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- 1the 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.
named after the Parisii, a Gallic people who settled on the Île de la Cité