Paris the capital and most populous city of France. Let’s see some interesting facts about the “city of light”.
1.Situated on the river Seine in the north of the country, it is in the centre of the Île-de-France region, also known as the région parisienne, “Paris Region”.
2. The City of Paris largely retains its one and a half century old administrative boundaries, with an area of 105 km² (41 mi²) and as of 2014 a population of 2,241,346.
3. Together with its suburbs, the whole agglomeration has a population of 10,550,350 (Jan. 2012 census).
4. Paris was founded in the 3rd century BC by a Celtic people called the Parisii, who gave the city its name.
5. By the 12th century, Paris was the largest city in the western world, a prosperous trading centre.
6. Paris is the home of 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, a museum of modern and contemporary art.
7. The name “Paris” is derived from its early inhabitants, the Celtic Parisii tribe.
8. Paris is often referred to as “The City of Light” (La Ville Lumière) both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment, and more literally because Paris was one of the first European cities to adopt gasstreet lighting. In the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps.
9. Paris has a typical Western European oceanic climate. 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.
10. 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
11. 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 since 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.
12. 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.
13. 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”.
14. Italian artists were a profound influence on the development of art in Paris in the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly in sculpture and reliefs. Painting and sculpture became the pride of the French monarchy and the French royals commissioned many Parisian artists to adorn their palaces during the French Baroque and Classicism era.
15. Paris was in its artistic prime in the 19th century and early 20th century, when it had a colony of artists established in the city and in art schools associated with some of the finest painters of the times: Manet, Monet, Berthe Morisot, Gauguin, Renoir and others.
16. 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 some of the world’s best-known writers and poets, and the setting for many classic works of French literature. Almost all the books published in Paris in the Middle Ages were in Latin, rather than French.
17. During the 19th century, Paris was the home and subject for some 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.
18. 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.
19. Paris has been an international capital of high fashion since the 19th century, particularly in the domain of haute couture, clothing hand-made to order for private clients. It is home of some of the largest fashion houses in the world, including Dior and Chanel, and of many well-known fashion designers, including Karl Lagerfeld, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Christophe Josse and Christian Lacroix.
20. Paris Fashion Week, held in January and July in the Carrousel du Louvre and other city locations, is among the top four events of the international fashion calendar, along with the fashion weeks in Milan, London and New York.
21. Paris is also 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.
22, 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.
23. The University of Paris, founded in the 12th century, is often called the Sorbonne after one of its original medieval colleges. It was broken up into thirteen autonomous universities in 1970, following the student demonstrations in 1968.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. Paris is a major international air transport hub with the 5th busiest airport system in the world.
27. 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.
28. 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.