Crossroads of the main communication routes, the Ile-de-France is characterised by its urban concentration, its farming plateaux, its green valleys and its forests. The political capital, Paris, has a large intellectual and artistic influence.
Close to Parisian authority for many centuries, the Parisian suburbs are peppered with numerous castles and large middle-class residences most of which are still lived in by private individuals. Despite its heavy urbanisation, the Ile-de-France is a predominantly rural area: of its 12,070 km² (4,660 square miles), 45% are devoted to agriculture (one of the most productive regions in France) and 23% to forest. Amongst the biggest forests in the region, we can cite those of Fontainebleau, Rambouillet, Montmorency, Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Sénart. The Ile-de-France unites small natural regions such as Vexin Français, Pays de France, Multien-et-Goële, Orxois, Mantois, Versailles Plain, Yveline, Pays de Bière, Hurepoix, Beauce, Brie Boisée, Brie Champenoise, Brie Française, Brie Humide, Gâtinais, Montois and the Montmorency valley.
Castles / chateaux | Manors | Residences | Mansion houses | Historic buildings | 20th C. Architecture | Religious edifices | properties in town | Character houses | Mills | Farms | Village houses | Hunting grounds | Equestrian properties