Paris occupies a central position in the rich agricultural region known as the Paris Basin, and it constitutes one of eight départements of the Île-de-France administrative region. It is by far the country’s most important centre of commerce and culture. Paris’s site at a crossroads of both water and land routes significant not only to France but also to Europe has had a continuing influence on its growth. Under Roman administration, in the 1st century BCE, the original site on the Île de la Cité was designated the capital of the Parisii tribe and territory. The Frankish king Clovis I had taken Paris from the Gauls by 494 CE and later made his capital there. Under Hugh Capet (ruled 987–996) and the Capetian dynasty the preeminence of Paris was firmly established, and Paris became the political and cultural hub as modern France took shape. France has long been a highly centralized country, and Paris has come to be identified with a powerful central state, drawing to itself much of the talent and vitality of the provinces.
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