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Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/, i/ˈpɛrɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), Paris has a population of about 2,230,000, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants.
An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe's foremost centres of learning and the arts and was the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.
Paris and the Paris region account for a quarter of the gross domestic product of France and has one of the largest city GDPs in the world, with €572 billion in 2010. Considered as green and highly liveable, the city and its region are the world's leading tourism destination, hosting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many international organizations, including UNESCO and the European Space Agency.