Paris city and capital of France, situated in the north-central part of the country, city and capital of France, situated in the north-central part of the country. Paris has been one of the world’s most important and attractive cities. It is appreciated for the opportunities it offers for business and commerce, for study, for culture, and for entertainment,its gastronomy, haute couture, painting, literature, and intellectual community especially with an enviable reputation. Its sobriquet “the City of Light” (“la Ville Lumière”), earned during the Enlightenment, remains appropriate, for Paris.It has retained its importance as a centre for education and intellectual pursuits.The three main parts of historical Paris are defined by the Seine. At its centre is the Île de la Cité, which is the seat of religious and temporal authority (the word cité connotes the nucleus of the ancient city). The Seine’s Left Bank (Rive Gauche) has traditionally been the seat of intellectual life, and its Right Bank (Rive Droite) contains the heart of the city’s economic life.The fusion of all these functions at the centre of France and, later, at the centre of an empire, resulted in a tremendous vital environment.