Paris, the capital of France, has an estimated population of 2.2 million (as of January 2006) and has approximately 11.7 million people living in the metropolitan area (considered as one of the most crowded metropolitan area in Europe). Its revolutionizing feature in both business and culture makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations all over the world. 45 million tourists visits Paris annually and 60 percent are foreign visitors. The City’s influences on people around the world in fields such as fashion, media, education and politics make them one of the major cities in the world.
Paris is more than 2,000 years old. The first settlers were the Gauls from the Parisii tribe. They found a fishing village on an island in the river that is called Ile de la Cité at present. Paris was then conquered by Julius Caesar in 52 BC and became the regional centre of the Romans. In World War I, Germans were not able to reach Paris but they engaged the city during World War II (1940-1944). The City also became a scene of violence when group of students were engaged in a riot.
At present, the government of Paris is headed by an elected Mayor. The mayor is in charge of the police force, which is headed by the préfet (prefect), and all of the town halls of the 20 municipal arrondissements in Paris. Any local problems are governed by the Regional Council and the Economic and State Committees. The Communist Party and Socialist Party are the most influential political parties in the city. The national government is a coalition government comprised of the different political parties.
Parisians are a culturally progressive set of people with an exceptional outlook in life. Paris has distinct culture because of its unique artists, musicians and politicians. Parisians are proud of their own culture and beliefs but that doesn’t hold them from being close-minded for any development. The rapid spread of the English as our universal language provided room for Paris to accept increasing number of travellers all over the world.
The city embraces fashion remarkably. There is no city in the world that can beat Paris when it comes to fashion and fine dining. Money is spent eagerly on the latest fashions and cuisine other than anything else.
When you go to Paris, you cannot leave the city without seeing the most famous Parisian landmarks. One famed landmark is the twelfth-century cathedral Notre Dame de Paris. Two other landmarks include, the nineteenth-century Eiffel Tower and the Napoleonic Arc de Triomphe. The most celebrated Eiffel Tower was an impermanent construction by Gustave Eiffel for the Universal Exposition in 1889. And after that, it was never dismantled; it remained the permanent icon of Paris.
If you have some time, there are a lot of things you can spend your leisure time in the City of Light. You can lose yourself in the legendary jazz scene in Caveau de la Huchette. You can dine on the finest French cuisine in L’Ardoise. You can grasp a film at La Cinémathèque Française, eat an ice cream in Notre-Dame, get lost at the Louvre and even picnic under the Eiffel Tower. Either way, make sure you have the most unforgettable experience in Paris.