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The city of Paris (northern France)

Paris is the capital of France and the country’s largest city. It is located on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region (also known as the “Paris Region”; in French : Région parisienne).

Location of Paris on the French map.

The city of Paris, within its limits largely unchanged since 1860, has an estimated population of 2, 181 371 inhabitants (2006), but the Paris metropolitan area has a population of nearly 13 million, and is one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe.


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Today, Paris is one of the world’s leading business and cultural centres, and its influence in politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science and arts largely contributes to its status as one of the world’s major global cities. According to 2005 estimates, the Paris urban area is Europe’s biggest city economy, and is fifth in the world’s list of cities by GDP.


The river Seine in Paris.


Paris and the Paris Region, with €533.6 billion (US$731.3 billion) in 2007, produces more than a quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP) of France. The Paris Region hosts 37 of the Global Fortune, 500 companies in several business districts, notably La Défense, the largest purpose-built business district in Europe. Paris also hosts many international organizations such as UNESCO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the informal Paris Club.


The beautiful garden called “Jardin des Tuileries” next to the Louvre Museum.


Paris is the top tourist destination in France and one of the most popular destinations in the world, with 45 million visitors every year in the Paris Region, 60% of whom are foreign visitors. There are numerous iconic landmarks among its many attractions, along with world-famous institutions and popular parks.

“La tour Eiffel” also commonly called in French “la dame de fer” (the iron lady)



The Eiffel Tower in summer.


Photo taken an early morning.


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. Overall, the city is relatively flat, and the lowest elevation is 35 m (115 ft) above sea level. Paris has several prominent hills, of which the highest is Montmartre at 130 m (427 ft).

Paris, excluding the outlying parks of Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes, covers an oval measuring 86.928 km2 (34 sq mi) in area. The city’s last major annexation of outlying territories in 1860 not only gave it its modern form but created the twenty clockwise-spiralling arrondissements (municipal boroughs). From the 1860 area of 78 km2 (30 sq mi), the city’s limits were expanded marginally to 86.9 km2 (34 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 the present 105.39 km2 (41 sq mi).


Paris has an oceanic climate and is affected by the North Atlantic Current, so the city rarely has extremely high or low temperatures, such as the heat wave of 2003 and the cold wave of 2006.

Paris has warm and pleasant summers, with average high temperature of 25 °C (77 °F) and low of 15 °C (59 °F). Winters are chilly, but temperature is around 3 °C (37 °F) to 8 °C (46 °F) and rarely falls below the freezing point. Spring and autumn have mild to occasionally warm days and cool evenings. Rain falls throughout the year, and although Paris is not a very rainy city, it is known for sudden showers. Average annual precipitation is 642 mm (25 in) with light rainfall fairly distributed throughout the year. Snowfall is rare, but the city sometimes sees light snow or flurries without accumulation. The highest recorded temperature is 40.4 °C (105 °F) on 28th July 1948, and the lowest is a -23.9 °C (-11 °F) on 10 December 1879.

Paris, la Défense.

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