Paris is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. The city of Paris, within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), has a population of about 2,230,000. Its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants.
An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe’s foremost centres of learning and the arts and the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world’s leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world’s major global cities.