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(ēl-də-fräNs), region and former province, N central France, in the center of the Paris basin, a fertile depression where the Marne and Ouse rivers join the Seine. Containing parts of the Beauce and Brie districts and of the Vexin, Île-de-France is now included in the departments of Paris, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Hauts-de-Seine, Val d'Oise, Yvelines, Essonne, and Seine-et-Marne. It is the most densely populated area in France. The region has numerous large industrial towns and residential suburbs and some agricultural production, mostly sugar beets and wheat. The region employs the bulk of France's computer specialists, engineers, and mathematicians, and has a highly developed transport system. Places of economic or historic importance besides Paris include Beauvais, Compiégne, Fontainebleau, Laon, Meaux, Melun, Nemours, Saint-Cloud, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Senlis, Soissons, and Versailles.

Île-de-France was the cradle of the French monarchy. The name came into use only in the 14th cent. and was then applied to the land bounded by the Seine, the Ouse, and the Marne and their affluents. But the region, including the countship of Paris, had become part of the duchy of France or Francia by the 10th cent. When Hugh CapetHugh Capet
, c.938–996, king of France (987–96), first of the Capetians. He was the son of Hugh the Great, to whose vast territories he succeeded in 956. After the death of Louis V, last Carolingian king of France, the nobles and prelates elected him king, setting
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, duke of France and count of Paris, was chosen as the French king in 987, his domains became the nucleus of the ever-growing crown land, which by the time of the death of Louis XI (1483) comprised the major part of present-day France. Île-de-France itself, which had been enlarged through the acquisition by the crown of various fiefs, was at that time constituted into a province subject to the parlement of Paris. After the French Revolution the province was divided. Île-de-France was established as an administrative region of France in 1972.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a historical region of France, in the central part of the Paris basin, between the Seine, Marne, and Oise rivers. The territory of Ile-de-France, with its center in Paris, was the nucleus of the French state, which was formed at the end of the tenth century by the Capetian dynasty. Neighboring lands were gradually annexed to this nucleus. Ile-de-France was the central region of the revolutions of the late 18th century, 1830, 1848, and 1871. Ile-de-France was one of the principal centers of the French Resistance Movement during the fascist German occupation of France from 1940 to 1944.

The territory of Ile-de-France contains the departments of Paris, Yvelines, Essone, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Valde-Marne, Val-d’Oise, Oise, and part of the departments of Seine et Marne and of Aisne.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.