Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion and the arts; the City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong-Kong, in 2018; the city is a major rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; the historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris; the 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics; the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the 1960, 1984, 2016 UEFA European Championships were held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there. The name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic Parisii tribe; the city's name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. Paris is referred to as the City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang. Inhabitants are known in French as Parisiens, they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris' Left Bank; the Roman town was called Lutetia. It became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges prevent
Departments of France
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, five are overseas departments, which are classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, these were called general councils; each council has a president. Their main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school buildings and technical staff, local roads and school and rural buses, a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the state administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government; the departments were created in 1790 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity.
All of them were named after physical geographical features, rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The division of France into departments was a project identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had been discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers; the earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson. They have inspired similar divisions in some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a two-digit number, the "Official Geographical Code", allocated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. Overseas departments have a three-digit number; the number is used, for example, in the postal code, was until used for all vehicle registration plates. While residents use the numbers to refer to their own department or a neighbouring one, more distant departments are referred to by their names, as few people know the numbers of all the departments.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as "the 45". In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish departmental councils by 2020, which would have maintained the departments as administrative divisions, to transfer their powers to other levels of governance; this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration. Before the French Revolution, France gained territory through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces. During the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved in order to weaken old loyalties; the modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure.
Their boundaries served two purposes: Boundaries were chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation. Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of a department; this was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government; the old nomenclature was avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after other physical features. Paris was in the department of Seine. Savoy became the department of Mont-Blanc; the number of departments 83, had been increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814–1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size and the number of departments was reduced to 86.
In 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice and a portion of the Var department; the 89 departments were given numbers based on the alphabetical order of their names. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. A small part of Haut-Rhin became known as the Territoire de Belfort; when France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not re-integrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department; the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original boundaries, a new Moselle department was created in the regaine
The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic is a period in human prehistory distinguished by the original development of stone tools that covers c. 99% of human technological prehistory. It extends from the earliest known use of stone tools by hominins c. 3.3 million years ago, to the end of the Pleistocene c. 11,650 cal BP. The Paleolithic is followed in Europe by the Mesolithic, although the date of the transition varies geographically by several thousand years. During the Paleolithic, hominins grouped together in small societies such as bands, subsisted by gathering plants and fishing, hunting or scavenging wild animals; the Paleolithic is characterized by the use of knapped stone tools, although at the time humans used wood and bone tools. Other organic commodities were adapted for use including leather and vegetable fibers. About 50,000 years ago, there was a marked increase in the diversity of artifacts. In Africa, bone artifacts and the first art appear in the archaeological record; the first evidence of human fishing is noted, from artifacts in places such as Blombos cave in South Africa.
Archaeologists classify artifacts of the last 50,000 years into many different categories, such as projectile points, engraving tools, knife blades, drilling and piercing tools. Humankind evolved from early members of the genus Homo—such as Homo habilis, who used simple stone tools—into anatomically modern humans as well as behaviorally modern humans by the Upper Paleolithic. During the end of the Paleolithic the Middle or Upper Paleolithic, humans began to produce the earliest works of art and began to engage in religious and spiritual behavior such as burial and ritual; the climate during the Paleolithic consisted of a set of glacial and interglacial periods in which the climate periodically fluctuated between warm and cool temperatures. Archaeological and genetic data suggest that the source populations of Paleolithic humans survived in sparsely wooded areas and dispersed through areas of high primary productivity while avoiding dense forest cover. By c. 50,000 – c. 40,000 BP, the first humans set foot in Australia.
By c. 45,000 BP, humans lived at 61°N latitude in Europe. By c. 30,000 BP, Japan was reached, by c. 27,000 BP humans were present in Siberia, above the Arctic Circle. At the end of the Upper Paleolithic, a group of humans crossed Beringia and expanded throughout the Americas; the term "Palaeolithic" was coined by archaeologist John Lubbock in 1865. It derives from Greek: παλαιός, palaios, "old"; the Paleolithic coincides exactly with the Pleistocene epoch of geologic time, which lasted from 2.6 million years ago to about 12,000 years ago. This epoch experienced important climatic changes that affected human societies. During the preceding Pliocene, continents had continued to drift from as far as 250 km from their present locations to positions only 70 km from their current location. South America became linked to North America through the Isthmus of Panama, bringing a nearly complete end to South America's distinctive marsupial fauna; the formation of the isthmus had major consequences on global temperatures, because warm equatorial ocean currents were cut off, the cold Arctic and Antarctic waters lowered temperatures in the now-isolated Atlantic Ocean.
Most of Central America formed during the Pliocene to connect the continents of North and South America, allowing fauna from these continents to leave their native habitats and colonize new areas. Africa's collision with Asia created the Mediterranean, cutting off the remnants of the Tethys Ocean. During the Pleistocene, the modern continents were at their present positions. Climates during the Pliocene became cooler and drier, seasonal, similar to modern climates. Ice sheets grew on Antarctica; the formation of an Arctic ice cap around 3 million years ago is signaled by an abrupt shift in oxygen isotope ratios and ice-rafted cobbles in the North Atlantic and North Pacific Ocean beds. Mid-latitude glaciation began before the end of the epoch; the global cooling that occurred during the Pliocene may have spurred on the disappearance of forests and the spread of grasslands and savannas. The Pleistocene climate was characterized by repeated glacial cycles during which continental glaciers pushed to the 40th parallel in some places.
Four major glacial events have been identified, as well as many minor intervening events. A major event is a general glacial excursion, termed a "glacial". Glacials are separated by "interglacials". During a glacial, the glacier experiences minor retreats; the minor excursion is a "stadial". Each glacial advance tied up huge volumes of water in continental ice sheets 1,500–3,000 m deep, resulting in temporary sea level drops of 100 m or more over the entire surface of the Earth. During interglacial times, such as at present, drowned coastlines were common, mitigated by isostatic or other emergent motion of some regions; the effects of glaciation were global. Antarctica was ice-bound throughout the preceding Pliocene; the Andes were covered in the south by the Patagonian ice cap. There were glaciers in New Tasmania; the now decaying glaciers of Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Ruwenzori Range in east and central Africa were larger. Glaciers existed to the west in the Atlas mountains. In the northern hemisphere, many glaciers fused into one.
Subprefectures in France
In France, a subprefecture is the administrative center of a departmental arrondissement that does not contain the prefecture for its department. The term applies to the building that houses the administrative headquarters for an arrondissement; the civil servant in charge of a subprefecture is the subprefect, assisted by a general secretary. Between May 1982 and February 1988, subprefects were known instead by the title commissaire adjoint de la République. Where the administration of an arrondissement is carried out from a prefecture, the general secretary to the prefect carries out duties equivalent to those of the subprefect; the municipal arrondissements of Paris and Marseille are divisions of the city rather than the prefecture, so are not arrondissements in the same sense. List of subprefectures of France List of arrondissements of France
Beaugency is a commune in the Loiret department in north-central France. It is located on upriver from Blois and downriver from Orléans. 11 March 1152 the council of Beaugency annulled the marriage between Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VII. Aaron ben Joseph of Beaugency was a French Bible commentator and rabbinical scholar, who flourished in the twelfth century in the city; the lords of Beaugency attained considerable importance in the 12th and 13th centuries. Afterward it passed to the house of Orléans to those of Dunois and Longueville, again to that of Orléans; the city of Beaugency has been the site of numerous military conflicts. It was occupied on four separate occasions by the English. On June 16–17, 1429, it was the site of the famous Battle of Beaugency, when it was freed by Joan of Arc. Beaugency played an important strategic role in the Hundred Years' War, it was burned by the Protestants in 1567 and suffered extensive damage to the walls, the castle, the church. On the 8th, 9th and 10 December 1870, the Prussian army, commanded by the grand-duke of Mecklenburg, defeated the French army of the Loire, under General Chanzy, in the second battle of Beaugency.
It was fought on the right bank of the Loire to the northwest of Beaugency. In 1940 and again in 1944, the city was bombed by Nazi Germany. On 16 September 1944, German Major General Botho Henning Elster and his 18 850 men and 754 officers surrendered at the Loire bridge of Beaugency to French résistance; until 1846 Beaugency was an important commercial center due to trade along the Loire. After trade moved from the river to rail traffic, the city's role changed. Beaugency became a market center for the surrounding agricultural district. Today Beaugency's economy depends on tourism. Medieval keep 47°46′39″N 1°37′59″E Lock of Dunois Church Saint Etienne Abbey church City hall Bridge INSEE statistics www.beaugency.fr, official website Beaugency yesterday, vintage cards
Montargis is a commune in the Loiret department in north-central France on the Loing river. The town is located 70 km east of Orléans in the Gâtinais. Montargis is the second largest city in the Loiret, after Orléans, it is near a large forest, contains light industry and farming, including saffron. Due to its numerous canals and bridges, Montargis sometimes bills itself as the "Venice of the Gâtinais." Though quite modern, it retains a medieval charm in its downtown area. Though the town is known to date to ancient times, during the Renaissance fanciful etymologies were invented to account for the place name Montargis, whether as mons argi, Mount of Argus, the place where the jealous goddess Juno charged Argus Panoptes with guarding her rival Io, or connected with the chieftain Moritas mentioned by Julius Caesar, in his Gallic Wars. Numerous Gallo-Roman artifacts have been found in the area, many are in the town's Gâtinais Museum; the town was a stronghold of the Frankish king Clovis I. Montargis was a seat of the house of Courtenay, who fortified a château on a hill overlooking the town.
The town was ceded to the king of France in 1188. In the 14th and 15th centuries, it was a royal residence. In 1427, during the Hundred Years' War, the Earl of Warwick besieged the town with artillery, beginning bombardment on July 15. During the siege, the residents of Montargis sabotaged the dikes of numerous ponds in the district and drowning many of the besieging Plantagenets. On September 5, a French force of 1600 men broke the siege, led by Jean de Dunois and La Hire, commanders who would go on to lead the army of Joan of Arc; this marked the first important victory by the army of King Charles VII in the war, gratefully remembered by Charles later. After being wounded in an unsuccessful attempt to besiege Paris in September 1429, Joan of Arc passed through Montargis on her way to Gien. After the war, Charles VII, rewarded the town for its valor in the war by granting it various privileges. In 1490, his successor Charles VIII declared the town Montargis Le Franc; this title is abbreviated as "MLF" in the official coat of arms.
This privilege was renewed by his successors, Montargis remained free of taxes for three centuries, until it was revoked during the French Revolution. In 1528, King Francis I granted the town to his sister-in-law, Renée of France, Duchess of Ferrara and daughter of King Louis XII. After her husband Ercole II, the Duke of Ferrara died in Renée resided at Montargis, she sheltered there Protestant Huguenots fleeing from persecutions in Paris and elsewhere during the 16th century French Wars of Religion. The best-known legend of Montargis is that of the "Dog of Montargis." In the story, Aubry de Montdidier, a courtier of King Charles V of France, was murdered around 1400 in a forest near Montargis by Robert Macaire, an envious knight. After his death, Mondidier's dog showed a remarkable hostility to Macaire. King Charles decreed a trial by combat in the town between the dog and Macaire, armed with only a cudgel. After the dog won the battle, Macaire was hanged. A dramatic bronze statue of this fight is in the courtyard of the Girodet Museum in central Montargis, the contest is depicted in a stained glass window in a local church as well.
The story was the subject of a 19th-century melodrama, Le Chien de Montargis, ou la Forêt de Bondy, that held the stage for years in Paris and was performed in English and German translations. In the 1880s, a rubber factory was built in a district of Montargis, it today employs 2000 workers to produce parts for vehicles and appliances. Pralines, the crunchy confection made from almonds in cooked sugar, were first confected in Montargis in the time of Louis XIII; the original shop is still in business on Place Mirabeau. The Baron Palamède de Charlus relates among his many other blandishments that he is the Damouseau de Montargis, in Marcel Proust’s A la Récherche du Temps Perdus. ==Notable people== Eleanor of Leicester lived in exile as a nun at the abbey in Montargis, died there in 1275 Denis Jamet died there in 1625 Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte-Guyon was born here in 1648 Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson was born here in 1767, the town's art museum is named for him Madeleine de Roybon d'Allonne, early settler of New France Louis-Jacques Bresnier, 19th-century orientalist was born in Montargis.
Deng Xiaoping and Zhou Enlai lived in the town's Chinese community in the 1920s Patricia Petibon was born here in 1970 Montargis is twinned with: Greven, Germany Crowborough, United Kingdom INSEE commune file Official website Pictures of Montargis' forest of Paucourt Decree of Charles VII granting privileges to Montargis "Montargis". Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921. "Montargis". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911
Orléans is a prefecture and commune in north-central France, about 111 kilometres southwest of Paris. It is the capital of the Loiret department and of the Centre-Val de Loire region. Orléans is located on the Loire River. In 2015, the city had 114,644 inhabitants, the population of the urban area was 433,337. Île d'Orléans, Orléans and New Orleans, Louisiana are named after the city. Orléans is located in the northern bend of the Loire. Orléans belongs to the vallée de la Loire sector between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes-sur-Loire, in 2000 inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site; the capital of Orléanais, 120 kilometres southwest of Paris, is bordered to the north by the Beauce region, more the Orléans Forest and Orléans-la-Source neighbourhood, the Sologne region to the south. Five bridges in the city cross the Loire River: Pont de l'Europe, Pont du Maréchal Joffre, Pont George-V, Pont René-Thinat and Pont de Vierzon. To the north of the Loire is to be found a small hill which rises to 125 m at la Croix Fleury, at the limits of Fleury-les-Aubrais.
Conversely, the south has a gentle depression to about 95 m above sea level between the Loire and the Loiret, designated a "zone inondable". At the end of the 1960s, the Orléans-la-Source neighbourhood was created, 12 kilometres to the south of the original commune and separated from it by the Val d'Orléans and the Loiret River; this quarter's altitude varies from about 100 to 110 m. In Orléans, the Loire is separated by a submerged dike known as the dhuis into the Grande Loire to the north, no longer navigable, the Petite Loire to the south; this dike is just one part of a vast system of construction that allowed the Loire to remain navigable to this point. The Loire was an important navigation and trading route. With the increase in size of ocean-going ships, large ships can now navigate the estuary only up to about Nantes. Boats on the river were traditionally flat-bottomed boats, with large but foldable masts so the sails could gather wind from above the river banks, but the masts could be lowered in order to allow the boats to pass under bridges.
These vessels are known as gabarre, so on, may be viewed by tourists near pont Royal. The river's irregular flow limits traffic on it, in particular at its ascent, though this can be overcome by boats being given a tow. An Inexplosible-type paddle steamer owned by the mairie was put in place in August 2007, facing Place de la Loire and containing a bar; every two years, the Festival de Loire recalls the role played by the river in the commune's history. On the river's north bank, near the town centre, is the Canal d'Orléans, which connects to the Canal du Loing and the Canal de Briare at Buges near Montargis; the canal is no longer used along its whole length. Its route within Orléans runs parallel to the river, separated from it by a wall or muret, with a promenade along the top, its last pound was transformed into an outdoor swimming pool in the 1960s filled in. It was reopened in 2007 for the "fêtes de Loire." There are plans to install a pleasure-boat port there. Orléans experiences an oceanic climate, similar to much of central France.
See Cenabum, Aureliana Civitas. Cenabum was a Gallic stronghold, one of the principal towns of the tribe of the Carnutes where the Druids held their annual assembly; the Carnutes were massacred and the city was destroyed by Julius Caesar in 52 BC a new city was built on its ruins by settlers from the gens Aurelia who named the city, civitas Aurelianorum, after themselves. The name evolved into Orléans. In 442 Flavius Aetius, the Roman commander in Gaul, requested Goar, head of the Iranian tribe of Alans in the region to come to Orleans and control the rebellious natives and the Visigoths. Accompanying the Vandals, the Alans crossed the Loire in 408. One of their groups, under Goar, joined the Roman forces of Flavius Aetius to fight Attila when he invaded Gaul in 451, taking part in the Battle of Châlons under their king Sangiban. Goar established his capital in Orléans, his successors took possession of the estates in the region between Orléans and Paris. Installed in Orléans and along the Loire, they resented by the local inhabitants.
Many inhabitants around the present city have names bearing witness to the Alan presence – Allaines. Many places in the region bear names of Alan origin. In the Merovingian era, the city was capital of the Kingdom of Orléans following Clovis I's division of the kingdom under the Capetians it became the capital of a county duchy held in appanage by the house of Valois-Orléans; the Valois-Orléans family acceded to the throne of France via Louis XII Francis I. In 1108, one of the few consecrations of a French monarch to occur outside of Reims occurred at Orléans, when Louis VI of France was consecrated in Orléans cathedral by Daimbert, archbishop of Sens; the city was always a strategic point on the Loire, for it was sited at the river's most northerly point, thus its closest point to Paris. There were few bridges over the dangerous river Loire, b