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In the late 12th century, Philip Augustus extended the Louvre fortress to defend the city against river invasions from the west, gave the city its first walls between 11, rebuilt its bridges to either side of its central island, and paved its main thoroughfares.

The king would end his life in the capital, assassinated in a narrow street near Les Halles marketplace in 1610.

During the 17th century, Cardinal Richelieu, chief minister of Louis XIII, was determined to make Paris the most beautiful city in Europe.

The conflicts ended when pretender to the throne Henry IV, after converting to Catholicism to gain entry to the capital, entered the city in 1594 and claimed the crown of France.

This king made several improvements to the capital during his reign: he completed the construction of Paris's first uncovered, sidewalk-lined bridge, the Pont Neuf, built a Louvre extension connecting it to the Tuileries Palace, and created the first Paris residential square, the Place Royale, now Place des Vosges.

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).

Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, and the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe.

The historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site.

The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion (US0 billion) in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France.

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