Île-de-France, the Paris Region

Friday, 28 August 2020 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Paris / Île-de-France
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Eiffel Tower and La Defense business district from the Tour Montparnasse © flickr.com - David McSpadden/cc-by-2.0

Eiffel Tower and La Defense business district from the Tour Montparnasse © flickr.com – David McSpadden/cc-by-2.0

Île-de-France (literally “Island of France”) is the most populous of the 18 regions of France. It is located in the north-central part of the country and often called the Région Parisienne (“Paris Region”) because it includes the city of Paris. Île-de-France is densely populated and economically important: it covers only 12,012 square kilometres (4,638 square miles), about 2% of France’s territory, but has an official estimated population of 12,213,364 (18.2% of the population of France) and accounts for nearly 30% of the French Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Although the modern name Île-de-France literally means “Island of France”, the etymology is in fact unclear. The “island” may refer to the land between the rivers Oise, Marne and Seine, or it may also have been a reference to the Île de la Cité, where the French royal palace and cathedral were located.

The region is made up of eight administrative departments: Paris, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Seine-et-Marne, Val-de-Marne, Val-d’Oise and Yvelines. It was created as the “District of the Paris Region” in 1961 and renamed in 1976 after the historic province of Île-de-France, when its status was aligned with the other French administrative regions created in 1972. Residents are sometimes referred to as Franciliens, an administrative word created in the 1980s. The GDP of the region in 2018 was €734 billion (or US$866 billion at market exchange rates). It has the highest per-capita GDP among regions in France and the third-highest of regions in the European Union. In 2018, almost all of the twenty-eight French companies listed in the Fortune Global 500 had their headquarters in the Paris Region.

Seat of the regional council of Île-de-France in Paris © Emlenthi/cc-by-sa-3.0 Basilique Saint-Denis © MOSSOT/cc-by-sa-4.0 Château de Fontainebleau © Basvb/cc-by-sa-3.0 Château de Malmaison © Pedro Faber/cc-by-sa-4.0 Château of Vaux le Vicomte © Eric Pouhier/cc-by-sa-2.5 Disneyland Paris - Disneyland Hotel and park entrance © flickr.com - flightlog/cc-by-2.0 Notre-Dame de Paris and Île de la Cité at dusk © Daniel Vorndran / DXR/cc-by-sa-3.0 Notre-Dame de Paris © flickr.com - sacratomato_hr/cc-by-sa-2.0 Palace of Versailles and city of Versailles © ToucanWings/cc-by-sa-3.0 Eiffel Tower and La Defense business district from the Tour Montparnasse © flickr.com - David McSpadden/cc-by-2.0
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Eiffel Tower and La Defense business district from the Tour Montparnasse © flickr.com - David McSpadden/cc-by-2.0
The Île-de-France is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, with a record 23.6 million hotel arrivals in 2017, and an estimated 50 million visitors in all types of accommodation. The largest number of visitors came from the United States, followed by England, Germany and China. It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The top tourist attraction in the region in 2017 was Disneyland Paris, which received 14.8 million visitors in 2017, followed by the Cathedral of Notre-Dame (est. 12 million) and the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur at Montmartre (est. 11.1 million visitors). Notable historic monuments in the Region outside of Paris include the Palace of Versailles (7,700,000 visitors), the Palace of Fontainebleau (500,000 visitors), the chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte (300,000 visitors), and the Château de Malmaison, Napoleon’s former country house; and the Basilica of Saint-Denis, where the Kings of France were interred before the French Revolution.

The Petite Couronne (Little Crown, i.e. Inner Ring<) is formed by the 3 departments of Île-de-France bordering with the French capital and forming a geographical crown around it. The departments, until 1968 part of the disbanded Seine department, are Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne. The most populated towns of the Petite Couronne are Boulogne-Billancourt, Montreuil, Saint-Denis, Nanterre and Créteil. The Métropole du Grand Paris is an administrative structure that comprises Paris and the three departments of the Petite Couronne, plus seven additional communes in the Grande Couronne.

The Grande Couronne (Greater Crown, i.e. Outer Ring) includes the outer four departments of Île-de-France not bordering with Paris. They are Seine-et-Marne (77), Yvelines (78), Essonne (91) and Val-d’Oise (95). The latter three departments formed the Seine-et-Oise department until this was disbanded in 1968. The city of Versailles is part of this area.

Read more on Region Île-de-France, VisitParisRegion.com, Wikivoyage Île-de-France and Wikipedia Île-de-France (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.








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