Paris is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the France region. The city of Paris, within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements) largely unchanged since 1860, has a population of about 2,300,000 . Its metropolitan area is one of 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 the largest city in the Western world until the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres, hosting many international organizations, 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.