Paris (English //, i//; French:Â [paĘ�i]Â ( )) is the capital and most populous city of France. It is situated on the Seine River, in the north of the country, at the heart of the ĂŽle-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), the city had 2,243,833 inhabitants in 2010 while its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe with more than 12Â million inhabitants.
An important settlement for more than two millennia, by the late 12th century Paris had become a walled cathedral city that was 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 was the focal point for many important political events throughout its history, including the French Revolution. Today it is one of the world's leading business and cultural centres, and its influence in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, fashion and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major cities. The city has one of the largest GDPs in the world, â‚¬607Â billion (US$845 billion) as of 2011, and as a result of its high concentration of national and international political, cultural and scientific institutions is one of the world's leading tourist destinations. The Paris Region hosts the world headquarters of 30 of the Fortune Global 500 companies in several business districts, notably La DĂ©fense, the largest dedicated business district in Europe.