July 5, 2022

Paris (French: Paris) is the capital and seat of government of France. The city is bisected by the River Seine. Paris itself had 2,165,423 inhabitants on 1 January 2019, not counting the banlieues, the entirety of the suburbs and commuter towns. In 2014, more than 10 million people lived in the entire metropolitan area, in la Métropole du Grand Paris. Paris is located in the Île-de-France region. The first settlements around the beginning of the Christian era were on the banks of the Seine, but the Île de la Cité was soon built up after that. Paris and banlieues have absorbed many once independent villages in their growth. In Europe, Paris was a center of culture early on. Many trade routes converge in the city. As early as the 10th century, when Notre Dame and a number of abbeys were built, Paris was one of the most important cities in France, as well as an important place for Christianity. Since the 13th century, education, art and recreation have played a central role here. For example, the University of Paris (which was split up after 1970) was one of the most important educational institutions in the Middle Ages, together with those of Bologna and Oxford. The university enjoys prestige and is regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world. This development is partly the result of the centralist policy pursued for centuries within the monarchy and later Republic of France, which attached great importance to the capital. Since the 1960s, political policy within France has been characterized by decentralization and devolution, which has created a little more balance within national borders. The city is very internationally oriented and attracts large numbers of tourists every year.


The name Paris is an abbreviation of the Latin description Civitas Parisiorum, 'City of the Parisii', a Gallic tribe. This name has replaced Lutetia. The Parisii were also found near the East Riding of Yorkshire during the Roman Empire, but the ultimate origin of the name of this tribe is not certain. The name of the Parisii is also in the place names Villeparisis, Cormeilles-en-Parisis, Fontenay-en-Parisis and the entire Parisis region. An unserious alternative explanation that Rabelais gives in his Gargantua is that the name Paris is a contraction of par ris, which means "to laugh".


Parisians themselves sometimes refer to the city informally as Paname. The city is known to many as the 'city of light' or the 'city of love'. Although the official French name is Parisiens/Parisiennes, Parisians are informally referred to as Parigots/Parigotes, especially by Southern French people.


Prehistory / Antiquity

In all likelihood, the area where present-day Paris is located was inhabited throughout the Neolithic period. Traces from the Chasseen period (4000 - 3800 BC) have been found of an inhabitant of the area on the right bank of the Seine, where the 12th arrondissement is now located. Remains have also been found of the so-called village of Bercy, which must have been located about 400 years before the start of the Christian era on the spot where Paris is now located. These remains can now be seen in the Musée Carnavalet. Julius Caesar conquered in 52 BC. despite Vercingetorix's resistance, the village of the Parisii, to which he subsequently gave the name Lutetia Parisiorum. The place was of strategic importance because trade routes passed through this place. It is not known exactly where the Gallic settlement used to be. It is possible that this was not on the site of Paris proper, but around present-day Nanterre. In the 1st century, a new Roman city was built on the left bank of the Seine according to the chessboard pattern. At that time Lutetia had five to six thousand inhabitants. Hey