Theme Week Paris

Monday, 17 October 2011 - 02:47 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, European Union, Bon voyage, European Capital of Culture, Paris / Île-de-France, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Town Hall © Cédric Bonhomme

Town Hall © Cédric Bonhomme

Paris is the capital and largest city in France, 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 largely unchanged since 1860, has an estimated population of 2,193,031, but the Paris aire urbaine has a population of 11,836,970, and is one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe.

An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris is today one of the world’s leading business and cultural centres, and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world’s major global cities. In 2009 and 2010 Paris was ranked among the three most important and influential cities in the world, among the first three “European cities of the future” – according to research published by the Financial Times and among the top ten most liveable cities in the world according to the British review Monocle. Paris also ranked among the ten greenest European cities in 2010. Paris hosts the headquarters of many international organizations such as UNESCO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the informal Paris Club.

Paris and the Paris Region, with €552.1 billion in 2009, produces more than a quarter of the gross domestic product of France. According to 2008 estimates, the Paris agglomeration is, scantily after London, Europe’s second biggest city economy and the sixth largest in the world. The Paris Region hosts 37 of the Fortune Global 500 companies in several business districts, notably La Défense, the largest dedicated business district in Europe. According to the latest survey from Economist Intelligence Unit in 2010, Paris is the world’s most expensive city in which to live. With about 42 million tourists per year, Paris is the most visited city in the world. The city and its region contain 3,800 historical monuments and four UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Versailles Garden © Kallgan Park and water scene in Disneyland Paris © Ellywa University of Paris I Panthéon, former Faculty of Law and Economics © Jastrow Sorbonne University © Pline Samaritaine © KTo288 Pont Neuf with Île de la Cité © David Monniaux Pont des Arts © Benh LIEU SONG Place de la Nation © Françoise de Gandi - www.lebardegandi.net Place de la Concorde © David Monniaux Panthéon © ChrisO Palais du Luxembourg © doanrreiskoffer Palais de l'Elysée © TouN Opéra Garnier © Robert Swinney Notre Dame facade © Greudin Moulin Rouge © David Monniaux Metro sign © Fabio Venni Le Figaro © Sebjarod Le Bon Marché © François Rejeté Île aux Cygnes (Isle of the Swans) seen from Eiffel Tower © Adrian Pingstone Galeries Lafayette © scalleja Basilique du Sacré-Cœur © Florian Schütz Arc de Triomphe © Michael Meinecke Paris seen from the Maine-Montparnasse tower © Benh LIEU SONG Paris Panorama from Pantheon © Andy87 Chateau Fontainebleau © Carolus Versailles Palace © Eric Pouhier Town Hall © Cédric Bonhomme
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University of Paris I Panthéon, former Faculty of Law and Economics © Jastrow
Much of contemporary Paris is the result of the vast mid-19th century urban remodelling. For centuries, the city had been a labyrinth of narrow streets and half-timber houses, but, beginning with Haussman’s advent, entire quarters were leveled to make way for wide avenues lined with neo-classical stone buildings of bourgeoisie standing. Most of this ‘new’ Paris is the Paris we see today. The building code has seen few changes since, and the Second Empire plans are in many cases still followed. The “alignement” law is still in place, which regulates building façades of new constructions according to a pre-defined street width. A building’s height is limited according to the width of the streets it borders, and under the regulation, it is difficult to get an approval to build a taller building. Many of Paris’ important institutions are located outside the city limits. The financial (La Défense) business district; the main food wholesale market (Rungis); schools (École Polytechnique; ESSEC; INSEAD; HEC); research laboratories (in Saclay or Évry); the largest stadium (the Stade de France), and the government offices (Ministry of Transportation) are located in the city’s suburbs.

Three of the most famous Parisian landmarks are the 12th-century cathedral Notre Dame de Paris on the Île de la Cité, the Napoleonic Arc de Triomphe and the 19th-century Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower was a “temporary” construction by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Universal Exposition, but the tower was never dismantled and is now an enduring symbol of Paris. The Historical axis is a line of monuments, buildings, and thoroughfares that run in a roughly straight line from the city-centre westwards: The line of monuments begins with the Louvre and continues through the Tuileries Gardens, the Champs-Élysées, and the Arc de Triomphe, centred in the Place de l’Étoile circus. From the 1960s, the line was prolonged even farther west to the La Défense business district dominated by a square-shaped triumphal Grande Arche of its own; this district hosts most of the tallest skyscrapers in the Paris urban area. The Invalides museum is the burial place for many great French soldiers, including Napoleon; and the Panthéon church is where many of France’s illustrious men and women are buried. The former Conciergerie prison held some prominent Ancien Régime members before their deaths during the French Revolution. Another symbol of the Revolution are the two Statues of Liberty located on the Île aux Cygnes on the Seine and in the Luxembourg Garden. A larger version of the statues was sent as a gift from France to America in 1886 and now stands in New York City’s harbour. The Palais Garnier, built in the later Second Empire period, houses the Paris Opéra and the Paris Opera Ballet, while the former palace of the Louvre now houses one of the most renowned museums in the world. The Sorbonne is the most famous part of the University of Paris and is based in the centre of the Latin Quarter. Apart from Notre Dame de Paris, there are several other ecclesiastical masterpieces, including the Gothic 13th-century Sainte-Chapelle palace chapel and the Église de la Madeleine.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on City of Paris, Paris Tourism, earthcam.com – Paris, Fontainebleau Tourism, Château de Versailles, Disneyland Paris, Wikitravel Paris and Wikipedia Paris. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organisations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (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). 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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