Paris, the capital of France

Paris-coat-of-arms

Coat of arms – City of Paris

Paris is not only the capital of France but it is also the Préfecture of the Ile-de-France Region and has been a département since 1975.

The city is divided into 20 arrondissements or districts and into 80 quartiers or neighbourhoods.

It is placed under the triple patronage of Ste-Geneviève, St-Denis and St-Marcel.

Antic Paris was known as Lutetia, the oppidum built by the Celtic tribe of the Parisii on the small island in the middle of the Seine.

Lutetia became the thriving City of the Parisii (Cité) during the Roman occupation.

It became known as Paris in 360AD and the small island has remained known as Ile de la Cité.

It expanded on both banks over the centuries and within a succession of six perimeter walls of which only a few precious vestiges are left.

Medieval Paris was mostly eradicated during the extensive urban work led by Haussmann in the second part of the 19th century.

This modernization program led to the layout we know today, a city of broad boulevards, of a thousand churches and of pavement cafés.

Paris is a city, which with its charm and its chic lies in the hearth of all who take the trouble to know both its public face and its hidden depths.

Many renowned museums, monuments, tourist sites and public gardens await your visit.

But don’t forget that Paris is also a series of small villages and communities brought together in 1860 when it expanded its boundaries.

Each district has its own identity that you will discover only if you take the take of strolling off the beaten track.

One of the undeniable charms of the city is that there is no skyscrapers but a wealth of architectural beauty.

Paris and Greater Paris today cover 2000km2 and regroup nearly 10 millions inhabitants, a sixth of the French population.