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, city, France

Paris (pârˈĭs, Fr. pärēˈ), city (1999 pop. 2,115,757; metropolitan area est. pop. 11,000,000), N central France, capital of the country, on the Seine River. It is the commercial and industrial focus of France and a cultural and intellectual center of international renown. The city possesses an indefinable unity of atmosphere that has fascinated writers, poets, and painters for centuries. Paris is sometimes called the City of Light in tribute to its intellectual preeminence as well as to its beautiful appearance.

Paris is the center of many major newspapers and periodicals, as well as all the major French radio and television stations. Elegant stores and hotels, lavish nightclubs, theaters, and gourmet restaurants help make tourism the biggest industry in Paris. Other leading industries manufacture luxury articles, high-fashion clothing, perfume, and jewelry. Heavy industry, notably automobile manufacture, is located in the suburbs. About one quarter of the French labor force is concentrated in the Paris area.

Transportation Facilities

Situated in the center of the Paris basin (see Île-de-France), and only 90 mi (145 km) from the English Channel, the city handles a great volume of shipping. Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports (the latter opened in 1974) and many major railroad stations make Paris one of the great transportation centers of western Europe. The Paris metro (subway), built in 1900, was modernized and extended during the 1970s. There are now 16 principal metro lines and a high-speed express subway system servicing the suburbs. The system's hub, Chatelet Les-Halles, is perhaps the largest, busiest underground station in the world. Paris is also the hub of the national rail system, with high-speed trains connecting it to most major European cities.

Points of Interest

Paris is divided into roughly equal sections by the Seine. On the right (northern) bank are the Bois de Boulogne and the adjoining Stade Roland Garros (site of tennis's French Open), Arc de Triomphe, the old Bibliothèque nationale, Élysée Palace, Grand Palais, Georges Pompidou National Center for Art and Culture (see Beaubourg), Place de la Concorde, Opéra, Comédie Française, Louvre, Palais de Chaillot, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Grande Arche de la Défense, Champs Élysées, and other great streets, sites, and boulevards. In the eastern part of the right bank is the Museum of the Art and History of Judaism, the Place de la Bastille and the Bastille Opera; to the north is Montmartre, the highest area in Paris, topped by the Church of Sacré-Cœur. Much of the right bank, which has many of the most fashionable streets and shops, has a stately air. At night many monuments and boulevards are floodlit. In the city's northeastern outskirts is the Parc de la Villette, home of the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie (1986), the Cité de la Musique (1995), the Philharmonie de Paris (2015), and other performance and exhibition spaces.

The left bank, with the Sorbonne, the French Academy, the Panthéon (see under pantheon), the Luxembourg Palace and Gardens, the Jardin des Plantes (site of the National Natural History Museum), the Chamber of Deputies, the Quai d'Orsay, and the Hotel des Invalides, is the governmental and to a large extent the intellectual section. The Latin Quarter, for nearly a thousand years the preserve of university students and faculty; the Faubourg Saint-Germain section, at once aristocratic and a haven for students and artists (the celebrated Café des Deux Magots and Café de Flore are there); and Montparnasse are the most celebrated left-bank districts. The Eiffel Tower stands by the Seine on the Champ-de-Mars. In SE Paris, also on the left bank, is Paris Rive Gauche, a former industrial area redeveloped with a variety of newer buildings and renovations, many by prominent architects; the new Bibliothèque nationale (opened 1998) is there.

The historical nucleus of Paris is the Île de la Cité, a small boat-shaped island largely occupied by the huge Palais de Justice and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris (damaged by fire, 2019). It is connected with the smaller Île Saint-Louis, occupied by elegant houses of the 17th and 18th cent. Characteristic of Paris are the tree-lined quays along the Seine (famed, on the left bank, for their open-air bookstalls), the historic bridges that span the Seine, and the vast tree-lined boulevards that replaced the city walls. Skyscrapers, apartment complexes, and highways have been added to the Paris scene in recent years.

Government and People

Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements (districts or boroughs), each of which has a local council and a mayor, but most of the power is held by the mayor of the City of Paris who is chosen by the city's council. Paris and its suburbs together make up the eight departments of the Île-de-France administrative region, which is governed by an elected assembly, chairman (or president), and supervisor and overseen by a prefect appointed by the state.

Immigrants to France now constitute nearly 20% of Paris's population. The majority of these are Algerian, Moroccan, and Tunisian. Large groups of Indochinese have also immigrated to Paris. About 75% of all Parisians live in the suburbs due to high costs and a high population density in the city. New towns have been built, consolidating suburban areas, and a great deal of manufacturing and other industry takes place in the suburbs.


Early History

Julius Caesar conquered Paris in 52 B.C. It was then a fishing village, called Lutetia Parisiorum (the Parisii were a Gallic tribe), on the Île de la Cité. Under the Romans the town spread to the left bank and acquired considerable importance under the later emperors. The vast catacombs under Montparnasse and the baths (now in the Cluny Mus.) remain from the Roman period. Legend says that St. Denis, first bishop of Paris, was martyred on Montmartre (hence the name) and that in the 5th cent. St. Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, preserved the city from destruction by the Huns. On several occasions in its early history Paris was threatened by barbarian and Norman invasions, which at times drove the inhabitants back to the Île de la Cité.

Clovis I and several other Merovingian kings made Paris their capital; under Charlemagne it became a center of learning. In 987, Hugh Capet, count of Paris, became king of France. The Capetians firmly established Paris as the French capital. The city grew as the power of the French kings increased. In the 11th cent. the city spread to the right bank. During the next two centuries—the reign of Philip Augustus (1180–1223) is especially notable for the growth of Paris—streets were paved and the city walls enlarged; the first Louvre (a fortress) and several churches, including Notre-Dame, were constructed or begun; and the schools on the left bank were organized into the Univ. of Paris. One of them, the Sorbonne, became a fountainhead of theological learning with Albertus Magnus and St. Thomas Aquinas among its scholars. The university community constituted an autonomous borough; another was formed on the right bank by merchants ruled by their own provost. In 1358, under the leadership of the merchant provost Étienne Marcel, Paris first assumed the role of an independent commune and rebelled against the dauphin (later Charles V). During the period of the Hundred Years War the city suffered civil strife (see Armagnacs and Burgundians), occupation by the English (1419–36), famine, and the Black Death.

During the Renaissance

The Renaissance reached Paris in the 16th cent. during the reign of Francis I (1515–47). At this time the Louvre was transformed from a fortress to a Renaissance palace. In the Wars of Religion (1562–98), Parisian Catholics, who were in the great majority, took part in the massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day (1572), forced Henry III to leave the city on the Day of Barricades (1588), and accepted Henry IV only after his conversion (1593) to Catholicism. Cardinal Richelieu, Louis XIII's minister, established the French Academy and built the Palais Royal and the Luxembourg Palace. During the Fronde, Paris once again defied the royal authority. Louis XIV, distrustful of the Parisians, transferred (1682) his court to Versailles. Parisian industries profited from the lavishness of Versailles; the specialization in luxury goods dates from that time. J. H. Mansart under Louis XIV and François Mansart, J. G. Soufflot, and J. A. Gabriel under Louis XV created some of the most majestic prospects of modern Paris.

The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

During the late 17th and the 18th cent. Paris acquired further glory as the scene of many of France's greatest cultural achievements: the plays of Molière, Racine, and Corneille; the music of Lully, Rameau, and Gluck; the paintings of Watteau, Fragonard, and Boucher; and the salons where many of the philosophes of the Enlightenment gathered. At the same time, growing industries had resulted in the creation of new classes—the bourgeoisie and proletariat—concentrated in such suburbs (faubourgs) as Saint-Antoine and Saint-Denis; in the opening events of the French Revolution, city mobs stormed the Bastille (July, 1789) and hauled the royal family from Versailles to Paris (Oct., 1789). Throughout the turbulent period of the Revolution the city played a central role.

Napoleon to the Commune

Napoleon (emperor, 1804–15) began a large construction program (including the building of the Arc de Triomphe, the Vendôme Column, and the arcaded Rue de Rivoli) and enriched the city's museums with artworks removed from conquered cities. In the course of his downfall Paris was occupied twice by enemy armies (1814, 1815). In the first half of the 19th cent. Paris grew rapidly. In 1801 it had 547,000 people; in 1817, 714,000; in 1841, 935,000; and in 1861, 1,696,000. The revolutions of July, 1830, and Feb., 1848, both essentially Parisian events, had repercussions throughout Europe. Culturally, the city was at various times the home or host of most of the great European figures of the age. Balzac, Hugo, Chopin, Berlioz, Liszt, Wagner, Delacroix, Ingres, and Daumier were a few of the outstanding personalities. The grand outline of modern Paris was the work of Baron Georges Haussmann, who was appointed prefect by Napoleon III. The great avenues, boulevards, and parks are his work. During the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), Paris was besieged for four months by the Germans and then surrendered. After the Germans withdrew, Parisian workers rebelled against the French government and established the Commune of Paris, which was bloodily suppressed.

Under the Third Republic

With the establishment of the Third French Republic and relative stability, Paris became the great industrial and transportation center it is today. Two epochal events in modern cultural history that took place in Paris were the first exhibition of impressionist painting (1874) and the premiere of Stravinsky's Sacre du Printemps (1913). In World War I the Germans failed to reach Paris. After 1919 the outermost city fortifications were replaced by housing developments, including the Cité Universitaire, which houses thousands of students. During the 1920s, a time of enormous cultural and social activity, Paris was home to many artists and writers from the United States and elsewhere. German troops occupied Paris during World War II from June 14, 1940, to Aug. 25, 1944. The city was not seriously damaged by the war.

Contemporary Paris

Paris was the headquarters of NATO from 1950 to 1967; it is the headquarters of UNESCO and the European Space Agency. A program of cleaning the city's major buildings and monuments was completed in the 1960s. The city was the scene in May, 1968, of serious disorders, beginning with a student strike, that nearly toppled the Fifth Republic. In 1971, Les Halles, Paris's famous central market, called by Zola the “belly” of Paris, was dismantled. Construction began immediately on Chatelet Les-Halles, Paris's new metro hub, which was completed in 1977. The Forum des Halles, a partially underground, multistory commercial and shopping center, opened in 1979. Other developments include the Georges Pompidou National Center for Art and Culture, built in 1977, which includes the National Museum of Modern Art. The Louvre underwent extensive renovation, and EuroDisney, a multibillion dollar theme and amusement park, opened in the Parisian suburbs in 1992. A number of major projects in the city were initiated by President François Mitterrand (1981–95); they include the new Bibliothèque Nationale, the glass pyramid at the Louvre, Grande Arche de la Défense, Arab Institute, Bastille Opera, and Cité de la Musique.


See J. Flanner, Paris Journal (2 vol., 1965–71; repr. 1977) and Paris Was Yesterday, 1925–39 (1988); A. Horne, The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune, 1870–71 (1965) and Seven Ages of Paris (2002); M. Kessel, The History of Paris, from Caesar to Saint Louis (tr. 1969); L. Bernard, The Emerging City: Paris in the Age of Louis XIV (1970); M. Guerrini, Napoleon and Paris: Thirty Years of History (tr. and abr. 1971); D. Thomson, Renaissance Paris (1984); D. Roche, The People of Paris (1987); J. Seigel, Bohemian Paris (1987); J.-M. Pérouse de Montclos, Paris: City of Art (2003); S. Roux, Paris in the Middle Ages (2009); J. W. Baldwin, Paris 1200 (2010); E. Hazan, The Invention of Paris (2010); G. Robb, An Adventure History of Paris (2010); C. Rearick, Paris Dreams, Paris Memories (2011); S. Kirkland, Paris Reborn (2013); J. DeJean, How Paris Became Paris (2014); M. McAuliffe, Twilight of the Belle Epoque (2014) and When Paris Sizzled (2016); R. Christiansen, City of Light (2018).


, city, United States
Paris (pârˈĭs), city (1990 pop. 24,699), seat of Lamar co., E Tex., in the Red River valley; settled 1824. It is a processing center for the rich farms of the blackland region, which produces cotton, grain, and livestock. There are various light manufactures. The city developed after the arrival of the railroad in 1876, and it was rebuilt after its destruction by fire in 1916.


, in Greek mythology
Paris or Alexander, in Greek mythology, son of Priam and Hecuba and brother of Hector. Because it was prophesied that he would cause the destruction of Troy, Paris was abandoned on Mt. Ida, but there he was raised by shepherds and loved by the nymph Oenone. Later he returned to Troy, where he was welcomed by Priam. Paris was chosen to settle a dispute among the goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, all of whom claimed possession of the apple of discord, a golden fruit inscribed “to the fairest.” It had been thrown among the guests at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis by Eris, who sought revenge because she had not been invited. Hera tried to bribe Paris with royal greatness and riches, and Athena offered him success in war, but Paris awarded the apple to Aphrodite, who promised him Helen, the most beautiful of women. With Aphrodite's help he abducted Helen from King Menelaus of Sparta; thus he brought on the Trojan War. In the war Paris killed Achilles, but was himself fatally wounded by Philoctetes.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genus of perennial grasses of the Liliaceae family. The leaves are oval or lanceolate and are located on a whorled scape (usually six to 12 of them). The flowers are single and terminal with three to ten sepals; the petals are usually narrow and long, often almost threadike, and as a rule yellowish-green. (Sometimes they are absent.) The fruit is berry-like or is a boll. Approximately 30 species grow in Eurasia; in the USSR there are four species, the most wide-spread of which is the herb paris (P. quadrifolia), which is found in forests and among bushes in humid areas of the European part of the USSR, in the Caucasus, and in Siberia. Paris is a poisonous plant.



the capital of France, the country’s main economic, political, and cultural center, and one of the world’s largest and most beautiful cities. Paris is situated at the confluence of the Seine and its chief tributaries, the Marne and the Oise. The climate is mild, temperate, and maritime, with an average January temperature of 3.4°C and an average July temperature of 18.8°C. The temperature drops to freezing 52 days a year. The annual precipitation is 645 mm.

The area of Paris proper is 105 sq km (within the city limits —the department of Paris, which is divided into 20 arrondissements, or districts). The population is 2,455,000 (1973; 2,725,400 according to the 1946 census). The Paris conurbation (Greater Paris) has an area of 1,700 sq km and a population of approximately 10 million (1974). The most important suburbs are Boulogne-Billancourt, St. Denis, Montreuil, Versailles, Argenteuil, Nanterre, and Colombes. Greater Paris occupies the Seine River valley and the surrounding plateaus and buttes— monadnocks rising 100–150 m above the water level of the Seine (for example, Montmartre, Mont Valérien, and the Plateau des Alluets). The diversity of the relief adds interest to the landscape, lending a picturesque quality to the city. In 1970, Paris and the seven departments surrounding it were designated the Paris region (since 1976, Ile-de-France), an urbanized area considered to be a single economic region. Its area is 12,100 sq km (2 percent of the territory of France). In 1974 its population was 10 million (95 percent urban; approximately one-fifth of the country’s population). For a long time, the population of Paris increased rapidly, as a result of migration and territorial expansion. Since the mid-20th century, however, the population of Paris proper has declined (see Table 1). According to the 1968 census, native Parisians constituted only 60 percent of the residents of Greater Paris. The city’s growth has led to an increase in daily commuter traffic. In the Ile-de-France region more than 1.4 million people cross departmental boundaries twice a day. Of these, 860,000 commute to Paris for work or study, and 200,000 commute to work in the suburbs.

Table 1. Population of Paris
 Parts properSuburbsGreater Paris
1872 ...................1,852,000369,0002,221,000
1901 ...................2,714,000955,0003,669,000
1931 ...................2,891,0002,016,0004,907,000
1968 ...................2,591,0005,587,0008,197,000

As of 1968, 32.8 percent of the economically active population in the Paris region was employed in industry, 8.5 percent in transportation and communications, 9.2 percent in construction, 21.1 percent in trade and financial institutions, 10.6 percent in the civil service and army, 16.5 percent in the service industries, and 1.3 percent in agriculture and forestry.

Administration. Since 1976, the Municipal Council has been headed by the mayor of Paris, who is elected by the people. The Regional Council is the administrative body of the Paris region (Ile-de-France).

History. Paris grew up on the Ile de la Cité on the site of Lutetia, a settlement of the Parisii, a Gallic tribe. The settlement was mentioned by Julius Caesar (first century B.C.). In the third to fourth centuries A.D. it became known by the Latin name Parisii, and later by the French name Paris. In 497, Paris came under the control of the Franks and became the residence of Clovis. Under the Carolingians it was the center of a county. In 885–886 it withstood a siege by the Normans. With the accession of the Capetians to the throne in 987, Paris became the capital of the Kingdom of France. The city’s transformation into a major center for handicrafts and trade in the 13th to 14th centuries was promoted by its favorable geographic position, on the navigable part of the Seine at the intersection of trade routes, as well as by the presence of the royal court, which attracted the secular and clerical aristocracy. During the reign of Philip II Augustus (1180–1223), a stone wall was built around the city, enclosing territory on both sides of the Seine. In the second half of the 13th century the city had more than 100 craft guilds, many of which united artisans specializing in luxury goods. The merchants, who were under royal protection, played an important role in the city’s economy. Although the king did not grant Paris the status of a commune, from the 13th century the administration of the city was divided between the crown and the municipality, which was headed by the provost of merchants.

The city owed its fame as one of medieval Europe’s most important cultural centers to the University of Paris and to the Parisian schools, whose reputation had been established as early as the 12th century by brilliant teachers such as P. Abélard. Students came to Paris from various countries, and by the late 13th century there were approximately 10,000 of them in the city. During the 14th and 15th centuries, Paris was the most populous city in Western Europe. In the 14th century, the city’s population was approximately 100,000 (200,000, according to other sources), and in the 15th century, 200,000 (or 300,000). The most important popular movements of the period were the Paris uprising of 1357–58, the Maillotin uprising (1382), and the Cabochien uprising (1413).

During the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453) Paris was captured in 1420 by the English, under whose power it remained until 1436. Most of the city’s population was loyal to Catholicism during the Wars of Religion in the 16th century. A massacre of Huguenots (the Massacre of St. Bartholomew) was organized in the city in 1572. The main events of the Fronde insurrection (1648–53) took place in Paris. In 1682 the royal residence was transferred to Versailles from Paris, which remained the capital of France. Until 1789 the royal residence was at Versailles. Paris became the world center for science, literature, and art in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The working people of Paris played a decisive role in the major events of the Great French Revolution (the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789; the popular uprisings of Aug. 10, 1792, and May 31-June 2, 1793). During the revolution, Paris was granted the rights of municipal self-government, but it was deprived of them under Napoleon Bonaparte’s regime (1799–1814), when the prefect of the Seine and the prefect of police became the city’s chief administrators. In March 1814 and July 1815, Paris was occupied by troops of the anti-French coalition.

At the beginning of the 19th century the first factory enterprises were established in Paris, chiefly in the suburbs. Canals and a river port were built. The Bank of France was founded in 1800. In 1837 the Paris-St. Germain railroad was built. As capitalism developed, social contrasts grew more intense: wealth accumulated in the hands of the bourgeoisie, the condition of the emerging working class deteriorated, and small-scale artisans and merchants were ruined and became part of the masses of workers (those employed at manufactory or factory enterprises). The ranks of labor were filled primarily by migrants from rural areas. The population of Paris increased (500,000 in 1801; 714,000 in 1827; 868,000 in 1836; 1 million in 1846). In the crowded districts inhabited by the working people, the population density was as high as 1,000 per hectare. Overcrowding and unhygienic conditions caused an outbreak of cholera in 1832.

Workers and artisans were the moving force behind the July Revolution of 1830. Important republican uprisings took place in June 1832, April 1834, and May 1839. In July-August 1840 there was a mass strike of workers. K. Marx lived and worked in Paris from late 1843 to early 1845. In 1846, the Communists organized the Committee of Correspondence in Paris, and in 1847, the Communist League. Paris, the main center of the Revolution of 1848 in France, was the site of the June Days uprising (1848). A Bonapartist coup took place on Dec. 2, 1851. Although they fought heroically at the barricades, the progressive workers and the democratic intelligentsia failed to save the republic, and the Second Empire was established.

The new city plan, which was begun in the 1850’s, was to a large extent designed to prevent the erection of barricades during popular uprisings and to facilitate the movement of cavalry and artillery to suppress insurrections. In the second half of the 19th century the city became a major international financial center. At the turn of the century the city’s economy was still dominated by small enterprises producing luxury goods, fancy goods, and ready-to-wear clothes, but the automobile industry began to develop intensively, and huge plants were established by Renault and Citroën, for example. Transportation was modernized. The first subway line was constructed in 1900. Many world industrial exhibitions were held in Paris (1867, 1878, 1889, 1900, and 1937).

From the mid-1860’s the working-class movement grew stronger in Paris. A section of the First International was founded in December 1864. The revolution of Sept. 4, 1870, in Paris brought the Second Empire to an end. From September 1870 to January 1871 the city was besieged by Prussian troops. On Oct. 31, 1870, and Jan. 22, 1871, there were uprisings against the government, which had sabotaged the defense of the city. The founding of the Paris Commune of 1871 was a very important event in the city’s history. Since 1880 the working people of Paris have celebrated the Anniversary of the Paris Commune, holding meetings at the Wall of the Communards in the Père-Lachaise cemetery. The First Congress of the Second International was held in Paris in 1889, and in 1890 the country’s first May Day demonstration took place in the city. The Fifth Conference of the RSDLP was held in Paris in December 1908 (January 1909). From the mid-19th century to the early 20th the city was a center for the revolutionary emigration. V. I. Lenin lived in Paris in 1895, 1902, and 1904 and from 1908 to 1912. During World War I (1914–18) the city was threatened with invasion by German troops and was bombarded.

As the main center of France’s political and cultural life, Paris has continued to exert an enormous influence on the entire country during the 20th century. The movement for the defense of Soviet Russia began in Paris in late 1917 and spread throughout the country. In 1919–20 impressive political demonstrations by the working people took place in the city. In the 1930’s, a period marked by the fascist reactionary offensive, the working people of the city came out in defense of the Republic and on Feb. 6, 1934, foiled an attempted fascist putsch. On July 14, 1935, a strong popular demonstration in Paris contributed to the formation of the Popular Front in France. During World War II (1939–45), Paris was declared an “open city.” The city was occupied by fascist German troops on June 14, 1940. Patriots waged a heroic struggle against the occupying forces. Paris was the most important center of the Resistance Movement. The French capital was liberated as a result of the Paris uprising of 1944, which hastened the liberation of the entire country from the fascist occupying forces.

After the war Paris became the most important center of the working-class and democratic movements and of the French people’s struggle for peace. In 1949 the First International Congress of the Partisans of Peace was convened simultaneously in Paris and in Prague. During the 1950’s and 1960’s mass demonstrations in defense of the Republic were held in Paris (in May 1957 and February 1962, for example). General strikes took place in the city in 1965, 1966, and 1967. The general strike of 1968, which began in Paris, grew into postwar France’s gravest social and political crisis.

The city’s “Red Belt” comprises the industrial suburbs of Paris, where the masses of the industrial proletariat are concentrated and where the position of the Communist Party and other left-wing forces is strongest.

Paris is a center for international diplomacy and politics and the headquarters of a number of international organizations, including UNESCO. Various international congresses, conferences, and meetings have been held in the city.

Economy. The city’s geographic location in the Seine River basin in central France contributed to its development (see above: History).

Of the country’s economically active population, 22 percent is concentrated in the Paris region (Ile-de-France), including 20–25 percent of all workers employed in industry and construction, trade and transportation, and the civil service, as well as more than 40 percent of the personnel of banks and other financial institutions. The Paris region has a significant part of the country’s manufacturing industry, the development of which is associated with the concentration of capital and a skilled labor force, as well as with convenient transportation lines and a large consumer market. The leading branches of heavy industry are represented by major enterprises controlled by industrial and financial monopolies of French and foreign origin (for example, Chrysler automobile plants, electrical engineering enterprises of the Thomson-Brandt firm, and Dunlop rubber products plants). In addition, there are small handicraft enterprises, most of which are associated with light industry. The Paris region consumes about one-fifth of France’s electric power. The total capacity of the city’s steam power plant is more than 7 million kilowatts. In 1971, 22 billion kilowatt-hours of electric power were produced. The city receives part of its electric power from other regions. Gas is piped in from Lacq and imported from a number of foreign countries, including Algeria and the Netherlands. (See Table 2 on the structure of industry in the Paris region.)

Table 2. Structure of industry in the Paris region by number of persons employed (1971)
 Number of factory workers and office workers
 TotalPercent of total employed in industry
  Paris regionFrance
Machine building and metalworking .........759,0005431
Chemical industry........150,00010.733
Garment industry........71,0005.122
Food processing ........85,0006.017
Publishing ............122,0008.751
Other branches.........218,00015.515

The chief branch of industry is machine building and metal-working, which employs more than half of the city’s industrial labor force. The automobile, electrical engineering, and electronics industries are particularly important. More than 2 million automobiles per year are produced (2,634,000 in 1972, or 79 percent of the industry’s national output). The largest plants are operated by Renault (in Boulogne-Billancourt) and Citroën (on the Quai de Javel). Also of great importance are the aircraft industry (about half the industry’s national output), the machine tool industry (about 40 percent of the national output), the production of equipment for precision mechanics and optics, the armaments industry, and other branches of machine building (except metal-consuming ones). Industrial plants obtain metal primarily from Lorraine and the northern and Lyon economic regions. The chemical industry of Paris employs one-third of that industry’s national work force. The industry’s main branches are the rubber industry, fine chemicals (pharmaceuticals and photographic chemicals), and plastics.

The garment industry is a branch of light industry. Paris is the international arbiter of fashions. More than 30 percent of France’s ready-to-wear clothing is produced there. The city is known throughout the world for the manufacture of toiletries, fancy goods, jewelry, and souvenirs. Also among the city’s highly developed industries are the paper, publishing, furniture, and food-processing industries, as well as the building materials and construction industries.

Most of the industrial enterprises are located in the northern and western suburbs of Paris, primarily on the banks of the Seine and along the St. Denis Canal in Boulogne-Billancourt, Puteaux, Levallois-Perret, Gennevilliers, and St. Denis.

Half of the country’s banks and 72 percent of the total national banking capital (1972) are concentrated in Paris. The city plays a leading role in France’s foreign trade, as well as in internal trade, accounting for half the national trade turnover. Major trade fairs are held regularly in Paris. Every year, millions of foreign tourists visit the city. (A total of more than 15 million tourists come to France every year.) To accommodate tourists, the city has approximately 1,300 hotels (55,000 rooms in 1972).

Paris is the main transportation center of France. Important international routes pass through the city. The capital is the hub of 11 railroad lines, which link it with the country’s economic regions and major ports and which are connected within Greater Paris by two circular lines. The most important highways and internal waterways converge in Paris. Canals have been built on the Seine as far as Rouen. The river is navigable for vessels with a maximum displacement of 2,000 tons. A system of canals extending from the Seine and its tributaries connects Paris with the Rhine, the Rhône, and the Loire, as well as with the northern industrial region. The freight turnover at the city’s river port is 24 million tons (1972). The main cargoes include building materials, petroleum products, coal, and metals. Gennevilliers is the main river port.

Paris is a major center for international air routes. The main airports are Orly, Le Bourget, and Charles De Gaulle airport. (In 1972 the total passenger turnover at all of the city’s airports was 16.1 million.) Paris has a well-developed network of subway and bus lines. In 1972 there were 2.8 million automobiles in the city. Automobile traffic does not flow smoothly; during rush hours, even the widest streets accommodate the stream of cars with difficulty, and there is a shortage of parking spaces. The municipal authorities are trying to solve the transportation problem by building high-speed subway lines, underground garages, and expressways encircling and radiating out from the city. (The first high-speed subway line [east-west] is already in operation.)

In the Paris region (Ile-de-France) the condition of the environment is deteriorating. Urban waste products poison and pollute the Seine, and waste gases from automobiles and industrial enterprises pollute the air. Paris has relatively little green area (8 sq m per resident, as compared with 9 in London, 25 in Vienna, and 38 in Moscow).


Architecture and city planning. Paris is one of the world’s most unusual cities. Imposing ceremonial architectural ensembles, Renaissance and classical buildings, parks and sculptures, main squares, esplanades, boulevards, and avenues border on cozy, picturesque quays, squares, and narrow medieval streets, as well as on expressways and districts with new buildings and skyscrapers. The city’s architectural character, which developed over many centuries, combines the features of various styles but has artistic unity because most of the buildings are of the same height and the spatial structures are in proportion. The radial and circular layout of Paris dates from the Middle Ages. Its axes are formed by streets crossing the city from north to south, through the Ile de la Cité (the boulevards de Sébastopol, de Strasbourg, and St. Michel), and streets running east to west and parallel to the Seine (St. Antoine and St. Honoré). In Greater Paris more than 60 bridges span the river. The radial highways are crossed by wide circular boulevards built on the site of the city’s fortified walls. The ruins of a Gallo-Roman amphitheater (first century) and baths (second to third centuries) have been preserved.

Historically, Paris developed around three centers. Of these, two emerged in the third century—one on the Ile de la Cité, where the secular and religious authorities of Paris were later concentrated, and the other on the Left Bank of the Seine, where the University of Paris was founded in the 12th-13th centuries. In the fifth through 13th centuries churches were built, and a ring of fortifications was constructed. New settlements developed around monasteries established near the city. The cultural and economic growth of Paris was associated with the flowering of the Romanesque (11th—12th centuries) and Gothic styles (mid-12th century through early 16th). Among the buildings in these styles are the towers of John the Fearless (late 14th century) and St. Jacques (beginning of the 16th century), as well as many churches: the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, St. Germain des Prés (11th—17th centuries), St. Martin des Champs (12th-13th centuries), and St. Pierre de Montmartre (parts dating from the 12th century). Other Gothic churches include St. Julien le Pauvre (12th—17th centuries), St. Germain l’Auxerrois (parts from the 13th—15th centuries), and St. Séverin (13th-16th centuries). During the Middle Ages the city’s third historical center emerged—the trading and artisan districts on the Right Bank.

Most of the buildings erected after the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453) were private residences, including the Hôtel de Cluny (now a museum; begun in 1485) and the Hôtel de Sens (begun in 1474). In the 16th and 17th centuries construction resumed its earlier pace, and an element of rational, regular planning was introduced into the chaotic medieval layout. During this period the city’s most important classical ensembles were built, including the Place des Vosges (1606–12, architect C. de Châtillon), as well as the Place Vendôme (1685–1701) and the Place des Victoires (1685–86, both by the architect J. Hardouin-Mansart). In addition, structures important from the point of view of city planning were erected, including the Pont Neuf (1578–1606, architect J. B. du Cerceau), the Fontaine des Innocents (1547–49, sculptor J. Goujon), and the Porte St. Denis (1672, architect F. Blondel). Among the palaces dating from the 16th and 17th centuries are the Louvre, the Tuileries Palace (begun in 1564, architect P. Delorme, not preserved; with the Pavillon de Flore, 1600–08, architect J. B. du Cerceau), the Luxembourg Palace (1615–20, architect S. de Brosse), and the Palais Royal (1629–36, architect J. Lemercier). A number of important public buildings were constructed during the 17th century, including the Sorbonne (begun in 1629, with a church, 1635–54; architect Lemercier) and the Collège des Quatre-Nations (now the Institut de France; begun in 1661, architect L. Le Vau). Private residences dating from this period include the Hôtel Carnavalet (now a museum; begun in 1544, architect P. Lescot, sculptor J. Goujon; alterations in 1660–61, architect N. F. Mansart) and the Hôtel de Sully (c. 1624, architect Jean I A. du Cereau). The Val de Grâce Monastery was built during this period (1645–1710, architects Mansart, Lemercier, and G. Le Duc), as was the Church of St. Roch (begun in 1653, architect Lemercier; from 1705, architect Hardouin-Mansart; completed in 1735, architect R. de Cotte). Wide avenues, including the Grand Boulevards, were built during the 1670’s.

From the late 18th century through the early 19th, one of the main projects in city planning was the construction of squares —Place Louis XV (now Place de la Concorde; 1753–75, architect J. A. Gabriel) and the Place du Carrousel, with the Arch of Triumph (1806, architects C. Percier and P. Fontaine). Another major project was the erection of city gates (1784–89, architect C. N. Ledoux). Chiefly as a result of the work of G. E. Haussmann, prefect of the department of the Seine, extensive urban renewal measures were carried out between 1853 and 1896. Major transportation arteries were constructed (for example, the Rue de Rivoli, and the axis made up of the boulevards de Strasbourg, de Sébastopol, and St. Michel). Public squares were built, with streets radiating out from them (for example, the Place de la République, 1854–62). In addition, new public gardens and forested parks were designed, including the Bois de Boulogne (1852–58) and the Bois de Vincennes (1859–60).

In the wealthy bourgeois residential districts of western Paris, where major improvements were made (asphalt paving and gas lighting, for example), there are streets unusual for their width, green area, and impressive buildings. In the overcrowded eastern and northern districts, which are inhabited by workers, artisans, and lower-level office workers, there are many old buildings without modern facilities, and apartment houses are interspersed with industrial enterprises.

The eclectic and modernist styles of architecture were in vogue from the second half of the 19th century through the early 20th. Typical of the eclectic style are the Opéra and the Sacré Coeur basilica (begun in 1875, architect P. Abadie; illumination installed in 1919). Examples of the modernist style include subway entrances built around 1900 (H. Guimard) and the Théâtre des Champs Elysées (1911–13, architects A. Perret and G. Perret).

During the 20th century the residential quarters on the outskirts of the city grew rapidly, and many shops, large stations, and exhibition halls were built. In the 1920’s and 1930’s most construction projects were in the suburbs (for example, housing developments such as Le Pré-St.-Gervais [1929], Pantin [1930–33], and Drancy [1934]). After World War II (1939–45) and especially in the 1950’s, large residential areas were built in the suburbs, including Bobigny, Bonneuil, Massy-Antony, Sarcelles, and Bagnolet. Nonetheless, the concentration of an enormous population on a small territory has given rise to many extremely complex urban problems, including an acute housing crisis. The resolution of the housing problem is impeded by limited municipal credits for housing construction, by private landed property, and by real estate speculation, as well as by the grave deterioration of much of the city’s housing. In the 1960’s and early 1970’s intensive construction of residential complexes continued on the periphery of Paris (Nanterre and Créteil, for example). Urban renewal projects in the city’s central districts have emphasized the construction of new buildings among existing ones—for example, the UNESCO building (1953–57, architects M. Breuer and B. Zehrfuss, engineer P. L. Nervi); the building for the Office of French Radio Broadcasting and Television (1959–63, architect H. Bernard); and the building of the Central Committee of the French Communist Party (1966–71, Brazilian architect O. Neimeyer). Problems in city planning are being solved by the construction of complexes of buildings, including two situated outside the city limits—the National Center for Industries and Technology (1958, architects B. Zehrfuss, R. Camelot, and J. de Mailly) and the new government and business center at the Quartier de la Défense (20 skyscrapers, begun in 1964). Construction of Maine-Montparnasse, a high-rise business center, began in 1964 (architects E. Beaudouin, J. Dubuisson, and R. Lopez). The Front de Seine is a modern residential and office complex (begun in 1965; architects R. Lopez, A. Pottier, and M. Prou). Neither project has any relation to the structures around it. As a result, the distinctive unity and organic character of the city’s architecture have been lost, at least in part. To solve the main problems in city planning—preserving the city’s uniqueness and limiting its growth—satellite towns are under construction, and gradual decentralization of the city has been recommended.

There are many important architectural ensembles in Paris. Among those located on the Ile de la Cité is the Palais de Justice (1783–86, architects P. Desmaisons and J. D. Antoine). Built on the site of the royal castle, it includes the 14th-century Conciergerie. The Ile de la Cité is also known for the Tour de l’Horloge (1370, clock installed c. 1585; sculptor G. Pilon), as well as for the Sainte Chapelle (1243–48; stained-glass windows, 13th—15th centuries) and the cathedral of Notre Dame (1163–1257).

On the Left Bank, one of the most important architectural ensembles is the Hôtel des Invalides (1671–76, architect L. Bruant), with the Cathédrale des Invalides (1680–1706, architect J. Hardouin-Mansart). The Hôtel des Invalides faces the Esplanade des Invalides and the Pont Alexandre III (1896–1900), which leads from the Esplanade des Invalides to two Right Bank exhibition halls, the Grand Palais (1900, chief architect J. A. A. Deglane) and the Petit Palais (1900, architect C. Girault). Another axis begins near the Hôtel des Invalides and includes the Ecole Militaire (1751–75, architect J. A. Gabriel) and, leading to the Jena Bridge (1809–13), the Champ de Mars (modern layout, 1908–28), with the Eiffel Tower (1889). On the Right Bank this axis culminates in the Palais de Chaillot (1936, main architect L. Azéma). Left Bank architectural ensembles also include the Panthéon (1758–90, architect J.-B. Soufflot), the Bibliothèque Ste. Geneviève (1843–50, architect H. Labrouste), and the church of St. Etienne du Mont (rebuilt between 1492 and 1626).

On the Right Bank the center of the architectural ensembles is formed by the intersection of two axes at the Place de la Concorde. The first axis, the main chain of architectural ensembles located at the center of the city, may be represented schematically as a series of squares. It consists of the Louvre (1546-mid-19th century) and the Jardin des Tuileries (architect A. Lenôtre), the Place de la Concorde, the Champs Elysées (17th century, architect A. Lenôtre; built primarily in the 19th century), and the Place De Gaulle (formerly the Place de l’Etoile) with the Arch of Triumph (1806–37). Perpendicular to this axis is another one made up of the Rue Royale (1732), which leads from the Place de la Concorde north to the Place de la Madeleine, with the church of the Madeleine (begun in 1806, architect P.-A. Vignon; illumination installed in 1842). To the south, on the opposite side of the Seine, the axis culminates in the Palais Bourbon (the National Assembly; begun in 1722, facade 1804–07, architect B. Poyet).

Among the most important monuments in Paris are the Vendôme Column (1806–10, architects J.-B. Lepère and J. Gondouin), the relief La Marseillaise on the Arch of Triumph (1833–36, sculptor F. Rude), and the Wall of the Communards in the Père-Lachaise cemetery (1909, sculptor P. Moreau-Vauthier). Other important monuments include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, under the Arch of Triumph (1921); the Memorial to the Martyrs of the Resistance on Mont Valérien (1960–61); and the Memorial to the Victims of the Fascist Concentration Camps (Ile de la Cité; 1961, architect H. Pingusson).

Educational, scientific, and cultural institutions. Among the educational institutions located in Paris are the University of Paris, the Collège de France, the Ecole Practique Supérieure, the Institut Polytechnique National, the Ecole Normale Supérieure, the Ecole National Supérieure de l’Education Technique, and the Catholic University of Paris. There are more than 40 “independent” institutes in the city, as well as two conservatories (dramatic arts and music), the Ecole du Louvre, and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

Many scientific and scholarly institutions are located in Paris, including the Institut de France, which consists of five academies; the French Agricultural Academy; the Academy of Architecture; the Academy of Surgery; the Naval Academy; and the Academy of the Latin World. Other scientific institutions in the city are the National Academy of Medicine, the French Veterinary Academy, the National Center for Scientific Research, and various research institutes and scientific societies in all branches of science. France’s major libraries, including the National Archives and the National Library, are located in Paris. In addition, there are about 50 libraries at academies, universities, research institutes, and scientific societies.

The Louvre, one of the world’s largest museums, is located in Paris, as are the Carnavalet Museum, which is devoted to the history of Paris; the National Museum of Modern Art; the Rodin Museum; the Army Museum (at the Hôtel des Invalides); and the Guimet Museum, which is devoted to the cultural history of several Asian countries. Also located in Paris are the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of the Legion of Honor, the Balzac and Hugo memorial museums, and the V. I. Lenin Apartment Museum.

Paris, one of the greatest theater centers in the world, has more than 60 theaters. In 1974 the leading ones included the Opéra, the Comédie Française, and the Théâtre de l’Est Parisien, which are subsidized by the government. Many theaters are located on the Grands Boulevards, including the Hébertot, the Renaissance, the Gymnase, the Porte St. Martin, Michodière, the Théâtre des Mathurins, and Comédie Caumartin. The stages of the Théâtre des Nations, the Théâtre du Châtelet, and the Odéon are usually reserved for various companies on tour. The popular suburban theaters represent the democratic wing of French theater arts. Among the best known of these are the Théâtre de la Commune (Aubervilliers), the Théâtre Gérard Philipe (St. Denis), the Théâtre des Amandiers (Nanterre), and the Théâtre du Soleil (Vincennes). Chansonniers perform at the city’s numerous café theaters and cabarets. Among the concert halls of Paris are the Salle Pleyel, the Palais des Sports, the Olympia, and the Bobino. Actors are trained at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art, musicians at the Paris Conservatory, and cinematographers at the Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Study.


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in the Iliad, a son of the Trojan king Priam and Hecuba. He was exposed on a mountain upon birth because soothsayers had predicted that he would cause the ruin of Troy. Rescued by shepherds, Paris survived and, when he grew up, was made shepherd of the royal flocks on Mount Ida. Zeus chose him to act as judge in a quarrel between the goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. Aphrodite received the golden apple—the apple of discord—from Paris as the most beautiful of the three goddesses and thereafter became his protectress. She helped him abduct Helen, the wife of the Spartan king Menelaus, which led to the Trojan War. At the end of the war, Paris slew Achilles but himself perished when struck by a poisoned arrow of Philoctetes.

In classical art, Paris was portrayed as a handsome youth. L. Cranach, P. P. Rubens, and A. Watteau are among the later artists to depict Paris in their works.

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


disguised as priest of Venus to free Helen. [Fr. Operetta: Offenbach, La Belle Hélène, Westerman, 272–273]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. Greek myth a prince of Troy, whose abduction of Helen from her husband Menelaus started the Trojan War
2. Matthew. ?1200--59, English chronicler, whose principal work is the Chronica Majora


1. the capital of France, in the north on the River Seine: constitutes a department; dates from the 3rd century bc, becoming capital of France in 987; centre of the French Revolution; centres around its original site on an island in the Seine, the Île de la Cité, containing Notre Dame; university (1150). Pop.: 2 125 246 (1999)
2. Treaty of Paris
a. a treaty of 1783 between the US, Britain, France, and Spain, ending the War of American Independence
b. a treaty of 1763 signed by Britain, France, and Spain that ended their involvement in the Seven Years' War
c. a treaty of 1898 between Spain and the US bringing to an end the Spanish-American War
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


PARallel Instruction Set.

A low-level language for the Connection Machine.
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References in classic literature ?
After the amiable fashion of French mothers, she had placed him out at nurse in a village in the neighbourhood of Paris, where little Rawdon passed the first months of his life, not unhappily, with a numerous family of foster- brothers in wooden shoes.
It was not for some weeks after the Crawleys' departure that the landlord of the hotel which they occupied during their residence at Paris found out the losses which he had sustained: not until Madame Marabou, the milliner, made repeated visits with her little bill for articles supplied to Madame Crawley; not until Monsieur Didelot from Boule d'Or in the Palais Royal had asked half a dozen times whether cette charmante Miladi who had bought watches and bracelets of him was de retour.
In these days there is scarcely a branch of science that has no bearing upon medicine; it is a difficult task to achieve distinction, but the reward is great, for in Paris fame always means fortune.
"When I returned to Paris I took up my abode in a large house which, in pursuance with my orders, had been taken for me, and the one person interested in my return and change of address was not informed of it.
"No matter how large his fortune may be, a man is sure to find some one else in Paris possessed of yet greater wealth, whom he must needs aim at surpassing.
I set out on foot, I would not wait for my carriage, I went across Paris, goaded by remorse, and gnawed by a dreadful fear that was confirmed by the first sight of my victim.
So when Paris asked herA for help on her new music video for "Best Friend's A-," she quickly gave her 100 percent support to her friend.
Paris Saint-Germain, the world's fastest-growing football club, yesterday launched a ground-breaking agreement with the iconic Jordan Brand.
market, SPC established a local affiliate in 2002 and opened America's first Paris Baguette bakery in L.A.'s Korea Town in October 2005.
Dr Nils Plambeck, Dean and CEO of HEC Paris in Qatar, and Professor Nathalie Lugagne, Associate Dean of Executive Education at HEC Paris, were amongst the speakers who praised the graduates at the grand ceremony.
De l'Influence morale et materielle de la contrainte et de la liberie, ou de la Responsabilite individuelle (Paris: Guillaumin, 1855).