Paris lies in northern France, and is the country’s capital and largest city. It covers 40 square miles (105 sq km) on the Left and Right Banks of the River Seine and on two islands in the river. The city’s population is 2.25 million. The City of Paris is enclosed by a ring road called the Boulevard Périphérique. Greater Paris, where many more people live, continues far beyond.

The City, Greater Paris, and the surrounding countryside make up the large Ile de France region, which has a population of over 12 million. Paris is its capital, too.

Beauty and romance Paris is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It has many breathtaking buildings, such as Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Garnier Opera House. The elegant, tree-lined boulevards of the city are light and wide, and give a clear view of many landmarks. The beauty of Paris, especially in spring, makes it a favorite place to go for people in love.

City of Light Over the years many great thinkers have lived in Paris. They exchanged ideas about literature, philosophy and science in the city’s cafés and university buildings. The most famous area for intellectual conversation is the Latin Quarter on the Left Bank. In the 18th century Paris was nicknamed “City of Light” because its scholars spread the light of knowledge through the world.

Two islands—the Ile de la Cité, and the smaller Ile St- Louis—stand in the middle of the River Seine. Notre- Dame Cathedral is on the Ile de la Cité.


Major World Cities

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