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Under the rule of the Capetian kings, Paris gradually became the largest and most prosperous city in France.
The Palais de la Cité, the royal residence, was located at the western end of the Île de la Cité.
both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment, and more literally because Paris was one of the first European cities to adopt gas street lighting.
In the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps.
In 1137, a new city marketplace (today's Les Halles) replaced the two smaller ones on the Île de la Cité and Place de la Grève (Hotel de Ville).
The latter location housed the headquarters of Paris's river trade corporation, an organisation that later became, unofficially (although formally in later years), Paris's first municipal government.
Paris is the core of a built-up area that extends well beyond its limits: commonly referred to as the agglomération Parisienne, and statistically as a unité urbaine (a measure of urban area), the Paris agglomeration's 2013 population of 10,601,122 made it the largest urban area in the European Union. The city is a major rail, highway, and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle (the second busiest airport in Europe after London Heathrow Airport with 63.8 million passengers in 2014) and Paris-Orly.The city is a commune and department, and the heart of the 12,012-square-kilometre (4,638-square-mile) Île-de-France region (colloquially known as the 'Paris Region'), whose 2016 population of 12,142,802 represented roughly 18 percent of the population of France.Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.The 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis.
Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros.Fortification of the Île-de-France failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris's strategic importance—with its bridges preventing ships from passing—was established by successful defence in the Siege of Paris (885–86).In 987, Hugh Capet, Count of Paris (comte de Paris) and Duke of the Franks (duc des Francs), was elected King of the Franks (roi des Francs).It became a prosperous city with a forum, baths, temples, theatres, and an amphitheatre.