The River Seine in Paris has broken its banks and floodwater is currently around 6m (19ft) above the normal river level.
The famous Louvre and Orsay museums have been shut so that priceless works of art such as the Mona Lisa can be moved to safety.
Emergency water barriers have been constructed along the banks of the river in an attempt to restrict the floodwater, several bridges have been closed and tourist river tours have been banned until the waters subside.
The last time the river was at this level was in 1982, the environment ministry confirmed.
Flooding has affected wider areas of the country and across Europe as well, with over 5,000 being evacuated from their homes in central France, and around 19,000 homes currently without power, according to reports by the AFP news agency.
Germany has also been badly affected, with several losing their lives to the devastation caused by floodwaters in the south of the country.
Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands and Poland have also experienced flooding this week.
The weather was described by French President Francois Hollande as a serious climate phenomenon and a global challenge.
Image: Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee / freedigitalphotos.net