Paris has for centuries been one of the centres and magnets of the world. When the Romans conquered it in 55 B.C. it was a fishing village on the Seine islands, inhabited by the Parisii tribe. It grew in Roman times and became the capital of France. It grew in Roman times and became the capital of France at the beginning of the Middle Ages.
Since then Paris has been the European centre of religion and politics, learning and arts, quickly overtaking Rome and only yielding to New York after the Second World War. Sorbonne is one of the oldest universities in the world and for centuries the most famous one.
Paris is rich in monuments from most periods of its history. In spite of that it has not rested on its laurels. It is also famous for modern and avant-garde design, as can be seen at the Louvre pyramid, the Centre Pompidou and the Défense.