The Ile-de-France, the area surrounding Paris, has been called the cradle of France, as the language, art and civilization of the country all have their roots there. The history of the region is reflected in many splendid palaces and gardens, in magnificent churches and cathedrals, some of which are among the nation's greatest treasures. The Ile-de-France consists of eight departements: Paris, Seine-et-Marne (capital: Melun), Yvelines (Versailles), Essonne (Evry), Hauts-de-Seine (Nanterre), Seine-St-Denis (Bobigny), Val-de-Marne (Creteil) and Val-d'Oise (Beauvais) and is home to almost 11 million people. In terms of industry, too, the Ile-de-France plays a key role, with administrative and service industries predominating. Its thousands of miles of footpaths, cycle routes and bridleways, as well as numerous water sport facilities, attract many Parisians at weekends. Visitors to Paris will also be well rewarded by taking a trip to any of the many attractive spots in the Ile.