Paris, France

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The capital of France since the tenth century, Paris is the country’s cultural, commercial, financial and industrial centre. Situated on the Seine River in Northern France, Paris is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations.


Paris originated as a fishing village on the Ile de la Cité, named after the Parisii, a Gallic tribe. In 52 BC the village was conquered by the Romans, who named it Lutetia. The town developed onto the Left Bank of the Seine. Paris was captured by the Franks under Clovis at the end of the fifth century, then came under Merovingian rule, although much of the control of the city was left to the Counts of Paris. It was one such, Hugh Capet, elected to the throne in 987, who made Paris into the national capital of the developing country now recognizable as France.

Medieval Paris flourished as a cultural and commercial centre. The creation of the University of Paris in 1200 marked the division of Paris into three parts—the Ile de la Cité,...

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