Paris is the capital and most populous city in France, and the capital of the administrative region of Ile de France. The city is located on one of the Seine meanders. As the former capital of an empire extended over five continents, it is now the capital of the French-speaking world.
The position of Paris at a crossroads between land and river trade routes in the heart of a rich agricultural region to become one of the major cities in France during the tenth century, benefited from royal palaces, rich abbeys and a cathedral. Throughout the twelfth century, Paris became one of the first European education and art spots. Its architecture, its parks, its boulevards and its museums make it, by 2004, the most visited city in the French-speaking world, with about 25 million tourists. Parisian banks of the Seine were inscribed in 1991 on the list of World Heritage United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Paris is the economic and commercial capital of France, where the business of the Stock Exchange and finance focus. The density of its rail network, bus and its airport infrastructure – a hub of French and European air network – make it a focal point for international transport.
Harbouring numerous monuments for its considerable political and economic role, Paris is also an important city in world history. Symbol of French culture, the city attracts nearly 30 million visitors per year, occupying also a leading place in the world of fashion and luxury. The Greater Paris is one of the largest conurbations in Europe and the European Union being the first European economic region. The river Seine divides the city in an arc, entering the east and out of the southwest. More than thirty bridges allow the crossing of the river course.
One of the first sights was, since 1855, a series of universal exhibitions, occasions that served the building of many new monuments in Paris, of which the most famous is the Eiffel Tower, built for the exhibition of 1889. These monuments, added to the embellishments brought to the capital during the Second Empire, largely contributed to make the city itself the attraction in which it became.
Paris is, nowadays, the most visited capital in the world. It is also still the city where it organizes the largest number of international conferences. In 2006, the fifty main cultural sites of the city recorded 69.1 million visitors, that is an increase of 11.3% compared to 2005.
The main tourist attractions are:
-Torre Eiffel, built in 1889, is currently considered the main symbol of the city;
– Avenue des Champs- Élysées , one of the widest and most famous avenues in the world ;
– Arc de Triomphe, built by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806, named after the French victories and those who died on the battlefield;
– Louvre Museum, famous for hosting important works of art, as the picture Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci;
– Notre Dame Cathedral, the famous Gothic cathedral built in 1163 in the city center ;
– Palace of Versailles, located in Versailles and built by Louis XIV to house the whole court, designated the power, the glory and wealth of the Sun King (Louis XIV);
– Disneyland Resort Paris, resort Disney conglomerate containing several entertainment options including two multithematic parks, Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios;
– Montmartre, a historic area of the city where is the Sacré Cœur and famous for its cafes, studios and nightclubs such as the Moulin Rouge;
– Pantheon, an ancient church, famous for housing the remains of several famous French;
– Centre Georges Pompidou;
– Quai d’ Orsay, a dock on the left bank of the Seine;
– Museum of Art and History of Judaism;
– Orsay Museum, museum gathers important collection of Impressionist art and was once a train station;
– Père Lachaise Cemetery, where are buried famous people like Oscar Wilde, Jean-François Champollion, Édith Piaf, Chopin, Allan Kardec or Jim Morrison;
– Hôtel des Invalides , museum and military necropolis ; La Défense , the business district of Paris, west of the city ; L’ Hôtel de Ville , the seat of the City of Paris, in addition to having a French peculiar architecture, exudes luxury and wealth in every detail.
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