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Paris, the world-renowned capital of France, lies at the heart of the Île-de-France region in the north of the country. Known for its romance and stunning architecture, the City of Lights sits on the north bending arc of the river Seine. Two islands, the Île Saint-Louis and the larger Île de la Cité, form the oldest part of the city. Paris has several conspicuous hills, of which the highest is the famous Montmartre.
The largest city in continental Europe, Paris is over 2,000 years old. The ancient Gallic tribe, the Parisii, originally gave their name to the city, with Julius Caesar renaming it Lutetia under his rule. During the 1800s Napoleon III wanted renovation, leading to Baron Haussman’s bold plan of beautification. He built high white stone buildings onto wide, tree-lined boulevards, creating expansive parks. It is now a centre of culture and the arts.