Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. Situated on the Seine River, in the north of the country, it is at the heart of the Île-de-France region, also known as the région parisienne (Paris Region in English).The city of Paris has a population of 2,249,975 inhabitants (January 2011), while its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with 12,292,895 inhabitants at the January 2011 census. About 2.7 million of this total were born outside Metropolitan France and represent a multitude of different countries and territories from around the world.
By the 12th century, Paris was the largest city in the western world, a prosperous trading centre, the home of the University of Paris, and one of the most influential centres of learning in Europe. In the eighteenth century, it was the centre stage for the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and an important centre of commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.