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Coat of arms of Paris
Paris, France)
Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur
( Latin , "It fluctuates, but does not go under")
Country France
region Île-de-France (chef-lieu)
Department (no.) Paris (75)
Arrondissement Paris (chef-lieu)
Canton none (for statistical purposes the 20 arrondissements are partially treated like cantons)
Community association Métropole du Grand Paris
Coordinates 48 ° 51 ′  N , 2 ° 21 ′  E Coordinates: 48 ° 51 ′  N , 2 ° 21 ′  E
height 28- 130  m
Aire urbaine
105.34  sq km
17,174 km 2
mayor Anne Hidalgo ( PS )
- Aire urbaine
2,175,601 (January 1, 2018)
Population density 20,653 inhabitants / km²
Post Code 75001-75020, 75116
INSEE code
mayor Anne Hidalgo ( PS )

Template: Infobox municipality in France / maintenance / different coat of arms in Wikidata

Location of the department in the Île-de-France region
Satellite photo with city limits

Paris (  [ paˈʁi ] ) is the capital of the French Republic and the capital of the Île-de-France region . With more than 2.2 million inhabitants, Paris is the fourth largest city in the European Union and, with over 12.5 million people, the largest metropolitan area in the EU. The river Seine divides the city into a northern ( Rive Droite , "right bank") and a southern part ( Rive Gauche , "left bank"); administratively it is divided into 20 districts ( arrondissements ) . As of July 11, 2020, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th arrondissements have been combined in a single sector called Paris Center. Please click to listen!Play

With a comparatively small city area of ​​105 square kilometers, Paris is the most densely populated city in Europe with around 21,000 inhabitants per square kilometer. The contiguous urban settlement area (Unité urbaine de Paris) is 2845 square kilometers and thus goes far beyond the political border of the core city. In 2015, the Unité urbaine de Paris had 10,706,072 inhabitants, which corresponds to a population density of 3763 inhabitants per square kilometer, making Paris one of the megacities .

Paris is the political, economic and cultural center of centralized France and, with three airports and six terminal stations, its largest transport hub. Parts of the banks of the Seine are now part of the UNESCO World Heritage . The city is the seat of UNESCO and also the OECD and the ICC .

Sights such as the Eiffel Tower , Notre-Dame Cathedral or the Louvre make the city a popular tourist destination. With around 16 million foreign tourists per year, the city is one of the most visited cities in the world after London and Bangkok . Greater Paris, d. H. the Île-de-France region, has over 47 million guests from home and abroad and more than 184 million overnight stays every year.

Today's Paris developed from the 3rd century BC. From the Celtic settlement "Lutetia" on the Île de la Cité . Later the Romans built a city on the Seine, which in the 6th century initially became a main residence of the Franconian Empire . Paris experienced a heyday of art and culture in the 16th century under Franz I. Through absolutism , especially under Louis XIV in the 17th century, the city was enriched with numerous baroque buildings and boulevards and thus became an exemplary model for baroque urban development. Although the royal residence was moved to Versailles in 1682 , it remained the center of the country due to its political and economic importance.

With the French Revolution from 1789 onwards it became of world historical importance. The industrialization led in the 19th century to an enormous population growth, so in 1846 the first time the barrier of one million inhabitants has been exceeded. In the following decades the city received worldwide attention through the so-called Belle Époque and six world exhibitions. Today it is the capital of the French-speaking countries and one of the most important cities in the western world .


360 ° panorama of Paris, photographed from the Eiffel Tower . A detailed description of the panorama can be found here


Region Île-de-France with the 75th department , the city of Paris. The suburbs (banlieues) of Paris are located in departments 92 ( Hauts-de-Seine ) , 93 ( Seine-Saint-Denis ) and 94 ( Val-de-Marne )

The urban area has an area of ​​105.4 square kilometers. This corresponds roughly to the area of Mainz and less than 12% of the area of Berlin . The metropolitan area extends over a floor area of ​​14,518 square kilometers. This roughly corresponds to the area of Schleswig-Holstein . The city is located in the center of the Paris Basin, an average of 65 meters above sea level. Depending on the water level, the Seine leaves the urban area at a height of 25 m above sea level . Paris is surrounded by the two large urban forests that serve the population as recreational areas.


Paris is in the temperate climate zone . The annual mean temperature is 10.8 degrees Celsius and the average annual rainfall is 649.6 millimeters. The warmest month is July with an average of 18.4 degrees Celsius, the coldest is January with an average of 3.5 degrees Celsius. Most of the precipitation falls in May with an average of 65.0 millimeters, the least in August with an average of 43.0 millimeters.

Regular meteorological measurements have taken place in Paris since 1873. The lowest temperature recorded so far was −23.9 degrees Celsius and dates from December 10, 1879. The heat record is 42.6 degrees Celsius and was measured on July 25, 2019 in Parc Montsouris . The highest air temperature up to that point was 40.4 degrees Celsius and was also measured on July 28, 1947 in Parc Montsouris.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: Météo-France ; Humidity, duration of sunshine:
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Paris
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 6.9 8.2 11.8 14.7 19.0 21.8 24.4 24.6 20.8 15.8 10.4 7.8 O 15.6
Min. Temperature (° C) 2.5 2.8 5.1 6.8 10.5 13.3 15.5 15.4 12.5 9.2 5.3 3.6 O 8.6
Temperature (° C) 4.7 5.5 8.4 10.7 14.7 17.5 19.9 20.0 16.6 12.5 7.8 5.7 O 12th
Precipitation ( mm ) 53.7 43.7 48.5 53.0 65.0 54.6 63.1 43.0 54.7 59.7 51.9 58.7 Σ 649.6
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 1.9 2.9 5.1 6.0 7.5 8.1 7.8 7.1 6.0 4.1 2.0 1.5 O 5
Rainy days ( d ) 10.2 9.3 10.4 9.4 10.3 8.6 8.0 6.9 8.5 9.5 9.7 10.7 Σ 111.5
Humidity ( % ) 86 81 76 69 71 73 73 74 79 85 87 88 O 78.5
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: Météo-France ; Humidity, duration of sunshine:


The Paris basin forms a large layered landscape . The layers of the Mesozoic and the Paleogene (formerly the Old Tertiary ) lie in a bowl- shaped manner and have been worked out from the excavation to form a wide-span landscape of steps, the steps of which are directed outwards.

Only in the eastern part do tectonic fault lines prevail at the slope of these steps towards the Saône furrow . They cause the steep slopes of the plateau of Langres and the Côte d'Or (up to 636 meters), which are famous wine-growing areas, because they have longer sunshine in the rain shadow of the leeward side and also enjoy the advantages of the southern exposure.

There is a certain irregularity insofar as the sequence of layers in the northeastern part is more perfect than in the west. The slightly more pronounced elevation of the east wing also generally resulted in greater differences in height and a more prominent formation of the steps. Inward of the basin, the Eocene limestone rises up as an important step , in the interior of which the Île-de-France , the metropolitan area of ​​Paris, is embedded.


The Île aux Cygnes with the trees of the Allée des Cygnes

The Seine connects Paris with Burgundy inland and with the English Channel on the north coast. The easy passage over them here was the most important factor in the formation and development of the city, which originated on the largest of the numerous Seine islands at the time. It divides the city into two unequal halves of the bank, the northern bank, the right bank, roughly considered to be dedicated to trade and finance ( Rive Droite ), and the southern half of the city on the left bank ( Rive Gauche ) , which, together with the Latin Quarter, is regarded as the quarter of the intellectuals and is in demand as a residential area. Since 1991, the banks of the Seine in Paris between the Pont de Sully and the bridges Pont d'Iéna (right) and Pont de Bir-Hakeim (left bank) have been a World Heritage Site with an area of ​​365 hectares .


The Île de la Cité in the heart of the city was settled in ancient times, making it the oldest part of the capital. In 1584 Heinrich III. three small and swampy islands off the western tip of the island connect with each other and annex them to the larger one. The area grew over the centuries from originally 8 to a total of 17 hectares. A “royal” square, the Place Dauphine , was created with a uniform edging and the sale of the houses raised the money to build a bridge that connects the two banks of the Seine. The Pont Neuf (German "New Bridge") is today the oldest of the bridges preserved in Paris.

The Île Saint-Louis , the smaller of the adjacent Seine islands, is also a combination of two islets, the Île aux Vaches and the Île Notre Dame . In contrast to its big sister, the Cité , it remained undeveloped until the beginning of the 17th century. In 1614, Louis XIII commissioned. the contractor Christophe Marie with the development of the site. Marie filled in the arm of the Seine, enclosed the two small islands with a quay wall and had bridges built to the river banks. From around 1618 houses for craftsmen and merchants were built on the site, and from 1638 luxurious city palaces for high dignitaries were also built on. The building with straight streets followed a fixed basic plan, which can still be seen today.

The former Île des Cygnes (Swan Island ) was connected to the Champ de Mars , the maneuvering field of the military school, in 1773 . Its name was passed on to the Île aux Cygnes , a dam that was artificially created in the Seine in 1825 , on which a copy of the Statue of Liberty is located. The dam was created as the foundation for a striking bridge, the Pont de Bir-Hakeim , the lower level of which had to accommodate the supports for the overlying viaduct of the metro .


The highest natural elevation within the city limits is the Montmartre hill (French Butte Montmartre ) with a height of 129 meters. On the hill that goes funicular Montmartre Funicular . The vineyard on the north slope has not been the only one in Paris since then, also in Parc Georges Brassens , Parc de Belleville and Parc de Bercy .

City structure

In 1790, Paris became the administrative seat of the Seine département with the serial number 75 and has been both a city and a département since the reorganization of the Île-de-France in 1968 . Apart from the geographical division into Rive Droite , Rive Gauche and "islands" Paris is in districts ( arrondissements , abbreviated Arrdt.) And quarter ( quarter ) divided.

The 20 numbered boroughs have the postcodes 75001 to 75020 and spiral through Paris from the inside to the outside. The spiral begins in the historic city center, the area around the Louvre , the Palais Royal and the Forum des Halles , and ends after two and a quarter clockwise turns in the east of the city, the arrondissement of the Père Lachaise cemetery . Each arrondissement is headed by a mayor (maire d'arrondissement) who resides in the mayor's office of his district (mairie d'arrondissement) . Each district is subdivided into quarters, French quarters .

Map of the arrondissements
  1. Louvre
  2. Bourse
  3. Temple
  4. l'Hôtel de Ville
  5. Pantheon
  6. Luxembourg
  7. Bourbon Palace
  8. l'Élysée
  9. l'Opéra
  10. l'Entrepôt
  1. Popincourt
  2. Reuilly
  3. gobelin
  4. l'Observatoire
  5. Vaugirard
  6. Passy
  7. Batignolles-Monceaux
  8. Buttes-Montmartre
  9. Buttes-Chaumont
  10. Ménilmontant




The ancient name of the city was Lutetia (also: Lutezia). Lutetia developed from the middle of the 3rd century BC. From the Celtic settlement Lutetia of the Parisii tribe on the Seine island, which is now called île de la Cité . The name Lutetia was first mentioned in writing in 53 BC. In the sixth book of Julius Caesar's depiction of the Gallic war De bello Gallico .

When the Romans settled in 52 BC BC approached the city for the second time after a first unsuccessful approach, the Parisii set fire to their main town Lutetia and destroyed the bridges before they took position. The victorious Romans left the island to them and built a new Roman city on the left bank of the Seine in a dominant position on the hill later known as Montagne Sainte-Geneviève . Thermal baths, a forum and an amphitheater were built there. The city was known as Civitas Parisiorum or Parisia in the Roman Empire , but initially remained relatively insignificant in occupied Gaul. In the 4th century the current name of the city prevailed.

The name of the chemical element Lutetium, discovered in 1905, is derived from the name Lutetia .

middle Ages

Paris 1493

In the 5th century, the Roman rule was ended by the Merovingians . In 508 Paris became the capital of the Merovingian Empire under Clovis I (466–511). After that, Paris became the capital of a Franconian kingdom under one of his sons . During the Carolingian rule, the Normans repeatedly raided the city. The Capetians made Paris the capital of France. Philip II Augustus (1165–1223) had the city fortified. In 1190 a wall was built on the right bank of the Seine and in 1210 a wall on the left bank. At that time there were many traders on the right bank of the Seine. At the instigation of Philip II, the Louvre was built on the western outskirts of the city .

The first covered market hall was opened in 1181 and a royal palace was built on the île de la Cité in 1301 . The Sorbonne in the south of Paris developed from several small schools. Charles V (1338–1380) had the wall on the left bank of the Seine renewed to protect the city from the English . In 1370, at his instigation , a wall was also built on the right bank, where the grands boulevards run today . During the Hundred Years War , Paris was occupied by English forces from 1420 to 1436.

Modern times

Paris around 1600: an engraving by Claude Chastillon

During the Huguenot Wars between 1562 and 1598, the city remained in Catholic ownership. In the St. Bartholomew's Day on August 24, 1572 thousands were in Paris Huguenots murdered. At the instigation of Louis XIV (1638–1715), street lights were installed, the water supply modernized and the Invalides and Salpêtrière hospitals built. He had the Paris city walls removed and in their place built the “Nouveau Cours”, a ring road that later became the Grands Boulevards . The king's residence was moved to Versailles . Nevertheless, Paris remained the political center of France, due to its large population and its leading economic role in the country.

The storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789

When the French Revolution broke out in 1789 , it was the people of Paris who paved the way for the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of the first French republic. In 1844, under King Louis-Philippe, a new fortification was built on the site of what is now the Boulevard périphérique , the Thiers city fortifications . It was 39 kilometers long and, with its 94 bastions and 16 forts, was the largest fortification in the world.

The Île de la Cité in 1865 before its redesign by Haussmann , photographed from the Saint-Jacques tower , looking south, with the
Panthéon in the background
1/4 Obligation of the City of Paris of July 27, 1911

Paris hosted six world expositions in 1855, 1867, 1878, 1889, 1900 and 1937 , which underscored the city's cultural and political importance. During the Second Empire under the prefect of Paris Haussmann , the city underwent major redesigns that still shape the cityscape today (extensive demolition of old quarters and the creation of large streets (boulevards)). The catastrophic course of the war of 1870/71 brought the end of the Second Empire; After the siege by German troops, the capital capitulated, whereupon the so-called Paris Commune was formed in the spring of 1871 . It consisted of workers, artisans and petty bourgeoisie and revolted against the conservative provisional government of the republic. During the Third Republic before 1914, Paris experienced an economic and cultural heyday in the Belle Époque . At a train station, the Gare de Lyon , at a bridge, the Pont Alexandre III and the underground stations, the architectural style of this time can be recognized in an exemplary manner. In 1900 Paris hosted the II. And in 1924 the VIII. Modern Olympic Games. During World War I , Paris was first attacked from the air by a German aircraft on August 30, 1914, and on January 31, 1918, it was bombed by German zeppelins and Gotha G-bombers, killing 63 people. The last German air raid on Paris during World War I took place in September 1918.

In 1921 Paris had around 2.9 million inhabitants, the highest population in its history to date. Urban housing could no longer keep pace with demand. From around 1925 onwards, an instable phase of domestic politics began in France (see Third French Republic ). There were rapidly changing governments. The global economic crisis also contributed to this . She started in many countries in the winter of 1929 and delayed in France in 1931. On February 6, 1934 it came in Paris to a large anti-parliamentary street battle in which the fascist movement Croix de Feu was instrumental. After the resignation of Édouard Daladier (1934) Gaston Doumergue formed a government of national unity (French Union Nationale ) without communists and socialists . On April 26th and May 3rd, 1936, the parliamentary elections were won by the newly formed Popular Front of Socialists, Communists and Radical Socialists with the slogan "Bread, Peace, Freedom". The socialist Léon Blum became Prime Minister in 1936/37 and 1938. He was twice succeeded by the radical socialist Édouard Daladier.

The 2 e division blindée drives on August 26, 1944 on the Champs-Élysées and is cheered by people for the liberation of Paris .

During the Second World War , the Battle of France broke out in June 1940 after the British had evacuated the mainland during the Battle of Dunkirk (May 26 to June 4) . Before the German troops approaching Paris, the French government evaded via Tours to Bordeaux . Thousands of residents also fled Paris. After the Army High Command 18 under Colonel General Georg von Küchler had been assured by a negotiator that the 7th French Army would evacuate the city , Wehrmacht units entered the deserted Paris on June 14th without a fight. There were no strategic goals associated with the capture of Paris. At the Arc de Triomphe , Küchler and the Commander-in-Chief of Army Group B , Colonel-General Fedor von Bock , watched the 18th Army march past . In 1943/44 the Navy maintained a naval hospital in the city. The city was spared major destruction. Until the liberation on August 25, 1944 , Paris was occupied by the German Wehrmacht . The German city commander of Paris, General Dietrich von Choltitz (1894–1966), surrendered that day and thereby refused an order from Hitler to defend Paris or to “just let it fall into the hands of the enemy as a field of rubble”.

Street scene Boulevard des Capucines (1960)

Violent clashes over the Algerian war also shook Paris in the early 1960s. Both the right-wing extremist OAS and the independence movement FLN terrorized the city with bombings and attacks on police officers and public institutions. On October 17, 1961, around 30,000 people wanted to demonstrate peacefully for Algeria's independence. In the Paris massacre , the police violently suppressed this demonstration; at least 150 demonstrators were killed. When the police violently disbanded a rally of the Parti communiste français on February 8, 1962, another incident occurred in the Charonne metro station , in which nine people were killed.

During the May 1968 riots , the city experienced student revolts and mass strikes.

The suburbs ( banlieues ) of Paris were the starting point and center of the unrest in France in 2005 , during which there were numerous violent riots by mostly young immigrants. In the terrorist attacks in January 2015 , including on the editorial offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo , a total of at least 17 people were killed. In a series of attacks on November 13, 2015 in six locations in Paris and Saint-Denis with hostages being taken in the Bataclan concert hall , explosive attacks around the Stade de France football stadium , where a friendly against Germany was just taking place in front of 80,000 visitors and President Hollande was present, and several shootings, well over a hundred people died.

Sovereignty symbols

The main elements of the great coat of arms under the royal lilies refer to the Seine (here at the barracks of the Garde républicaine in the rue de Babylone in the 7th arrondissement ).

The city of Paris has a large and a small coat of arms and a blue-red flag. Coats of arms and motto are attached to many buildings.

Coat of arms of Paris
Blazon : "Under a blue shield head studdedwith gold lilies ,a silver single-masted ship with a billowing silver sailfloats on a blue shield base in red."
Justification for the coat of arms: A seal showed the single-masted ship as early as 1210. It is a reference to the founding of the city on the old town island Île de la Cité . The coat of arms has been known since 1358. The head of the shield with the fleur-de-lys was an extension of the coat of arms for the "good city". Different coat of arms variants are known: With a wall crown , with a coat of arms on a gold band under or around the shield. A coat of arms with three naves is also known.

The three medals awarded to the city hang on the wreath of oak and juniper leaves (from right to left in plan view): Ordre de la Liberation (March 24, 1945); Croix de Guerre (1914–1918, July 28, 1919), Legion of Honor (October 9, 1900)
The Latin motto is “Fluctuat nec mergitur” (something like: “It changes, but does not go under” or “It fluctuates, but it does not go under ”). The motto has been proven in connection with the city since at least 1581; As Prefect of
the Seine department, Georges-Eugène Haussmann made the motto the official motto of the city in 1853.

The two colors are mostly assigned to the colors of the French monarchy before the revolution. Since the Romans, the red has heralded the claim to rulership and the blue was underlaid with the Bourbon lilies. Another, more religious explanation is that red stands for Saint Denis, who gave power to the kings by using the blood of the martyrs as a standard. Philippe Auguste (1165–1223) took blue in his flag because it stands as a color for the Mother of God (Vierge Marie).



Population growth in Paris since the first census in 1801

In ancient times and in the Middle Ages, the population declined again and again due to the numerous wars, epidemics and famines. Around 20,000 people died in a cholera epidemic in 1832 . It was not until industrialization in the 19th century that the population rose sharply. In 1846 around one million people lived in Paris, by 1876 this number had doubled to two million. In 1921, the population of Paris had reached its historic high of just under three million. A little over two million people currently live in the capital. In the metropolitan area, on the other hand, the number of inhabitants has increased sharply. In 1921, 4.85 million people lived in the metropolitan region , 94 years later, in 2015 it was 12.53 million. This makes Paris one of the megacities .

Paris is badly affected by gentrification : the average purchase price for apartments in 2011 was 8010 euros per square meter, four times the price in Berlin at the time . In popular districts like Saint-Germain-des-Prés , it was already able to reach 15,000 euros at the time. For example, the 15th arrondissement , which used to be a residential area of ​​the working class, became a residential area for the affluent middle class.


Socio-economic map based on the median annual income of residents by district (in euros, 2007)

Paris has drawn people from different countries and cultures for centuries, be it because of political persecution, economic reasons, or the city's cultural appeal. Towards the end of the 19th century, it was mainly Italians and Eastern European Jews who moved to the city. After the First World War , Armenians (after the genocide in 1915 ), Poles , Russians and Ukrainians (“ white Russians ” after the October Revolution in 1917) followed. a. but after the Second World War , numerous guest workers from southern and eastern Europe came to France and many of them settled there, especially in the outskirts of Paris; Spaniards and Portuguese often ran the household of the wealthy Parisian families. The latest and greatest wave of immigration came from the former French colonies, such as the Antilles , the Maghreb , Sub-Saharan Africa and Indochina . Above all, the traditional working-class neighborhoods in the east of the city attracted immigrants, such as Belleville ( 19th and 20th arrondissement ), as well as the 10th , which has a Tamil- Indian district, the 11th and 13th arrondissement , the Today, with the largest Chinatown in Europe, it is influenced by East Asia. Parts of the 18th arrondissement are African or Arabic, especially the Quartier de la Goutte-d'Or . There is a clear difference between the predominantly affluent and white districts in the city center and in the west and the multicultural fringes in the east. As a result of the aforementioned gentrification within the city limits, increasingly poor households and tenants, often immigrants, are being pushed out of the city. The proportion of non-European immigrants is much higher in the suburbs of Paris, especially in the northern and eastern regions, where poverty, unemployment and social problems are widespread; there is a trend towards segregation and ghettos (see also the article Banlieue ). Since France does not statistically record the ethnic or religious affiliation of its inhabitants, there is little precise data on the ethnic composition of the Parisian population. In Paris itself, 20.4% of the population are immigrants, i.e. not born in France, and 14.4% were born outside of Europe. The proportion of young people under 18 with a migration background (at least one parent not born in France) is 41%. More than half of these young people have their roots outside Europe. In the Île-de-France region, this percentage is 37%, in some suburbs it is over 50%. According to a survey from 2006, 17% of the residents of the Île-de-France region are immigrants and 35% have a migrant background.


Around 65% of the population are baptized , around 60% profess the Roman Catholic faith, most practice the Latin rite , a few also the Armenian and Ukrainian rites. The Archbishop of Paris is also responsible for the Catholics of the Eastern rites. There are a total of 94 Catholic parishes in Paris within the political boundaries of the city, a further 73 Protestant churches of various denominations, 15 Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, six Romanian Orthodox churches, seven synagogues for the approximately 220,000 Jews and 19 mosques for around 80,000 Muslims , mostly Sunnis . Just under 12% of Christians and around 15% of Jews are practicing believers.


City government

The City Hall ( Hôtel de Ville )
Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who has been in office since 2014

On January 1, 2019, the commune and the Paris department went under the name "Ville de Paris" in a local authority with special status. The city government has been led by a mayor since 1977, who is elected by the city council and is also its president.

Anne Hidalgo , nominated by the Parti socialiste , has been mayor since April 5, 2014 . Her predecessor, Bertrand Delanoë (PS), was the first left-wing politician to move into the capital's town hall in 2001. Previously, Jacques Chirac (1977 to 1995) and Jean Tiberi (1995 to 2001) provided the mayor of the Gaullist RPR .

The first mayor of the capital, Jean-Sylvain Bailly , was installed on July 15, 1789 by the Paris self- government formed during the French Revolution . Since the commune was involved in the dictatorial reign of terror (La Terreur) , it was replaced in 1794 by twelve separate and decentralized municipal administrations. The state took control of the city and created the office of Prefect of the Seine (Préfet de la Seine) . During the civil revolution of 1848 and the Paris Commune of 1870/1871, a mayor also presided over the city for a few months.

On March 20, 1977, Jacques Chirac became the first freely elected mayor of Paris. The capital, which had previously been under a prefect appointed by the government, had the same status as all other municipalities in France. An exception is the police, which are still subordinate to the police prefect. A law of 1982 then additionally established the council assemblies of the arrondissements . These are advisory bodies with limited powers. The city council (Conseil de Paris) and the mayor (Maire de Paris) are each elected for six years. The next election will take place in 2020 [obsolete] .

City Council (Conseil de Paris)

The Paris City Council (Conseil de Paris) consists of 163 members. The city council elections take place every six years as part of the French local elections. Elections are made separately for each arrondissement , with each arrondissement electing a fixed number of city councils.

Since 2014, the city council has consisted of 13 members of the Parti Communiste and the Parti de gauche , 16 members of the Greens , 56 members of the Parti Socialiste and the Parti radical de gauche , 54 members of the Union pour un mouvement populaire and 16 members of the Union des démocrates et indépendants and des Mouvement démocrate , 5 members of the Radical de Gauche group, Center et Indépendants and three non-attached members. The next local election will take place in 2020.

Town twinning

Paris has a single city ​​partnership worldwide, with Rome since 1956 .

In addition, Paris has so-called friendship and cooperation agreements (the year of establishment in brackets) with the following cities :

Culture and sights

France appears in tourism statistics as the most visited country in the world. The French capital is home to a large number of ecclesiastical and secular buildings, streets, squares and parks, around 160 museums, around 200 art galleries, around 100 theaters, over 650 cinemas and more than 10,000 restaurants. The range of cultural events is rich with numerous concerts, exhibitions, music and film festivals, fashion shows and sporting competitions. The waterfront of the Seine in Paris was in the 1991 UNESCO list of World Heritage added.

In the first half of 2016, the number of visitors to important museums in Paris fell by the low double-digit percentage range for various reasons. In 2015, the 15 most visited museums and museum monuments were visited by more than a million people, the Louvre had over 8 million visitors.


The Comédie-Française (Salle Richelieu)

Due to the tradition of centralism in France, the most important theater and ballet companies in the country have their headquarters in Paris. The program is varied and can be found in one of the events calendars, Pariscope or Officiel des Spectacles , which are available at every newspaper kiosk. Strongly discounted theater tickets are available every day from 1 p.m. for performances on the evening of the same day at one of the two theater kiosks (Kiosque Théâtre) (in front of the Montparnasse train station and next to the Madeleine church ). The Paris Opera (today Opéra national de Paris ) and its predecessor institutes play an important role in the history of the opera with their style-defining world premieres. Today she runs two opera houses . The old opera, which was opened in 1875 and named after its architect Opéra Garnier or Palais Garnier , is the largest theater in the world with an area of ​​11,237 square meters, while the new Opéra Bastille , inaugurated in 1989, is characterized by its outstanding stage technology . Since the opening of the new opera, the Palais Garnier has mainly, but not exclusively, been used for ballet performances and classical operas. The Paris Opera has its own ballet, the Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris , with an attached ballet school.

The Comédie-Française or Théâtre français , whose theater ensemble can boast of having emerged in 1680 from the amalgamation of Molière's former “ Illustre Théâtre ” with other actors, also has a long tradition. Famous actors included Sarah Bernhardt and Jean-Louis Barrault . Today's state theater plays a predominantly classical repertoire .

The Théâtre des Champs-Elysees , from 1911 to 1913 according to plans by de Henry van Velde of Auguste Perret performed caught early 20th century with its architecture and scandalous performances stir. As a music theater and concert hall, it is the home of the Orchester national de France and the Orchester Lamoureux as well as the base of the Vienna Philharmonic in France.

Attention also deserves the programs of the Théâtre du Châtelet on the Place du Châtelet and the Théâtre de la Ville (German city theater) opposite .

Contemporary comedies, boulevard and vaudeville pieces are performed in countless small theaters, such as the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens , which Jacques Offenbach founded on July 5, 1855. The name of the theater is derived from “ Opéra bouffe ” - “Komische Oper” , as Offenbach called many of his works.

The shows of the Moulin rouge , the Lido and the Paradis Latin are recommended to fans of revue theater . The Moulin rouge , opened on October 6th, 1889 by Joseph Oller , who already owned the Music Hall L'Olympia , derives its name from the striking replica of a red mill on its roof. It became famous for its Cancan - and Chahut cancan Go girls. The performances in the Folies Bergère are not quite as elaborate, but undisguisedly more erotic .

Rock concerts take place in the Zénith in the Parc de la Villette and in the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy . The Zénith was built in 1983 on the initiative of the then Minister of Culture Jack Lang according to plans by the architects Philippe Chaix and Jean-Paul Morel and inaugurated on January 12, 1984 with a concert by the French singer Renaud .

The Arènes de Lutèce (Arenas of Lutetia) are considered to be the capital's oldest surviving structure. The Roman amphitheater is located on Rue Monge , in the 5th arrondissement . The arena dates from the 1st century AD and was used until the end of the 3rd century. Around 17,000 people were able to attend the theater performances, but also life and death fights. With the rise of Christianity, the Roman circuses generally lost their importance and when the Germanic tribes invaded Roman Gaul in the 3rd and 4th centuries , the Arènes de Lutèce were shut down and their stones were used to build city walls and other fortifications.


Musée du Louvre with pyramid in focus

The Musée du Louvre , opened in 1793 in the former residence of the French kings, houses one of the world's most important collections with over 380,000 works, of which around 35,000 are on display. The exhibits cover a period from antiquity to the end of the 19th century. The building is located in the center of Paris between the right bank of the Seine and Rue de Rivoli . Its inner courtyard is in line with the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and thus forms the origin of the so-called Ax historique , the historical axis.

The Musée d'Orsay , interior view

The Musée d'Orsay was built in the former station of the same name, the Gare d'Orsay , on the southern bank of the Seine opposite the Tuileries Garden . The station building was built in 1900 by Victor Laloux for the Paris – Orléans connection, closed in 1939 due to capacity problems and classified as a historic building in 1978. Under the direction of the architect Gae Aulenti , it was converted from 1980 to 1986 into today's museum, carefully preserving the old structure. The collection of French impressionists is unique in the world . In addition, paintings, sculptures, photos and furniture of outstanding quality from the period from 1848 to 1914 are on display. Almost all styles of this period as well as works by many individual artists are represented.

The art and culture center Center Georges-Pompidou (Center National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou) , which opened in 1977 according to plans by architects Renzo Piano , Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini , caused a sensation with its architecture made of steel and glass: all supply lines are on attached to the facade. It was designed as an interactive information center that should guarantee free access to knowledge. It houses the Bibliothèque publique d'information (Bpi) and the Musée National d'Art Moderne with an excellent collection of works of art from the 20th century, especially works of Surrealism , Fauvism , Cubism and Abstract Expressionism . The music research institute IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique / Musique) is organizationally affiliated with it.

The Musée Picasso owns around 250 works from all of Picasso's creative periods , in particular paintings and sculptures, as well as paintings from the artist's personal collection, including by Georges Braque , Paul Cézanne , Henri Matisse , Joan Miró and Amedeo Modigliani . The museum is located in the former Hôtel Salé , a Hôtel particulier built between 1656 and 1659 in the Marais district , the name of which is derived from its builder at the time, the royal state official responsible for collecting salt tax, Pierre Aubert , nicknamed Salé (“Salteder”) .

The Musée national du Moyen Age (before 1980: Musée de Cluny ) in the late Gothic former abbot's palace Hôtel de Cluny (1485–1490) houses an important collection of medieval art objects. It allows access to the neighboring earlier thermal baths from Gallo-Roman times. In September 2000, the Medieval Garden (French: Jardin médiéval ) was laid out next to the Hôtel de Cluny, with an area of ​​around 5,000 square meters.

The Grand Palais was built according to the plans of the Prix ​​de Rome winners , the architects Henri Deglane (1851–1932) and Albert Louvet (1860–1936), as an exhibition hall for the Paris World Exhibition of 1900 . It has a facade 240 meters long and 20 meters high with Ionic columns . Important art and painting exhibitions take place in the building. The west wing houses the Palais de la Découverte (Palace of Discovery), a natural science museum that invites you to practical explorations and operates a planetarium .

Opposite the Grand Palais is the Petit Palais, built at the same time and for the same purpose by the architect Charles Girault (1880 Prix ​​de Rome ) in the neo-baroque style of the Belle Époque . The semicircular building with a splendidly gilded wrought-iron entrance gate and rich ceiling paintings, the facades of which consist almost entirely of windows, has housed the municipal museum of fine arts, Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris , since 1902 .

The Musée du quai Branly for ethnology has been located near the Eiffel Tower since 2006 . Several natural history museums are grouped together in the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle and are located in different locations, for example in the area of ​​the Jardin des Plantes . On October 27, 2014, the Louis Vuitton Foundation opened a private museum that houses Bernard Arnault's art collection .



Pont Neuf on the western tip of the Île de la Cité
View of the Seine, Pont des Invalides

In the greater Paris area, the Seine flows from the confluence of the Marne near Vincennes in the Paris Basin in a wide left curve from the south-east through the center, then in a tight right curve at Boulogne-Billancourt to bend north again to St. Denis to encompass the city from the north. Then it bends in an arc around Colombes / Villeneuve-la-Garenne again to the north-west, and then continues to meander towards the English Channel. About 40 bridges (French: ponts ) and some footbridges span the Seine and connect the central arrondissements with one another. The island Île de la Cité is connected by a total of 9 bridges both to the neighboring Île Saint-Louis ( Pont Saint-Louis ) and to both banks (right bank, in the direction of flow: Pont d'Arcole , Pont Notre-Dame , Pont au Change ; left bank: Pont de l'Archevêché , Pont au Double , Petit Pont , Pont Saint-Michel ). The Pont Neuf runs over the western tip of the island and connects the island with both banks. It is the oldest of today's Paris bridges. The youngest is the Passerelle Simone-de-Beauvoir , which has spanned 194 meters without buttresses since 2006. Many bridges were built in the 19th century and are iron constructions. In the evening, the bridges are illuminated according to a specific concept that emphasizes the building structures. Together with the bank reinforcements, the bridges form a characteristic feature of the city in terms of urban development. In addition to the Seine bridges, there are around 300 other bridge structures in the city: over canals and streets, over tracks and in parks.

Squares and streets

Henry IV took the first urbanistically relevant measures in Paris at the beginning of the 17th century with the construction of the first two of a total of five so-called “royal squares”.

The square Place des Vosges (1605–1611), formerly Place Royale in Le Marais ( 4th arrdt. ) Offers a uniquely cohesive ensemble of brick and ashlar buildings in the style of the early 17th century. The equestrian statue of Louis XIII adorns the center of the square .

At the same time, the triangular Place Dauphine (1607–1612) at the western tip of the Île de la Cité ( 1st arrdt. ) Was built in the same style , based on plans by Louis Métezeau and Jacques II. Androuet du Cerceau . The axis of the square, which was later destroyed to a third, allows a view of the Pont Neuf bridge and the equestrian statue of Henry IV through an opening in the west .

The Place des Victoires (1675), with a round floor plan, was designed on the initiative of the courtier François d'Aubusson de la Feuillade according to plans by Jules Hardouin-Mansart in honor of the Sun King Louis XIV to provide a worthy setting for his statue of Martin Desjardins give. The latter was smashed during the revolution and only replaced by the present equestrian statue of Bosio in 1822. Here, as in the following “Royal Squares”, the beautiful pale yellow ashlar, which is ideally suited for stone cutting, replaces the previously common brick.

The extremely harmonious Place Vendôme (1690–1720), which has been preserved in its original state, was laid out in honor of Louis XIV . Jules Hardouin-Mansart provided the plans again. The equestrian statue that used to be located here fell victim to the Revolution, like almost all images of the members of the French royal family, which gave Napoléon I the opportunity to erect a 44-meter-high triumphal column here in 1806 in memory of the Battle of Austerlitz .

The Place Louis XV (today's Place de la Concorde ), laid out from 1755 onwards, was to become the largest and last of the “royal squares” of Paris. The place remained unfinished. Renamed the Place de la Révolution during the Revolution , he received - in place of the destroyed equestrian statue of Louis XV. - the guillotine , under which Louis XVI. and the Queen Marie Antoinette were beheaded. Since 1836 the square has been dominated by the 23 meter high Luxor Obelisk . Next to it are two elaborately designed fountains by Jakob Ignaz Hittorff .

The avenue des Champs-Élysées , one of the great and famous “world streets”, begins at the Place de la Concorde . The 1.5 kilometer long and 71 meter wide avenue forms the centerpiece and backbone of the unique Ax historique pointing from east to west , a visual axis that begins in the inner courtyard of the Louvre , over the Tuileries Gardens , Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe to Grande Arche and beyond ranges. Here we are across the western arterial road, in the La Défense business district four kilometers outside of Paris . When the first trees ( elms ) of the Champs-Élysées were planted by the court gardener André Le Nôtre under Louis XIV (1670), it still led through open fields. The popular promenade for Parisians at that time was the street chain of lined up boulevards , which are seldom called by their different names, but simply Les Grands Boulevards .

Secular structures


The oldest buildings in the city are in the Latin Quarter on the slopes of the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève , on which from 52 B.C. BC the Romans settled in a dominant location.

The heavily restored remains of the arena of Lutetia , built in the 1st century AD, and the ruins of the so-called thermal baths of Cluny (in the Musée national du Moyen Âge ) from around 200 AD are the only visible traces of the Gallo-Roman era.

middle Ages
In the 13th century built Gothic Sainte-Chapelle

After the fall of the Roman Empire , primarily sacred buildings were built , while the Franconian kings staying in Paris took over the former palace of the Roman governors on the Île de la Cité , which was enlarged and rebuilt several times over the centuries and is now a palace de la Cité is known.

The oldest surviving parts of the Palais de la Cité are those in the first half of the 13th century under Louis IX. the Holy of Pierre de Montreuil built palace chapel Sainte-Chapelle and the lower parts of the so-called Bonbec -Turmes on the north facade. The adjacent two gate towers Tour d'Argent (silver tower) and Tour de César (also called Tour de Montgomery ) as well as the corner tower named Tour de l'Horloge after his clock , which was heavily modified in the 19th century, were built a little later under Philippe IV the Handsome . Behind the massive double tower complex is the conciergerie , named after the former palace administrator (French: Concierge ) , which was used as a prison as early as 1400 and served as a “waiting room for the guillotine” during the revolution.

Soon after 1358, the Palais de la Cité was given up as a royal residence in favor of the Hôtel Saint-Pol , which has now disappeared , the Vincennes castle in the east of Paris and the fortification of the former Louvre, built in 1190 under Philippe-Auguste , whose mighty round keep dominated the right bank at the time.

The Louvre City Palace , as we know it today, is the result of numerous building campaigns under many kings and includes parts from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance , the Baroque period , the Second Empire and the important one, designed by the architect since 1981 at the request of President François Mitterrand Ieoh Ming Pei created the "underground realm" of the Louvre, which primarily serves to create the missing infrastructure for the museum located here.

Early modern age

Several interesting city ​​palaces in the Marais district, known in this country as hôtels particuliers , date from the second half of the 15th century and the 16th century , such as the Hôtel de Sens , which was built between 1475 and 1507 on behalf of Tristan von Salazar, Archbishop of Sens, was that from 1548 built for the court president Jacques de Ligneris Hôtel Carnavalet , which around 1585 for de Diane France designed and now Louis Métezeau attributed Hôtel d'Angoulême Lamoignon (today Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris ) and the Hôtel de Sully called city Palace of the financial inspector Mesme Gallet, which Roland de Neufbourg completed in 1630 according to the plans of Jean I. Androuet du Cerceau . Today it is the seat of the Monument Preservation Association ( Center des monuments nationaux ) .

On the left bank, Jacques d'Amboise, Abbot of Cluny between 1485 and 1510, had the Hôtel de Cluny completely rebuilt next to the ruins of the Roman thermal baths , which had served the Abbots of Cluny as their city residence since 1330. The Musée national du Moyen Âge (Museum of the Middle Ages) housed there has the unique millefleurs wall hanging with scenes on the theme of La Dame à la licorne (“The Lady with the Unicorn”). With the Fontaine des Innocents fountain , Pierre Lescot and Jean Goujon created a work from 1547 to 1549 that is counted among the most important remaining testimonies of the early Renaissance in Paris today. However, the arrangement of the three original fountain sides, which originally formed a grandstand, was completely changed in the second half of the 19th century and a fourth side was added by Pajou and Houdon.

The original Parisian Hôtel de Ville (town hall) was built between 1551 and 1628 at the suggestion of King Francis I according to plans by the Italian architect Domenico da Cortona , known as Il Boccador (o) , in the style of the renaissance castles of the Loire Valley . It burned down in 1871 during the commune uprising . Today's town hall is a copy of the previous building. The building in the classicism style with 146 statues on the facade was built in the years 1874 to 1882 according to plans by the architects Théodore Ballu (1817–1885) and Édouard Deperthes (1833–1898). It is located in the 4th arrondissement on the former Place de Grève , today's Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville .

17th century
The garden facade of the Palais du Luxembourg

The Palais du Luxembourg , commissioned in 1615 by Maria de Medici as a country palace far outside the city limits from the architect Salomon de Brosse , is based at least in part on plans for the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, where the Queen Mother and regent spent her childhood . The garden side underwent considerable changes in the 19th century. The French Senate has been meeting here since 1852 and has made the Jardin du Luxembourg , a former royal palace that belonged to the palace, now a state park, open to the public.

The Palais Royal , north of the Louvre, was built between 1627 and 1629 by Jacques Lemercier for the first minister of Louis XIII. , Cardinal Richelieu , came to the crown after his death and took his current name. Louis XIV grew up there . Today the palace houses the Council of State (Conseil d'État) , the Constitutional Council ( Conseil constitutionnel ) , the Ministry of Culture , but also the Comédie-Française . A beautiful garden adjoins the courtyard in which Daniel Buren created an interesting walk-in work of art.

Other important buildings from the 17th century are the baroque church of the Val-de-Grâce monastery, the Collège des Quatre-Nations , today the seat of the Institut de France , the Hôtel des Invalides and the Observatoire .

18th century

The Élysée Palace, originally named after its client, the Hôtel d'Évreux and later after the nearby Avenue des Champs-Élysées , is the official residence of the French President . It was built between 1718 and 1722 according to the plans of the architect Armand-Claude Mollet, who had recently sold the surrounding property to the Count of Évreux, Henri-Louis de la Tour d'Auvergne , and from him now with the Construction of a residence was commissioned. After the Count's death in 1753, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, better known as the Marquise de Pompadour , acquired the palace and had it stylishly refurbished inside by her architect. The garden was enlarged according to their ideas and expanded with colonnades and arbors as well as a labyrinth. The palace is located north of the Seine in one of the world's most important shopping streets, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré , just a few steps from the Champs-Élysées and a few minutes' walk from Concordenplatz.

The Palais Bourbon was also built in the 18th century, but was later given a classicist facade. It is located on the southern bank of the Seine and gave the 7th arrondissement its name. The French National Assembly meets in it . The church of Sainte Marie Madeleine is opposite the palace on the north bank in a visual axis.

The Panthéon

Under Louis XV. the grandiose buildings by Ange-Jacques Gabriel were created , which form the north side of the Place de la Concorde ; the minting workshop called La Monnaie or Hôtel des Monnaies , created by Jacques Denis Antoine between 1771 and 1777 , and the École militaire (military school), also the work of Ange-Jacques Gabriel. By far the most imposing building from this period, visible from afar, is the Panthéon , a domed building that can be included in both the sacred and the secular buildings of the city, as it has changed its purpose several times.

The Panthéon was built between 1764 and 1790 by Jacques-Germain Soufflot and his students as a monastery church for the Benedictine abbey then located here, whose refectory and a tower have been preserved in the nearby Lycée Henri IV , one of the oldest and most famous schools in France. After the French Revolution in 1789 , the church was declared a national hall of fame. After several rededications in the 19th century, it has been France's hall of fame again since 1885. The list of people buried here is correspondingly illustrious: Voltaire , Victor Hugo , Émile Zola , Jean-Jacques Rousseau , Pierre and Marie Curie . In 1849, the physicist Léon Foucault succeeded in empirically demonstrating the rotation of the earth with the pendulum named after him . The pendulum is now in the chapel of the former St-Martin-des-Champs abbey , which has become part of the Musée des arts et métiers .

19th century

The most beautiful, albeit not the most representative building of the 1st Empire was created between 1806 and 1808 by Charles Percier and Fontaine with the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in the so-called Cour Napoléon of the Louvre .

While the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel was still being built , Napoléon I commissioned the great triumphal arch on the Place de l'Étoile in 1806 , which was not completed until 1836 under Louis-Philippe . The significantly smaller Arch of Titus in Rome served as inspiration . The triumphal arch stands in the center of the square, which has been called Place Charles de Gaulle - Étoile since 1970 , at the western end of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and is part of the Ax historique (historical axis), a series of monuments and major streets that run further to the west point to the Défense district.

In the same year the construction of a temple of fame in honor of the Napoleonic Grande Armée was planned. This building, which was only completed in 1842, is known today as the Madeleine Church . The contract for the construction of the stock exchange was also awarded in the 1st Empire. Begun in 1808 by Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart , it was completed by Éloi Labarre after his death in 1827 .

From the middle of the 19th century, the city, which had been largely shaped by the Middle Ages, transformed into a prestigious, exemplary and modern metropolis that aroused the admiration of thousands of foreign visitors to the World Exhibition. The revolutionary urban redevelopment, which, according to the will of Napoleon III. was carried out by the loyal Baron Haussmann , Paris owes its wide streets, several bridges, numerous squares and parks as well as the layout of the two city forests and, last but not least, the lining of the new streets with the so-called "Haussmann-style" houses so typical for Paris ". By Charles Marville 's photographs are preserved from the former period of upheaval that document the old streets and buildings just before the redesign. The culmination of this creative era was the opera house of the Paris Opera , known as the Palais Garnier , which was completed in 1875 by Charles Garnier .

The largest Parisian construction site of the 19th century was opened for the new construction of the Sorbonne university building in 1885, apart from the construction of the Eiffel Tower, the work of an engineer. The work was not completed until 1901. The Sorbonne, one of the oldest universities north of the Alps , was founded in the Latin Quarter in the 13th century . Some of the most important philosophers of the Middle Ages studied and taught here .

The Pont Alexandre III bridge with the Eiffel Tower on the right

The landmark of the city is the 300.51 meter high Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) , (324.8 meters with antenna), a construction from 1889 that was only to be erected temporarily for the world exhibition . The steel lattice tower is named after its builder Alexandre Gustave Eiffel . It is one of the biggest tourist attractions with more than six million visitors annually. In 2002 the 200 millionth visitor was counted.

The Wallace Fountains can be found all over the Paris metropolitan area, mainly along the most popular pedestrian walkways . The public drinking water dispensers in the form of small cast iron sculptures are named after the Englishman Richard Wallace , who financed their construction. Because of their outstanding aesthetics, they are considered a symbol of the city around the world.

20th century

The construction of the Tour Montparnasse in the south of the city was not without controversy . The 210 m high office tower is the tallest building in Paris and was opened in 1973 after four years of construction.

In the second half of the 20th century, Paris developed brisk construction activity, thanks in part to the so-called grands projets (large projects) of the French presidents.

The Eiffel Tower behind the Field of Mars , with the La Défense business
district in the background.

Georges Pompidou (President from 1969 to 1974) was the initiator of the new art and cultural center Center Georges-Pompidou in 1970 . As winners of an international competition, Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers were commissioned to erect the spectacular metal structure, which was built between 1972 and 1977.

The more conservative Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (President from 1974 to 1981) contented himself with the rehabilitation of existing buildings, such as the conversion of the disused Orsay train station into a museum and the establishment of the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie in the unfinished building of the Slaughterhouses in La Villette .

However, in 1980 Giscard d'Estaing also initiated the establishment of the Institut du monde arabe (Institute of the Arab World), also an art and cultural center with an attached museum, library and theater. However, the building was only realized between 1983 and 1987 under his successor François Mitterrand by the French group of architects Jean Nouvel , Pierre Soria and Architecture Studio.

For his part, François Mitterrand (President from 1981 to 1995) announced in his first press conference after taking office that the Louvre would be converted into a “worthy museum of France”. The contract for this major project went to the renowned American architect of Chinese origin Ieoh Ming Pei without a tender .

The need to build a new finance ministry resulted, among other things, from the fact that the cabinets of the two ministers had to move from the north wing there due to the planned renovation of the Louvre. The new Ministère des Finances (1984-1989), a joint effort by Paul Chemetov and Borja Huidobro , was created on a site in the east of the city, where at the same time the new Parc de Bercy was created and the city of Paris by Pierre Parat and Michel Andrault built the multi-purpose sports hall Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy .

Mitterrand's personal prestige object during his first term in office was the new Opéra Bastille (1983-1989) on the square of the same name, where the French Revolution broke out on July 14, 1789 with the storming of the Bastille and Mitterrand celebrated his election victory in 1981. The choice of the opening day of this new opera, designed by architect Carlos Ott in an idiosyncratic form made of glass and aluminum, was also symbolic : the first performance took place on July 13, 1989, the eve of the 200th anniversary of the storm on the Bastille .

The Grande Arche of Johan Otto von Spreckelsen , a gate-shaped openwork cube of immense proportions, is at the Défense district outside of Paris. It was inaugurated in 1989.

A few months earlier, Mitterrand had launched another project to relieve the old national library. The new Bibliothèque nationale de France (National Library, 1990–1996) was designed by the architect Dominique Perrault . The four corners of the building each have a 79 meter high tower with a continuous glass front. The towers are L-shaped and symbolize an open book. Jacques Chirac continued the tradition of the “Presidential Buildings”. On June 20, 2006, he inaugurated the new Musée du quai Branly by Jean Nouvel . In addition, numerous smaller buildings were built in the last half of the 20th century, such as the Cartier Foundation (1994, Jean Nouvel) and the American Center (1994, Frank Gehry ), now a cinema museum.

Paris is also known for its posh and elegant hotels, which are located on Rue de Rivoli opposite the Tuileries Gardens , on rue Castiglione and on Place Vendôme , among others . Here you will find the Hôtel Le Meurice , the “Westin” (formerly “Intercontinental” with its representative patio ), the Hôtel “Lotti” and the famous “Ritz” .

Panorama of Paris from the Panthéon seen from
Panorama of Paris from Montmartre seen from
21st century

The Musée du quai Branly opened in 2006 . In 2014, the Fondation Louis Vuitton museum in the Bois de Boulogne and the historic Grand Hotel Hotel The Peninsula Paris near the Arc de Triomphe were opened. In 2015 the Hexagone Balard , an ensemble of buildings in which the French Ministry of Defense has its new headquarters, was opened. It houses 9,300 jobs. The new Paris Philharmonic also opened in the Parc de la Villette in 2015 . The new Forum des Halles building opened in 2016. In 2017, the New Palace of Justice opened in the north-west of the city. The 160-meter-high skyscraper is an important new landmark. The 180-meter and 122-meter-high Tours Duo have been under construction since 2017 in the 13th district in the southwest of the city (scheduled for completion in 2020). [obsolete] Ongoing major projects are the renovation and extension of the Tour Montparnasse , the extension of the Gare du Nord and the construction of the 180 m high Tour Triangle in the 15th district (construction planned to start in 2020). [outdated]


middle Ages

The former abbey church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés on Boulevard Saint-Germain ( 6th arrdt. ) Reminds us that the Frankish King Childebert I of the Merovingian family , a son of Clovis I , came here later in 557 founded a very important abbey . The portal tower of today's church and the lower areas of the naves date from the 11th century, the choir was consecrated by Pope Alexander II in 1163. The building underwent various changes up to the 17th century. The wall paintings in the nave were created by Hippolyte Flandrin in the 19th century .

The Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris on the Ile de la Cité ( 4th Arrdt. ) Is one of the earliest Gothic cathedrals of France. It is consecrated to Mary , the mother of Jesus ( French : notre dame = Our Lady ). Construction began in 1163 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was not completed until 1345. The dimensions of the nave are 130 by 48 meters with a height of 35 meters. It offers space for 9,000 people , including the gallery . The two towers are 69 meters high, the roof turret reaches 90 meters.

Interior view of the parish church of Saint-Séverin

The main features of the parish church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois , which is opposite the east portal of the Louvre ( 1st arrdt. ), Dates back to the Romanesque period . However, it has both a Gothic buttress and a high-Gothic portal. The additions to this church date from the baroque era . This church is the holy Germanus of Auxerre ordained (Saint Germain l'Auxerrois) .

The parish church of Saint-Sulpice south of the Boulevard Saint-Germain ( 6th arrdt. ) Is dedicated to Saint Sulpicius II of Bourges . It replaced a previous Romanesque building from the beginning of the 13th century. Work on the present church began in 1649, but was not completed until the 18th century due to political and financial difficulties. The neoclassical facade designed Giovanni Servandoni in 1732. The church is famous for its Cavaillé-Coll organ , one of the largest organs in France.

The palace chapel Sainte-Chapelle in the Palais de la Cité (1st arrdt.) Not far from the cathedral was built by Louis the Saint in the 1240s to house very precious relics : Christ's crown of thorns and parts of the “True Cross”. This chapel, which is exemplary of the Gothic style rayonnant of the 13th century, is one of the most beautiful architectural monuments of the Gothic . Most of its walls are occupied by precious stained glass windows , which flood the high room with unearthly light.

Modern times

The construction of the parish church of Saint-Eustache began in the 16th century. The church was completed around 1640. It is located in the 1st arrondissement and was the church of the merchants of the neighboring market, the Halls of Paris (today built with the Forum des Halles ). The late Gothic sacred building already shows features of the emerging Renaissance.

The Dôme des Invalides (Invalides dome, actually Invaliden Dome ) was built between 1670 and 1691 by Jules Hardouin-Mansart on the left bank of the Seine ( 7th district ). This magnificent domed church, like the neighboring soldiers' church Saint-Louis des Invalides, is part of the Hôtel des Invalides and is one of the most beautiful buildings of the classicist Baroque in France. Its interior was transformed into a tomb for the French Emperor Napoléon I in the 19th century . His body has been resting here since 1861 after its removal from Sankt Helena in 1840, as well as various other important personalities.

The Basilique du Sacré-Cœur on the Butte Montmartre

The construction of the church La Madeleine north of the Place de la Concorde ( 8th arrdt. ) Began in 1764 according to the design of the architect Pierre Contant d'Ivry and was discontinued in December 1791 due to the French Revolution . The work was resumed by the architect Jean-Jacques-Marie Huvé (1783-1852) and completed in 1842, the consecration to the parish church took place on October 9, 1845. The interior is mainly from the years 1830-1840. The statue of Maria Magdalena by Carlo Marochetti is particularly worth seeing . The organ of the important French organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (1811–1899) is considered to be one of the most sonorous in the city.

The Basilique du Sacré-Cœur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart) is a Roman Catholic pilgrimage church on the hill of Montmartre and is the highest point in the city after the Eiffel Tower. Construction of the church in " gingerbread style " was in 1875 by the architect Paul Abadie started, who had prevailed in a competition against 78 competitors and its design clearly through the Roman-Byzantine style of old churches like the Hagia Sophia and St. Mark's Basilica in Venice was inspired . Abadie died in 1884. He was followed by six architects in the construction management until it was completed in 1914.

Green spaces

The streets of Paris are lined with around 89,000 trees. The municipal horticultural department, Direction des Parcs, Jardins et Espaces Verts de Paris, maintains 2,437 hectares of green space within the city limits, including the two large urban forests Bois de Vincennes (995 hectares) and Bois de Boulogne (846 hectares) as well as the 14 inner-city cemeteries (92 Hectares), the École Du Breuil Horticultural School (22 hectares), the Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil (8.5 hectares), where flowers and shrubs are grown, and the new Center horticole de la Ville de Paris (flower production) in Rungis , Fresnes and Achères (477 hectares in total).

The planted embankments of the Boulevard périphérique ring road (51 hectares) are to be deducted as a recreation area . The green areas of municipal sports facilities, schools, kindergartens and day nurseries account for 36 hectares. The remaining area (386 hectares) is public promenades , parks , gardens , the squares called green spaces and flower beds occupied. The city of Paris also has six other cemeteries beyond its borders, the Bois de Beauregard forest near La Celle-Saint-Cloud .

In addition to the municipal facilities, residents and visitors to Paris have seven state-run gardens and parks with a total of 118 hectares at their disposal.

Promenades, parks and gardens

Artificial cascade in the Parc de Bagatelle

The Tuileries Garden , adorned with a striking number of statues, extends on the right bank of the Seine from the Louvre to the Place de la Concorde . It is reminiscent of the former castle of Catherine de Medici , which many rulers were to inhabit after her until it was destroyed in 1871 during the Paris Commune . In the western area of ​​the garden are the former ballroom Jeu de Paume , which today houses the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume , and the former orangery , which has been converted into a museum .

One of the most popular urban parks is the Jardin du Luxembourg in the Latin quarter , which was laid out in 1612 and is part of the Palais du Luxembourg . The garden includes strictly geometrically designed areas, but also freely designed zones. In the Jardin du Luxembourg there is also a two meter high copy of the New York Statue of Liberty . There are regular photo exhibitions on the bars of the park.

The urban forest Bois de Boulogne, located on the western city limits near Boulogne-Billancourt , is the largest inner-city recreation area with an area of ​​around 8.5 square kilometers. There has always been a large area of ​​forest there, the Bois de Rouvray . The Frankish king Dagobert I came here to hunt in the 7th century. In 1848 the state took over the forest and in 1852 transferred it to the city of Paris. In the course of the transformation of Paris under Napoleon III. by Haussmann , the forest was under the guidance of landscape architect Jacques Ignace Hittorff converted into a park. Paths and artificial water areas were created. Bad planning meant that the artificial lakes could not be filled. Some of the lakes were on the slope. Hittorff was fired by Haussmann and replaced by engineer Jean-Charles Alphand and landscape gardener Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps . The two solved the water problem by creating artificial waterfalls ( cascades ).

The Bois de Vincennes is the second Parisian urban forest laid out in the style of an English landscape garden. It has always been a royal hunting ground and in earlier times housed a hunting lodge, which was later replaced by a fortress, which we now know as Vincennes Castle . In 1860 Napoleon III left the forest of the city of Paris with the order to redesign it similar to the Bois de Boulogne . The landscape architect Jean-Charles Alphand had the area afforested and provided with artificial hills and three lakes. Sports facilities were built for the 1900 Summer Olympics and the paths were expanded for this purpose.

The new city park Parc de la Villette, designed by the architect Bernard Tschumi in 1986, is one of the largest green spaces in Paris with 25 hectares. It was built on the site of the La Villette slaughterhouse, which was closed in 1974, and is crossed by the Canal de l'Ourcq . The Zénith was opened as early as 1984, and the buildings later built were based on the design. All elements of the park are built in a futuristic style. The park houses, among other things, the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie (a technology museum similar to the Swiss Technorama ), the spherical IMAX cinema Géode , the Cité de la musique , the Zénith and the submarine l'Argonaute .

The existing smoking bans are to be extended to 52 parks in 2019. The ban has been in place on the 500 playgrounds since 2015.


The green spaces in Paris also include the cemeteries. At the beginning of the 19th century outside the former capital of three and a a new cemetery in Paris limits: the Cimetiere Montmartre in the north, the Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise in the east, the Cimetiere du Montparnasse in the south and the Passy Cemetery . These cemeteries are popular with walkers and tourists because of their silence and the graves of many famous people.

Gravestones in the Pere Lachaise cemetery

The Père Lachaise is the largest cemetery in Paris and one of the most famous cemeteries in the world. It is named after François d'Aix de Lachaise , on whose gardens the cemetery was built. The concept of the Père Lachaise was entrusted in 1808 to the neoclassical architect Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart , who at the time was general inspector of the second section for public works in the Seine department and the city of Paris. Brongniart designed the large axes and grave monuments, but only that was realized for the Greffulhe family in neo-Gothic style.

Due to the strong population growth in the 19th century, space in the cemeteries in Paris (intra muros) became scarce and several large cemeteries were created for the Parisian population in the suburbs (extra muros) , which are still in use today. The most important of them are: Cimetière parisien de Bagneux , Cimetière parisien de Pantin , Cimetière parisien de Saint-Ouen , Cimetière parisien de Thiais and Cimetière parisien d'Ivry . The largest cemetery is the Cimetière parisien de Pantin , which houses over 200,000 graves in which well over a million people have been buried to date.


Paris can look back on a long and successful film history. Parisian entrepreneurs and companies such as the Lumière brothers , Pathé Frères or Gaumont were the ones who took the film out into the world. In 1895 the Lumière brothers invented the cinématograph , a device that could both record and play films. They performed it for the first time on March 22nd of that year. The performance at the Paris Société d'encouragement pour l'industrie nationale is considered to be one of the first film screenings in the world. As a result, the Lumières toured the largest cities in Europe to spread their invention - with success. In the years that followed, competition quickly spread in Paris. The Pathé Frères soon became one of the largest film producers in Europe and exported their silent films worldwide. Branch offices and cinemas have been set up in major European cities.

But Paris itself was also the location and set in many films. Apart from the numerous recordings of the silent film era, often of a documentary nature, the city was seen in both domestic and foreign feature film productions.


Sporting events

Paris is a regular venue for major major events. These include the final stage of the Tour de France in road cycling , the Marathon de Paris , the Grand Slam tournament French Open (officially Tournoi de Roland Garros ) in tennis , the Areva meeting (formerly Meeting Gaz de France ) in athletics , the Trophée Eric Bompard (formerly Trophée Lalique ) in figure skating and the Six Nations Tournament (French Tournoi des Six Nations ) in rugby .

In equestrian sport , the Prix ​​de l'Arc de Triomphe , a gallop race over 2,400 meters for racehorses over three years old, is one of the most prestigious international horse races in its category , alongside the Epsom Derby and the Kentucky Derby . The race has been held on the first Sunday in October every year since October 3, 1920. It was introduced during a celebration at the end of the First World War .

Paris hosted the Summer Olympics of 1900 and 1924 . In addition, Paris competed for the 1956 , 1992 , 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics . On September 13, 2017 were presented at the plenary session of the International Olympic Committee in Lima , the Summer Olympics in 2024 awarded to Paris.

Sports facilities

Rugby at the Stade de France

The capital region is home to numerous national and international sports facilities, including five modern stadiums for an average of 42,000 spectators.

The Stade de France ("France Stadium") is located in Saint-Denis , a suburb north of Paris. The multifunctional national stadium of France, which can hold up to 80,000 spectators, was built for the 1998 World Cup and went down in history as the final venue for the first French world championship. Both the French national football team and the French national rugby union team play their home games at the Stade de France , which is also the venue for the annual finals of the Top 14 rugby league . The Stade de France hosted the final matches of the 1998 Football World Cup, the 2007 Rugby Union World Cup , the 2016 European Football Championship and the 2003 World Athletics Championships . The final of the Rugby Union World Cup 2023 will also be played here. It is also intended as the Olympic stadium for the 2024 Summer Olympics .

The Prinzenparkstadion ( French Parc des Princes ) is a traditional competition venue in the center of Paris, which is mainly used by the Paris Saint-Germain football club and was designed for around 49,000 spectators. It was the final stadium for the first European football championship in 1960 and the first edition of the 1956 European Cup . Since the construction of the new national stadium, the Prinzenparkstadion has lost its importance, but it is still one of the most modern stadiums in Europe. The UEFA (French Union des Associations Européennes de Football ) awarded the sports facility four stars .

In 2013, the modern Jean-Bouin-Stadion (French: Stade Jean-Bouin ) was built directly next to the Prinzenparkstadion . It has a capacity of more than 20,000 spectators and is the home ground of the renowned rugby club Stade Français Paris . It was also the final stadium for the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup . In Nanterre , a suburb to the west of Paris, the partially covered U Arena has also been standing since 2017 . The multifunctional building built directly behind the Grande Arche can accommodate around 40,000 spectators and is primarily used as the home ground of the traditional rugby club Racing 92 . Both structures are regularly used as venues for various other team sports.

Other noteworthy facilities are the Sébastien-Charléty Stadium (French: Stade Sébastien Charléty ) in the center of Paris , which can accommodate 20,000 spectators, or the Paris Olympic Stadium (French: Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir ) in Colombes , a suburb northwest of Paris, for around 10,000 Spectator. Among other things, it was the venue for the 1924 Summer Olympics. Both stadiums are particularly venues for athletics events and games of smaller football or rugby clubs.

The Longchamp Racecourse (French: Hippodrome de Longchamp ) is the most important horse racing facility in Paris. Today's hippodrome was built in 1857 on the walls of Longchamp Abbey, which was destroyed during the French Revolution . In addition to horse races such as the Prix ​​de l'Arc de Triomphe , jumping tournaments and other sporting events take place here.

Regular events

Soldiers at the July 14th military parade on the Champs-Élysées

In January the international prêt-à-porter fashion show in Porte de Versailles and the Festival Présences (festival of contemporary music) with numerous free concerts in the Maison de Radio France take place in Paris .

February, the month of Valentine's Day , has the motto “Paris Romantique” thanks to an initiative by the Paris Tourist Office involving trained tourist guides, museums such as the Musée de la Vie Romantique ( 9th arrondissement ), the Hôtel Scheffer-Renan and the catering trade ".

In March starts in the Parc Floral de Paris at the Château de Vincennes, the Paris Half Marathon . The Paris Book Fair is also in March. The blues and jazz festival Banlieues Bleues is held in Saint-Denis, in the north of Paris , and the Paris Cinéma festival in July .

The annual Paris marathon also runs along the Seine

In April, over 30,000 participants in the Marathon de Paris will start on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées . Towards the end of April and the beginning of May, Paris offers a very special kind of spectacle: the chestnut blossom sung by Ella Fitzgerald in the song “ April in Paris ” .

In May, the most famous horse race in France, the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris in the Hippodrome d' Auteuil, and at the end of May / beginning of June the French Open , the second tennis tournament in the Grand Slam series, will be held in the Roland Garros Stadium. From the beginning of May to the month of July, the most exquisite creations have been awarded prizes every year for a hundred years on the occasion of a rose grower competition in the Parc de Bagatelle .

At the beginning of summer, June 21st, the Fête de la Musique is held, initiated by Jack Lang and now being celebrated all over France: there are free concerts by well-known and less well-known bands everywhere. At the end of June the Gay Pride Parade takes place on the Place de la République and the Bastille as well as other venues.

The festivities on July 14th, the national holiday , culminate with the military parade that starts on Avenue des Champs-Élysées from the Arc de Triomphe and ends on Place de la Concorde .

During the French summer holidays, when a large part of the Parisian population leaves the city to go on vacation, the Paris-Plages (German: Beaches in Paris) event has been taking place from the Quai du Louvre to the Pont de Sully since 2002 , at the Port de la Gare and the Bassin de la Villette . This is intended to offer those who stayed at home a piece of beach life on a few kilometers of the bank of the Seine, which is closed to traffic. This event usually lasts four to five weeks from mid-July to mid-August.

Ferris wheel on the Place de la Concorde

In September, on a weekend for the so-called Journées du Patrimoine (Heritage Days), Parisian palaces and hôtels particuliers / private city palaces that are otherwise difficult to access open their doors. A unique opportunity to pay a visit to the residences of high dignitaries, such as the Elysée Palace or the Hôtel Matignon . This month, the City of Paris is holding free concerts, exhibitions, theater and cinema screenings in Paris' parks and gardens as part of the Fête des Jardins de Paris . The theater season opens with the Festival d'Automne à Paris (autumn festival).

In October, in the first month of autumn, a colorful parade, numerous parties and wine tastings take place on the vineyard of the Montmartrehügel to kick off the grape harvest. Since 2002 there has been the Nuit Blanche (“Long Night of Art”) on a weekend and the Paris Motor Show takes place every two years .

At the beginning of November we recommend a visit to one of the flower-laden cemeteries after All Saints' Day .

In December, the elegant debutante ball Le Bal des débutantes (also known as the Crillon Ball ) is held in the noble Hôtel de Crillon . However, only the initiated of high society are admitted here. Those who do not know how to get in may admire the unique spectacle of the fabulously illuminated Champs-Élysées . From mid-December to mid-January every tree there wears a crown of fairy lights.

Throughout the year rises, subject to favorable weather, every 15 minutes of Eutelsat - captive balloon from Parc André Citroën on. From a height of 150 meters, its gondola offers 30 passengers a comprehensive panoramic view of the west of the city.


"Lapérouse" restaurant in the 6th arrondissement
A Moroccan restaurant in the 14th arrondissement

The first restaurants worldwide in today's sense emerged with the French Revolution in Paris, which also repealed the old guild law, according to which, for example, soup kitchens and pastry bakers were strictly separated. The namesake of the restaurant was the host of a soup kitchen in Paris, Boulanger, who, according to self-promotion , offered "divine restaurants", particularly fortifying bouillons . In 1765 he obtained permission to serve not only soups but also mutton feet with sauce, despite the guild rules. From then on he called himself “Restaurateur” and his bouillon became the namesake of the restaurants that offered various dishes.

"Restaurateurs are those who make the real broths called restaurants and also offer all kinds of creams, soups with rice and pasta, eggs, macaroni, chicken, jams, compotes and other healthy and appetizing dishes ... The price of each dish is fixed, and they are served anytime of the day. Ladies are allowed to socialize there and have food prepared for them. "

- Almanac Dauphin of 1777; after Fritz Ruf, 1989

Before the revolution there were fewer than a hundred restaurants in Paris, but by 1800 there were around 500 to 600. It became a custom for immigrant MPs, who often did not live in a prestigious manner, and wealthy citizens to attend business meetings and private appointments Met restaurant. The majority of Parisian restaurants were run by chefs and their brigades, who had no choice but to start their own business after their noble employers had fled abroad. They brought with them an elaborate style of cooking that was not accessible to commoners until then. The haute cuisine in the restaurant was combined with the informal, bourgeois etiquette that disregarded aristocratic etiquette. Today there are thousands of restaurants in Paris that offer French cuisine as well as international dishes.


Paris is home to a variety of department stores, shopping centers and markets. One of the most famous department stores are the Galeries Lafayette . The large central hall with its glass dome is a structural monument and memorial. All well-known manufacturers of fashion, perfume and eau de toilette such as Ungaro, Thierry Mugler, Jean Paul Gaultier and Fiorucci are represented here. Just a few meters from Galeries Lafayette is the Printemps department store , the central hall of which is also adorned with a glass dome. Both department stores offer their customers a unique selection and variety of products. On the Rive Gauche you can also find the luxury department store Le Bon Marché , which, in addition to fashion in its “ Grande Épicerie de Paris ”, also offers delicacies from all over the world.

Great hall in Galeries Lafayette

The Marché d'Aligre flea market is located near the Opéra Bastille . The offer ranges from clothing, fruit, ceramics and pictures to food and flowers. The market is open in the morning, every day except Monday. The Puces de la Porte de Montreuil near the metro station Porte de Montreuil offers mainly clothing from all areas, but also modern art objects . You can buy clothes and housewares at the Marché aux puces de la Porte de Vanves near the Porte de Vanves metro station . The Puces de Saint-Ouen-Clignancourt consists of a number of several markets that are interconnected. Some of the dealers there specialize in high-quality works of art, but mostly inexpensive items are offered.

The Le Louvre des antiquaires near the Palais Royal and the Louvre is one of the largest and best known antique shops in Paris. Numerous goods from all over the world are offered in around 250 rooms and on three floors. In addition to furniture, paintings and carpets, you can buy crystal, weapons, toys, watches and jewelry. Antiquarian and used books are sold at the many booksellers' stalls (bouquinistes) on the Seine.

Paris is home to numerous fashion boutiques that also sell prêt-à-porter from well-known fashion houses. Haute couture is available from Chanel on Rue Cambon , from Dior on Avenue Montaigne and from Christian Lacroix on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Avenue Montaigne . Catwalk fashion is available from Gianni Versace on Rue des Saints-Pères , from Jean Paul Gaultier near the Bourse metro station and from Cerruti 1881 near the Madeleine metro station . You can also shop for elegant clothes in Saint-Germain , Le Marais or Galerie Vivienne (near Les Halles ).

Sights in the area

The Palace of Fontainebleau, southeast of Paris
The Versailles Palace west of Paris

In La Défense , an office and business district that has been built in the western suburbs of Courbevoie , Nanterre and Puteaux since the late 1950s and dominated by skyscrapers, the so-called Grande Arche is a western continuation of the famous Parisian axis . The 110-meter-high cube was designed by the architect Johan Otto von Spreckelsen and executed by Paul Andreu . It forms the western starting point of the ax historique , which forms a straight line with the Arc de Triomphe and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel at the Louvre. The inauguration took place at the summit of the G7 heads of state on July 14, 1989 to mark the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution . The building serves as the headquarters of the French Ministry of Commerce and Transport.

The Fontainebleau castle in the same place 65 km south of Paris was in the 16th century by I. Franz and Henry II. Built on the site of a hunting lodge. The architect was Philibert de l'Orme (1510-1570). It is especially famous for its renaissance furnishings.

The Palace of Versailles , which is one of the largest palace complexes in Europe, is located in the city of Versailles to the west of Paris and was the model for many European royal and princely palaces. For the enlargement of Ludwig XIII's hunting lodge . In 1661 , Louis XIV brought in the architect Le Vau , the court painter Le Brun and the garden architect Le Nôtre . The middle wing of the 750 m long baroque-classicist garden front is occupied by the much admired mirror gallery “Galerie des Glaces” and the corner salons of war and peace. This is followed by the king's state room in the north and the queen's room in the south. The king's second bedroom in the center of the castle, the chapel, the opera and the battle gallery, which was built in the 19th century, also deserve attention.

The Saint-Denis Basilica is a former abbey church in the city of Saint-Denis north of Paris and the burial place of the French monarchs, almost all of whom have been buried here since the end of the 10th century. As early as the 5th century there was a monastery above the grave of Dionysius of Paris , which was expanded to an abbey in the 7th century under Dagobert I. In the choir , which was renovated from 1136 , the ribbed vault was invented in 1142 . This made the basilica the first Gothic building in the world. The church has had cathedral status since 1966 .

The Disneyland Resort Paris in the planned city Marne-la-Vallée , about 30 kilometers east of Paris, is a 19.43 square kilometer large leisure complex with two theme parks - the Disneyland Park and the Walt Disney Studios Park - a golf course, shopping and entertainment areas, ten hotels and a parking space for mobile homes.

Economy and Infrastructure

According to a study from 2014, the greater Paris area generated a gross domestic product of 715 billion US dollars (KKB). In the ranking of the economically strongest metropolitan regions worldwide, he came in 6th place.

In a ranking of cities according to their quality of life, Paris was ranked 39th out of 231 cities worldwide in 2018.


View from the triumphal arch of La Défense

Paris is the most important economic center in France. In the metropolitan region of Paris, about a quarter of manufacturing companies have settled in the country. Due to the huge sales market that the city offers, it has always been a major attraction for manufacturers of consumer goods. Paris is known for the production of luxury goods ( haute couture and jewelry). The city's main products include chemicals, electrical appliances, automobiles, and machinery.

View of Paris from the Austerlitz Bridge

Almost all large service companies in France, especially banks and other financial companies, have their headquarters in Paris. Since the 1990s, increasing efforts have been made to attract multinational corporations. Today the city is one of the most important trading centers in Europe.

An advantage that should not be underestimated is the city's location in the middle of one of the most fertile agricultural landscapes in Europe. Agriculture was therefore the most important economic basis of the region in the earlier centuries and ensured the food supply for the population in the city. Today Paris has the most important wholesale market in the world for food, the Rungis wholesale market .

Thanks to the strong concentration of national and international companies, the capital region has a share of around a third of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). It is one of the wealthiest regions in Europe. One problem is unemployment, which is roughly in line with the national average. Paris has lost around a quarter of a million jobs since the early 1990s. One reason is the loss of industrial jobs and the relocation of economic activities to neighboring communities such as the La Défense business center .

Headquarters of the daily newspaper " Le Figaro "

Most of the French television and radio stations as well as the largest media groups in the country (“ Vivendi ”, “ Groupe Lagardère ”, “ TF1 ”) are based in Paris. The city is the place of publication of internationally important daily newspapers (" Le Figaro ", " Le Monde ", " Liberation ") and the most important international center of the publishing industry.

Tourism plays a special role. With 42 million visitors a year, the Paris region is the most important destination in the world in terms of numbers, of which 35 million visit the city of Paris. In 2011, luxury hotels averaged around three times the price paid in Berlin. Foreign tourists generated $ 12.9 billion in revenue in 2016.

In a ranking of the most important financial centers worldwide, Paris took 24th place (as of 2018).


Long-distance transport

Road traffic on the Boulevard du Montparnasse

Paris is connected to the whole country by a network of motorways and expressways. The boulevard périphérique (Le Périph ') plays an important role . This eight-lane urban motorway directs traffic around Paris and into the city. Almost all major French highways leading to Paris and open from all directions in the Boulevard Périphérique : The A1 from Lille , the A4 from Reims , the A 5 from Dijon , the A 6 from Lyon , the A77 from Nevers , the A 10 from Orléans , the A 13 from Rouen and the A 16 from Amiens .

Paris has the second largest inland port in Europe and is the hub of the rail and road network in France. There are four international airports on the outskirts . 69.5 million passengers were handled at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle in 2017 - this was the second highest number of all airports in Europe. Orly ranks thirteenth with 32.0 million passengers . The third airport, Paris-Beauvais, is located outside the actual metropolitan area and is mainly served by low-cost airlines. The fourth airport, Paris-Le Bourget , is only used for business aviation . It is the largest of its kind in Europe. In total, the four Paris airports handled around 106 million passengers in 2017. This makes Paris one of the world's major air hubs alongside London and New York. In addition, the Paris-Vatry airport , which is mainly served by low-cost airlines, is located some distance from Paris .

The major railway lines in France start in Paris. There are high-speed lines served by the TGV in the direction of Lille in the north, Rennes and Bordeaux in the west, Lyon and Marseille in the south and Strasbourg in the east . In addition, the Eurostar routes to London and the Thalys routes to Cologne and Amsterdam via Brussels are important European connections. ICE and TGV have been running via Saarbrücken to Frankfurt am Main as well as to Stuttgart and Munich since 2007 .

The main passenger stations are Gare d'Austerlitz , Gare de l'Est , Gare de Lyon , Gare Montparnasse , Gare du Nord and Gare Saint-Lazare . Railway transport used, inter alia, the marshalling yards Le Bourget in the same politically independent suburban and Vaires by the Great ring road (Grande Ceinture) with the leading from or to Paris railway lines are connected.

The city is criss-crossed by the Paris canals .

Local transport

Entrance to the Paris Metro

Most traffic in Paris is handled by the subway . The Metro Paris after London (1863), Glasgow and Budapest (both 1896), the fourth-oldest subway in Europe. The first metro line was opened on July 19, 1900. The Paris subway network consists of 16 lines (14 full and two supplementary lines) and, with a total length of 219.9 kilometers, is one of the largest networks in the world. The Métro is used by around 5 million people every day. In addition to the metro network, there is the Réseau Express Régional (RER), whose trains connect Paris with the suburbs ( banlieues ) . Lines A to E are part of the RER network and can take up to two minutes to reach trains on the central sections of the route. The current RER has its origins in the suburban railways shut down by the French state railway company SNCF or its predecessors, one of which (today's southern section of the RER B ) was taken over by the Paris Métro as early as 1937. From 1862 on there was also a passenger transport offer on a ring railway along the Thiers town fortifications , the Chemin de Fer de Petite Ceinture (German "small belt railway"), which was also used for freight traffic. Passenger traffic on the Petite Center was discontinued in 1934 in favor of bus routes .

The greater Paris area is served by the Transilien local transport system. This differs from the RER trains, among other things, in that the Transilien lines do not cross under the city, but end in the large central train stations. The entire local transport network is accessible to tourists with the Paris Visite ticket or the cheaper Mobilis day tickets .

On November 21, 1853, the first horse-drawn trams ran in Paris , the first in Europe. The electrification of the tram network began on November 6, 1881. Operations were stopped on August 14, 1938. After a 54-year interruption, a tram has been running through the suburbs again since July 6, 1992, and the newly built T3 line has been running again in Paris itself since December 16, 2006. In recent years, several new lines have been opened and existing lines expanded. Today (December 2014) the nine lines operate a 105-kilometer network with 183 stations. The new line T3 runs along the Boulevards des Maréchaux in two sections from the Seine bridge Pont du Garigliano in the southwest to the Porte de Vincennes in the east of Paris and from there to the Porte de la Chapelle in the north of the city. Since the extension in December 2012, the route is a good 22 kilometers long and is mainly designed as grass track and is designed for 270,000 passengers per day. Simultaneously with the construction of the route, the streets along the route were architecturally redesigned, a requirement of the Paris authorities. This also includes numerous newly planted trees, outdoor works of art and newly designed bicycle and footpaths. Paris is also criss-crossed by a dense network of bus routes. The buses with the three-digit numbers go to the suburbs, the buses with the two-digit numbers only run within the city. Most buses run between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., the most important lines run longer until around 1 a.m. The Noctilien night buses run all night every day.

Bicycle rental system Vélib 'Métropole in Paris

Since summer 2007 there has also been a nationwide network of bicycle rental stations with Vélib 'Métropole . The system includes over 20,000 bicycles at 1202 stations in Paris and some communities in the vicinity of the French capital and is considered the largest of its kind in the world. With the introduction of Vélib, cycling plays a significant role in Paris city traffic for the first time.

Trolleybuses drove for the first time during the World Exhibition in Paris between April 15, 1900 and November 12, 1900, again between 1912 and 1914 and, after an interruption due to the First World War, from April 7, 1925 to July 8, 1935 After a seven and a half year break, operations were resumed on January 18, 1943 during the Second World War and finally stopped on April 1, 1966.

Air quality

Cyclists on Rue du Temple on September 27, 2015, a car-free day

Paris is struggling with high levels of air pollution, which comes from traffic in addition to industry and households. The average fine dust concentration of PM 10 is 38 µg / m³. The limit of 80 µg / m³ was often exceeded in 2015 in some parts of the city. The city administration issued several measures, including both temporary and permanent, to reduce air pollution and reduce car traffic: In 2013, the southern Seineuferstraße in the inner city area was closed to car traffic and turned into a pedestrian zone in September 2016 followed the northern embankment. In October 2015, Hidalgo ordered a car-free day for a small part of the city center. Since May 2016, the Champs-Elysées has been closed to automobile traffic on the first Sunday of each month. In 2016, over 640 kilometers were closed to motorized traffic on the weekend after Worldwide Car-Free Day, September 22nd.

At the beginning of December 2016, weeks of high PM 10 values ​​exceeded 80 µg / m³, which led to restrictions in the use of private cars in Paris and neighboring communities. alternately driving cars with even or odd license plate numbers is prohibited and free use of public transport has been introduced. Since Sunday, January 15, 2017, an environmental zone has been set up in the city center, the Zone à circulation restreinte , which also applies to vehicles from abroad. This does not apply to the Boulevard périphérique city ​​motorway . The required sticker is graded according to the pollutant class and allows differentiated driving bans depending on the load. Mayor Anne Hidalgo wants to halve the number of cars in the long term and above all improve the air quality in terms of nitrogen dioxide and fine dust levels.

science and education

Entrance to the Sorbonne Law School in the Latin Quarter

The contrasts between Paris and the rest of the country are particularly evident in the area of ​​education. Because the most prestigious educational establishments in France are in Paris.

The best grandes écoles in France are based in Paris, including the École polytechnique (opened in 1794), École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC), Sciences Po Paris , the École normal supérieure (ENS) and the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS). The elite administration school École nationale d'administration (ENA) has, however, been relocated to Strasbourg. As Prime Minister, Édith Cresson pushed through the transfer in 1992 against considerable opposition. For ten years, ENA ran simultaneously in Paris and Strasbourg before the entire school was relocated there in 2005, the former ENA building in Paris is now used by Sciences Po Paris .

Other higher education institutions are the Collège de France , which opened in 1530 , the Institut catholique (1875) and the École du Louvre (1882). Founded in 1257, the Sorbonne is the oldest university in France. Its founding as a school of theology is traced back to Robert von Sorbon (1201–1274), the court chaplain to Louis the Saint ; the confirmation bull of Clement IV. dates from 1268. Originally an alumnate for poor theology students , the Sorbonne (which the institution was only named since the 14th century) came from famous teachers who worked on it, as well as from a wealth of equipment to others similar colleges to ever greater prestige. In 1968 the University of Paris was divided into 13 independent parts through a major reform. Five of them are out of town. (See: List of Universities in France )

The engineer house the University of Paris-Saclay

The Académie française is one of the oldest institutions in France in the field of intellectual life and at the same time the most prestigious. Since 1801 she has resided in the Collège des Quatre-Nations opposite the Louvre ; The Secrétaire perpétuel , who was elected for life and served as a civil servant, also has his official residence there. The Académie française emerged from a Parisian literary circle, which met since 1629 with the now practically unknown author Valentin Conrart and in 1634 increased to 34 members by the ruling minister Cardinal de Richelieu and on January 2, 1635 by Louis XIII. was elevated to a state institution. The statutes and regulations envisaged by Richelieu were registered in 1637 by the Paris Supreme Court, the Parlement , and thus became legally binding. The academy has been part of the Institut de France since 1803.

Libraries in Paris

Of the numerous libraries in Paris, the French National Library (Bibliothèque nationale de France) is the largest. It was founded in 1368 by King Charles V on the basis of his personal library in the Louvre and initially comprised 911 manuscripts . At that time, however, it was customary to destroy the king's documents after his death, so that the actual library collection was not opened until King Ludwig XI. who broke with this custom. On July 14, 1988, the French President François Mitterrand announced the construction of the library building, which began in December 1990. The new library was designed according to plans by the architect Dominique Perrault and opened to the public on December 20, 1996. The modern library contains all the publications published in France and comprises more than ten million volumes.


Honorary citizen

After the painter, graphic artist and sculptor Pablo Picasso was appointed honorary citizen of Paris in 1971, no such honors were given until 2003. Since then, the following have been made honorary citizens: the American journalist and black political activist Mumia Abu-Jamal (2003), the Franco-Colombian anti-corruption campaigner and Colombian presidential candidate Íngrid Betancourt (2003), the Burmese politician and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi (2004) , Nigerian lawyer and civil rights activist Hauwa Ibrahim (2006). In addition, the city council made the Chinese civil rights activist Hu Jia , the Dalai Lama , the Bangladeshi women's rights activist Taslima Nasrin and Gilad Shalit honorary citizens in 2008, the Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi in 2010 , the Iranian film director Jafar Panahi and the Brazilian environmental activist in 2011 Raoni Metuktire .

sons and daughters of the town

Paris-born personalities

Paris was the birthplace of many well-known personalities. These include the French Prime Minister and President Jacques Chirac , the French President Nicolas Sarkozy , the composer Georges Bizet , the writer, philosopher and feminist Simone de Beauvoir , the film directors Claude Chabrol , Roman Polański and François Truffaut , the pedagogue, historian and sports official Pierre de Coubertin , the chansonnier, composer and writer Serge Gainsbourg , the prefect and urban planner Georges-Eugène Haussmann , the chemist and Nobel Prize winner Irène Joliot-Curie , the painter Adélaïde Labille-Guiard , the painter Édouard Manet , the actress Sophie Marceau , the painter Claude Monet , the chanson singer Édith Piaf , the writer George Sand and the singer and actress Caterina Valente .

Personalities who have worked on site

Well-known residents of Paris

The personalities who have worked in Paris include the American-French dancer, singer and actress Josephine Baker , the writer Honoré de Balzac , the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin , the actress Marlene Dietrich , the metal construction engineer Gustave Eiffel , the German writer Heinrich Heine , the American singer and poet Jim Morrison from the rock group The Doors , the German-born French composer Jacques Offenbach and the Irish-English writers Oscar Wilde and James Joyce .

Since the 1950s, Paris has been a magnet for African-American jazz musicians, who were able to move much more freely there than in the United States, which was then still ruled by racial segregation : Sidney Bechet moved to France because it is closer to Africa . The young Miles Davis , who met and fell in love with Juliette Gréco on the Seine, triumphed at the 1948 jazz festivals in Nice and Paris . Paris not only inspired him, but also Bud Powell , Idrees Sulieman and Benny Waters . Directors such as Louis Malle (“ Elevator to the Scaffold ”) and Roger Vadim experimented in the 1950s with jazz soundtracks that were spontaneously improvised on the screen. At the end of the 1960s, musicians such as Anthony Braxton , the Art Ensemble of Chicago or Frank Wright emigrated to the Seine, where today (as of 2007) David Murray still lives with Valérie Malot.

See also

Portal: Paris  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Paris
Portal: France  - Overview of Wikipedia content on France


Paris center at night

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Individual evidence

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