Paris, the center of everything in France

Imagine yourself walking along the Seine river, enjoying the peaceful view of the barges calmly floating along ... Then face the other way and watch the cars and the pedestrians darting by ... Welcome to Paris, the capital of France, a city of contradictions, the centre of the country's business life.

Paris started to grow as a settlement more than 2000 years ago. Its location, right on the river Seine, helped the town develop enormously as a centre of commerce over the ensuing centuries. It was also the favored place of residence for many of the rulers of the country. Nowadays, Paris is the Capital of France. It is thus the center of political power and business life. Many scientists, economists, artists and their apprentices have studied or lived here. Being the playground of many rich and famous personalities has made Paris a prestigious city in which to live, work, and possibly seek power and fortune.

People from all walks of life populate this capital city; beautiful residential estates contrast with skyscrapers and suburbs. The wealthiest can afford land and mansions. There is many a Château to be found in and around this city. Other, less fortunate, inhabitants, at the other end of the scale, have no other choice but live in a one-bedroom apartment in a grey, derelict building. Some areas witness high concentrations of ethnic minorities and have become real ghettos. While there is indeed a real sense of belonging in Paris, people from different classes rarely mix despite the oft cited "Liberté, égalité, fraternité".

Life in Paris is very much centered around work and home. When working in Paris, commuting to work and coming back can quite often be a lengthy journey. Jobs are sometimes very demanding, and people don't actually get to spend much time at home other than for sleeping. As a result, some suburbs are named "dormitories". Parisians who can afford it, thus have a small place in the city to stay during the week and an enjoyable house in the countryside for the weekends. Most workers in Paris tend to be office and service workers, as big companies have their headquarters there. However, there are also still traditional industries present here, and a significant portion of the working population has a job connected to manufacturing. Also, Paris naturally attracts aspiring artists and musicians. After all, some would still say it is the greatest home for artistic endeavours.

Paris is a diverse city in every way imaginable. Whether it is population, culture, business, housing, landscape, there are so many things to discover and learn.