Paris, France, the nation's capital and largest city. It is in north-central France, on the Seine River, about 90 miles (145 km) from the English Channel. To a considerable extent, the economic, intellectual, and cultural life of the nation focuses on Paris. Paris is often called “the City of Light,” in recognition of its great contributions to learning and the arts, as well as for its physical beauty. Few cities are more popular with tourists; few have been praised so lavishly for beauty, sophistication, and romantic charm.