Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes, covers an oval measuring in area.
city's last major annexation of outlying territories in 1860 not
only gave it its modern form but created the twenty
boroughs). From the 1860 area of , the city limits were expanded
marginally to in the 1920s. In 1929, the Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes forest parks were officially annexed to the city,
bringing its area to the present .
Paris has an oceanic climate
) and is affected by the North Atlantic Current
, so the city
rarely sees extremely high or low temperatures, such as the
heat wave of 2003
cold wave of 2006
Paris has warm and pleasant summers with average high temperatures
of and low of . Winter is chilly, but temperature is around to ,
and rarely falls below the freezing point. Spring and autumn have
mild to occasionally warm days and cool evenings. Rain falls
throughout the year, and although Paris is not a very rainy city,
it is known for sudden showers. Average annual precipitation is
with light rainfall fairly distributed throughout the year.
Snowfall is rare, but the city sometimes sees light snow or
flurries without accumulation. The highest recorded temperature is
on 28 July 1948, and the lowest is a on 10 December 1879.
Much of contemporary Paris is the result of the vast mid-nineteenth century urban
. For centuries, the city had been a labyrinth of
narrow streets and half-timber
but, beginning in 1852, the Baron
's urbanisation program involved leveling entire
quarters 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
plans are in many cases still followed. The
" law is still in place, which regulates
building facades of new constructions according to a pre-defined
street width. A building's height is limited according to the width
of the streets it lines, and under the regulation, it is difficult
to get an approval to build a taller building.
Typical Parisian architecture in the
Many of Paris's important institutions are located outside the city
limit. The financial (La Défense) business district, the main food wholesale market
(Rungis), schools (École Polytechnique, HEC, ESSEC, INSEAD), research
laboratories (in Saclay or Évry), the largest stadium (the
France), and government offices (Ministry of
Transportation) are located in the city's suburbs.
Districts and historical centres
City of Paris
- Place de la Bastille (4th, 11th and 12th arrondissements, right bank) is
a district of great historical significance, not only for Paris,
but for France, too. Because of its symbolic value, the
square has often been a site of political demonstrations.
- Champs-Élysées (8th arrondissement, right bank) is a seventeenth
century garden-promenade-turned-avenue connecting the Concorde and
It is one of the many tourist attractions and a major shopping
street of Paris.
- Place de la Concorde (8th arrondissement, right bank) is at the foot of
the Champs-Élysées, built as the "Place Louis XV", site of the
infamous guillotine. The Egyptian obelisk 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. Nearby Place Vendôme is famous for its fashionable and deluxe hotels
Ritz and Hôtel de
Vendôme) and its jewellers. Many famous fashion
designers have had their salons in the square.
- Les Halles (1st arrondissement, right
bank) was formerly Paris' central meat and produce market, and,
since the late 1970s, a major shopping centre around an important
metro connection station (Châtelet-Les
Halles, the biggest in Europe). The past Les Halles was 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, in the southern suburbs.
Marais (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.
- Avenue Montaigne (8th arrondissement), next to the Champs-Élysées,
is home to luxury brand labels such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton
(LVMH), Dior and
- Montmartre (18th arrondissement, right bank) is a historic
area on the Butte, home to the Basilique du
Sacré-Cœur. Montmartre has always had a history with
artists and has many studios and cafés of many great artists in
- Montparnasse (14th arrondissement) is a historic Left Bank area
famous for artists' studios, music halls, and café life.
Montparnasse - Bienvenüe métro
station and the lone Tour Montparnasse skyscraper are located
- Avenue de l'Opéra (9th arrondissement, right bank) is the area around
Garnier and the location of the capital's densest
concentration of both department stores and offices.
examples are the Printemps and Galeries Lafayette grands magasins (department stores), and
the Paris headquarters of financial giants such as Crédit Lyonnais and American Express.
- Quartier Latin (5th and 6th arrondissements, left bank) is a
twelfth-century scholastic centre formerly stretching between the
Left Bank's Place Maubert and the Sorbonne campus. It is known for its lively
atmosphere and many bistros. Various
higher-education establishments, such as the École
Normale Supérieure, TELECOM ParisTech, and the Jussieu university campus, make it a major educational centre in
- Faubourg Saint-Honoré (8th arrondissement, right bank) is one of Paris'
high-fashion districts, home to labels such as Hermès and Christian
In the Paris area
- La Défense (straddling the communes of Courbevoie, Puteaux, and
Nanterre, west of the city proper) is a
key suburb of Paris and
is one of the largest business centres in the world.
the western end of a westward extension of Paris' historical axis
from the Champs-Élysées, La Défense consists mainly of business
high-rises. Initiated by the French government in 1958, the
district hosts of offices, making it the largest district in Europe
specifically developed for business. The Grande Arche (Great Arch) of la Défense, which houses a part of
the French Transports Minister's headquarters, ends the central
Esplanade, around which the district is organised.
Saint-Denis (straddling the communes of Saint-Denis, Aubervilliers, and Saint-Ouen, immediately north
of the 18th
arrondissement, across the Périphérique ring road)
is a former derelict manufacturing area that has undergone
large-scale urban renewal in the last 10 years.
hosts the Stade de
France, around which is being built the new business
district of LandyFrance, with two RER stations (on
RER line B and D) and
possibly some skyscrapers. In the Plaine Saint-Denis are
also located most of France's television studios as well as some major
- Val de Seine (straddling the 15th
arrondissement and the communes of Issy-les-Moulineaux and Boulogne-Billancourt to the south-west
of central Paris) is the new media hub of Paris and France, hosting
the headquarters of most of France's TV networks (TF1 in
Boulogne-Billancourt, France 2 in the 15th
arrondissement, Canal+ and the international
channels France 24 and Eurosport in Issy-les-Moulineaux), as well as
several telecommunication and IT companies such as Neuf Cegetel in Boulogne-Billancourt or
Microsoft's Europe, Africa & Middle
East regional headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux.
Monuments and landmarks
the most famous Parisian landmarks are the twelfth-century
cathedral Notre Dame
de Paris on the Île de la Cité, the Napoleonic
Triomphe and the
The Eiffel Tower was a "temporary"
construction by Gustave Eiffel
the 1889 Universal Exposition
the tower was never dismantled and is now an enduring symbol of
Paris. The Historical
axis 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 and
continues through the Tuileries Gardens, the Champs-Élysées, and the Arc de Triomphe, centred in the Place de l'Étoile circus. From the 1960s, the line was prolonged
even further west to the La Défense business district dominated by square-shaped
Arche of its own; this district hosts most of the
tallest skyscrapers in the Paris urban area.
Invalides museum is the burial place for many great French
soldiers, including Napoleon,
and the Panthéon church is where many of France's illustrious men
and women are buried. The former Conciergerie prison held some prominent Ancien Régime members before their
deaths during the French
Revolution. Another symbol of the Revolution are the two
Statues of Liberty
located on the Île des Cygnes on the Seine and in the Luxembourg
Garden. A larger version of the statues was sent as
a gift from France to America in 1886 and now stands in New York City's harbour. The Palais Garnier, built in the later Second Empire period, houses the Paris
Opera and the Paris Opera Ballet,
while the former palace of the Louvre now houses
one of the most renowned museums in the world. The Sorbonne is the most famous part of the University
of Paris 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
thirteenth-century Sainte-Chapelle palace chapel and the Église de la
Parks and gardens
Paris' oldest and famous gardens are the Tuileries
Garden, created in the 16th century for a palace on the
banks of the Seine near the
Louvre, and the
Left bank Luxembourg Garden, another former private garden belonging to a
château built for the Marie de'
Medici in 1612. The Jardin des Plantes, created by Louis XIII's
doctor Guy de La Brosse for the
cultivation of medicinal plants, was Paris' first public
A few of
Paris' other large gardens are Second Empire creations: The former
suburban parks of Montsouris, Parc des Buttes Chaumont, and Parc Monceau (formerly known as the "folie de Chartres") are
creations of Napoleon III's
Alphand. Another project executed under the orders of
Baron Haussmann was the re-sculpting
of Paris' western Bois de Boulogne forest-parklands; the Bois de Vincennes, on the city's opposite eastern end, received a
similar treatment in years following.
additions to Paris' park landscape are the Parc de la
Villette, built by the architect Bernard Tschumi on the location of Paris'
former slaughterhouses, the Parc André
Citroën, and gardens being laid to the periphery along the
traces of its former circular "Petite Ceinture" railway
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
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
arrondissement's place Denfert-Rochereau). After a tentative creation of several
smaller suburban cemeteries, Napoleon Bonaparte provided a more
definitive solution in the creation of three massive Parisian
cemeteries to the outside of the city tax wall named Wall of the Farmers-General
; Open from 1804, these were the cemeteries of Père
Lachaise, Montmartre, Montparnasse, and later Passy.
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
, the Cimetière Parisien de
the Cimetière Parisien d'Ivry
, and the
Cimetière Parisien de Bagneux.
Entertainment and performing arts
largest opera houses are the
nineteenth-century Opéra Garnier (historical Paris Opéra) and modern
Bastille; 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 active
two other competing opera houses: Opéra-Comique (which still exists to this day) and Théâtre
Lyrique (which in modern times changed its profile and name
de la Ville).
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, Théâtre
Mogador, and the Théâtre de la
Some Parisian theatres have also doubled as
concert halls. Many of France's greatest musical legends,
such as Édith Piaf, Maurice Chevalier, Georges Brassens, and Charles Aznavour, found their fame in
Parisian concert halls: Legendary yet still-showing examples of
these are Le
Lido, Bobino, l'Olympia, la Cigale, and le Splendid.
, 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 quarter and a "parc-omnisports" stadium in
Bercy serve as large-scale rock concert
Several yearly festivals take place in Paris, such as Rock en Seine
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
, François Truffaut
, Jean-Luc Godard
, Claude Chabrol
, and Luc
, and the more slapstick/popular genre with director
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: on 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 from the 1930s. Later, most of the
largest cinemas were divided into multiple, smaller rooms: Paris'
largest cinema today is by far le Grand Rex 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
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 an 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
, especially Paris' late-19th-century
(World's Fairs). Of the most luxurious of these, the Hôtel
Ritz, appeared in the Place Vendôme from 1898, and the Hôtel de Crillon opened its doors on the north side of the place de la
Concorde from 1909.
Paris from the eleventh century was a popular destination for
traders, students and religious pilgrimages, but its 'tourist
industry' began on a large scale only with the 19th-century
appearance of rail travel, namely from the state's organisation of
France's rail network, with Paris at its centre, from 1848.
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 from 1889.
These, in addition to the
capital's Second Empire
embellishments, did much to make the city itself the attraction it
Paris' 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, 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: Its Notre Dame de Paris and the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur receive 12 million and eight million
visitors, respectively. The Eiffel Tower, by far Paris' most famous monument, averages over
six million visitors per year and more than 200 million
since its construction. Disneyland Resort Paris is a major tourist attraction not only for
visitors to Paris but for visitors to the rest of Europe as well,
with 14.5 million visitors in 2007.
The Louvre is one of the largest and most famous museums, housing
many works of art, including the Mona
) and the Venus de Milo
statue. Works by Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin are found in Musée
Picasso and Musée Rodin, respectively, while the artistic community of
chronicled at the Musée du Montparnasse. Starkly apparent with its service-pipe
exterior, the Centre Georges Pompidou, also known as Beaubourg, houses the
d'Art Moderne. Art and artifacts from the Middle Ages and Impressionist eras are kept in Musée
Cluny and Musée d'Orsay, respectively, the former with the prized
tapestry cycle The Lady and the
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, the Moulin Rouge cabaret-dancehall, for example, are 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.
Paris' most popular sport clubs are the football
club Paris Saint-Germain FC
, the basketball
team Paris Basket Racing
, and the rugby union
club Stade Français
. The 80,000-seat
France, built for the 1998
FIFA World Cup, is located in Saint-Denis.
It is used for football,
rugby union and track and field athletics. It hosts annually
French national rugby
's home matches of the Six Nations Championship
, French national football team
for friendlies and major tournaments qualifiers, and several
important matches of the Stade Français rugby team.
In addition to Paris
, the city has a number of other amateur
football clubs: Paris FC
, Red Star
. The last is the football section of the
omnisport club of the same name, most notable for its rugby
The city's major rugby side is Stade
. Racing Métro 92
(who also plays in Top 14
another rugby team, which actually contested the first ever final
against Stade Français in 1892. Paris also hosted the 1900
Olympic Games and was venue for
and 1998 FIFA World Cups
Although the starting point and the route of the famous Tour de France
varies each year, the final
stage always finishes in Paris, and, since 1975, the race has
finished on the Champs-Elysées. Tennis
another popular sport in Paris and throughout France. The French
Open, held every year on the red clay of the
Garros National Tennis Centre near the Bois de
Boulogne, is one of the four Grand Slam events of the world
professional tennis tour. The 2006 UEFA Champions League
Final between Arsenal and FC Barcelona was played in the Stade de
Paris hosted the 2007 Rugby World Cup
final at Stade de
France on 20 October 2007.
With a 2007 GDP
533.6 billion (US$731.3 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
in 2007, its GDP accounted for 28.7% of metropolitan
France's GDP. Activity in the Paris
, 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
, IT services, etc.) and high-tech
manufacturing (electronics, optics, aerospace, etc).
region's most intense economic activity through the central
Hauts-de-Seine département and suburban La
Défense business district places Paris' economic centre to
the west of the city, in a triangle between the Opéra
Défense, and the Val de Seine.
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
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
The 1999 census indicated that, of the 5,089,170 persons employed
in the Paris urban area
worked in business services, 13.0% in commerce (retail and
wholesale trade), 12.3% in manufacturing, 10.0% in public administrations
, 8.7% in 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
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 and tourist related services employ
6.2% of Paris' workforce, and 3.6% of all workers within the
the Paris "immigrant ghettos
" ranges from
20 to 40%, according to varying sources.
The population of the city of Paris was 2,125,246 at the 1999
, 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, high rent,
of many inner
quarters, the transformation of living space into offices, and
improved 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.
Paris is one of the most densely populated cities in the world
. Its density, excluding the outlying woodland
parks of Boulogne and Vincennes, was 24,448 inhabitants per square kilometre
(63,320/sq mi) in the 1999 official census, which could be compared
only with some Asian megapolis.
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
, and Saint-Mandé
, all of which border the city
proper. The most sparsely populated quarters are the western and
central office and administration-focussed arrondissements
. The city's population
is densest in the northern and eastern arrondissements; the
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.
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
area) statistical area, covers , or an area about 26 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 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
, save brief
setbacks during the French
and World War II
development has accelerated in recent years: With an estimated
total of 11.4 million inhabitants for 2005, the Île-de-France région shows a
rate of growth double that of the 1990s.
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 the 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
. At the same census,
4.2% of the Paris aire urbaine'
s population were recent
immigrants (people who had immigrated to France between 1990 and
1999), in their majority from Asia
. 37% of all immigrants in France live in the
The first wave of international migration to Paris started as early
as in 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
in the Ottoman
Empire; colonial citizens during World War
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. Today around 375,000
Jews live in Paris.
Paris, its administrative limits unchanged since 1860, is one of
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
Capital of France
As the capital, 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.
President of France resides at
Palace in the 8th arrondissement, while the Prime Minister's seat is at the
Matignon 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
. 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
Bourbon 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, the highest
court in the judicial order, which reviews criminal and civil
cases, is located in the Palais de Justice on the Île de la Cité, 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 in the 1st arrondissement.
Council, an advisory body with ultimate authority on the
constitutionality of laws and government decrees, also meets in the
Arrondissements of Paris.
Paris has been a commune
(municipality) since 1834 (and also briefly between 1790 and 1795).
At the 1790 division (during the French Revolution
) 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
city still has today. These municipal subdivisions describe a
clockwise spiral outward from its most central, the 1st
Paris became the préfecture
(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 département's position in
France's alphabetical list), while three new départements
of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne were created and given the numbers 92, 93, and 94,
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.
Each of Paris' 20 arrondissements has a directly elected council
), which, in turn, elects an
arrondissement mayor. A selection of members from each
arrondissement council form the Council
(conseil de Paris
), which, in turn, elects
the mayor of Paris
times, Paris was governed by a
merchant-elected municipality whose head was the provost of the merchants
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
from the thirteenth
century diminished the merchant Provost's responsibilities and
powers considerably. A direct representative of the king, in a role
resembling somewhat the préfet
of later years, the Provost
) 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
. Many functions from both
provost offices were transferred to the office of the
lieutenant general of police
upon its creation in 1667.
centuries, the prévôt and magistrates of the Châtelet
clashed with the administrators of the Hôtel de
Ville over jurisdiction; the latter notably included the
quartiniers, each of whom was responsible for one of the
sixteen quartiers (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
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 eighteenth 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
was assassinated the afternoon of the 14th of
July 1789 uprising that was the French
Revolution Storming of the
. 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
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
the municipal council was recreated in 1834, for most of the 19th
and 20th centuries Paris, along with the larger Seine département of which it was
a centre, was under the direct control of the state-appointed
préfet of the Seine, in charge
of general affairs there; the state-appointed Prefect of
Police was in charge of police in the same
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
, Paris has a single council to govern both;
the Council of Paris, presided by the mayor of Paris, meets either
as a municipal council (conseil municipal
) or as 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 (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
Capital of the Île-de-France région
of a 1961 nation-wide administrative effort to consolidate regional
economies, Paris as a département became the
capital of the new région
of the District of Paris, renamed the Île-de-France région in 1976.
encompasses the Paris département
and its seven closest
. Its regional council members, since 1986,
have been chosen by direct elections. The prefect of the Paris
(who served as the prefect of the Seine
before 1968) is also prefect of the
, although the office lost much of its
power following the creation of the office of mayor of Paris in
Few of the above changes have taken into account Paris' existence
as an agglomeration
. Unlike in most of
France's major urban areas such as Lille and
Lyon, 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
) to the right-wing idea of a more integrated
In the early ninth century, the emperor Charlemagne
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
, and theology
; 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 Notre-Dame 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
University that would become the centre of Paris' scholastic
Quarter best represented by the Sorbonne university.
centuries later, education in Paris and the Paris region (Île-de-France 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
Primary and secondary education
home to several of France's most prestigious high-schools such as
Louis-le-Grand, and Lycée Henri-IV. Other high-schools of international renown
in the Paris area include the Lycée International de Saint
Germain-en-Laye and the École Active Bilingue
As of the academic year 2004-2005, the Paris Region's 17 public
universities, with its 359,749 registered students, is the largest
concentration of university students in Europe. The Paris Region's
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.
cathedral of Notre-Dame was the first centre of higher-education before the
creation of the University of Paris.
was chartered by
King Philip Augustus
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
coming from afar. Already famous by the 13th
century, the University of Paris had students from all of Europe.
Rive Gauche scholastic centre, dubbed "Latin
Quarter" as classes were taught in Latin then, would
eventually regroup around the college created by Robert de Sorbon from 1257, the Collège
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,
II, V, and X, inherited the Law School; Paris V inherited the
School of Medicine as well; Paris VI and VII inherited the
scientific departments; etc.
four more universities were created in the suburbs of Paris,
reaching a total of seventeen public universities for the Paris
(Île-de-France) 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:
Cergy-Pontoise, University of Évry Val
d'Essonne, University of
Marne-la-Vallée, and University of
Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. Other institutions
include the University of Westminster's Centre
for International Studies, the American
University of Paris, the
Editing American Graduate School of International Relations and
Diplomacy, and the American Business School of
There is also a University of London
Institute in Paris
(ULIP) which offers undergraduate and
postgraduate degrees in French Studies ratified by the University
The Paris region hosts France's highest concentration of the
, which are specialised centres of higher-education
outside the public university structure. The prestigious public
universities are usually considered grands établissements
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 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), which comprises
several colleges such as École Polytechnique, École des Mines, Télécom Paris, Arts
et Métiers, and École des Ponts et
Chaussées. There are also many business schools,
including , HEC, ESSEC, INSEAD, and ESCP-EAP European School of
Management. Although the elite administrative school
ENA has been relocated to Strasbourg, the political science school Sciences-Po is still located in Paris' Left bank 7th arrondissement.
The grandes écoles
system is supported by a number of
preparatory schools that offer courses of two to three years'
duration called Classes
, also known as classes prépas
. These courses provide entry to the grandes écoles.
the best prépas are located in Paris, including Lycée
Louis-le-Grand, Lycée Henri-IV, Lycée Saint-Louis, Lycée Janson de Sailly, and Lycée Stanislas. Two other top-ranking prépas
Hoche and Lycée privé
Sainte-Geneviève) are located in Versailles, near Paris.
is based on school grades and teacher remarks. Prépas
attract most of the best students in France and are known to be
very demanding in terms of work load and psychological
Bibliothèque nationale de
France (BnF) operates libraries in Paris.
Paris libraries include 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. A incarnation existed in the 1850s.
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
members of this syndicate are the Ile-de-France region and the eight departments of this
region. The syndicate coordinates public transport
and contracts it out to the RATP (operating 654
bus lines, the Métro, three tramway lines, and sections of the
RER), the SNCF (operating suburban rails, a tramway line and the other
sections of the RER) and the Optile
consortium of private operators managing 1,070 minor bus
is Paris' most important
transportation system. The system, with 300 stations (384 stops)
connected by 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
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, has been
created since the 1960s to connect more-distant parts of the urban
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 of rails.
addition, Paris is served by a light rail network of four lines,
the tramway: Line T1 runs from
Saint-Denis to Noisy-le-Sec, line T2 runs from La
Défense to Issy, line T3
runs from Pont de Garigliano to Porte d'Ivry, line T4 runs from
Bondy to Aulnay-sous-Bois.
Six new light rail
lines are currently in various stages of development.Paris also
offers a bike sharing
system called Vélib'
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
trips. The new ferry service
has been 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 Montparnasse, Gare
de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare d'Austerlitz, and Gare Saint-Lazare, are connected to three networks: The TGV serving four High-speed
rail lines, the normal speed Corail trains, and the suburban rails
(Transilien).Paris is served by
two major airports: Orly Airport, which is south of Paris, and the Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Airport, near Roissy-en-France, which is one of the busiest in the world and is
the hub for the unofficial Flag carrier
Air France. A third and much
smaller airport, Beauvais Tillé Airport, located in the town of Beauvais, to the north of the city, is used by charter and
low-cost airlines. The fourth airport, Le
Bourget nowadays only hosts 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
, which follows
the approximate path of 19th-century fortifications around Paris,
motorway in the inner suburbs,
and finally the Francilienne
in the outer suburbs. Paris has an extensive road network with over
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 25 departures/day), Amsterdam in 4 hours and 13 minutes (up to 8
departures/day), Cologne in 3hours and 51 minutes (6
departures/day), and Marseille, Bordeaux, and other cities in
southern France in three hours.
Water and sanitation
its early history had only the Seine and Bièvre rivers for water.
Later forms of irrigation
were a first-century Roman aqueduct from southerly Wissous (later
left to ruin); sources from the Right bank hills from the late 11th
century; from the fifteenth century, an aqueduct
built roughly along the path of the
abandoned Wissous aqueduct; and, from 1809, the canal de l'Ourcq
, providing Paris with
water from less-polluted rivers to the northeast of the capital
. 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
, under Napoleon III
's Préfet Haussmann
oversaw the construction of a series of new aqueducts that brought
sources 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 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
and the civil engineer Eugène Belgrand
to improve the
then-very unsanitary conditions in the Capital. Maintained by a
service since their
construction, only a small percentage of Paris' sewer
has needed complete renovation. The entire Paris
network of sewers and collectors has been managed since the late
20th century by a computerised network system, known under the
acronym "G.A.AS.PAR", that controls all of Paris' water
distribution, even the flow of the river Seine through the
Health care and emergency medical service in the city of Paris and
its suburbs are provided by the Assistance publique
- Hôpitaux de Paris (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.
Paris has one sister city
- Rome, Italy, since 1956 (Seule Paris est digne de Rome;
seule Rome est digne de Paris / Solo Parigi è degna di
Roma; Solo Roma è degna di Parigi / "Only Paris is worthy of
Rome; Only Rome is worthy of Paris").
- Algiers, Algeria, since 2003.
- Amman, Jordan, since 1987.
- Athens, Greece, since 2000.
- Beijing, China, since 1997.
- Beirut, Lebanon, since 1992.
- Berlin, Germany, since 1987.
- Buenos Aires, Argentina, since 1999.
- Cairo, Egypt, since 1985.
- Casablanca, Morocco, since 2004.
- Chicago, United
States, since 1996.
- Copenhagen, Denmark, since 2005.
- Geneva, Switzerland, since 2002.
- Jakarta, Indonesia, since 1995.
- Kyoto, Japan, since 1958.
- Lisbon, Portugal, since 1998.
- London, United Kingdom, since 2001.
- Madrid, Spain, since 2000.
- Mexico City, Mexico, since 1999.
- Montreal, Canada, since 2006.
- Moscow, Russia, since 1992.
- Porto Alegre, Brazil, since 2001.
- Prague, Czech
Republic, since 1997.
- Quebec City, Canada, since 2003.
- Rabat, Morocco, since 2004.
- Riyadh, Saudi
Arabia, since 1997.
- Saint Petersburg, Russia, since 1997.
- San‘a’, Yemen, since 1987.
- San Francisco, United States, since 1996.
- Santiago, Chile, since 1997.
- São Paulo, Brazil, since 2004.
- Seoul, South
Korea, since 1991.
- Sofia, Bulgaria, since 1998.
- Sydney, Australia, since
- Tbilisi, Georgia, since 1997.
- Tirana, Albania.
- Tokyo, Japan, since 1982.
- Tunis, Tunisia, since 2004.
- Warsaw, Poland, since 1999.
- Washington, D.C., United States, since 2000.
- Yerevan, Armenia, since 1998.