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About the city

Paris

• The capital of France, Paris, is located on the northern side of the country on the bank of the River Seine in the center of the region Île-de-France.

• Paris consists of two islands: The Île Saint-Louis, and the Île de la Cité, nestled in the heart of France, with an area of about 87 square kilometers alone, without the area of the Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes forest parks.

• It is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with a population of 2,243,833 in 2010. Paris has a great significance for thousands of years, becoming the European Center of Science and Arts at the beginning of the 12th century.

• Paris was one of the largest cities in the Western world in the 18th century; the city witnessed many important political events such as the French Revolution. Nowadays, it is considered one of most powerful countries with its economy and culture that are reflected in media, fashion, arts, science and entertainment.

• The original name of "Paris" dates back to its ancient inhabitants of the "Gaul" tribes known as "Parisii”. The city was called "Lutetia" in the Roman era between the first and fourth centuries AD, but it was renamed "Paris" again in the era of Julian the Apostate, 360 - 363.

• Paris is often referred to as the city of love, and the capital of fashion, in addition to 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 large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards.

• Paris has a typical Western European oceanic climate, 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. On the other hand, 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. The city is known for intermittent abrupt heavy showers throughout the year. August has the heaviest rain, and March is the driest month of the year.

• There are several prominent landmarks in Paris, including:

- The Eiffel Tower is classified as a French Monument historique. One of the tallest towers in the world, it was designed by Gustave Eiffel in 1889, weighing about ten tons. It hosts two restaurants offering panoramic views of the city, making it one of the most important international tourist attractions.

- The Champs-Elysées is famous for its cafés i.e. Café du Paris and its shops that tourists from around the world visit to buy the finest French perfume and ornaments. This street starts at the Egyptian obelisk, and ends at the Arc de Triomphe.

- The Arc de Triomphe is located in Place Charles de Gaulle. Its construction dates back to the 19th century upon the commission of Napoleon Bonaparte. It hosts the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; it is known for the eternal flame.

- The Place de la Concorde is notable for the Egyptian obelisk that has the signature of Khedive Ismail written on; he had given it to Louis Philippe in 1831; it witnessed the execution of the French King Louis XVI.

- The Louvre is the largest and most important international museum; it was originally built as the Louvre castle under Philippe Auguste in 1190. Then it was turned into a palace where the kings of France lived in, such as Louis XIV. The museum contains many rare monuments and antiques, including a wide range of monuments stolen from Egypt during the French campaign.

• Paris hosts several parks and theaters featuring 60 theaters and opera houses.

• In addition, Parisian cuisine attracts chefs and all people from all over the world. The city also hosts the finest schools, French Universities, and the head office of many French newspapers, such as Le Monde, Le Figaro and Libération.

• A number of famous artists lived there such as Picasso, Renoir and Matisse, and some novelists i.e. Victor Hugo, André Gide, Albert Camus, and the thinker Jean-Paul Sartre.

• Paris is also the home to the Parisian club "Paris Saint-Germain"; it has a large stadium that hosted the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 1998.

• The city of Paris enjoys a diverse and high-quality transportation; it hosts the Charles de Gaulle and Orly International Airports. There is also the Paris Métro, founded in 1900, and transfers about nine million passengers on a daily basis.