Around 250-300 BCE, the capital of what is now known as France (or, more formally, The Republic of France) was established on the River Seine.
It was inhabited by an Iron Age Gallic tribe, the Parisii. In 52 BCE, it became a Roman settlement, known as Lutetia Parisiorum, and by approximately 300 CE was known as civitas Parisiorum, the precursor to the City of Paris.
Comprised of twenty arrondissements (administrative districts) arranged in an outward spiral from the city's center (see map at right), Paris includes two natural islands - Île de la Cité and Île Saint-Louis, both located on the Seine River. This "City of Light" boasts a population of over 10.4 million people in the greater metropolitan area (2009), and is renowned for its cuisine, tourism, fashion, culture, and history.
Famous sites in Paris include the Musée du Louvre, the repository for works such as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and the ancient Greek statue, Venus de Milo; the ...