Paris (French: [paʁi]) is the capital and the most populous city of France. It has an area of 105 square km (41 square miles) and a population in 2013 of 2,229,621 within the city limits. Paris is both a commune and department, and forms the centre and headquarters of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an area of 12,012 square km (4,638 square miles) and a population in 2014 of 12,005,077, comprising 18.2 percent of the population of France.
The agglomeration has grown well beyond Paris' administrative limits. The Paris unité urbaine is a measure of Paris' continuous urban area for statistical purposes, including both the commune and its suburbs, and has a population of 10,601,122 (Jan. 2013 census) which makes it the largest in the European Union. The aire urbaine de Paris, a measure of Paris' metropolitan area, spans most of the Île-de-France region and has a population of 12,405,426 (Jan. 2013 census), constituting one-fifth of the population of France. The Metropole of Grand Paris was created in 2016, combining the city and its nearest suburbs into a single area for economic and environmental cooperation. Grand Paris covers 814 square km (314 square miles) and has a population of 6.945 million persons.
Paris was founded in the third century BC by a Celtic people called the Parisii, who gave the city its name. By the twelfth century, Paris was the largest city in the western world, a prosperous trading centre, and the home of the University of Paris, one of the oldest universities in history. By the seventeenth century it was one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts, and it retains that position still today.
The Paris Region had a GDP of €624 billion (US $687 billion) in 2012, accounting for 30.0 percent of the GDP of France, and ranking it as one of the wealthiest regions in Europe; it is the banking and financial centre of France, and contains the headquarters of 29 of the 31 French companies ranked in the 2015 Fortune Global 500.
The city is additionally a major rail, highway, and air-transport hub, served by the two international airports Paris-Charles de Gaulle (the second busiest airport in Europe after London Heathrow Airport with 63.8 million passengers in 2014) and Paris-Orly. Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily. It is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. 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.
Among Paris' important museums and cultural institutions are the most visited art museum in the world, the Louvre, as well as the Musée d'Orsay, noted for its collection of French Impressionist art, and the Musée National d'Art Moderne in the Pompidou Centre, the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe. The Central area of Paris along the Seine River is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site, and includes a large number of notable monuments, including Notre Dame Cathedral (12th century to thirteenth century ); the Sainte-Chapelle (13th century); the Eiffel Tower (1889); the Grand Palais and Petit Palais (1900); and the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur on Montmartre (1914). In 2015 Paris received 22.2 million visitors, making it one of the world's top tourist destinations. and is additionally known for its fashion, particularly the twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week, and for its haute cuisine, and three-star restaurants. Most of France's major universities and grandes écoles are located in Paris, as are France's major newspapers, including Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Libération.
The association football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris. The 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris hosted the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympics and is bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and thus become the second city to have hosted the Games three times. The 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016 were additionally held in the city, and every July, the Tour de France of cycling finishes in the city.
The name "Paris" is derived from its early inhabitants, the Celtic Parisii tribe.
Paris is often referred to as "The City of Light" (La Ville Lumière), both because of its leading role throughout the Age of Enlightenment, and more literally because Paris was one of the first European cities to adopt gas street lighting. In the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late nineteenth century, Paris has additionally been known as Panam(e) (pronounced: [panam]) in French slang.
The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the third century BC. One of the area's major north-south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; this meeting place of land and water trade routes gradually became a town and an important trading centre. The Parisii traded with a large number of river towns as far away as the Iberian Peninsula, and minted their own coins for that purpose.
The Romans conquered the Paris Basin in 52 BC and, after making the island a garrison camp, began extending their settlement in a more permanent way to Paris' Left Bank. The Gallo-Roman town was originally called Lutetia (more fully, Lutetia Parisiorum, "Lutetia of the Parisii"). It became a prosperous city with a forum, baths, temples, theatres, and an amphitheatre.
By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known simply as Parisius in Latin and would later become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the third century AD. According to tradition, it was brought by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris. When he refused to renounce his faith, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as the "Mountain of Martyrs" (Mons Martyrum), eventually "Montmartre". His burial place became an important religious shrine; the Basilica of Saint-Denis was built there and became the burial place of the French Kings.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. A gradual immigration by the Franks additionally occurred in Paris in the beginning of the Frankish domination of Gaul which created the Parisian Francien dialects. Fortification of the Île-de-France failed to prevent sacking by Vikings in 845 but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges preventing ships from passing—was established by successful defence in the Siege of Paris (885–86). In 987 Hugh Capet, Count of Paris (comte de Paris), Duke of the Franks (duc des Francs) was elected King of the Franks (roi des Franks). Under the rule of the Capetian kings, Paris gradually became the largest and most prosperous city in France.
Middle Ages to Louis XIV
By the end of the twelfth century, Paris had become the political, economic, religious, and cultural capital of France. The Palais de la Cité, the royal residence, was located at the western end of the Île de la Cité. In 1163, throughout the reign of Louis VII, Maurice de Sully, bishop of Paris, undertook the construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral at its eastern extremity. The Left Bank was the site of the University of Paris, a corporation of students and teachers formed in the mid-12th century to train scholars first in theology, and later in canon law, medicine and the arts.
The Right Bank became the centre of commerce and finance. The merchants who controlled the trade on the river formed a league and quickly became a powerful force. Between 1190 and 1202, Philip Augustus built the massive fortress of the Louvre, continued the construction of Notre Dame, rebuilt the two bridges, began paving Paris' main thoroughfares, and the construction of a fortified wall around the city.
During the Hundred Years' War, in the night of 28–29 May 1418, a force of 800 men attached to John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, and led by Jean de Villiers de L'Isle-Adam made its way into Paris. Two and half years later, on 1 December 1420, Henry V of England made his solemn entrance into the French capital. Paris was occupied by the English and their Burgundian allies until 1436. They repelled an attempt by Joan of Arc to liberate the city in September 1429. A century later, throughout the French Wars of Religion, Paris was a stronghold of the Catholic League. On 24 August 1572, it was the site of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, when thousands of French Protestants were killed. The last of these wars, the eighth one, ended in 1594, after Henri IV had converted to Catholicism and was finally able to enter Paris as he supposedly declared Paris vaut bien une messe ("Paris is well worth a Mass"). The city had been neglected for decades; by the time of his assassination in 1610, Henry IV had rebuilt the Pont Neuf, the first Paris bridge with sidewalks and not lined with buildings, linked with a new wing the Louvre to the Tuileries Palace, and created the first Paris residential square, the Place Royale, now Place des Vosges.
In the seventeenth century, Cardinal Richelieu, chief minister of Louis XIII, was determined to make Paris the most beautiful city in Europe. He built five new bridges, a new chapel for the College of Sorbonne, and a palace for himself, the Palais Cardinal, which he bequeathed to Louis XIII, and which became, after his own death in 1642, the Palais-Royal.
Louis XIV distrusted the Parisians and moved his court to Versailles in 1682, but his reign additionally saw an unprecedented flourishing of the arts and sciences in Paris. The Comédie-Française, the Academy of Painting, and the French Academy of Sciences were founded and made their headquarters in the city. To show that the city was safe against attack, he'd the city walls demolished, replacing them with Grands Boulevards. To leave monuments to his reign, he built the Collège des Quatre-Nations, Place Vendôme, Place des Victoires, and began Les Invalides.
The eighteenth and nineteenth century
Paris grew in population from about 400,000 in 1640 to 650,000 in 1780. A new boulevard, the Champs-Élysées, extended the city west to Étoile, while the working-class neighbourhood of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine on the eastern site of the city grew more and more crowded with poor migrant workers from additional regions of France.
Paris was the centre of an explosion of philosophic and scientific activity known as the Age of Enlightenment. Diderot and d'Alembert published their Encyclopédie in 1751–52, and the Montgolfier Brothers launched the first manned flight in a hot-air balloon on 21 November 1783, from the gardens of the Château de la Muette. Paris was the financial capital of continental Europe, the primary European centre of book publishing, fashion, and the manufacture of fine furniture and luxury goods.
In the summer of 1789, Paris became the centre stage of the French Revolution. On 14 July, a mob seized the arsenal at the Invalides, acquiring thousands of guns, and stormed the Bastille, a symbol of royal authority. The first independent Paris Commune, or city council, met in the Hôtel de Ville and, on 15 July, elected a Mayor, the astronomer Jean Sylvain Bailly.
Louis XVI and the royal family were brought to Paris and made virtual prisoners within the Tuileries Palace. In 1793, as the revolution turned more and more radical, the king, queen, and the mayor were guillotined, along with more than 16,000 others (throughout France), throughout the Reign of Terror. The property of the aristocracy and the church was nationalised, and the city's churches were closed, sold or demolished. A succession of revolutionary factions ruled Paris until 9 November 1799 (coup d'état du 18 brumaire), when Napoléon Bonaparte seized power as First Consul.
The population of Paris had dropped by 100,000 throughout the Revolution, but between 1799 and 1815, it surged with 160,000 new residents, reaching 660,000. Bonaparte replaced the elected government of Paris with a prefect reporting only to him. He began erecting monuments to military glory, including the Arc de Triomphe, and improved the neglected infrastructure of the city with new fountains, the Canal de l'Ourcq, Père Lachaise Cemetery and the city's first metal bridge, the Pont des Arts.
During the Restoration, the bridges and squares of Paris were returned to their pre-Revolution names, but the July Revolution of 1830 in Paris, (commemorated by the July Column on Place de la Bastille), brought a constitutional monarch, Louis Philippe I, to power. The first railway line to Paris opened in 1837, beginning a new period of massive migration from the provinces to the city.
Louis-Philippe was overthrown by a popular uprising in the streets of Paris in 1848. His successor, Napoleon III, and the newly appointed prefect of the Seine, Georges-Eugène Haussmann, launched a gigantic public works project to build wide new boulevards, a new opera house, a central market, new aqueducts, sewers, and parks, including the Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes. In 1860, Napoleon III additionally annexed the surrounding towns and created eight new arrondissements, expanding Paris to its current limits.
During the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871), Paris was besieged by the Prussian army. After months of blockade, hunger, and then bombardment by the Prussians, the city was forced to surrender on 28 January 1871. On 28 March, a revolutionary government called the Paris Commune seized power in Paris. The Commune held power for two months, until it was harshly suppressed by the French army throughout the "Bloody Week" at the end of May 1871.
Late in the nineteenth century, Paris hosted two major international expositions: the 1889 Universal Exposition, was held to mark the centennial of the French Revolution and featured the new Eiffel Tower; and the 1900 Universal Exposition, which gave Paris the Pont Alexandre III, the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais and the first Paris Métro line. Paris became the laboratory of Naturalism (Émile Zola) and Symbolism (Charles Baudelaire and Paul Verlaine), and of Impressionism in art (Courbet, Manet, Monet, Renoir).
20th and twenty-first century
By 1901, the population of Paris had grown to 2,715,000. At the beginning of the century, artists from around the world, including Picasso, Modigliani and Matisse made Paris their home; it was the birthplace of Fauvism, Cubism and abstract art, and authors such as Marcel Proust were exploring new approaches to literature.
During the First World War, Paris at times found itself on the front line; 600 to 1,000 Paris taxis played a small but highly important symbolic role in transporting 6,000 soldiers to the front line at the First Battle of the Marne. The city was additionally bombed by Zeppelins and shelled by German long-range guns. In the years after the war, known as Les Années Folles, Paris continued to be a mecca for writers, musicians and artists from around the world, including Ernest Hemingway, Igor Stravinsky, James Joyce, Josephine Baker, Sidney Bechet and the surrealist Salvador Dalí.
In the years after the peace conference, the city was additionally home to growing numbers of students and activists from French colonies and additional Asian and African countries, who later became leaders of their countries, such as Ho Chi Minh, Zhou Enlai and Léopold Sédar Senghor.
On 14 June 1940, the German army marched into Paris, which had been declared an "open city". On 16–17 July 1942, following German orders, the French police and gendarmes arrested 12,884 Jews, including 4,115 children, and confined them throughout five days at the Vel d'Hiv (Vélodrome d'Hiver), from which they were transported by train to the extermination camp at Auschwitz. None of the children came back. On 25 August 1944, the city was liberated by the French second Armoured Division and the 4th Infantry Division of the United States Army. General Charles de Gaulle led a huge and emotional crowd down the Champs Élysées towards Notre Dame de Paris, and made a rousing speech from the Hôtel de Ville.
In the 1950s and the 1960s, Paris became one front of the Algerian War for independence; in August 1961, the pro-independence FLN targeted and killed 11 Paris policemen, leading to the imposition of a curfew on Muslims of Algeria (who, at that time, were French citizens). On 17 October 1961, an unauthorised but peaceful protest demonstration of Algerians against the curfew led to violent confrontations between the police and demonstrators, in which at least 40 people were killed, including a few thrown into the Seine. The anti-independence Organisation de l'armée secrète (OAS), for their part, carried out a series of bombings in Paris throughout 1961 and 1962.
In May 1968, protesting students occupied the Sorbonne and put up barricades in the Latin Quarter. Thousands of Parisian blue-collar workers joined the students, and the movement grew into a two-week general strike. Supporters of the government won the June elections by a large majority. The May 1968 events in France resulted in the breakup of the University of Paris into 13 independent campuses.
In 1975, the National Assembly changed the status of Paris to that of additional French cities and, on 25 March 1977, Jacques Chirac became the first elected mayor of Paris after 1793. The Tour Maine Montparnasse, the tallest building in the city at 57 storeys and 210 metres (689 ft) high, was built between 1969 and 1973. It was highly controversial, and it remains the only building in the centre of the city over 32 storeys high.
The population of Paris dropped from 2,850,000 in 1954 to 2,152,000 in 1990, as middle-class families moved to the suburbs. A suburban railway network, the RER (Réseau Express Régional), was built to complement the Métro, and the Périphérique expressway encircling the city, was completed in 1973.
Most of the postwar's presidents of the Fifth Republic wanted to leave their own monuments in Paris; President Georges Pompidou started the Centre Georges Pompidou (1977), Valéry Giscard d'Estaing began the Musée d'Orsay (1986); President François Mitterrand, in power for 14 years, built the Opéra Bastille (1985–1989), the Bibliothèque nationale de France (1996), the Arche de la Défense (1985–1989), and the Louvre Pyramid with its underground courtyard (1983–1989); Jacques Chirac (2006), the Musée du quai Branly.
In the early twenty-first century, the population of Paris began to increase slowly again, as more young people moved into the city. It reached 2.25 million in 2011. In March 2001, Bertrand Delanoë became the first socialist mayor of Paris. In 2007, in an effort to reduce car traffic in the city, he introduced the Vélib', a system which rents bicycles for the use of local residents and visitors. Bertrand Delanoë additionally transformed a section of the motorway along the left bank of the Seine into an urban promenade and park, the Promenade des Berges de la Seine, which he inaugurated in June 2013.
In 2007, President Nicolas Sarkozy launched the Grand Paris project, to integrate Paris more closely with the towns in the region around it. After a large number of modifications, the new area, named the Metropolis of Grand Paris, with a population of 6.7 million, was created on 1 January 2016.
In 2011, the City of Paris and the national government approved the plans for the Grand Paris Express, totaling 205 km (127 miles) of automated metro lines to connect Paris, the innermost three departments around Paris, airports and high-speed rail (TGV) stations, at an estimated cost of €35 billion. The system is scheduled to be completed by 2030.
On 5 April 2014, Anne Hidalgo, a socialist, was elected the first female mayor of Paris.
On 7 January 2015, two French Muslim extremists attacked the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo and killed thirteen people, and on 9 January, a third terrorist killed four hostages throughout an attack at a Jewish grocery store at Porte de Vincennes. On 11 January an estimated 1.5 million people marched in Paris–along with international political leaders–to show solidarity against terrorism and in defence of freedom of speech. Ten months later, 13 November 2015, came a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis claimed by the 'Islamic state' organisation ISIL ('Daesh', ISIS); 130 people were killed by gunfire and bombs, and more than 350 were injured.
Paris is located in northern central France. By road it is 450 km (280 mi) south-east of London, 287 km (178 mi) south of Calais, 305 km (190 mi) south-west of Brussels, 774 km (481 mi) north of Marseille, 385 km (239 mi) north-east of Nantes, and 135 km (84 mi) south-east of Rouen. Paris is 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. The river's mouth on the English Channel (La Manche) is about 233 mi (375 km) downstream of the city, established around 7600 BC. The city is spread widely on both banks of the river. Overall, the city is relatively flat, and the lowest point is 35 m (115 ft) above sea level. Paris has several prominent hills, the highest of which is Montmartre at 130 m (427 ft). 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 covers an oval measuring about 87 km2 (34 sq mi) in area, enclosed by the 35 km (22 mi) ring road, the Boulevard Périphérique. The city's last major annexation of outlying territories in 1860 not only gave it its modern form but additionally created the 20 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). The metropolitan area of the city is 2,300 km2 (890 sq mi).
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. Summer days are usually warm and pleasant with average temperatures hovering between 15 and 25 °C (59 and 77 °F), and a fair amount of sunshine. Each year, however, there are a few days where the temperature rises above 32 °C (90 °F). Some years have even witnessed long periods of harsh summer weather, such as the heat wave of 2003 when temperatures exceeded 30 °C (86 °F) for weeks, surged up to 40 °C (104 °F) on a few days and seldom cooled down at night. 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. In winter, sunshine is scarce; days are cool, nights cold but generally above freezing with low temperatures around 3 °C (37 °F). Light night frosts are however quite common, but the temperature will dip below −5 °C (23 °F) for only a few days a year. Snow falls every year, but rarely stays on the ground. The city at times sees light snow or flurries with or without accumulation.
Paris has an average annual precipitation of 652 mm (25.7 in), and experiences light rainfall distributed evenly throughout the year. However the city is known for intermittent abrupt heavy showers. The highest recorded temperature is 40.4 °C (104.7 °F) on 28 July 1947, and the lowest is −23.9 °C (−11.0 °F) on 10 December 1879.
|Climate data for Paris (Parc Montsouris), 1981–2010|
|Record high °C (°F)||16.1|
|Average high °C (°F)||7.2|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.0|
|Average low °C (°F)||2.7|
|Record low °C (°F)||−14.6|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||53.7|
|Average precipitation days||10.2||9.3||10.4||9.4||10.3||8.6||8||6.9||8.5||9.5||9.7||10.7||111.5|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||62.5||79.2||128.9||166.0||193.8||202.1||212.2||212.2||167.9||117.8||67.7||51.4||1,661.7|
|Source: Meteo France|
For almost all of its long history, except for a few brief periods, Paris was governed directly by representatives of the king, emperor, or president of France. The city wasn't granted municipal autonomy by the National Assembly until 1974. The first modern elected mayor of Paris was Jacques Chirac, elected 20 March 1977, fitting the city's first mayor after 1793. The current mayor is Anne Hidalgo, a socialist, elected 5 April 2014.
The mayor of Paris is elected indirectly by Paris voters; the voters of each arrondissement elect the Conseil de Paris (Council of Paris), composed of 163 members. Each arrondissement has a number of members depending upon its population, from 10 members for each of the least-populated arrondissements (1st through 9th) to 36 members for the most populated (the 15th). The elected council members select the mayor. Sometimes the candidate who receives the most votes citywide isn't selected if the additional candidate has won the support of the majority of council members. Mayor Bertrand Delanoë (2001–2014) was elected by only a minority of city voters, but a majority of council members. Once elected, the council plays a largely passive role in the city government; it meets only once a month. The current council is divided between a coalition of the left of 91 members, including the socialists, communists, greens, and extreme left; and 71 members for the centre right, plus a few members from smaller parties.
Each of Paris' 20 arrondissements has its own town hall and a directly elected council (conseil d'arrondissement), which, in turn, elects an arrondissement mayor. The council of each arrondissement is composed of members of the Conseil de Paris and additionally members who serve only on the council of the arrondissement. The number of deputy mayors in each arrondissement varies depending upon its population. There are a total of 20 arrondissement mayors and 120 deputy mayors.
The budget of the city for 2013 was €7.6 billion, of which 5.4 billion went for city administration, while €2.2 billion went for investment. The largest part of the budget (38 percent) went for public housing and urbanism projects; 15 percent for roads and transport; 8 percent for schools (which are mostly financed by the state budget); 5 percent for parks and gardens; and 4 percent for culture. The main source of income for the city is direct taxes (35 percent), supplemented by a 13-percent real estate tax; 19 percent of the budget comes in a transfer from the national government.
The number of city employees, or agents, grew from 40,000 in 2000 to 73,000 in 2013. The city debt grew from €1.6 billion in 2000 to 3.1 billion in 2012, with a debt of €3.65 billion expected for 2014. As a result of the growing debt, the bond rating of the city was lowered from AAA to AA+ in both 2012 and 2013. In September 2014, Mayor Hidalgo announced that the city would have budget shortfall of €400 million, largely because of a cut in support from the national government.
The Métropole du Grand Paris
The Métropole du Grand Paris, or Metropolis of Greater Paris, formally came into existence on January 1, 2016. It is an administrative structure for cooperation between the City of Paris and its nearest suburbs. It includes the City of Paris, plus the communes, or towns of the three departments of the inner suburbs; Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne; plus seven communes in the outer suburbs, including Argenteuil in Val d'Oise and Paray-Vieille-Poste in Essonne, which were added to include the major airports of Paris. The Metropole covers 814 square km (314 square miles) and has a population of 6.945 million persons.
The new structure is administered by a Metropolitan Council of 210 members, not directly elected, but chosen by the councils of the member Communes. By 2020 its basic competencies will include urban planning, housing, and protection of the environment. The first president of the metropolitan council, Patrick Ollier, a Republican and the mayor of the town of Rueil-Malmaison, was elected on January 22, 2016. Though the Metropole has a population of nearly seven million persons and accounts for 25 percent of the GDP of France, it has a quite small budget; just 65 million Euros, compared with eight billion Euros for the City of Paris.
The Region of Île de France, including Paris and its surrounding communities, is governed by the Regional Council, which has its headquarters in the seventh arrondissement of Paris. It is composed of 209 members representing the different communes within the region. On December 15, 2015, a list of candidates of the Union of the Right, a coalition of centrist and right-wing parties, led by Valérie Pécresse, narrowly won the regional election, defeating a coalition of Socialists and ecologists. The Socialists had governed the region for seventeen years. The regional council has 121 members from the Union of the Right, 66 from the Union of the Left and 22 from the extreme right National Front.
Holders of the executive office
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 additionally serve as their offices. The President of the French Republic resides at the Élysée Palace in the 8th arrondissement, while the Prime Minister's seat is at the Hôtel Matignon in the 7th arrondissement. Government ministries are located in various parts of the city; a large number of are located in the seventh 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 seventh arrondissement. The President of the Senate, the second-highest public official in France (the President of the Republic being the sole superior), 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. The Constitutional Council, an advisory body with ultimate authority on the constitutionality of laws and government decrees, additionally meets in the Montpensier wing of the Palais Royal.
Paris and its region host the headquarters of several 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.
Following the motto "Only Paris is worthy of Rome; only Rome is worthy of Paris"; the only sister city of Paris is Rome, although Paris has partnership agreements with a large number of additional cities around the world.
The security of Paris is mainly the responsibility of the Prefecture of Police of Paris, a subdivision of the Ministry of the Interior of France. It supervises the units of the National Police who patrol the city and the three neighbouring departments. It is additionally responsible for providing emergency services, including the Paris Fire Brigade. Its headquarters is on Place Louis Lépine on the Île de la Cité. There are 30,200 officers under the prefecture, and a fleet of more than 6,000 vehicles, including police cars, motorcycles, fire trucks, boats and helicopters. In addition to traditional police duties, the local police monitors the number of discount sales held by large stores (no more than two a year are allowed) and verify that, throughout summer holidays, at least one bakery is open in every neighbourhood. The national police has its own special unit for riot control and crowd control and security of public buildings, called the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité (CRS), a unit formed in 1944 right after the liberation of France. Vans of CRS agents are frequently seen in the centre of the city when there are demonstrations and public events.
The police are supported by the National Gendarmerie, a branch of the French Armed Forces, though their police operations now are supervised by the Ministry of the Interior. The traditional kepis of the gendarmes were replaced in 2002 with caps, and the force modernised, though they still wear kepis for ceremonial occasions.
Crime in Paris is similar to that in most large cities. Violent crime is relatively rare in the city centre. Political violence is uncommon, though quite large demonstrations might occur in Paris and additional French cities simultaneously. These demonstrations, usually managed by a strong police presence, can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.
Urbanism and architecture
Most French rulers after the Middle Ages made a point of leaving their mark on a city that, contrary to a large number of additional of the world's capitals, has never been destroyed by catastrophe or war. In modernising its infrastructure through the centuries, Paris has preserved even its earliest history in its street map. At its origin, before the Middle Ages, the city was composed around several islands and sandbanks in a bend of the Seine; of those, two remain today: the île Saint-Louis, the île de la Cité; a third one is the 1827 artificially created île aux Cygnes. Modern Paris owes much to its late nineteenth century Second Empire remodelling by the Baron Haussmann: a large number of of modern Paris' busiest streets, avenues and boulevards today are a result of that city renovation. Paris additionally owes its style to its aligned street-fronts, distinctive cream-grey "Paris stone" building ornamentation, aligned top-floor balconies, and tree-lined boulevards. The high residential population of its city centre makes it much different from most additional western global cities.
Paris' urbanism laws have been under strict control after the early seventeenth century, particularly where street-front alignment, building height and building distribution is concerned. In recent developments, a 1974–2010 building height limitation of 37 metres (121 ft) was raised to 50 m (160 ft) in central areas and 180 metres (590 ft) in a few of Paris' peripheral quarters, yet for a few of the city's more central quarters, even older building-height laws still remain in effect. The 210 metres (690 ft) Montparnasse tower was both Paris and France's tallest building until 1973, but this record has been held by the La Défense quarter Tour First tower in Courbevoie after its 2011 construction. A new project for La Défense, called Hermitage Plaza, launched in 2009, proposes to build two towers, 85 and 86 storeys or 320 metres (1,050 feet) high, which would be the tallest buildings in the European Union, just slightly shorter than the Eiffel Tower. They were scheduled for completion in 2019 or 2020, but as of January 2015 construction hadn't yet begun, and there were questions in the press about the future of the project.
Parisian examples of European architecture date back more than a millennium; including the Romanesque church of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés (1014–1163); the early Gothic Architecture of the Basilica of Saint-Denis (1144), the Notre Dame Cathedral (1163–1345), the Flamboyant Gothic of Saint Chapelle (1239–1248), the Baroque churches of Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis (1627–1641) and Les Invalides (1670–1708). The nineteenth century produced the neoclassical church of La Madeleine (1808–1842); the Palais Garnier Opera House (1875); the neo-Byzantine Basilica of Sacré-Cœur (1875–1919), and the exuberant Belle Époque modernism of the Eiffel Tower (1889). Striking examples of twentieth century architecture include the Centre Georges Pompidou by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano (1977), and the Louvre Pyramid by I.M. Pei (1989). Contemporary architecture includes the Musée du Quai Branly by Jean Nouvel (2006) and the new contemporary art museum of the Louis Vuitton Foundation by Frank Gehry (2014).
Paris is the fifth most expensive city in the world for luxury housing: €18,499 per square metre (€1,720/sq ft) in 2014. According to a 2012 study for the La Tribune newspaper, the most expensive street is the quai des Orfèvres in the 1st arrondissement, with an average price of €20,665 per square metre (€1,920/sq ft), against €3,900 per square metre (€360/sq ft) for rue Pajol in the 18th arrondissement.
The total number of residences in the city of Paris in 2011 was 1,356,074, up from a former high of 1,334,815 in 2006. Among these, 1,165,541 (85.9 percent) were main residences, 91,835 (6.8 percent) were secondary residences, and the remaining 7.3 percent were empty (down from 9.2 percent in 2006).
Paris urban tissue began to fill and overflow its 1860 limits from around the 1920s, and because of its density, it has seen few modern constructions after then. Sixty-two percent of its buildings date from 1949 and before, 20 percent were built between 1949 and 1974, and only 18 percent of the buildings remaining were built after that date.
Two-thirds of the city's 1.3 million residences are studio and two-room apartments. Paris averages 1.9 people per residence, a number that has remained constant after the 1980s, but it is much less than Île-de-France's 2.33 person-per-residence average. Only 33 percent of principal-residence Parisians own their habitation (against 47 percent for the entire Île-de-France): the major part of the city's population is a rent-paying one.
Social housing represents a little more than 17 percent of the city's total residences, but these are rather unevenly distributed throughout the capital: the vast majority of these are concentrated in a crescent formed by Paris' south-western to northern periphery arrondissements.
In 2012 the Paris agglomeration (urban area) counted 28,800 people without a fixed residence, an increase of 84 percent after 2001; it represents 43 percent of the homeless in all of France. Forty-one percent were women, and 29 percent were accompanied by children. Fifty-six percent of the homeless were born outside France, the largest number coming from Africa and Eastern Europe. The city of Paris has sixty homeless shelters, called Centres d'hébergement et de réinsertion sociale or CHRS, which are funded by the city and operated by private charities and associations.
Paris and its suburbs
Aside from the twentieth century addition of the Bois de Boulogne, Bois de Vincennes and Paris heliport, Paris' administrative limits have remained unchanged after 1860. The Seine département had been governing Paris and its suburbs after its creation in 1790, but the rising suburban population had made it difficult to govern as a unique entity. This problem was 'resolved' when its parent "District de la région parisienne" (Paris region) was reorganised into several new departments from 1968: Paris became a department in itself, and the administration of its suburbs was divided between the three departments surrounding it. The Paris region was renamed "Île-de-France" in 1977, but the "Paris region" name is still commonly used today. Long-intended measures to unite Paris with its suburbs began on January 1, 2016 when the Métropole du Grand Paris came into existence.
Paris' disconnect with its suburbs, its lack of suburban transportation in particular, became all too obvious with the Paris agglomeration's growth. Paul Delouvrier promised to resolve the Paris-suburbs mésentente when he became head of the Paris region in 1961: two of his most ambitious projects for the Region were the construction of five suburban villes nouvelles ("new cities") and the RER commuter train network. Many additional suburban residential districts (grands ensembles) were built between the 1960s and 1970s to provide a low-cost solution for a rapidly expanding population: these districts were socially mixed at first, but few residents actually owned their homes (the growing economy made these accessible to the middle classes only from the 1970s). Their poor construction quality and their haphazard insertion into existing urban growth contributed to their desertion by those able to move elsewhere and their repopulation by those with more limited possibilities.
These areas, quartiers sensibles ("sensitive quarters"), are in northern and eastern Paris, namely around its Goutte d'Or and Belleville neighbourhoods. To the north of the city they're grouped mainly in the Seine-Saint-Denis department, and to a lesser extreme to the east in the Val-d'Oise department. Other difficult areas are located in the Seine valley, in Évry et Corbeil-Essonnes (Essonne), in Mureaux, Mantes-la-Jolie (Yvelines), and scattered among social housing districts created by Delouvrier's 1961 "ville nouvelle" political initiative.
The Paris agglomeration's urban sociology is basically that of nineteenth century Paris: its fortuned classes are situated in its west and south-west, and its middle-to-lower classes are in its north and east. The remaining areas are mostly middle-class citizenry dotted with islands of fortuned populations located there due to reasons of historical importance, namely Saint-Maur-des-Fossés to the east and Enghien-les-Bains to the north of Paris.
The population of Paris in its administrative city limits was 2,241,346 in January 2014. This makes Paris the fifth largest municipality in the European Union, following London, Berlin, Madrid and Rome. Eurostat, the statistical agency of the EU, places Paris (6.5 million people) second behind London (8 million) and ahead of Berlin (3.5 million), based on the 2012 populations of what Eurostat calls "urban audit core cities". The Paris Urban Area, or "unité urbaine", is a statistical area created by the French statistical agency INSEE to measure the population of built-up areas around the city. It is slightly smaller than the Paris Region. According to INSEE, the Paris Urban Area had a population of 10,550,350 at the January 2012 census, the most populous in the European Union, and third most populous in Europe, behind Istanbul and Moscow. The Paris Metropolitan Area is the second most populous in the European Union after London with a population of 12,341,418 at the Jan. 2012 census.
The population of Paris today is lower than its historical peak of 2.9 million in 1921. The principal reasons were a significant decline in household size, and a dramatic migration of residents to the suburbs between 1962 and 1975. Factors in the migration included de-industrialisation, high rent, the gentrification of a large number of inner quarters, the transformation of living space into offices, and greater affluence among working families. The city's population loss came to an end in the twenty-first century; the population estimate of July 2004 showed a population increase for the first time after 1954, and the population reached 2,234,000 by 2009.
According to Eurostat, the EU statistical agency, in 2012 the Commune of Paris was the most densely populated city in the European Union, with 21,616 people per square kilometre within the city limits (the NUTS-3 statistical area), ahead of Inner London West, which had 10,374 people per square kilometre. According to the same census, three departments bordering Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne, had population densities of over ten thousand people per square kilometre, ranking among the ten most densely populated areas of the EU.
According to the 2012 French census, 586,163 residents of the City of Paris, or 26.2 percent, and 2,782,834 residents of the Paris Region (Île-de-France), or 23.4 percent, were born outside of Metropolitan France (the last figure up from 22.4% at the 2007 census).
26,700 of these in the City of Paris and 210,159 in the Paris Region were people born in Overseas France (more than two-thirds of whom in the French West Indies) and are therefore not counted as immigrants after there are legally French citizens at birth.
A further 103,648 in the City of Paris and in 412,114 in the Paris Region were born in foreign countries with French citizenship at birth. This concerns in particular the a large number of Christians and Jews from North Africa who moved to France and Paris after the times of independence and aren't counted as immigrants due to their being born French citizens.
The remaining group, people born in foreign countries with no French citizenship at birth, are those defined as immigrants under French law. According to the 2012 census, 135,853 residents of the city of Paris were immigrants from Europe, 112,369 were immigrants from the Maghreb, 70,852 from sub-Saharan Africa and Egypt, 5,059 from Turkey, 91,297 from Asia (outside Turkey), 38,858 from the Americas, and 1,365 from the South Pacific. Note that the immigrants from the Americas and the South Pacific in Paris are vastly outnumbered by migrants from French overseas regions and territories located in these regions of the world.
In the Paris Region, 590,504 residents were immigrants from Europe, 627,078 were immigrants from the Maghreb, 435,339 from sub-Saharan Africa and Egypt, 69,338 from Turkey, 322,330 from Asia (outside Turkey), 113,363 from the Americas, and 2,261 from the South Pacific. These last two groups of immigrants are again vastly outnumbered by migrants from French overseas regions and territories located in the Americas and the South Pacific.
In 2012, there were 8,810 British citizens and 10,019 US citizens living in the City of Paris (Ville de Paris), and 20,466 British citizens and 16,408 US citizens living in the entire Paris Region (Île-de-France).
According to a 2011 survey by IFOP, a French public opinion research organization, 47 percent of residents of the Paris Region (Île-de-France) identified themselves as Roman Catholic, though just 15 percent said they were practising Catholics, while 46 percent were non-practicing. In the same survey, 7 percent of residents identified themselves as Muslims, 4 percent as Protestants, two percent as Jewish, and 25 percent as without religion.
According to INSEE, the French government statistical office, between 4 and 5 million French residents were born or had at least one parent born in a predominately Muslim country, particularly Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. An IFOP survey in 2008 reported that, of immigrants from these predominantly Muslim countries, 25 percent went to the mosque regularly; 41 percent practised the religion, and 34 percent were believers but didn't practise the religion.
In 2012, Dalil Boubakeur, the Rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris and former President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, estimated that there were 500,000 Muslims in the city of Paris, 1.5 million Muslims in the Île-de-France region, and 4 to 5 million Muslims in France.
The Jewish population of the Paris Region was estimated in 2014 to be 282,000, the largest concentration of Jews in the world outside of Israel and the United States.
|Top companies with world headquarters|
in the Paris Region for 2015
(ranked by revenues)
with Region and World ranks
|11||Finatis (Groupe Casino)||148|
|Full table at Economy of Paris|
|Financial services firms in green|
|Source: 2015 Fortune Global 500|
The economy of the City of Paris is today is based largely on services and commerce; of the 390,480 enterprises in the city, 80.6 percent are engaged in commerce, transportation, and diverse services, 6.5 percent in construction, and just 3.8 percent in industry. The storey is similar in the Paris Region, or Île-de-France. 76.7 percent of enterprises are engaged in commerce and services, and 3.4 percent in industry.
At the 2012 census, 59.5% of jobs in the Paris Region were in market services (12.0% in wholesale and retail trade, 9.7% in professional, scientific, and technical services, 6.5% in information and communication, 6.5% in transportation and warehousing, 5.9% in finance and insurance, 5.8% in administrative and support services, 4.6% in accommodation and food services, and 8.5% in various additional market services), 26.9% in non-market services (10.4% in human health and social work activities, 9.6% in public administration and defence, and 6.9% in education), 8.2% in manufacturing and utilities (6.6% in manufacturing and 1.5% in utilities), 5.2% in construction, and 0.2% in agriculture.
The Paris Region had 5.4 million salaried employees in 2010, of whom 2.2 million were concentrated in 39 pôles d'emplois or business districts. The largest of these, in terms of number of employees, is known in French as the QCA, or quartier central des affaires; it is in the western part of the City of Paris, in the 2nd, 8th, 9th, sixteenth and eighteenth arrondissements. In 2010 it was the workplace of 500,000 salaried employees, about thirty percent of the salaried employees in Paris and ten percent of those in the Île-de-France. The largest sectors of activity in the central business district were finance and insurance (16 percent of employees in the district) and business services (15 percent). The district additionally includes a large concentration of department stores, shopping areas, hotels and restaurants, as well a government offices and ministries.
The second-largest business district in terms of employment is La Défense, just west of the city, where a large number of companies installed their offices in the 1990s. In 2010 it was the workplace of 144,600 employees, of whom 38 percent worked in finance and insurance, 16 percent in business support services. Two additional important districts, Neuilly-sur-Seine and Levallois-Perret, are extensions of the Paris business district and of La Défense. An Additional district, including Boulogne-Billancourt, Issy-les-Moulineaux and the southern part of the fifteenth arrondissement, is a centre of activity for the media and information technology.
The top ten French companies listed in the Fortune Global 500 for 2015 all have their headquarters in the Paris Region; six in the central business district of the City of Paris; and four close to the city in the Hauts-de-Seine Department, three in La Défense and one in Boulogne-Billancourt. Some companies, like Société Générale, have offices in both Paris and La Défense.
The Paris Region is France's leading region for economic activity, with a 2012 GDP of €624 billion (US$687 billion). In 2011, its GDP ranked second among the regions of Europe and its per-capita GDP was the fourth highest in Europe. While the Paris region's population accounted for 18.8 percent of metropolitan France in 2011, the Paris region's GDP accounted for 30 percent of metropolitan France's GDP. In 2015 it hosts the world headquarters of 29 of the 31 Fortune Global 500 companies located in France.
The Paris Region economy has gradually shifted from industry to high-value-added service industries (finance, IT services, etc.) and high-tech manufacturing (electronics, optics, aerospace, etc.). The Paris region's most intense economic activity through the central Hauts-de-Seine department 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 dominated by services, and employment in manufacturing sector has declined sharply, the region remains an important manufacturing centre, particularly for aeronautics, automobiles, and "eco" industries.
In a 2015 worldwide cost of living survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Paris ranked as the world's second most expensive city. In the survey, it is joined among the most expensive European cities by Oslo, Zürich, Geneva and Copenhagen. The ranking compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services, and is designed to calculate cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expatriates and business travellers.
According to 2012 INSEE figures, 68 percent of employees in the City of Paris work in commerce, transportation, and services; 24.4 percent in public administration, health and social services; 4.4 percent in industry, and 0.1 percent in agriculture.
The majority of Paris' salaried employees fill 370,000 businesses services jobs, concentrated in the north-western 8th, sixteenth and seventeenth arrondissements. Paris' financial service companies are concentrated in the central-western eighth and ninth arrondissement banking and insurance district. Paris' department store district in the 1st, 6th, eighth and ninth arrondissements employ 10 percent of mostly female Paris workers, with 100,000 of these registered in the retail trade. Fourteen percent of Parisians work in hotels and restaurants and additional services to individuals. Nineteen percent of Paris employees work for the State in either in administration or education. The majority of Paris' healthcare and social workers work at the hospitals and social housing concentrated in the peripheral 13th, 14th, 18th, nineteenth and twentieth arrondissements. Outside Paris, the western Hauts-de-Seine department La Défense district specialising in finance, insurance and scientific research district, employs 144,600, and the north-eastern Seine-Saint-Denis audiovisual sector has 200 media firms and 10 major film studios.
Paris' manufacturing is mostly focused in its suburbs, and the city itself has only around 75,000 manufacturing workers, most of which are in the textile, clothing, leather goods and shoe trades. Paris region manufacturing specialises in transportation, mainly automobiles, aircraft and trains, but this is in a sharp decline: Paris proper manufacturing jobs dropped by 64 percent between 1990 and 2010, and the Paris region lost 48 percent throughout the same period. Most of this is due to companies relocating outside the Paris region. The Paris region's 800 aerospace companies employed 100,000. Four hundred automobile industry companies employ another 100,000 workers: a large number of of these are centred in the Yvelines department around the Renault and PSA-Citroen plants (this department alone employs 33,000), but the industry as a whole suffered a major loss with the 2014 closing of a major Aulnay-sous-Bois Citroen assembly plant.
The southern Essonne department specialises in science and technology, and the south-eastern Val-de-Marne, with its wholesale Rungis food market, specialises in food processing and beverages. The Paris region's manufacturing decline is quickly being replaced by eco-industries: these employ about 100,000 workers. In 2011, while only 56,927 construction workers worked in Paris itself, its metropolitan area employed 246,639, in an activity centred largely around the Seine-Saint-Denis (41,378) and Hauts-de-Seine (37,303) departments and the new business-park centres appearing there.
The average net household income (after social, pension and health insurance contributions) in Paris was €36,085 for 2011. It ranged from €22,095 in the nineteenth arrondissement to €82,449 in the seventh arrondissement. The median taxable income for 2011 was around €25,000 in Paris and €22,200 for Île-de-France. 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. Unemployment was estimated at 8.2 percent in the city of Paris and 8.8 percent in the Île-de-France region in the first trimester of 2015. It ranged from 7.6 percent in the wealthy Essonne department to 13.1 percent in the Seine-Saint-Denis department, where a large number of recent immigrants live.
While Paris has a few of the richest neighbourhoods in France, it additionally has a few of the poorest, mostly on the eastern side of the city. In 2012, 14 percent of households in the city earned less than €977 per month, the official poverty line. Twenty-five percent of residents in the nineteenth arrondissement lived below the poverty line; 24 percent in the 18th, 22 percent in the twentieth and 18 percent in the 10th. In the city's wealthiest neighbourhood, the seventh arrondissement, 7 percent lived below the poverty line; 8 percent in the sixth arrondissement; and 9 percent in the sixteenth arrondissement.
Grand Paris (the City plus three surrounding departments) received 22.2 million visitors in 2015 measured by hotel stays, a decrease of 1.1 percent from 2014, due to two series of deadly terrorist attacks. The largest numbers of foreign tourists in 2015, measured by airport arrivals, came from the United States (1.8 million, down by 3.6 percent from 2014); the U.K. (1.08 million), Germany (725,000; ) Italy (622,000), and Spain (609,000). Arrivals from Russia (211,000) dropped 37 percent from 2014. Arrivals from the rest of the Europe numbered 1 million, down 4.9 percent from 2014. 746,00 Visitors came from China, an increase of 40 percent from 2015; 481,000 came from Japan, a drop of 23 percent from 2015. Arrivals from the Near and Middle East numbered 535,000 an increase of 0.7 percent. Arrivals from the Americas outside the U.S. numbered 910,000; down 4.9 percent from 2014; 395,000 arrived from Africa, up 6.5 percent from 2014; and 1,065,000 from Asia and Oceania excluding China and Japan, an increase of 14.6 percent over 2014.
In 2015, measured by the MasterCard Global Cities Destination Index, Paris was the third busiest airline destination in the world, with 16.06 million visitors, behind London (18.8 million) and Bangkok (18.24 million). According to the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, 393,008 workers in Grand Paris, or 12.4 percent of the total workforce, are engaged in tourism-related sectors; hotels, catering, transport and leisure.
Monuments and attractions
There were 74.7 million visitors to the city's museums and monuments in 2015, a drop of 7.2 percent from 2014 due to highly publicised terrorist attacks. The city's top tourist attraction was the Notre Dame Cathedral, which welcomed 13.6 million visitors in 2015. The Louvre museum had 8.4 million visitors in 2015, making it the most visited museum in the world. The additional top cultural attractions in Paris in 2015 were the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur (10 million visitors); the Eiffel Tower (6.917,000 visitors); the Centre Pompidou (3,060,000 visitors) and Musée d'Orsay (3,439,000 visitors). In the Paris region, Disneyland Paris, in Marne-la-Vallée, 32 km (20 miles) east of the centre of Paris, was the most visited tourist attraction in France, with 14.8 million visitors in 2015.
The centre of Paris contains the most visited monuments in the city, including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre as well as the Sainte-Chapelle; Les Invalides, where the tomb of Napoleon is located, and the Eiffel Tower are located on the Left Bank south-west of the centre. The banks of the Seine from the Pont de Sully to the Pont d'Iéna have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site after 1991. Other landmarks are laid out east to west along the historic axis of Paris, which runs from the Louvre through the Tuileries Garden, the Luxor Column in the Place de la Concorde, the Arc de Triomphe, to the Grande Arche of La Défense.
Several additional much-visited landmarks are located in the suburbs of the city; the Basilica of St Denis, in Seine-Saint-Denis, is the birthplace of the Gothic style of architecture and the royal necropolis of French kings and queens. The Paris region hosts three additional UNESCO Heritage sites: the Palace of Versailles in the west, the Palace of Fontainebleau in the south and the mediaeval fairs site of Provins in the east.
As of 2013 the City of Paris had 1,570 hotels with 70,034 rooms, of which 55 were rated five-star, mostly belonging to international chains and mostly located close to the centre and the Champs-Élysées. Paris has long been famous for its grand hotels. The Hotel Meurice, opened for British travellers in 1817, was one of the first luxury hotels in Paris. The arrival of the railways and the Paris Exposition of 1855 brought the first flood of tourists and the first modern grand hotels; the Hôtel du Louvre (now an antiques marketplace) in 1855; the Grand Hotel (now the Intercontinental LeGrand) in 1862; and the Hôtel Continental in 1878. The Hôtel Ritz on Place Vendôme opened in 1898, followed by the Hôtel Crillon in an 18th-century building on the Place de la Concorde in 1909; the Hotel Bristol on rue de Fabourg Saint-Honoré in 1925; and the Hotel George V in 1928.
Painting and sculpture
For centuries, Paris has attracted artists from around the world, who arrive 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". Italian artists were a profound influence on the development of art in Paris in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, particularly in sculpture and reliefs. Painting and sculpture became the pride of the French monarchy and the French royals commissioned a large number of Parisian artists to adorn their palaces throughout the French Baroque and Classicism era. Sculptors such as Girardon, Coysevox and Coustou acquired reputations as the finest artists in the royal court in 17th-century France. Pierre Mignard became the first painter to King Louis XIV throughout this period. In 1648, the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture (Royal 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.
Paris was in its artistic prime in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, when it had a colony of artists established in the city and in art schools associated with a few of the finest painters of the times: Manet, Monet, Berthe Morisot, Gauguin, Renoir and others. 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 Gericault. Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Symbolism, Fauvism, Cubism and Art Deco movements all evolved in Paris. In the late nineteenth century, a large number of 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. Artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, Henri Rousseau, Marc Chagall, Amedeo Modigliani and a large number of others became associated with Paris. Picasso, living in Montmartre, painted his famous La Famille de Saltimbanques and Les Demoiselles d'Avignon between 1905 and 1907. Montmartre and Montparnasse became centres for artistic production.
The most prestigious names of French and foreign sculptors, who made their reputation in Paris in the modern era, are Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (Statue of Liberty), Auguste Rodin, Camille Claudel, Antoine Bourdelle, Paul Landowski (statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro) and Aristide Maillol. The Golden Age of the School of Paris ended between the two world wars,
The inventor Nicéphore Niépce produced the first permanent photograph on a polished pewter plate in Paris in 1825, and then developed the process with Louis Daguerre. The work of Étienne-Jules Marey in the 1880s contributed considerably to the development of modern photography. Photography came to occupy a central role in Parisian Surrealist activity, in the works of Man Ray and Maurice Tabard. Numerous photographers achieved renown for their photography of Paris, including Eugène Atget, noted for his depictions of street scenes, Robert Doisneau, noted for his playful pictures of people and market scenes (among which Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville has become iconic of the romantic vision of Paris), Marcel Bovis, noted for his night scenes, and others such as Jacques-Henri Lartigue and Cartier-Bresson. Poster art additionally became an important art form in Paris in the late nineteenth century, through the work of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Jules Chéret, Eugène Grasset, Adolphe Willette, Pierre Bonnard, Georges de Feure, Henri-Gabriel Ibels, Gavarni, and Alphonse Mucha.
The Louvre was the world's most visited art museum in 2015, with 8.42 million visitors. Its treasures include the Mona Lisa (La Joconde) and the Venus de Milo statue. With 3.44 million visitors, the Musée d'Orsay, in the former Orsay railway station, was the second-most visited museum in the city in 2015; it displays French art of the nineteenth century, including major collections of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. The original building – a railway station – was constructed for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. Starkly obvious with its service-pipe exterior, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the third-most visited art museum in Paris, attracted 3.060 million visitors in 2015. Also known as Beaubourg, it houses the Musée National d'Art Moderne. The Musée national du Moyen Âge, or Cluny Museum, presents Medieval art, including the famous tapestry cycle of The Lady and the Unicorn. The Guimet Museum, or Musée national des arts asiatiques, has one of the largest collections of Asian art in Europe. There are additionally notable museums devoted to individual artists, including the Picasso Museum the Rodin Museum, and the Musée national Eugène Delacroix.
Paris hosts one of the largest science museums in Europe, the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie at La Villette,attracted 2 million visitors in 2015, making it the fourth most popular national museum in the city. The National Museum of Natural History, on the Left Bank, attracted 1.88 million visitors in 2015, making it the fifth most popular Parisian national museum. It is famous for its dinosaur artefacts, mineral collections, and its Gallery of Evolution. The military history of France, from the Middle Ages to World War II, is vividly presented by displays at the Musée de l'Armée at Les Invalides, near the tomb of Napoleon. In addition to the national museums, run by the French Ministry of Culture, the City of Paris operates 14 museums, including the Carnavalet Museum on the history of Paris; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Palais de Tokyo; the House of Victor Hugo and House of Balzac, and the Catacombs of Paris. There are additionally notable private museums; The Contemporary Art museum of the Louis Vuitton Foundation, designed by architect Frank Gehry, opened in October 2014 in the Bois de Boulogne.
The largest opera houses of Paris are the 19th-century Opéra Garnier (historical Paris Opéra) and modern Opéra Bastille; the former tends toward the more classic ballets and operas, and the latter provides a mixed repertoire of classic and modern. In middle of the nineteenth century, there were three additional 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). Philharmonie de Paris, the modern symphonic concert hall of Paris, opened in January 2015. An Additional musical landmark is the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, where the first performances of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes took place in 1913.
Theatre traditionally has occupied a large place in Parisian culture, and a large number of of its most popular actors today are additionally stars of French television. The oldest and most famous Paris theatre is the Comédie-Française, founded in 1680. Run by the French government, it performs mostly French classics at the Salle Richelieu in the Palais-Royal at 2 rue de Richelieu, next to the Louvre. of Other famous theatres include the Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, next to the Luxembourg Gardens, additionally a state institution and theatrical landmark; the Théâtre Mogador, and the Théâtre de la Gaîté-Montparnasse.
The music hall and cabaret are famous Paris institutions. The Moulin Rouge was opened in 1889. It was highly visible because of its large red imitation windmill on its roof, and became the birthplace of the dance known as the French Cancan. It helped make famous the singers Mistinguett and Édith Piaf and the painter Toulouse-Lautrec, who made posters for the venue. In 1911, the dance hall Olympia Paris invented the grand staircase as a settling for its shows, competing with its great rival, the Folies Bergère, Its stars in the 1920s included the American singer and dancer Josephine Baker. The Casino de Paris presented a large number of famous French singers, including Mistinguett, Maurice Chevalier, and Tino Rossi. Other famous Paris music halls include Le Lido, on the Champs-Élysées, opened in 1946; and the Crazy Horse Saloon, featuring strip-tease, dance and magic, opened in 1951. The Olympia Paris has presented Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, Miles Davis, Judy Garland, and the Grateful Dead. A half dozen music halls exist today in Paris, attended mostly visitors to the city.
The first book printed in France, Epistolae ("Letters"), by Gasparinus de Bergamo (Gasparino da Barzizza), was published in Paris in 1470 by the press established by Johann Heynlin. Since then, Paris has been the centre of the French publishing industry, the home of a few of the world's best-known writers and poets, and the setting for a large number of classic works of French literature. Almost all the books published in Paris in the Middle Ages were in Latin, rather than French. Paris didn't become the acknowledged capital of French literature until the seventeenth century, with authors such as Boileau, Corneille, La Fontaine, Molière, Racine, several coming from the provinces, and the foundation of the Académie française. In the eighteenth century, the literary life of Paris revolved around the cafés and salons, and was dominated by Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Pierre de Marivaux, and Beaumarchais.
During the nineteenth century, Paris was the home and subject for a few of France's greatest writers, including Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, Mérimée, Alfred de Musset, Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Alexandre Dumas, Gustave Flaubert, Guy de Maupassant and Honoré de Balzac. Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame inspired the renovation of its setting, the Notre-Dame de Paris. An Additional of Victor Hugo's works, Les Misérables, written while he was in exile outside France throughout the Second Empire, described the social change and political turmoil in Paris in the early 1830s. One of the most popular of all French writers, Jules Verne, worked at the Theatre Lyrique and the Paris stock exchange, while he did research for his storeys at the National Library.
In the twentieth century, the Paris literary community was dominated by Colette, André Gide, François Mauriac, André Malraux, Albert Camus, and, after World War II, by Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre; Between the wars it was the home of a large number of important expatriate writers, including Ernest Hemingway, Samuel Beckett, and, in the 1970s, Milan Kundera. The winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, Patrick Modiano–who lives in Paris–, based most of his literary work on the depiction of the city throughout World War II and the 1960s–1970s.
Paris is a city of books and bookstores. In the 1970s, 80 percent of French-language publishing houses were found in Paris, almost all on the Left Bank in the 5th, sixth and seventh arrondissements. Since that time, because of high prices, a few publishers have moved out to the less expensive areas. It is additionally a city of small bookstores; There are about 150 bookstores in the fifth arrondissement alone, plus another 250 book stalls along the Seine. Small Paris bookstores are protected against competition from discount booksellers by French law; books, even e-books, can't be discounted more than five percent below their publisher's cover price.
In the late twelfth century, a school of polyphony was established at Notre-Dame. Among the Trouvères of northern France, a group of Parisian aristocrats became known for their poetry and songs. Troubadours, from the south of France, were additionally popular. During the reign of François I, in the Renaissance era, the lute became popular in the French court. The French royals and courtiers "disported themselves in masques, ballets, allegorical dances, recitals, and opera and comedy", and a national musical printing house was established. In the Baroque-era, noted composers included Jean-Baptiste Lully, Jean-Philippe Rameau, and François Couperin. The Conservatoire de Musique de Paris was founded in 1795. By 1870, Paris had become an important centre for symphony, ballet and operatic music. Romantic-era composers (in Paris) include Hector Berlioz (La Symphonie fantastique), Charles Gounod (Faust), Camille Saint-Saëns (Samson et Delilah), Léo Delibes (Lakmé) and Jules Massenet (Thaïs), among others. Georges Bizet's Carmen premiered 3 March 1875. Carmen has after become one of the most popular and frequently-performed operas in the classical canon. Among the Impressionist composers who created new works for piano, orchestra, opera, chamber music and additional musical forms, stand in particular, Claude Debussy (Suite bergamasque, and its well-known third movement, Clair de lune, La Mer, Pelléas et Mélisande), and Maurice Ravel (Miroirs, Boléro, La valse, L'heure espagnole). Several foreign-born composers, such as Frédéric Chopin (Poland), Franz Liszt (Hungary), Jacques Offenbach (Germany), Niccolò Paganini (Italy), and Igor Stravinsky (Russia), established themselves or made significant contributions both with their works and their influence in Paris.
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 a few 150 dance halls in the working-class neighbourhoods of the city. 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 nineteenth arrondissement, and the romantic sounds of the accordion has after 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 cafés.
Paris is the spiritual home of gypsy jazz in particular, and a large number of of the Parisian jazzmen who developed in the first half of the twentieth century began by playing Bal-musette in the city. Django Reinhardt rose to fame in Paris, having moved to the eighteenth 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 1940s.
Immediately after the War The Saint-Germain-des-Pres quarter and the nearby Saint-Michel quarter became home to a large number of small jazz clubs, mostly found in cellars because of a lack of space; these included the Caveau des Lorientais, the Club Saint-Germain, the Rose Rouge, the Vieux-Colombier, and the most famous, Le Tabou. They introduced Parisians to the music of Claude Luter, Boris Vian, Sydney Bechet Mezz Mezzrow, and Henri Salvador. Most of the clubs closed by the early 1960s, as musical tastes shifted toward rock and roll.
Some of the finest manouche musicians in the world are found here playing the cafés of the city at night. Some of the more notable jazz venues include the New Morning, Le Sunset, La Chope des Puces and Bouquet du Nord. Several yearly festivals take place in Paris, including the Paris Jazz Festival(fr) and the rock festival Rock en Seine. The Orchestre de Paris was established in 1967.
On December 19, 2015, Paris and additional worldwide fans commemorated the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Edith Piaf—a French cabaret singer, songwriter and actress who became widely regarded as France's national chanteuse, as well as being one of France's greatest international stars. Other singers—of similar style—include Maurice Chevalier, Charles Aznavour, Yves Montand, and Charles Trenet.
Paris has a big hip hop scene. This music became popular throughout the 1980s. The presence of a large African and Caribbean community helped to its development, it gave a voice, a political and social status for a large number of minorities.
The movie industry was born in Paris when Auguste and Louis Lumière projected the first motion picture for a paying audience at the Grand Café on 28 December 1895. 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 room today is in Le Grand Rex theatre with 2,700 seats.
Big multiplex movie theatres have been built after the 1990s. UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles with 27 screens, MK2 Bibliothèque with 20 screens and UGC Ciné Cité Bercy with 18 screens are among the largest.
Parisians tend to share the same movie-going trends as a large number of of the world's global cities, with cinemas primarily dominated by Hollywood-generated film entertainment. French cinema comes a close second, with major directors (réalisateurs) such as Claude Lelouch, Jean-Luc Godard, and Luc Besson, and the more slapstick/popular genre with director Claude Zidi as an example. European and Asian films are additionally widely shown and appreciated. 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.
Restaurants and cuisine
Since the late eighteenth century, Paris has been famous for its restaurants and haute cuisine, food meticulously prepared and artfully presented. A luxury restaurant, La Taverne Anglaise, opened in 1786 in the arcades of the Palais-Royal by Antoine Beauvilliers; it featured an elegant dining room, an extensive menu, linen tablecloths, a large wine list and well-trained waiters; it became a model for future Paris restaurants. The restaurant Le Grand Véfour in the Palais-Royal dates from the same period. The famous Paris restaurants of the nineteenth century, including the Café de Paris, the Rocher de Cancale, the Café Anglais, Maison Dorée and the Café Riche, were mostly located near the theatres on the Boulevard des Italiens; they were immortalised in the novels of Balzac and Émile Zola. Several of the best-known restaurants in Paris today appeared throughout the Belle Epoque, including Maxim's on Rue Royale, Ledoyen in the gardens of the Champs-Élysées, and the Tour d'Argent on the Quai de la Tournelle.
Today, thanks to Paris' cosmopolitan population, every French regional cuisine and almost every national cuisine in the world can be found there; the city has more than 9,000 restaurants. The Michelin Guide has been a standard guide to French restaurants after 1900, awarding its highest award, three stars, to the best restaurants in France. In 2015, of the 29 Michelin three-star restaurants in France, nine are located in Paris. These include both restaurants which serve classical French cuisine, such as L'Ambroisie in the Place des Vosges, and those which serve non-traditional menus, such as L'Astrance, which combines French and Asian cuisines. Several of France's most famous chefs, including Pierre Gagnaire, Alain Ducasse, Yannick Alléno and Alain Passard, have three-star restaurants in Paris.
In addition to the classical restaurants, Paris has several additional kinds of traditional eating places. The café arrived in Paris in the seventeenth century, when the beverage was first brought from Turkey, and by the eighteenth century Parisian cafés were centres of the city's political and cultural life. The Café Procope on the Left Bank dates from this period. In the twentieth century, the cafés of the Left Bank, especially Café de la Rotonde and Le Dôme Café in Montparnasse and Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots on Boulevard Saint Germain, all still in business, were important meeting places for painters, writers and philosophers. A bistro is a type of eating place loosely defined as a neighbourhood restaurant with a modest decor and prices and a regular clientele and a congenial atmosphere. Its name is said to have come in 1814 from the Russian soldiers who occupied the city; "bistro" means "quickly" in Russian, and they wanted their meals served rapidly so they could get back their encampment. Real bistros are increasingly rare in Paris, due to rising costs, competition from cheaper ethnic restaurants, and different eating habits of Parisian diners. A brasserie originally was a tavern located next to a brewery, which served beer and food at any hour. Beginning with the Paris Exposition of 1867; it became a popular kind of restaurant which featured beer and additional beverages served by young women in the national costume associated with the beverage, particular German costumes for beer. Now brasseries, like cafés, serve food and drinks throughout the day.
Paris has been an international capital of high fashion after the nineteenth century, particularly in the domain of haute couture, clothing hand-made to order for private clients. It is home of a few of the largest fashion houses in the world, including Dior and Chanel, and of a large number of well-known fashion designers, including Karl Lagerfeld, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Christophe Josse and Christian Lacroix. Paris Fashion Week, held in January and July in the Carrousel du Louvre and additional city locations, is among the top four events of the international fashion calendar, along with the fashion weeks in Milan, London and New York. Paris is additionally the home of the world's largest cosmetics company, L'Oréal, and three of the five top global makers of luxury fashion accessories; Louis Vuitton, Hermés and Cartier.
Holidays and festivals
Bastille Day, a celebration of the storming of the Bastille in 1789, the biggest festival in the city, is a military parade taking place every year on 14 July on the Champs-Élysées, from the Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde. It includes a flypast over the Champs Élysées by the Patrouille de France, a parade of military units and equipment, and a display of fireworks in the evening, the most spectacular being the one at the Eiffel Tower.
Other yearly festivals are Paris-Plages, a festive event that lasts from mid-July to mid-August when the Right Bank of the Seine is converted into a temporary beach with sand, deck chairs and palm trees; Journées du Patrimoine, Fête de la Musique, Techno Parade, Nuit Blanche, Cinéma au clair de lune, Printemps des rues, Festival d'automne and Fête des jardins. Carnaval de Paris, one of the oldest festivals in Paris, dates back to the Middle Ages.
Paris is the département with the highest proportion of highly educated people. In 2009, around 40 percent of Parisians held a licence-level diploma or higher, the highest proportion in France, while 13 percent have no diploma, the third lowest percentage in France.
Education in Paris and the Île-de-France region employs approximately 330,000 people, 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.
The University of Paris, founded in the twelfth century, is often called the Sorbonne after one of its original mediaeval colleges. It was broken up into thirteen autonomous universities in 1970, following the student demonstrations in 1968. Most of the campuses today are in the Latin Quarter where the old university was located, while others are scattered around the city and the suburbs.
The Paris region hosts France's highest concentration of the grandes écoles – 55 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. There are a high number of engineering schools, led by the Paris Institute of Technology 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 additionally a large number of business schools, including HEC, INSEAD, ESSEC, 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' seventh arrondissement and the most prestigious university of economics and finance, Paris-Dauphine, is located in Paris' 16th. The Parisian school of journalism CELSA department of the Paris-Sorbonne University is located in Neuilly-sur-Seine. Paris is additionally home to several of France's most famous high-schools such as Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Lycée Henri-IV, Lycée Janson de Sailly and Lycée Condorcet. The National Institute of Sport and Physical Education, located in the twelfth arrondissement, is both a physical education institute and high-level training centre for elite athletes.
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. There are three public libraries in the fourth arrondissement. The Forney Library, in the Marais district, 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, additionally in Le Marais, contains the Paris historical research service. The Sainte-Geneviève Library is in fifth arrondissement; designed by Henri Labrouste and built in the mid-1800s, it contains a rare book and manuscript division. Bibliothèque Mazarine, in the sixth arrondissement, is the oldest public library in France. The Médiathèque Musicale Mahler in the eighth arrondissement opened in 1986 and contains collections related to music. The François Mitterrand Library (nicknamed Très Grande Bibliothèque) in the thirteenth arrondissement was completed in 1994 to a design of Dominique Perrault and contains four glass towers.
There are several academic libraries and archives in Paris. The Sorbonne Library in the fifth 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. Other academic libraries include Interuniversity Pharmaceutical Library, Leonardo da Vinci University Library, Paris School of Mines Library, and the René Descartes University Library.
Like the rest of France, Paris has been predominantly Roman Catholic after the early Middle Ages, though religious attendance is now low. A majority of Parisians are still nominally Roman Catholic. According to 2011 statistics, there are 106 parishes and curates in the city, plus separate parishes for Spanish, Polish and Portuguese Catholics. There are an additional 10 Eastern Orthodox parishes, and bishops for the Armenian and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches. In addition there are eighty male religious orders and 140 female religious orders in the city, as well as 110 Catholic schools with 75,000 students.
The principal Roman Catholic church in Paris is the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, the seat of the Archbishop of Paris. There are two officially recognised pilgrimage sites in Paris: the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre and the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. Cardinal André Vingt-Trois became the Archbishop of Paris in March 2005.
Almost all Protestant denominations are represented in Paris, with 74 evangelical churches from various denominations, including 21 parishes of the United Protestant Church of France and two parishes of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints. There are several important churches for the English-speaking community: the American Church in Paris, founded in 1814, was the first American church outside the United States; the current church was finished in 1931. The Saint George's Anglican Church in the sixteenth arrondissement is the principal Anglican church in the city.
The Grand Mosque of Paris, the oldest mosque in Paris, was dedicated in 1926. It was funded by the French government and built to honour the 38,000 soldiers from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco who died fighting for France in the First World War.
In 2011 there were nineteen large mosques within the city limits of Paris, all except the Grand Mosque located in the outer arrondissements of the city, as well as hundreds of small prayer rooms. The number of mosques doubled between 1991 and 2011.
During the Middle Ages, Paris was a centre of Jewish learning with famous Talmudic scholars, such as Yechiel of Paris who took part in the Disputation of Paris between Christian and Jewish intellectuals. The Parisian Jewish community was victim of persecution, alternating expulsions and returns, until France became the first country in Europe to emancipate its Jewish population throughout the French Revolution. Although 75 percent of the Jewish population in France survived the Holocaust throughout World War II, half the city's Jewish population perished in Nazi concentration camps, while a few others fled abroad. A large migration of North Africa Sephardic Jews settled Paris in the 1960s, and represent most of the Paris Jewish community today. There are currently 83 synagogues in the city; The Marais-quarter Agoudas Hakehilos Synagogue, built in 1913 by architect Hector Guimard, is a Paris landmark.
Buddhism and Hinduism
The Pagode de Vincennes Buddhist temple, near Lake Daumesnil in the Bois de Vincennes, is the former Cameroon pavilion from the 1931 Paris Colonial Exposition. It hosts several different schools of Buddhism, and doesn't have a single leader. It shelters the biggest Buddha statue in Europe, more than nine metres (30 feet) high. There are two additional small temples located in the Asian community in the thirteenth arrondissement. A Hindu temple, dedicated to Ganesh, on Rue Pajol in the eighteenth arrondissement, opened in 1985.
Paris' most popular sport clubs are the association football club Paris Saint-Germain F.C. and the rugby union club Stade Français. The 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the commune of Saint-Denis. It is used for football, rugby union and track and field athletics. It hosts the French national football team for friendlies and major tournaments qualifiers, annually hosts the French national rugby team's home matches of the Six Nations Championship, and hosts several important matches of the Stade Français rugby team. In addition to Paris Saint-Germain FC, the city has a number of additional professional and amateur football clubs: Paris FC, Red Star, RCF Paris and Stade Français Paris.
Paris played host to the 1900 and 1924 Olympic Games and was a candidate city for the Olympics in 1992, 2008 and 2012. The city additionally played host to the finals of the 1938 FIFA World Cup (at the Stade Olympique de Colombes), as well as the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final (both at the Stade de France). Also hosted at the Stade de France, two UEFA Champions League Finals in the current century: 2000 and 2006 editions. Paris has most recently been the host for UEFA Euro 2016 at the Parc des Princes.
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, is one of the four Grand Slam events of the world professional tennis tour. The basketball team Paris-Levallois Basket play at the 4,000 capacity Stade Pierre de Coubertin.
The 17,000-seat Bercy Arena (formerly known as the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy) is the venue for the annual Paris Masters ATP Tour tennis tournament and has been a frequent site of national and international tournaments in basketball, boxing, cycling, handball, ice hockey, show jumping and additional sports.
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. The syndicate coordinates public transport and contracts it out to the RATP (operating 347 bus lines, the Métro, eight tramway lines, and sections of the RER), the SNCF (operating suburban rails, one tramway line and the additional sections of the RER) and the Optile consortium of private operators managing 1,176 bus lines.
A central hub of the national rail network, Paris' 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).
Métro, RER, and tramway
Since the inauguration of its first line in 1900, Paris' Métro subway network has grown to become the city's most widely used local transport system; today it carries about 5.23 million passengers daily through 16 lines, 303 stations (385 stops) and 220 km (136.7 mi) of rails. Superimposed on this is a 'regional express network', the RER, whose five lines (A, B, C, D, and E), 257 stops and 587 km (365 mi) of rails connect Paris to more distant parts of the urban area.
Over €26.5 billion will be invested over the next 15 years to extend the Métro network into the suburbs, with notably the Grand Paris Express project.
In addition, the Paris region is served by a light rail network of nine 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, line T6 runs from Châtillon to Velizy, line T7 runs from Villejuif to Athis-Mons, line T8 runs from Saint-Denis to Épinay-sur-Seine and Villetaneuse, all of which are operated by the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens, and line T4 runs from Bondy RER to Aulnay-sous-Bois, which is operated by the state rail carrier SNCF. Five new light rail lines are currently in various stages of development.
Paris is a major international air transport hub with the 5th busiest airport system in the world. The city is served by three commercial international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly and Beauvais-Tillé. Together these three airports recorded traffic of 96.5 million passengers in 2014. There is additionally one general aviation airport, Paris-Le Bourget, historically the oldest Parisian airport and closest to the city centre, which is now used only for private business flights and air shows.
Orly Airport, located in the southern suburbs of Paris, replaced Le Bourget as the principal airport of Paris from the 1950s to the 1980s. Charles de Gaulle Airport, located on the edge of the northern suburbs of Paris, opened to commercial traffic in 1974 and became the busiest Parisian airport in 1993. Today it is the 4th busiest airport in the world by international traffic, and is the hub for the nation's flag carrier Air France. Beauvais-Tillé Airport, located 69 km (43 miles) north of Paris' city centre, is used by charter airlines and low-cost carriers such as Ryanair.
In 2014 the main domestic and international destinations served by the three commercial airports of Paris were the following:
Domestically, air travel between Paris and a few of France's largest cities such as Lyon, Marseille, or Strasbourg has been in a large measure replaced by high-speed rail due to the opening of several high-speed TGV rail lines from the 1980s. For example, after the LGV Méditerranée opened in 2001, air traffic between Paris and Marseille declined from 2,976,793 passengers in 2000 to 1,502,196 passengers in 2014. After the LGV Est opened in 2007, air traffic between Paris and Strasbourg declined from 1,006,327 passengers in 2006 to 157,207 passengers in 2014.
Internationally, air traffic has increased markedly in recent years between Paris and the Gulf airports, the emerging nations of Africa, Russia, Turkey, Portugal, Italy, and mainland China, whereas noticeable decline has been recorded between Paris and the British Isles, Egypt, Tunisia, and Japan.
The city is additionally 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, 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.
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.
There are 440 km (270 mi) of cycle paths and routes in Paris. These include piste cyclable (bike lanes separated from additional 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. Cyclists have additionally 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, which can be rented for short and medium distances including one way trips.
Paris is provided in electricity through a 'periphery' grid fed by multiple sources. As of 2012, around fifty percent of electricity generated in the Île-de-France comes from cogeneration energy plants located near the outer limits of the region; additional energy sources include the Nogent nuclear power plant (35%), trash incineration (9% – with cogeneration plants, these provide the city in heat as well), methane gas (5%), hydraulics (1%), solar power (0.1%) and a negligible amount of wind power (0.034 GWh). A quarter of Paris' district heating is to come from a plant in Saint-Ouen, burning a 50/50-mix of coal and 140,000 tonnes of wood pellets from USA per year.
Water and sanitation
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. From 1857, the civil engineer Eugène Belgrand, under Napoleon III, oversaw the construction of a series of new aqueducts that brought water from locations all around the city to several reservoirs built atop the Capital's highest points of elevation. From then on, the new reservoir system became Paris' principal source of drinking water, and the remains of the old system, pumped into lower levels of the same reservoirs, were from then on used for the cleaning of Paris' streets. This system is still a major part of Paris' modern water-supply network. Today Paris has more than 2,400 km (1,491 mi) of underground passageways dedicated to the evacuation of Paris' liquid wastes.
In 1982, Mayor Chirac introduced the motorcycle-mounted Motocrotte to remove dog faeces from Paris streets. 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 for not removing their dog faeces. The air pollution in Paris, from the point of view of particulate matter (PM10), is the highest in France with 38 µg/m³.
Parks and gardens
Paris today has more than 421 municipal parks and gardens, covering more than 3,000 hectares and containing more than 250,000 trees. Two of Paris' oldest and most famous gardens are the Tuileries Garden, created in 1564 for the Tuileries Palace, and redone by André Le Nôtre between 1664 and 1672, and the Luxembourg Garden, for the Luxembourg Palace, built for Marie de' Medici in 1612, which today houses the French Senate. The Jardin des Plantes was the first botanical garden in Paris, created in 1626 by Louis XIII's doctor Guy de La Brosse for the cultivation of medicinal plants.
Between 1853 and 1870, the Emperor Napoleon III and the city's first director of parks and gardens, Jean-Charles Alphand, created the Bois de Boulogne, the Bois de Vincennes, Parc Montsouris and the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, located at the four points of the compass around the city, as well as a large number of smaller parks, squares and gardens in the Paris' quarters. Since 1977, the city has created 166 new parks, most notably the Parc de la Villette (1987), Parc André Citroën (1992), and Parc de Bercy (1997). One of the newest parks, the Promenade des Berges de la Seine (2013), built on a former motorway on the Left Bank of the Seine between the Pont de l'Alma and the Musée d'Orsay, has floating gardens and gives a view of the city's landmarks.
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 a large number of 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 fourteenth arrondissement. The process of moving bones from Cimetière des Innocents to the catacombs took place between 1786 and 1814; 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. 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 neighbouring communes to the inside of its much larger ring of suburban fortifications in 1860. New suburban cemeteries were created in the early twentieth century: The largest of these are the Cimetière parisien de Saint-Ouen, the Cimetière parisien de Pantin (also known as Cimetière parisien de Pantin-Bobigny, the Cimetière parisien d'Ivry, and the Cimetière parisien de Bagneux). Some of the most famous people in the world are buried in Parisian cemeteries.
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. 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. The hospitals receive more than 5.8 million annual patient visits.
One of the most notable hospitals is the Hôtel-Dieu, founded in 651, the oldest hospital in the city. Other hospitals include Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital (one of the largest in Europe), Hôpital Cochin, Hôpital Bichat, Hôpital Européen Georges-Pompidou, Bicêtre Hospital, Beaujon Hospital, the Curie Institute, Lariboisière Hospital, Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Hôpital de la Charité and the American Hospital of Paris.
Paris and its close suburbs is home to numerous newspapers, magazines and publications including Le Monde, Le Figaro, Libération, Le Nouvel Observateur, Le Canard enchaîné, La Croix, Pariscope, Le Parisien (in Saint-Ouen), Les Échos, Paris Match (Neuilly-sur-Seine), Réseaux & Télécoms, Reuters France, and L'Officiel des Spectacles. France's two most prestigious newspapers, Le Monde and Le Figaro, are the centrepieces of the Parisian publishing industry. 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 after 1835. France 24 is a television news channel owned and operated by the French government, and is based in Paris. An Additional news agency is France Diplomatie, owned and operated by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, and pertains solely to diplomatic news and occurrences.
The most-viewed network in France, TF1, is in nearby Boulogne-Billancourt; France 2, France 3, Canal+, France 5, M6 (Neuilly-sur-Seine), Arte, D8, W9, NT1, NRJ 12, La Chaîne parlementaire, France 4, BFM TV, and Gulli are additional stations located in and around the capital. Radio France, France's public radio broadcaster, and its various channels, is headquartered in Paris' 16th arrondissement. Radio France Internationale, another public broadcaster is additionally based in the city. Paris additionally holds the headquarters of the La Poste, France's national postal carrier.
Twin towns and partner cities
Paris is after April 9, 1956 exclusively and reciprocally twinned only with:
- Rome, Italy, 1956
- (French) Seule Paris est digne de Rome; seule Rome est digne de Paris.
- (Italian) Solo Parigi è degna di Roma; solo Roma è degna di Parigi.
- "Only Paris is worthy of Rome; only Rome is worthy of Paris."
Paris has agreements of friendship and cooperation with:
- Algiers, 2003
- Amman, 1987
- Athens, 2000
- Beijing, 1997
- Beirut, 1992
- Berlin, 1987
- Buenos Aires, 1999
- Casablanca, 2004
- Cairo, 1985
- Chicago, 1996
- Copenhagen, 2005
- Geneva, 2002
- Jakarta, 1995
- Kyoto, 1958
- Lisbon, 1998
- London, 2001
- Madrid, 2000
- Mexico City, 1999
- Montreal, 2006
- Moscow, 1992
- New York City, 2007
- Porto Alegre, 2001
- Prague, 1997
- Rabat, 2004
- Riyadh, 1997
- Quebec City, 2003
- Saint Petersburg, 1997
- Sana'a, 1987
- San Francisco, 1996
- Santiago, 1997
- São Paulo, 2004
- Seoul, 1991
- Sofia, 1998
- Sydney, 1998
- Tbilisi, 1997
- Tokyo, 1982
- Tunis, 2004
- Warsaw, 1999
- Washington, D.C., 2000
- Yerevan, 1998