the capital of France, on the Seine River; population 2,203,817 (2006). Paris was held by the Romans, who called it Lutetia, and by the Franks, and was established as the capital in 987 under Hugh Capet. It was organized into three parts—the Île de la Cité (an island in the Seine), the Right Bank, and the Left Bank—during the reign of Philippe-Auguste 1180–1223. The city’s neoclassical architecture dates from the modernization of the Napoleonic era, which continued under Napoleon III, when the bridges and boulevards of the modern city were built.
a commercial city in northeastern Texas; population 26,050 (est. 2008).
a Trojan prince, the son of Priam and Hecuba. Appointed by the gods to decide who among the three goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite should win a prize for beauty, he awarded it to Aphrodite, who promised him the most beautiful woman in the world—Helen, wife of King Menelaus of Sparta. He abducted Helen, bringing about the Trojan War, in which he killed Achilles but was later himself killed.
Main article: List of museums in Paris The Louvre The Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2016, with 7.4 million visitors. Its treasures include the Mona Lisa (La Joconde), the Venus de Milo statue, Liberty Leading the People, and many other notable works. The second-most visited museum in the city, with 3.3 million visitors, was the Centre Georges Pompidou, also known as Beaubourg, which houses the Musée National d’Art Moderne. The third most visited Paris museum, in a building constructed for the Universal Exhibition of 1900 as the Orsay railway station, was the Musée d’Orsay, which had 3.0 million visitors in 2016. The Orsay displays French art of the 19th century, including major collections of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. The Musée de l’Orangerie, near both the Lourve and the Orsay, also exhibits Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, including most of Claude Monet’s large Water Lilies murals. The Musée national du Moyen Âge, or Cluny Museum, presents Medieval art, including the famous tapestry cycle of The Lady and the Unicorn. The Guimet Museum, or Musée national des arts asiatiques, has one of the largest collections of Asian art in Europe. There are also notable museums devoted to individual artists, including the Picasso Museum the Rodin Museum, and the Musée national Eugène Delacroix. Paris hosts one of the largest science museums in Europe, the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie at La Villette. It attracted 2.2 million visitors in 2016, making it the fourth most popular national museum in the city. The National Museum of Natural History, on the Left Bank, attracted 1.6 million visitors in 2016, making it the fifth most popular Parisian national museum. It is famous for its dinosaur artefacts, mineral collections, and its Gallery of Evolution. The military history of France, from the Middle Ages to World War II, is vividly presented by displays at the Musée de l’Armée at Les Invalides, near the tomb of Napoleon. In addition to the national museums, run by the French Ministry of Culture, the City of Paris operates 14 museums, including the Carnavalet Museum on the history of Paris; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Palais de Tokyo; the House of Victor Hugo and House of Balzac, and the Catacombs of Paris. There are also notable private museums; The Contemporary Art museum of the Louis Vuitton Foundation, designed by architect Frank Gehry, opened in October 2014 in the Bois de Boulogne. Theatre The Opéra Bastille The largest opera houses of Paris are the 19th-century Opéra Garnier (historical Paris Opéra) and modern Opéra Bastille; the former tends toward the more classic ballets and operas, and the latter provides a mixed repertoire of classic and modern. In middle of the 19th century, there were three other active and competing opera houses: the Opéra-Comique (which still exists), Théâtre-Italien, and Théâtre Lyrique (which in modern times changed its profile and name to Théâtre de la Ville). Philharmonie de Paris, the modern symphonic concert hall of Paris, opened in January 2015. Another musical landmark is the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, where the first performances of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes took place in 1913. The Comédie Française (Salle Richelieu) Theatre traditionally has occupied a large place in Parisian culture, and many of its most popular actors today are also stars of French television. The oldest and most famous Paris theatre is the Comédie-Française, founded in 1680. Run by the French government, it performs mostly French classics at the Salle Richelieu in the Palais-Royal at 2 rue de Richelieu, next to the Louvre. of Other famous theatres include the Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe, next to the Luxembourg Gardens, also a state institution and theatrical landmark; the Théâtre Mogador, and the Théâtre de la Gaîté-Montparnasse. The music hall and cabaret are famous Paris institutions. The Moulin Rouge was opened in 1889. It was highly visible because of its large red imitation windmill on its roof, and became the birthplace of the dance known as the French Cancan. It helped make famous the singers Mistinguett and Édith Piaf and the painter Toulouse-Lautrec, who made posters for the venue. In 1911, the dance hall Olympia Paris invented the grand staircase as a settling for its shows, competing with its great rival, the Folies Bergère. Its stars in the 1920s included the American singer and dancer Josephine Baker. Later, Olympia Paris presented Dalida, Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, Miles Davis, Judy Garland, and the Grateful Dead. The Casino de Paris presented many famous French singers, including Mistinguett, Maurice Chevalier, and Tino Rossi. Other famous Paris music halls include Le Lido, on the Champs-Élysées, opened in 1946; and the Crazy Horse Saloon, featuring strip-tease, dance and magic, opened in 1951. A half dozen music halls exist today in Paris, attended mostly by visitors to the city. Literature Main article: Writers in Paris Victor Hugo The first book printed in France, Epistolae (“Letters”), by Gasparinus de Bergamo (Gasparino da Barzizza), was published in Paris in 1470 by the press established by Johann Heynlin. Since then, Paris has been the centre of the French publishing industry, the home of some of the world’s best-known writers and poets, and the setting for many classic works of French literature. Almost all the books published in Paris in the Middle Ages were in Latin, rather than French. Paris did not become the acknowledged capital of French literature until the 17th century, with authors such as Boileau, Corneille, La Fontaine, Molière, Racine, several coming from the provinces, and the foundation of the Académie française. In the 18th century, the literary life of Paris revolved around the cafés and salons, and was dominated by Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Pierre de Marivaux, and Beaumarchais. During the 19th century, Paris was the home and subject for some of France’s greatest writers, including Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, Mérimée, Alfred de Musset, Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Alexandre Dumas, Gustave Flaubert, Guy de Maupassant and Honoré de Balzac. Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame inspired the renovation of its setting, the Notre-Dame de Paris. Another of Victor Hugo’s works, Les Misérables, written while he was in exile outside France during the Second Empire, described the social change and political turmoil in Paris in the early 1830s. One of the most popular of all French writers, Jules Verne, worked at the Theatre Lyrique and the Paris stock exchange, while he did research for his stories at the National Library.[citation not found] Jean-Paul Sartre In the 20th century, the Paris literary community was dominated by Colette, André Gide, François Mauriac, André Malraux, Albert Camus, and, after World War II, by Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre; Between the wars it was the home of many important expatriate writers, including Ernest Hemingway, Samuel Beckett, and, in the 1970s, Milan Kundera. The winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, Patrick Modiano–who lives in Paris–, based most of his literary work on the depiction of the city during World War II and the 1960s–1970s. Paris is a city of books and bookstores. In the 1970s, 80 percent of French-language publishing houses were found in Paris, almost all on the Left Bank in the 5th, 6th and 7th arrondissements. Since that time, because of high prices, some publishers have moved out to the less expensive areas. It is also a city of small bookstores; There are about 150 bookstores in the 5th arrondissement alone, plus another 250 book stalls along the Seine. Small Paris bookstores are protected against competition from discount booksellers by French law; books, even e-books, cannot be discounted more than five percent below their publisher’s cover price.