Paris

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Paris
Le LouvreChamps de MarsEiffel TowerArc de Triomphe de l'ÉtoileLa DéfensePalais de JusticeTribunal de CommerceSainte-ChapelleNotre Dame CathedralInstitut de FrancePont NeufPont des ArtsÎle de la CitéSeineParis montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article.
About this image

Clockwise: Pyramid of the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Looking towards La Défense, Skyline of Paris on the Seine river with the Pont des Arts bridge, and the Eiffel Tower - clickable image

Flag

Coat of arms
Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur
(Latin: "It is tossed by the waves, but does not sink")
Paris is located in France
Paris
Coordinates: 48°51′24″N 2°21′03″E / 48.8567°N 2.3508°E / 48.8567; 2.3508Coordinates: 48°51′24″N 2°21′03″E / 48.8567°N 2.3508°E / 48.8567; 2.3508
CountryFrance
RegionÎle-de-France
DepartmentParis
Subdivisions20 arrondissements
Government
 • Mayor (2008–14)Bertrand Delanoë (PS)
Area[1]
 • Urban (2010)2,844.8 km2 (1,098.4 sq mi)
 • Metro (2010)17,174.4 km2 (6,631.1 sq mi)
 • Land1105.4 km2 (40.7 sq mi)
Population (2010)[5]
 • Rank1st in France
 • Urban (Jan. 2009)10,413,386[2]
 • Metro (Jan. 2009)12,161,542[3][4]
 • Population22,243,833
 • Population2 Density21,000/km2 (55,000/sq mi)
Time zoneCET (UTC +1)
INSEE/Postal code75056 / 75001-75020, 75116
Websitewww.paris.fr

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
 
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Paris
Le LouvreChamps de MarsEiffel TowerArc de Triomphe de l'ÉtoileLa DéfensePalais de JusticeTribunal de CommerceSainte-ChapelleNotre Dame CathedralInstitut de FrancePont NeufPont des ArtsÎle de la CitéSeineParis montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article.
About this image

Clockwise: Pyramid of the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Looking towards La Défense, Skyline of Paris on the Seine river with the Pont des Arts bridge, and the Eiffel Tower - clickable image

Flag

Coat of arms
Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur
(Latin: "It is tossed by the waves, but does not sink")
Paris is located in France
Paris
Coordinates: 48°51′24″N 2°21′03″E / 48.8567°N 2.3508°E / 48.8567; 2.3508Coordinates: 48°51′24″N 2°21′03″E / 48.8567°N 2.3508°E / 48.8567; 2.3508
CountryFrance
RegionÎle-de-France
DepartmentParis
Subdivisions20 arrondissements
Government
 • Mayor (2008–14)Bertrand Delanoë (PS)
Area[1]
 • Urban (2010)2,844.8 km2 (1,098.4 sq mi)
 • Metro (2010)17,174.4 km2 (6,631.1 sq mi)
 • Land1105.4 km2 (40.7 sq mi)
Population (2010)[5]
 • Rank1st in France
 • Urban (Jan. 2009)10,413,386[2]
 • Metro (Jan. 2009)12,161,542[3][4]
 • Population22,243,833
 • Population2 Density21,000/km2 (55,000/sq mi)
Time zoneCET (UTC +1)
INSEE/Postal code75056 / 75001-75020, 75116
Websitewww.paris.fr

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/, Listeni/ˈpɛrɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( )) is the capital and most populous city of France. It is situated on the River Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), the city had 2,234,105 inhabitants in 2009 while its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe with more than 12 million inhabitants.

An important settlement for more than two millennia, by the late 12th century Paris had become a walled cathedral city that was one of Europe's foremost centres of learning and the arts and the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris was the focal point for many important political events throughout its history, including the French Revolution. Today it is one of the world's leading business and cultural centres, and its influence in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, fashion and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major cities. The city has one of the largest GDPs in the world, €607 billion (US$845 billion) as of 2011, and as a result of its high concentration of national and international political, cultural and scientific institutions is one of the world's leading tourist destinations. The Paris Region hosts the world headquarters of 30 of the Fortune Global 500 companies[6] in several business districts, notably La Défense, the largest dedicated business district in Europe.[7]

Centuries of cultural and political development have brought Paris a variety of museums, theatres, monuments and architectural styles. Many of its masterpieces such as the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe are iconic buildings, especially its internationally recognized symbol, the Eiffel Tower. Long regarded as an international centre for the arts, works by history's most famous painters can be found in the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay and its many other museums and galleries. Paris is a global hub of fashion and has been referred to as the "international capital of style", noted for its haute couture tailoring, its high-end boutiques, and the twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week. It is world renowned for its haute cuisine, attracting many of the world's leading chefs. Many of France's most prestigious universities and Grandes Écoles are in Paris or its suburbs, and France's major newspapers Le Monde, Le Figaro, Libération are based in the city, and Le Parisien in Saint-Ouen near Paris.

Paris is home to the association football club Paris Saint-Germain FC and the rugby union club Stade Français. The 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located in Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris played host to the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympics, the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cup, and the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The city is a major rail, highway, and air-transport hub, served by the two international airports Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 9 million passengers daily. Paris is the hub of the national road network, and is surrounded by three orbital roads: the Périphérique, the A86 motorway, and the Francilienne motorway in the outer suburbs.

Toponyms

See Wiktionary for the name of Paris in various languages other than English and French.

The name "Paris" is derived from that of its earliest inhabitants, the Gaulish tribe known as the Parisii. The city was called Lutetia (more fully, Lutetia Parisiorum, "Lutetia of the Parisii"), during the Roman era of the 1st to the 4th century AD, but during the reign of Julian the Apostate (360–3), the city was renamed Paris.[8] It is believed that the name of the Parisii tribe comes from the Celtic Gallic word parisio, meaning "the working people" or "the craftsmen".[9]

Paris has many nicknames, like "The City of Love", but its most famous is "La Ville-Lumière" ("The City of Light"),[10] a name it owes first to its fame as a centre of education and ideas during the Age of Enlightenment. The sobriquet's "light" took on a more literal sense when Paris became one of the first European cities to adopt gas street lighting: the Passage des Panoramas was Paris' first gas-lit throughfare from 1817.[11]

Since the mid-19th century, Paris has been known as Paname ([panam]) in the Parisian slang called argot (Ltspkr.pngMoi j'suis d'Paname, i.e. "I'm from Paname").[12] The singer Renaud repopularised the term among the younger generation with his 1976 album Amoureux de Paname ("In love with Paname").[13]

Inhabitants are known in English as "Parisians" and in French as Parisiens ([paʁizjɛ̃] ( )) and Parisiennes. Parisians were often pejoratively called Parigots ([paʁiɡo] ( )) and Parigotes, a term first used in 1900 by those living outside the Paris region.[14]

History

The frigidarium of the Gallo-Roman baths Thermes de Cluny

Origins

The earliest archaeological signs of permanent settlements in the Paris area date from around 4500–4200 BC,[15] with some of the oldest evidence of canoe-use by hunter-gatherer peoples being uncovered in Bercy in 1991[16] (The remains of three canoes can be seen at the Carnavalet Museum[17] · [18]). The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the area near the river Seine from around 250 BC,[19][20] building a trading settlement on the island, later the Île de la Cité, the easiest place to cross.[21] The Romans conquered the Paris basin around 52 BC,[15] 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, or Lutetia Parisorum but later Gallicised to Lutèce.[22] It expanded greatly over the following centuries, becoming a prosperous city with a forum, palaces, baths, temples, theatres, and an amphitheatre.[23]

The collapse of the Roman empire, along with the Germanic invasions of the 5th-century, sent the city into a period of decline. By 400 AD, Lutèce was largely abandoned by its inhabitants, little more than a garrison town entrenched into a hastily fortified central island.[15] The city reclaimed its original appellation of "Paris" towards the end of the Roman occupation, around 360 AD, when Julian the Apostate, Prefect of the Gauls, was proclaimed emperor.[24] The proclamation was made on the Île de la Cité. Julian remained based there for three years, making Paris the de facto capital of the Western Empire.[25]

Merovingian and Feudal eras

Clovis I, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty

The Paris region was under full control of the Salian Franks by the late 5th century. The Frankish king Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508 and was responsible for converting the city back to Christianity.[26] The late 8th century Carolingian dynasty displaced the Frankish capital to Aachen; this period coincided with the beginning of Viking invasions that had spread as far as Paris by the early 9th century.[26]

One of the most remarkable Viking raids was on 28 March 845, when Paris was invaded by some 200 Norse ships along the Seine and sacked and held ransom,[27] probably by Ragnar Lodbrok, who left only after receiving a large bounty paid by the crown. Repeated invasions forced Eudes, Count of Paris, to build a fortress on the Île de la Cité in 885 AD. However, the city soon suffered a siege lasting almost a year, eventually relieved by the Carolingian king, Charles "The Fat", who instead of attacking allowed the besiegers to sail up the Seine and lay waste to Burgundy.[26] Eudes then took the crown for himself, plunging the French crown into dynastic turmoil lasting over a century until 987 AD when Hugh Capet, count of Paris, was elected king of France. Paris, under the Capetian kings, became a capital once more, and his coronation was seen by many historians as the moment marking the birth of modern France.[26]

Middle Ages to 18th century

The Château de Vincennes, built between the 14th and 17th centuries

Paris became prosperous and by the end of the 11th century, scholars, teachers and monks flocked to the city to engage in intellectual exchanges, to teach and be taught; Philippe-Auguste founded the University of Paris in 1200.[26] The guilds gradually became more powerful and were instrumental in inciting the first revolt after the king was captured by the English in 1356.[28] Paris' population was around 200,000[29] when the Black Death arrived in 1348, killing as many as 800 people a day; 40,000 died from the plague in 1466.[30] During the 16th and 17th centuries, plague visited the city for almost one year out of three.[31] Paris lost its position as seat of the French realm during the occupation by the English-allied Burgundians during the Hundred Years' War, but when Charles VII of France reclaimed the city from English rule in 1436, Paris became France's capital once again in title, although the real centre of power remained in the Loire Valley[32] until King Francis I returned France's crown residences to Paris in 1528.

During the French Wars of Religion, 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 Henri of Navarre—the future Henri IV—to Margaret of Valois, sister of Charles IX, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre occurred; beginning on 24 August, it lasted several days and spread throughout the country.[33][34]

In 1590 Henri IV unsuccessfully laid siege to the city in the Siege of Paris, but, threatened with usurpation from Philip II of Spain, he converted to Catholicism in 1594, and the city welcomed him as king.[28] The Bourbons, Henri's family, spent vast amounts of money keeping the city under control, building the Ile St-Louis as well as bridges and other infrastructure.[28] But unhappy with their lack of political representation, in 1648 Parisians rose in a rebellion known as the Fronde and the royal family fled the city. Louis XIV later moved the royal court permanently to Versailles, a lavish estate on the outskirts of Paris,[28] in 1682. The following century was an "Age of Enlightenment"; Paris' reputation grew on the writings of its intellectuals such as the philosopher Voltaire and Diderot, the first volume of whose Encyclopédie was published in Paris in 1751.[35]

French Revolution

Left: Storming of the Bastille, by Jean-Pierre Houël (1789); right: Map of Paris and its vicinity c. 1735.

At the end of the century, Paris was the centre stage for the French Revolution; a bad harvest in 1788 caused food prices to rocket and by the following year the sovereign debt had reached an unprecedented level.[36] On 14 July 1789, Parisians, appalled by the king's pressure on the new assembly formed by the Third Estate, took siege of the Bastille fortress, a symbol of absolutism,[37] starting revolution and rejecting the divine right of monarchs in France. Jean-Sylvain Bailly, the first Mayor, was elected on 15 July 1789,[38] and two days later the national tricolour flag with the colours of Paris (blue and red) and of the King (white) was adopted at the Hôtel de Ville by Louis XVI.[39]

The Republic was declared for the first time in 1792. In 1793, Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were executed on the Place de la Révolution, in Paris, the site of many executions. The guillotine was most active during the "Reign of Terror", in the summer of 1794, when in a single month more than 1,300 people were executed. Following the Terror, the French Directory held control until it was overthrown in a coup d'état by Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon put an end to the revolution and established the French Consulate, and then later was elected by plebiscite[40] as emperor of the First French Empire.[41]

19th century

Paris was occupied by Russian and Allied armies upon Napoleon's defeat on 31 March 1814; this was the first time in 400 years that the city had been conquered by a foreign power.[42] The ensuing Restoration period, or the return of the monarchy under Louis XVIII (1814–24) and Charles X, ended with the July Revolution Parisian uprising of 1830.[43] The new constitutional monarchy under Louis-Philippe ended with the 1848 "February Revolution" that led to the creation of the Second Republic.[44] Cholera epidemics in 1832 and 1850 ravaged the population of Paris: the 1832 epidemic alone claimed 20,000 of the population of 650,000.[45]

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 Empire under Napoleon III; his préfet, Baron Haussmann, levelled entire districts 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 motivation for this transformation was twofold: to create wide boulevards that beautified and sanitised the capital and to increase the effectiveness of troops and artillery against any further uprisings and barricades, for which Paris was so famous.[46]

Drilling (opening/alignment/widening) of numerous streets under the Second Empire and the Third Republic

The Second Empire ended in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), 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 government. It was supported by an army created in large part of members of the city's former National Guard, which continued to resist the Prussians and opposed the army of the "Versaillais" government.[47] 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.[48] The ease with which the Versaillais army gained control of Paris owed much to Baron Haussmann's renovations.[49]

France's late 19th-century Universal Expositions made Paris an increasingly important centre of technology, trade, and tourism.[50] The most famous were the 1889 Exposition universelle to which Paris owes its "temporary" display of architectural engineering progress,[51] the Eiffel Tower, which remained the world's tallest structure until 1930,[52] and the 1900 Universal Exposition, which saw the opening of the first Paris Métro line.[53]

20th century

During the First World War 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 1914, within earshot of the city.[54] In 1918–19 it was the scene of Allied victory parades and peace negotiations. In the inter-war period, Paris was famed for its cultural and artistic communities and its nightlife. The city became a gathering place of artists from around the world, including the exiled Russian composer Stravinsky, Spanish painters Picasso and Dalí, and American writer Hemingway.[55]

The Liberation of Paris, August 1944

On 14 June 1940, five weeks after the start of the Battle of France, an undefended Paris fell to German occupation forces.[56] The Germans marched past the Arc de Triomphe on the 140th anniversary of Napoleon's victory at the Battle of Marengo.[57] German forces remained in Paris until the city was liberated in August 1944 after a resistance uprising, two and a half months after the Normandy invasion.[58] Central Paris emerged from the Second World War practically unscathed, as there were no strategic targets for Allied bombers (railway stations in central Paris are terminal stations; major factories were located in the suburbs), and despite orders to destroy the city and all historic monuments the German commander Dietrich von Choltitz refused, gaining the popular title "Saviour of Paris" for his defiance of the Führer.[59] The historical event is dramatized in the 1966 motion picture Is Paris Burning?.

In the post-war era, Paris experienced its largest development since the end of the Belle Époque in 1914. The suburbs began to expand considerably, with the construction of large social estates known as cités and the beginning of La Défense, the business district. A comprehensive express subway network, the RER, was built to complement the Métro and serve the distant suburbs. A network of roads was developed in the suburbs centred on the Périphérique expressway encircling the city, which was completed in 1973.[60]

Since the 1970s, many inner suburbs of Paris (especially those in the north and east) have experienced deindustrialisation, and the once-thriving cités have gradually become ghettos for immigrants and experienced significant 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 the highest in France and among the highest in Europe.[61][62] The resulting widening social gap between these two areas has led to periodic unrest since the mid-1980s such as the 2005 riots, which were concentrated for the most part in the north-eastern suburbs.[63]

21st century

Provisional map of the future Grand Paris metro

A massive urban renewal project, the Grand Paris, was launched in 2007 by President Nicolas Sarkozy. It consists of various economic, cultural, housing, transport and environmental projects to reach a better integration of the territories and revitalise the metropolitan economy. The most emblematic project is the €26.5 billion construction by 2030 of a new automatic metro, which will consist of 200 kilometres (120 mi) of rapid-transit lines connecting the Grand Paris regions to one another and to the centre of Paris.[64] Nevertheless, the Paris metropolitan area is still divided into numerous territorial collectivities;[65] an ad-hoc structure, Paris Métropole, was established in June 2009 to coordinate the action of 184 "Parisian" territorial collectivities.[66]

Geography

Map showing location in relation to London and Calais

Paris is located in northern central France. By road it is 450 kilometres (280 mi) south-east of London, 287 kilometres (178 mi) south of Calais, 305 kilometres (190 mi) south-west of Brussels, 774 kilometres (481 mi) north of Marseilles, 385 kilometres (239 mi) north-east of Nantes, and 135 kilometres (84 mi) south-east of Rouen.[67] Paris is located in the north-bending arc of the river Seine, spread widely on both banks of the river, and includes two inhabited islands, the Île Saint-Louis and the larger Île de la Cité, which forms the oldest part of the city. The river’s mouth on the English Channel (La Manche) is about 233 mi (375 km) downstream of the city. Overall, the city is relatively flat, and the lowest point is 35 m (115 ft) above sea level. Paris has several prominent hills, of which the highest is Montmartre at 130 m (427 ft) .[68] Montmartre gained its name from the martyrdom of Saint Denis, first bishop of Paris atop the "Mons Martyrum" (Martyr's mound) in 250.

Excluding the outlying parks of Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes, Paris occupies an oval measuring about 87 km2 (34 sq mi) in area, enclosed by the 35 km (22 mi) ring road, the Boulevard Périphérique.[69] 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 (municipal boroughs). From the 1860 area of 78 km2 (30 sq mi), the city limits were expanded marginally to 86.9 km2 (33.6 sq mi) 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 about 105 km2 (41 sq mi).[70] The metropolitan area of the city is 2,300 km2 (890 sq mi).[71]

Climate

Paris as seen from the Spot Satellite..

Paris has a typical Western European oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfb ) which is affected by the North Atlantic Current. The overall climate throughout the year is mild and moderately wet.[72] Summer days are usually moderately warm and pleasant with average temperatures hovering between 15 and 25 °C (59 and 77 °F), and a fair amount of sunshine.[73] Each year, however, there are a few days where the temperature rises above 30 °C (86 °F). Some years have even witnessed some long periods of harsh summer weather, such as the heat wave of 2003 where temperatures exceeded 30 °C (86 °F) for weeks, surged up to 39 °C (102 °F) on some days and seldom cooled down at night.[74] More recently, the average temperature for July 2011 was 17.6 °C (63.7 °F), with an average minimum temperature of 12.9 °C (55.2 °F) and an average maximum temperature of 23.7 °C (74.7 °F).

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.[75] In winter, sunshine is scarce; days are cold but generally above freezing with temperatures around 7 °C (45 °F).[76] Light night frosts are however quite common, but the temperature will dip below −5 °C (23 °F) for only a few days a year. Snowfall is uncommon, but the city sometimes sees light snow or flurries with or without accumulation.[77]

Rain falls throughout the year. 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 (104.7 °F) on July 28, 1948, and the lowest is a −23.9 °C (−11.0 °F) on December 10, 1879.[78]

Climate data for Paris (1981–2010)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)16.1
(61)
21.4
(70.5)
25.7
(78.3)
30.2
(86.4)
34.8
(94.6)
37.6
(99.7)
40.4
(104.7)
39.5
(103.1)
36.2
(97.2)
28.4
(83.1)
21
(70)
17.1
(62.8)
40.4
(104.7)
Average high °C (°F)6.9
(44.4)
8.2
(46.8)
11.8
(53.2)
14.7
(58.5)
19.0
(66.2)
22.7
(72.9)
25.2
(77.4)
25.0
(77)
20.8
(69.4)
15.8
(60.4)
10.4
(50.7)
7.8
(46)
15.5
(59.9)
Average low °C (°F)2.5
(36.5)
2.8
(37)
5.1
(41.2)
6.8
(44.2)
10.5
(50.9)
13.3
(55.9)
15.5
(59.9)
15.4
(59.7)
12.5
(54.5)
9.2
(48.6)
5.3
(41.5)
3.6
(38.5)
8.5
(47.3)
Record low °C (°F)−14.6
(5.7)
−14.7
(5.5)
−9.1
(15.6)
−3.5
(25.7)
−0.1
(31.8)
3.1
(37.6)
6
(43)
6.3
(43.3)
1.8
(35.2)
−3.1
(26.4)
−14
(7)
−23.9
(−11)
−23.9
(−11)
Precipitation mm (inches)53.7
(2.114)
43.7
(1.72)
48.5
(1.909)
53
(2.09)
65
(2.56)
54.6
(2.15)
63.1
(2.484)
43
(1.69)
54.7
(2.154)
59.7
(2.35)
51.9
(2.043)
58.7
(2.311)
649.6
(25.575)
Avg. precipitation days10.29.310.49.410.38.686.98.59.59.710.7111.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours55.886.8130.2174.0201.5219.0238.7220.1171.0127.175.049.61,748.8
Percent possible sunshine21303542434549504538272037.1
Source: Meteo France[79]

Administration

The Élysée Palace, residence of the French President

As the 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 in the 8th arrondissement,[80] while the Prime Minister's seat is at the Hôtel Matignon in the 7th arrondissement.[81][82] 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 located on the left bank. 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 in the 7th arrondissement. The President of the Senate, the third-highest public official in France,[83] resides in the "Petit Luxembourg", a smaller palace annex to the Palais du Luxembourg.[84]

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,[85] 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.[86] The Constitutional Council, an advisory body with ultimate authority on the constitutionality of laws enacted by Parliament, also meets in the Montpensier wing of the Palais Royal.[87] Each of Paris' twenty arrondissements has its own town hall and a directly elected council (conseil d'arrondissement), which, in turn, elects an arrondissement mayor.[88] A selection of members from each arrondissement council form the Council of Paris (conseil de Paris), which, in turn, elects the mayor of Paris.

Paris and its region host the headquarters of many international organisations including UNESCO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Chamber of Commerce, the Paris Club, the European Space Agency, the International Energy Agency, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the European Union Institute for Security Studies, the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, the International Exhibition Bureau and the International Federation for Human Rights. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.[89] Paris has numerous partner cities,[90][91] but according to the motto "Only Paris is worthy of Rome; only Rome is worthy of Paris";[90][92] the only sister city of Paris is Rome[91] and vice-versa.

City government

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, composed of 12 arrondissements,[93] but, in 1860, it annexed bordering communes, totally enclosing the surrounding towns (bourgs) either fully or partly, to create the new administrative map of 20 arrondissements (municipal districts) the city still has today. Every arrondissement has its own mayor, town hall, and special characteristics.

Demographics

Extent of the urban and metropolitan areas of Paris at the 1999 census.
City proper, urban area, and metropolitan area population from 1800 to 2010.
2010 Census Paris Region[94][95]
Country/territory of birthPopulation
France Metropolitan France9,078,457
Algeria Algeria282,418
Portugal Portugal241,915
Morocco Morocco222,404
Tunisia Tunisia105,458
Flag of Guadeloupe (local).svg Guadeloupe80,377
Flag of Martinique.svg Martinique75,039
Turkey Turkey68,193
China China58,329
Italy Italy55,850
Mali Mali53,799
Spain Spain46,765

As of 2010, the population of Paris proper stood around 2.25 million,[96] while that of Paris unité urbaine, roughly corresponding to the city and the surrounding built-up area was about 10.5 million. Though substantially lower than at its peak in the early 1920s, the density of the city proper is one of the highest in the developed world. Compared to the rest of France, the main features of the Parisian population are a high average income, relatively young median age, high proportion of international migrants and high economic inequalities. Similar characteristics are found in other large cities throughout the World.

Population evolution

The population of the city proper reached a maximum shortly after World War I, with nearly 3 millions inhabitants, and then decreased for the rest 20th century to the benefit of the suburb. Most of the decline occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, when it fell from 2.8 to 2.2 million.[97] This trend toward de-densification of the centre was also observed in other large cities like London and New York City.

Since the beginning of 21st century, the population of Paris has tended once again to rise, regaining more than 100,000 inhabitants between 1999 and 2009 despite a persistent migratory deficit.[98] and a fecundity rate well below 2.[99] The population growth is explained by the high proportion of people in the 18-40 age range who are most likely to have children.[100]

Density

Paris population density reaches 22,000 inhabitants per square kilometer - 25,000 if the outlying Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes are excluded. It is one of the highest in the developed world, only slightly lower than Manhattan. The residential density tends to be higher in the Eastern part of the city, while the centre-West contains more offices.[101] Paris urban unit (built-up area) extends well beyond the city limits, and comprises all of the surrounding départements of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val-de-Marne, as well as substantial portions of Yvelines, Val-d'Oise, Seine-et-Marne and Essonne. It includes heavily built-up inner suburbs, with densities comparable to those of Paris itself, as well as more distant and more sparsely populated areas. The average density for the whole urban unit is below 4,000 /km2.

Income

Though low wages are relatively similar in all Metropolitan France, high wages are higher and more numerous in the Paris region.[102] The median income for 2011 was around 25,000 euros in Paris against 22,200 for Île-de-France and 19,200 for the whole Metropolitan France.[103] It ranges from 16,400€ in the 19th[104] arrondissement to 41,800 in the 7th.[105] Generally speaking, incomes are higher in the Western part of the city and in the Western suburbs than in the Northern and Eastern parts of the urban area.

Migration

Paris and its metropolitan area is one of the most multi-cultural in Europe: at the 2010 census, 23.0% of the total population in the Paris Region was born outside of Metropolitan France, up from 19.7% at the 1999 census.[106]

About one third of persons who have recently moved to Metropolitan France from foreign countries settle in the Paris Region, about a third of whom in the city of Paris proper.[107] Twenty percent of Paris population are first-generation international immigrants, and 40% of children have at least one immigrant parent.[citation needed] Recent immigrants tend to be more diverse in terms of qualification: more of them have no qualification at all and more or them have tertiary education.[107]

Though international migration rate is positive, population flows from the rest of France are more intense, and negative. They are heavily age dependent: while many retired people leave Paris for the Southern and Western parts of France, migration flows are positive in the 18-30 age range.[108] About one half of Île-de-France population was not born in the region.

Economy

La Défense, the largest dedicated business district in Europe.[109]

The Paris Region is France's premier centre of economic activity, and with a 2011 GDP of 607 billion[110] (US$845 billion), it is not only the wealthiest area of France, but has one of the highest GDPs in the world, after Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Seoul and London[111] making it an engine of the global economy. Were it a country, it would rank as the seventeenth-largest economy in the world, larger than the Turkish and Dutch economies and almost as large as Indonesia's.[112] While its population accounted for 18.8 percent of the total population of metropolitan France in 2011,[113] its GDP accounted for 31.0 per cent of metropolitan France's GDP.[110] Wealth is heavily concentrated in the western suburbs of Paris, notably Neuilly-sur-Seine, one of the wealthiest areas of France.[114] This mirrors a sharp political divide, with political conservatism being much more common towards the western edge, whilst the political spectrum lies more to the left in the east.[115]

The Parisian economy has been gradually shifting towards high-value-added service industries (finance, IT services, etc.) and high-tech manufacturing (electronics, optics, aerospace, etc.). However, in the 2009 European Green City Index, Paris was still listed as the second most "green" large city in Europe, after Berlin.[116] The Paris 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 Garnier, La Défense and the Val de Seine. While 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. The Paris Region hosts the headquarters of 30 of the Fortune Global 500 companies.[6]

The 1999 census indicated that, of the 5,089,170 persons employed in the Paris urban area, 16.5 per cent worked in business services; 13.0 per cent in commerce (retail and wholesale trade); 12.3 per cent in manufacturing; 10.0 per cent in public administrations and defence; 8.7 per cent in health services; 8.2 per cent in Transport and communications; 6.6 per cent in education, and the remaining 24.7 per cent in many other economic sectors. In the manufacturing sector, the largest employers were the electronic and electrical industry (17.9 per cent of the total manufacturing workforce in 1999) and the publishing and printing industry (14.0 per cent of the total manufacturing workforce), with the remaining 68.1 per cent of the manufacturing workforce distributed among many other industries. Tourism and tourist related services employ 6.2 per cent of Paris' workforce, and 3.6 per cent of all workers within the Paris Region. Unemployment in the Paris "immigrant ghettos" ranges from 20 to 40 per cent, according to varying sources.[117]

Paris receives around 28 million tourists per year,[118] of which 17 million are foreign visitors,[119] which makes the city and its region the world's leading tourism destination, housing four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 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, welcomes over eight million visitors a year, being by far the world's most-visited art museum.[120] The city's cathedrals are another main attraction: 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, receives on average over six million visitors per year[121] and has received 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. Much of Paris' hotel, restaurant and night entertainment trades have become heavily dependent on tourism.

Cityscape

Panorama of Paris as seen from the Eiffel Tower as a 270-degree view. The river flows from right to left, from the north-east to the south-west.

Architecture

Boulevard Montmartre, by Camille Pissarro (1897)

The architecture in Paris has been constrained by laws related to the height and shape of buildings at least since the 17th century,[122] to the point that alignement and (often uniformity of height) of buildings is a characteristic and recognizable trait of Paris streets in spite of the evolution of architectural styles. However, a large part of contemporary Paris has been affected by the vast mid-19th century urban remodelling. For centuries, the center of the city had been a labyrinth of narrow streets and half-timber houses, but, beginning in 1853, under the direction of Napolean III and his préfet de Seine Georges Eugène Haussmann, entire quarters were levelled to make way for wide avenues lined with neo-classical stone buildings of bourgeoisie standing.

The building code has been slightly relaxed since the 1850s, but the Second Empire plans are in many cases more or less followed. An "alignement" law is still in place, which regulates a building's height according to the width of the streets it borders, and under the regulation, it is almost impossible to get an approval to build a taller building.[123] However, specific authorizations allowed for the construction of many high-rise buildings in the 1960s and early 1970s, most of them limited to a height of 100 m, in peripheral arrondissements.

Churches are the oldest intact buildings in the city, and show high Gothic architecture at its best—the Notre Dame cathedral and the church of Sainte-Chapelle are two of the most striking buildings in the city.[124] The latter half of the 19th-century was an era of architectural inspiration, with buildings such as the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, built in 1871, revealing a combination of Romanesque and neo-Byzantine design.[125] Paris' most famous architectural piece, the Eiffel Tower, was built as a temporary exhibit for the 1889 World Fair and remains an enduring symbol of the capital with its iconic structure and position, towering over much of the city.[126] Many of Paris' important institutions are located outside the city limits; the financial business district is in La Défense, and many of the educational institutions lie in the southern suburbs. Disneyland Paris, one of France's top tourist destinations, is located mostly in the commune of Chessy, 30.6 km (19.0 mi) north-east of the city centre.

Landmarks by district

The 1st arrondissement forms much of the historic centre of Paris. The line of monuments begins with the Louvre museum and continues through the Tuileries Gardens, the Champs-Élysées, and the Arc de Triomphe, centred in the Place de l'Étoile circus. Les Halles were formerly Paris' central meat and produce market, and, since the late 1970s, have been a major shopping centre.[127] Place Vendôme is famous for its deluxe hotels such as Hôtel Ritz, Hôtel de Rambouillet, The Westin Paris – Vendôme, Hôtel de Toulouse, Hôtel du Petit-Bourbon, Hôtel Meurice, and Hôtel Regina.[128]

The 2nd arrondissement lies to the north of the 1st. The Boulevard des Capucines, Boulevard Montmartre, Boulevard des Italiens, Rue de Richelieu and Rue Saint-Denis are major roads running through the district. The 2nd arrondissement is the theatre district of Paris,[129] overlapping into the 3rd, and contains the Théâtre des Capucines and Théâtre-Musée des Capucines, Opéra-Comique, Théâtre des Variétés, Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, Théâtre du Vaudeville and Théâtre Feydeau. Also of note are the Académie Julian, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Café Anglais and Galerie Vivienne.[130]

The National Archives building of the Museum of French History,

The 3rd arrondissement is located to the north-east of the 1st. Le Marais is a trendy district spanning the 3rd and 4th arrondissements. It is architecturally very well preserved, and some of the oldest houses and buildings of Paris can be found there, with museums and theatres such as the Museum of French History, Musée Picasso, and Théâtre du Marais.[131] It is a very culturally open place, known for its Chinese, Jewish and gay communities. The Place des Vosges, established in 1612 to celebrate the wedding of Louis XIII to Anne of Austria lies at the border of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements and is the oldest planned square in Paris,[132] and the Place de la République was named after the constitutional change in France. The 4th arrondissement is located to the east of the 1st. Place de la Bastille (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, and it has a tall column commemorating the final resting place of the revolutionaries killed in 1830 and 1848.[133] Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, La Force Prison, Centre Georges Pompidou and Lycée Charlemagne are notable institutions here. The 12th-century cathedral Notre Dame de Paris on the Île de la Cité is one of the best-known landmarks of the 4th arrondissement, and there are numerous other churches located here.[134]

The 5th arrondissement contains the Quartier Latin (also spanning the 6th), a 12th-century scholastic centre formerly stretching between the left bank's Place Maubert and the Sorbonne campus of the University of Paris, its oldest and most famous college.[135] It is known for its lively atmosphere and many bistros. Various higher-education establishments, such as Collège de France, Collège Sainte-Barbe, Collège international de philosophie, École Normale Supérieure, and others make it a major educational centre in Paris. The Panthéon church is where many of France's illustrious men and women are buried.[136] The 6th arrondissement, to the south of the centre and Seine has numerous hotels and restaurants and also educational institutions. Hotels located in the district include Hôtel Au Manoir Saint Germain des Prés, Hôtel de Chimay and Hôtel de Vendôme, cafés such as Café de Flore and Café Procope, and academies and schools include the Académie française and the medical Académie Nationale de Médecine. A symbol of the Revolution are the two Statues of Liberty located on the Île aux Cygnes[137] in the Luxembourg Garden of the 6th arrondissement and on the Seine between the 15th and 16th arrondissements.[138] A larger version of the statues was sent as a gift from France to the United States in 1886 and now stands in New York City's harbour.[139] The Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe is located in this district, as is the Luxembourg Palace.

The 7th arrondissement lies to the south-west of the centre, across the Seine. The Eiffel Tower is the most famous landmark of the 7th arrondissement and of Paris itself, built as "temporary" construction by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Universal Exposition but was never dismantled and is now an enduring symbol of Paris. The Axe historique (Historical axis) is a line of monuments, buildings, and thoroughfares that run in a roughly straight line from the city centre westwards.[140] Many hotels are located in this district including Hôtel Biron and Hôtel de Conti. The Invalides museum is the burial place for many great French soldiers, including Napoleon, and the 18th-century military school, Ecole Militaire, is also located here.[141]

The Champs-Élysées is a 17th-century avenue connecting the Place de la Concorde and the Napoleonic Arc de Triomphe, which straddles the 8th, the 16th and 17th arrondisements. Avenue Montaigne is a major tourist attraction and shopping street, hosting labels such as Christian Lacroix,[142] Sephora, Lancel, Louis Vuitton and Guerlain, as well as Renault, Toyota and numerous small souvenir outlets, and is perhaps the most well-known street in France.[143] The Canadian and American embassies and many hotels lie in the 8th arrondissement, including Hôtel de Crillon, Hôtel Le Bristol Paris, Hôtel de la Marine, Hôtel de Marigny as well as the Les Ambassadeurs, Ledoyen, and Taillevent restaurants.

The 9th arrondissement lies north of the centre and is a continuation of the theatre and museum district with theatres including the Éden-Théâtre, Théâtre du Vaudeville, and Théâtre de Paris, museums such as Musée Grévin, Musée du Parfum, and Musée national Gustave Moreau. Avenue de l'Opéra is the area around the Opéra Garnier and the location of the capital's densest concentration of department stores and office buildings including the Printemps and Galeries Lafayette department stores, and the Paris headquarters of BNP Paribas and American Express.[144] The Palais Garnier, built in the later Second Empire period, houses the Paris Opera and the Paris Opera Ballet.[145]

The 10th arrondissement lies north-east of the centre and is a continuation of the theatre district with many theatres including Théâtre Antoine-Simone Berriau, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord and Théâtre de la Renaissance. Also of note is Musée de l'Éventail, Hôpital Saint-Louis, The Kurdish Digital Library, Lariboisière Hospital, Lycée Edgar-Poe, Prison Saint-Lazare and the Saint Laurent and Saint-Vincent-de-Paul churches.[146] The Alhambra music hall opened in 2008. The 11th arrondissement is located in the east, west of the 20th arrondissement. It contains the squares Place de la Nation, Place de la République, Place du 8 Février 1962, the theatres Bataclan, Théâtre des Folies-Dramatiques, Théâtre de l'Ambigu-Comique, Théâtre des Délassements-Comiques, and Théâtre des Funambules, the museums Musée du Fumeur and Musée Édith Piaf,[147] and La Roquette Prisons.

The 12th arrondissement in the south-eastern suburbs of Paris is separated from the 13th by the Seine with several bridges. The district contains the Place de la Bastille and Place de la Nation (bordering the 11th), Picpus Cemetery and Parc de Bercy, and the Boulevard de la Bastille runs through it. A 12th-century convent was located here, Saint-Antoine-des-Champs, and today the Buddhist temples Kagyu-Dzong and Pagode de Vincennes are located in the 12th arrondissement.[148] Opéra Bastille, the main facility of the Paris National Opera, was inaugurated in 1989 under the Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott as part of President François Mitterrand’s “Grands Travaux”.[149]

The 13th and 14th arrondissements lie in the southern suburbs of Paris. The 13th, to the south-east contains the neighbourhoods of Chinatown, Floral City, Butte-aux-Cailles, and the Italie 2 shopping centre with some 130 stores.[150] Institutions such as the Bibliothèque nationale de France and École Estienne are located here. In the 14th is Montparnasse a historic left bank area famous for artists' studios, music halls, and café life.[151] The Montparnasse Cemetery, large Montparnasse – Bienvenüe Métro station, Théâtre Montparnasse, and the lone Tour Montparnasse skyscraper are located there.

The 15th arrondissement, located in the south-western part of the city, is the most populous arrondissement. It is has several bridges, such as Pont du Garigliano and Pont Mirabeau. A number of institutions are based in the 15th arrondissement including the hospitals Hôpital Européen Georges-Pompidou and Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, and the French automobile company Citroën had several factories which were replaced by the Parc André Citroën. Palais des Sports was built in 1960 to replace the old Vel’ d’Hiv and has hosted many notable music concerts over the years.[152] 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 such as TF1, France 2 and Canal+.[153]

The 16th arrondissement is the largest district of Paris, marking the western side of the city, which extends beyond the left bank of the Seine. Paris Saint-Germain F.C. are based here and play their home games at the Parc des Princes, and Stade Roland Garros hosts the annual French Open tennis tournament. Tennis Club de Paris, the Stade de Paris rugby club, Longchamp Racecourse, and the Auteuil Hippodrome, a horse racing venue established in 1873 and which hosted the equestrian events of the 1924 Summer Olympics, are based in the 16th arrondissement.[154] A number of organizations are based in the 16th arrondissement, including Radio France and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, as well as museums and theatres.[155]

Place Charles de Gaulle and the Arc de Triomphe

The 17th arrondissement, to the west of the 18th arrondissment marks the north-western suburbs of the city. It has several squares, including Place Charles de Gaulle (with the Arc de Triomphe, bordering 16th and 8th), Place de Wagram, Place des Ternes and Square des Batignolles, the latter of which is in the neighbourhood of Batignolles, which also contains the Batignolles Cemetery and Parc Clichy-Batignolles. La Défense, beyond the 17th arrondissement (straddling the communes of Courbevoie, Puteaux, and Nanterre, 2.5 km (2 mi) west of the city proper), is a key suburb of Paris with most of the tallest skyscrapers in the Paris urban area. Initiated by the French government in 1958, it now hosts 3,500,000 m2 (37,673,686 sq ft) of offices, making it one of the largest business centres in the world.[156] Its most emblematic building, the Grande Arche (Great Arch), houses a part of the Ministry of Ecology.[157][158] Montmartre lies in the 18th arrondissement on the northern suburbs of the city, a historic area on the Butte, home to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, and associated with artists, studios and cafés.[159]

The 19th arrondissement and 20th arrondissements mark the north-east/eastern suburbs of the city, and contain the neighbourhood of Belleville. During the first half of the 20th century, many immigrants settled in this area: German Jews fleeing the Third Reich in 1933, and Spaniards in 1939, and it became a "Jewish ghetto".[160] Many Algerians and Tunisian Jews arrived in the early 1960s. Belleville is home to one of the largest congregations of the Reformed Church of France, and contains the Église Réformée de Belleville. The 19th contains the Conservatoire de Paris, a prestigious music and dance school, established in 1795.[161] Several canals run through the 19th arrondissement: Canal Saint-Martin becomes Canal de l'Ourcq below the Place de la Bataille-de-Stalingrad, which commemorates the Battle of Stalingrad. The Zénith de Paris, one of the largest concert venues in Paris with a capacity of 6,293 people, is located here.[162]

Parks and gardens

Tuileries Garden

Two of Paris' oldest and most famous gardens are the Tuileries Garden, created in the 16th century for a palace on the banks of the Seine near the Louvre,[163] and the left bank Luxembourg Garden, another former private garden belonging to a château built for Marie de' Medici in 1612.[164] The Jardin des Plantes, created by Louis XIII's doctor Guy de La Brosse for the cultivation of medicinal plants, is Paris' only botanical garden.[165] Several of the gardens were created during the Second Empire.[166] The former suburban parks of Montsouris, Parc des Buttes Chaumont, and Parc Monceau were created by Napoleon III's engineer Jean-Charles Alphand. Another project was executed under the orders of Baron Haussmann for the re-sculpting of Paris' western Bois de Boulogne forest-parklands;[166] The Bois de Vincennes, on the city's opposite eastern end, received a similar treatment in the years which followed.[166]

Water and sanitation

A view of the Seine from the Pont Neuf

Paris in its early history had only the Seine and Bièvre rivers for water. From 1809, the canal de l'Ourcq provided Paris with water from less-polluted rivers to the north-east of the capital.[167] From 1857, the civil engineer Eugène Belgrand, under Baron Haussmann, 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.[168] 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. Today Paris has over 2,400 km (1,491 mi) of underground passageways[169] dedicated to the evacuation of Paris' liquid wastes.

In 1982, the then mayor, Jacques Chirac, introduced the motorcycle-mounted Motocrotte to remove dog faeces from Paris streets.[170] The project was abandoned in 2002 for a new and better enforced local law, under the terms of which dog owners can be fined up to 500 euros for not removing their dog faeces.[171] The air pollution in Paris, from the point of view of particulate matter (pm10), is the highest in France, with 38 µg/m³.[172]

Cemeteries

The Paris Catacombs hold the remains of approximately 6 million people

In Paris' Roman era, its main cemetery was located to the outskirts of the left bank settlement, but this changed with the rise of Catholicism, where most every inner-city church had adjoining burial grounds for use by their parishes. With Paris' growth many of these, particularly the city's largest cemetery, les Innocents, were filled to overflowing, creating quite unsanitary conditions for the capital. When inner-city burials were condemned from 1786, the contents of all Paris' parish cemeteries were transferred to a renovated section of Paris' stone mines outside the "Porte d'Enfer" city gate, today place Denfert-Rochereau in the 14th arrondissement.[173][174] The process of moving bones from Cimetière des Innocents to the Catacombs took place between 1786 and 1814;[175] part of the 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, the Prefect Nicholas Frochot under Napoleon Bonaparte provided a more definitive solution in the creation of three massive Parisian cemeteries outside the city limits,.[176] Open from 1804, these were the cemeteries of Père Lachaise, Montmartre, Montparnasse, and later Passy; these cemeteries became inner-city once again when Paris annexed all communes to the inside of its much larger ring of suburban fortifications in 1860. 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 Bobigny-Pantin, the Cimetière Parisien d'Ivry, and the Cimetière Parisien de Bagneux.

Culture

Art

Painting and sculpture

Pierre Mignard, self-portrait

For centuries, Paris has attracted artists from around the world, arriving in the city to educate themselves and to seek inspiration from its vast pool of artistic resources and galleries. As a result, Paris has acquired a reputation as the "City of Art".[177] Italian artists were a profound influence on the development of art in Paris in the 16th and 17th centuries, particular in sculpture and reliefs. Painting and sculpture became the pride of the French monarchy and the French royals commissioned many Parisian artists to adorn their palaces during the French Baroque and Classicism era. Sculptors such as Girardon, Coysevox and Coustou acquired a reputation were being the finest artists in the royal court in 17th century France. Pierre Mignard became first painter to the king during this period. In 1648, the Academy of Painting and Sculpture was established to accommodate for the dramatic interest in art in the capital. This served as France's top art school until 1793.[178]

An 1886 Van Gogh painting "Pont du Carrousel", now in the Louvre

Paris was in its artistic prime in the 19th century and early 20th century, when Paris had a colony of artists established in the city, with art schools associated with some of the finest painters of the times. The French Revolution and political and social change in France had a profound influence on art in the capital. Paris was central to the development of Romanticism in art, with painters such as Géricault.[178] Impressionism, Expressionism, Fauvism and Cubism movements evolved in Paris.[178] In the late 19th century many artists in the French provinces and worldwide flocked to Paris to exhibit their works in the numerous salons and expositions and make a name for themselves.[179] Painters such as Pablo Picasso, Henry Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, María Blanchard, Henri Rousseau, Amedeo Modigliani and many others became associated with Paris. Montparnasse and Montmartre became centers for artistic production. The Golden Age of the Paris School ended with World War II, but Paris remains extremely important to world art and art schooling, with institutions ranging from the Paris College of Art to the Paris American Academy, specialised in teaching fashion and interior design.[180]

Museums

The Louvre

The Louvre is the world's most visited art museum, housing many works of art, including the Mona Lisa (La Joconde) and the Venus de Milo statue.[181] There are hundreds of museums in Paris. Works by Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin are found in the Musée Picasso[182] and the Musée Rodin,[183] respectively, while the artistic community of Montparnasse is chronicled at the Musée du Montparnasse.[184] Starkly apparent with its service-pipe exterior, the Centre Georges Pompidou, also known as Beaubourg, houses the Musée National d'Art Moderne.[185]

Art and artefacts from the Middle Ages and Impressionist eras are kept in the Musée de Cluny and the Musée d'Orsay,[186] respectively, the former with the prized tapestry cycle The Lady and the Unicorn. 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, including many from Mesoamerican cultures.[187]

Photography

Paris has attracted communities of photographers, and was an important centre for the development of photography. Numerous photographers achieved renown for their photography of Paris, including Eugene Atget, noted for his depictions of early-19th-century street scenes; the early 20th-century surrealist movement's Man Ray; Robert Doisneau, noted for his playful pictures of 1950s Parisian life; Marcel Bovis, noted for his night scenes, and others such as Jacques-Henri Lartigue and Cartier-Bresson.[178] Paris also become the hotbed for an emerging art form in the late 19th century, poster art, advocated by the likes of Gavarni.[178]

Literature

Victor Hugo, one of Paris' greatest authors

Countless books and novels have been set in Paris. Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, is one of the best known. The book was received so rapturously that it inspired a series of renovations of its setting, the Notre Dame de Paris.[188] Another of Victor Hugo's works, Les Misérables is set in Paris, against the backdrop of slums and penury.[189] Another immortalised French author, Honoré de Balzac, completed a good number of his works in Paris, including his masterpiece La Comédie humaine.[190] Other Parisian authors (by birth or residency) include Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later),[191]

A painting detailing a Parisian literary salon

The American novelist Ernest Hemingway, like many other expatriate writers, emigrated to Paris, where he was introduced to such varying cultural figures as Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, James Joyce, and Gertrude Stein, who became his mentor. While in Paris, he produced works including The Sun Also Rises and Indian Camp.[192] The Irish author James Joyce emigrated to Paris and lived there for more than 20 years, concluding his Ulysses, in the city. He also produced numerous poems while in Paris, published in collections including Pomes Penyeach, and Finnegans Wake.[193] Another Irish author to have emigrated to Paris is Samuel Beckett, referred to as either the last modernist or the first postmodernist.[194]

Entertainment and performing arts

Theatre

The largest opera houses of Paris are the 19th-century Opéra Garnier (historical Paris Opéra) and modern Opéra Bastille; the former tends towards the more classic ballets and operas, and the latter provides a mixed repertoire of classic and modern.[133] In middle of the 19th century, there were three other active and competing opera houses: the Opéra-Comique (which still exists), Théâtre-Italien, and Théâtre Lyrique (which in modern times changed its profile and name to Théâtre 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, the Théâtre Mogador, and the Théâtre de la Gaîté-Montparnasse.[195] 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 such as Le Lido, Bobino, l'Olympia and le Splendid.

Music

A musette accordion player

In the late 12th century, a school of polyphony was established at the Notre-Dame. A group of Parisian aristocrats, known as Trouvères, became known for their poetry and songs. During the reign of Francois I, the lute became popular in the French court, and a national musical printing house was established.[178] During the Renaissance era, the French royals "disported themselves in masques, ballets, allegorical dances, recitals, opera and comedy", and composers such as Jean-Baptiste Lully became popular.[178] The Conservatoire de Musique de Paris was founded in 1795.[196] By 1870, Paris had become the most important centre for ballet music, and composers such as Debussy and Ravel contributed much to symphonic music.[178]

Bal-musette is a style of French music and dance that first became popular in Paris in the 1870s and 1880s; by 1880 Paris had some 150 dance halls in the working-class neighbourhoods of the city.[197] Patrons danced the bourrée to the accompaniment of the cabrette (a bellows-blown bagpipe locally called a "musette") and often the vielle à roue (hurdy-gurdy) in the cafés and bars of the city. Parisian and Italian musicians who played the accordion adopted the style and established themselves in Auvergnat bars especially in the 19th arrondissement,[198] and the romantic sounds of the accordion has since become one of the musical icons of the city. Paris became a major centre for jazz, and still attracts jazz musicians from all around the world to its clubs and cafes.[199]

Paris is the spiritual home of gypsy jazz in particular, and many of the Parisian jazzmen who developed in the first half of the 20th century began by playing Bal-musette in the city.[198] Django Reinhardt rose to fame in Paris, having moved to the 18th arrondissement in a caravan as a young boy, and performed with violinist Stéphane Grappelli and their Quintette du Hot Club de France in the 1930s and 40s.[200] Some of the finest manouche musicians in the world are found here playing the cafes of the city at night.[200] Some of the more notable jazz venues include the New Morning, Le Sunset, La Chope des Puces and Bouquet du Nord.[199][200] Several yearly festivals take place in Paris, including the Paris Jazz Festival and the rock festival Rock en Seine.[201] The Orchestre de Paris was established in 1967.[202]

Cinema

Le Grand Rex tower

Antoine Lumière launched the world's first projection, the Cinematograph, in Paris on 28 December 1895.[203][204][205] 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 theatre with 2,800 seats,[206] 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.

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, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, and Luc Besson, and the more slapstick/popular genre with director Claude Zidi as an example. European and Asian films are also widely shown and appreciated.[207] On 2 February 2000, Philippe Binant realised the first digital cinema projection in Europe, with the DLP CINEMA technology developed by Texas Instruments, in Paris.[208][209][210]

Cuisine

Paris is renowned for its haute cuisine, food meticulously prepared and presented, often accompanied by fine wines, served and celebrated by expensive restaurants and hotels. A city of culinary finesse, as of 2013 Paris has 85 Michelin-starred restaurants, second in the world to only Tokyo,[211] and many of the world's leading chefs operate restaurants serving French cuisine in Paris such as Alain Ducasse and Joël Robuchon.[212] As of 2013, Paris has ten 3-Michelin-star restaurants, the most coveted award in the restaurant business; these include Ducasse's Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Alain Passards's L'Arpège, Yannick Alleno's Le Meurice in the Hôtel Meurice, Eric Frechon's restaurant at Hotel le Bristol, and Pierre Gagnaire.[212] Joël Robuchon, the chef with the most Michelin stars worldwide, runs L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon and La Table de Joël Robuchon in Paris, both of which are 2 Michelin-star restaurants.[212] Many aspiring chefs come to Paris to learn how to cook from the best of the best, and Paris has numerous academies and schools for chefs to learn with hands-on experience.[citation needed]

The growth of the railway in the late 19th century led to the capital becoming a focal point for immigration from France's many different regions and gastronomical cultures. As a result, cuisine in the city is diverse, and almost any cuisine can be consumed in the city, with over 9,000 restaurants.[213] Hotel building was another result of widespread travel and tourism in the 19th century, especially Paris' late-19th-century Expositions Universelles (World's Fairs). Of the most luxurious of these, the Hôtel Ritz appeared in the Place Vendôme in 1898,[214][215] and the Hôtel de Crillon opened its doors on the north side of the Place de la Concorde, starting in 1909.

Fashion

IFA Paris Fashion show, 2012

Paris is a global hub of fashion and has been referred to as the "international capital of style".[216] It ranks alongside New York, Milan and London as a major centre for the fashion industry. Paris is noted for its haute couture tailoring, usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. The twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week, an apparel trade show, is one of the most important events on the fashion calendar and attracts fashion aficionados from all around the world. Established in 1976, the Paris Fashion Institute offers courses in design, manufacturing, marketing, merchandising, and retailing.[217] International Fashion Academy Paris is an international fashion school, established in 1982 and headquartered in Paris, with branches in Shanghai and Istanbul.[218]

Paris has a large number of high-end fashion boutiques, and many top designers have their flagship stores in the city, such as Louis Vuitton's store, Christian Dior's 1200 square foot store and Sephora's 1500 square foot store.[219] Printemps has the largest shoe and beauty departments in Europe.[219] Sonia Rykiel is considered to the "grand dame of French fashion" and "synonymous with Parisian fashion"[citation needed], with clothes which are embraced by "left bank fashionistas".[219] Petit Bateau is cited as one of the most popular high street stores in the city[citation needed], the Azzedine Alaïa store on the Rue de Moussy has been cited as a "shoe lover's haven",[219] and Colette is noted for its "brick-and-click" clothing and fashion accessories. The jeweller Cartier, with its flagship boutique near Paris' place Vendôme, has a long history of sales to royalty and celebrities:[220] King Edward VII of England once referred to Cartier as "the jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers."[221] Guerlain, one of the world's oldest existing perfumeries, has its headquarters in the north-western suburb of Levallois-Perret.

Festivals

The earliest grand festival held on 14 July 1790 was the Federation of July festival at the Champ de Mars. Since then many festivals have been held such as the Festival of Liberty in 1774, the Festival for the Abolition of Slavery in 1793, the festival of Supreme Being in 1794, and the 1798 funeral festival on the death of Hoche. On every anniversary of the Republic, the Children of the Fatherland festival is held.[222] Bastille day, a celebration of the storming of the Bastille in 1789, is the biggest festival in the city, held every year on 14 July. This includes a parade of colourful floats and costumes along with armed forces march in the Champs Élysées which concludes with a display of fireworks.[223] The Paris Beach festival known as the "Paris Plage" is a festive event, which lasts from the middle of July to the middle of August, when the bank of the River Seine is converted into a temporary beach with sand and deck chairs and palm trees.[223]

Religion

Left: Notre-Dame de Paris; right:Chapel of the Invalides.

Like the rest of France, Paris has been predominantly Roman Catholic since the Middle Ages, though religious attendance is now low. Political instability in the Third Republic was a result of disagreements about the role of the Church in society.[224] The French Constitution makes no mention of the religious affiliations of its people and allows the freedom to practice any religion of their choice provided it was done as a private matter.[225]

Some of the notable churches in Paris are: Notre-Dame de Paris, the most famous Gothic structure (the cathedral where Napoleon declared himself emperor in 1804);[226] La Madeleine (Church of St. Mary Magdalene), built in 1806 in the form of a Roman temple;[227] Sainte-Chapelle, built in 1247–50 in Gothic Rayonnant style and damaged in the French Revolution, it was restored in the 19th century by Viollet-le-Duc;[228] Chapel of Les Invalides (Church of Saint-Louis), built between 1671–91;[229] Sacré-Coeur Basilica (Basilique du Sacré-Coeur), built from 1876–1912;[230] Saint-Sulpice (1646–1776); Le Panthéon (1756–97), in Neoclassical style; and Basilique Saint-Denis (1136).[231]

Sports

Paris' most popular sport clubs are the association football club Paris Saint-Germain FC, the basketball team Paris-Levallois Basket, and the rugby union clubs Stade Français and Racing Métro. The 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located in Saint-Denis.[232] It is used for football, rugby union and track and field athletics. It hosts annually French national rugby team's home matches of the Six Nations Championship, French national association football team for friendlies and major tournaments qualifiers, and several important matches of the Stade Français rugby team.[232] In addition to Paris Saint-Germain FC, the city has a number of other amateur football clubs: Paris FC, Red Star, RCF Paris and Stade Français Paris.

2010 Tour de France, Champs Elysées

Paris hosted the 1900 and 1924 Olympic Games and was venue for the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups and for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. 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.[233] The 2006 UEFA Champions League Final between Arsenal and FC Barcelona was played in the Stade de France.[234] Paris hosted the 2007 Rugby World Cup final at Stade de France on 20 October 2007.[235] Tennis is another popular sport in Paris and throughout France; the French Open, held every year on the red clay of the Roland Garros National Tennis Centre,[236] is one of the four Grand Slam events of the world professional tennis tour. The city has also hosted the Paris City Chess Championship since 1925, and has also hosted the Paris 1867 chess tournament and Paris 1900 chess tournament.

Education

Sorbonne

Paris is the département with the highest proportion of highly educated people. In 2009, around 40 per cent of Parisians hold a diploma licence-level diploma or higher, the highest proportion in France,[237] while 13 per cent have no diploma, the third lowest percentage in France.

In the early 9th 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 language, physics, music, 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 Latin Quarter best represented by the Sorbonne university.[238] Twelve centuries later, education in Paris and the Île-de-France region 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.[239]

Paris is home to several of France's most prestigious high-schools such as Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Lycée Henri-IV, Lycée Janson de Sailly and Lycée Condorcet. Other high-schools of international renown in the Paris area include the Lycée International de Saint Germain-en-Laye and the École Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel.

The Paris region hosts France's highest concentration of the prestigious grandes écoles – specialised centres of higher-education outside the public university structure. The prestigious public universities are usually considered grands établissements. 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 has remained on rue d'Ulm in the 5th arrondissement.[240] There are 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, AgroParisTech, Télécom Paris, Arts et Métiers, and École des Ponts et Chaussées. There are also many business schools, including INSEAD, ESSEC, HEC and ESCP Europe. The administrative school such as ENA has been relocated to Strasbourg, the political science school Sciences-Po is still located in Paris' 7th arrondissement. The Parisian school of journalism CELSA department of the Paris-Sorbonne University is located in Neuilly-sur-Seine.[241]

Libraries

The Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) operates public libraries in Paris, among them the François-Mitterrand Library, Richelieu Library, Louvois, Opéra Library, and Arsenal Library.[242]

There are 74 public libraries in Paris, including specialised collections spread throughout the city. In the 4th arrondissement, the Forney Library is dedicated to the decorative arts; the Arsenal Library occupies a former military building, and has a large collection on French literature; and the Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris, also located in Le Marais, contains the Paris historical research service.
Designed by Henri Labrouste and built in the mid-1800s, the Sainte-Geneviève Library hosts a rare books and manuscripts section.[243] Bibliothèque Mazarine, in the 6th arrondissement, is the oldest public library in France. The Médiathèque Musicale Mahler in the 8th arrondissement opened in 1986 and contains collections related to music while the four glass towers of the François Mitterrand Library (nicknamed Très Grande Bibliothèque) stand out in the 13th arrondissement thanks to a design by Dominique Perrault.[243]

There are several academic libraries and archives in Paris. The Sorbonne Library in the 5th arrondissement is the largest university library in Paris. In addition to the Sorbonne location, there are branches in Malesherbes, Clignancourt-Championnet, Michelet-Institut d’Art et d’Archéologie, Serpente-Maison de la Recherche, and Institut des Etudes Ibériques.[244]
Other academic libraries include Interuniversity Pharmaceutical Library, Leonardo da Vinci University Library, Ecole des Mines Library, and the René Descartes University Library.[245]

Media

Agence France-Presse Headquarters in Paris

Paris and suburbs are home to numerous newspapers, magazines and publications including Le Monde, Le Figaro, Libération, Le Nouvel Observateur, Le Canard enchaîné, L'Express, Le Point, Le Parisien, Les Inrockuptibles, Paris Match, Télérama, Le Journal du Dimanche and Courrier International.[246] France's two most prestigious newspapers, Le Monde and Le Figaro, are the centrepieces of the Parisian publishing industry.[247] Agence France-Presse is France's oldest, and one of the world's oldest, continually operating news agencies. AFP, as it is colloquially abbreviated, maintains its headquarters in Paris, as it has since 1835.[248] France 24 is a television news channel owned and operated by the French government, and is based in Paris.[249] Another news agency is France Diplomatie, owned and operated by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, and pertains solely to diplomatic news and occurrences.[250]

The most-viewed network in France, TF1, is based in Boulogne-Billancourt, near Paris, along with a plentiful number of others, including France Télévisions, Canal+, M6, Arte, D8, W9, NT1, NRJ 12, La Chaîne parlementaire and BFM TV, along with a multitude of others.[251] Radio France, France's public radio broadcaster, and its various channels, are based in Paris. Radio France Internationale, another public broadcaster is also based in the city.[252] The national postal carrier of France, including overseas territories, is known as La Poste. Headquartered in the 15th arrondissement, it is responsible for postal service in France and Paris.[253]

Healthcare

The Hôtel-Dieu de Paris, the oldest hospital in the city

Most 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 (including practitioners, support personnel, and administrators) in 44 hospitals.[254] It is the largest hospital system in Europe. It provides health care, teaching, research, prevention, education and emergency medical service in 52 branches of medicine. It employs more than 90,000 people (including 15,800 physicians) in 44 hospitals and receives more than 5.8 million annual patient visits.[254]

One of the most notable hospitals is the Hôtel-Dieu, said to have been founded in 651, the oldest hospital in the city.[255] Other hospitals include the Hôpital Beaujon, Hôpital Bichat-Claude-Bernard, Hôpital de Bicètre, Hôpital Cochin, Hôpital Européen Georges-Pompidou, Hôpital Lariboisière, Hôpital Necker - Enfants Malades, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Hôpital Tenon and Val-de-Grâce.

Transport

Left: Thalys trains with service to Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany; right: Gare du Nord railway station is the busiest in Europe

Paris is a major rail, highway, and air transport hub. The Syndicat des transports d'Île-de-France (STIF), formerly Syndicat des transports parisiens (STP) oversees the transit network in the region.[256] 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, one tramway line and the other sections of the RER) and the Optile consortium of private operators managing 1,070 minor bus lines.

The city's subway system, the Métro, was opened in 1900 and is the most widely used Transport system within the city proper, carrying about 9 million passengers daily.[257] It comprises 303 stations (385 stops) connected by 220 km (136.7 mi) of rails, and 16 lines, identified by numbers from 1 to 14, with two minor lines, 3bis and 7bis. An additional express network, the RER, with five lines (A, B, C, D, & E), connects to more-distant parts of the urban area, with 257 stops and 587 km (365 mi) of rails.[257] Over €26.5 billion will be invested over the next 15 years to extend the Métro network into the suburbs.[257] In addition, the Paris region is served by a light rail network of six lines, the tramway: Line T1 runs from Asnières-Gennevilliers to Noisy-le-Sec, line T2 runs from Pont de Bezons to Porte de Versailles, line T3a runs from Pont du Garigliano to Porte de Vincennes, line T3b runs from Porte de Vincennes to Porte de la Chapelle, line T5 runs from Saint-Denis to Garges-Sarcelles,[258] all of which are operated by the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens,[259] and line T4 runs from Bondy RER to Aulnay-sous-Bois, which is operated by the state rail carrier SNCF.[257] Six new light rail lines are currently in various stages of development.

Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, the busiest of Paris' airports

Paris is a central hub of the national rail network. The six major railway stations — Gare du Nord, Gare de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare d'Austerlitz, Gare Montparnasse, Gare Saint-Lazare — and a minor one — Gare de Bercy — are connected to three networks: The TGV serving four High-speed rail lines, the normal speed Corail trains, and the suburban rails (Transilien).

Four international airports, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly, Paris-Le Bourget and Beauvais-Tillé, serve the city. The two major airports are Orly Airport, which is south of Paris; and the Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, in Roissy-en-France, which is one of the busiest in the world and is the hub for the unofficial flag carrier Air France.[257]

Ring roads of Paris. Paris city is surrounded by the Périphérique, in yellow. A86 is in blue and the Francilienne is in green.

The city is also the most important hub of France's motorway network, and is surrounded by three orbital freeways: the Périphérique,[69] which follows the approximate path of 19th-century fortifications around Paris, the A86 motorway in the inner suburbs, and finally the Francilienne motorway in the outer suburbs. Paris has an extensive road network with over 2,000 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.[260]

There are 440 km (270 mi) of cycle paths and routes in Paris. These include piste cyclable (bike lanes separated from other traffic by physical barriers such as a kerb) and bande cyclable (a bicycle lane denoted by a painted path on the road). Some 29 km (18 mi) of specially marked bus lanes are free to be used by cyclists, with a protective barrier protecting against encroachments from vehicles.[261] Cyclists have also been given the right to ride in both directions on certain one-way streets. Paris offers a bike sharing system called Vélib' with more than 20,000 public bicycles distributed at 1,800 parking stations,[262] which can be rented for short and medium distances including one way trips.

The Paris region is the most active water transport area in France, with most of the cargo handled by Ports of Paris in facilities located around Paris. The Loire, Rhine, Rhone, Meuse and Scheldt rivers can be reached by canals connecting with the Seine, which include the Canal Saint-Martin, Canal Saint-Denis, and the Canal de l'Ourcq.[263]

See also

Twin towns and sister cities

Paris is twinned with:

References

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Bibliography

Further reading

External links