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Coordinates: 48°53′29″N 2°12′16″E / 48.89139°N 2.20444°E / 48.89139; 2.20444

Commune of Nanterre

Nanterre, France, Mairie.jpg
Nanterre's modern city hall
Nanterre map.svg
Paris and inner ring départements
Coordinates 48°53′29″N 2°12′16″E / 48.89139°N 2.20444°E / 48.89139; 2.20444
Country France
Region Île-de-France
Department Hauts-de-Seine (préfecture)
Arrondissement Nanterre
Canton Chief town of 3 cantons
Intercommunality none as of 2009
Mayor Patrick Jarry
Elevation 22–127 m (72–420 ft)
(avg. 30 m/98 ft)
Land area1 12.19 km2 (4.71 sq mi)
Population2 88,316  (1 January 2006 census)
 - Density 7,245 /km2 (18,760 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 92050/ 92000
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Nanterre is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 11.1 km (6.9 mi) west from the center of Paris.

Nanterre is the préfecture (capital) of the Hauts-de-Seine département, as well as the seat of the Arrondissement of Nanterre.

The eastern part of Nanterre, bordering the communes of Courbevoie and Puteaux, contains a small part of the La Défense business district of Paris and some of the tallest buildings in the Paris region. Because the headquarters of many major corporations are located in La Défense, the court of Nanterre is well-known in the media for the number of high-profile lawsuits and trials that take place in it. The city of Nanterre also includes the University Paris X – Nanterre, one of the largest universities in the Paris region.



The name of Nanterre originated before the Roman conquest of Gaul. The Romans recorded the name as Nemetodorum. It is composed of the Celtic word nemeto meaning "shrine" or "sacred place" and the Celtic word duros (cognate of English door and German Tür) meaning "door or gate", or "fortress". The sacred place referred to is supposed to have been a famous shrine that existed in antiquity on the top of the hill known as Mont-Valérien.

Inhabitants of Nanterre are called Nanterriennes (feminine) and Nanterriens (masculine).


Sainte Geneviève, patron saint of Paris, was born in Nanterre ca. 419-422.[1]

On March 26, 2002, Richard Durn, a disgruntled local activist, shot and killed eight town councilors and 14 others were wounded in what the French press dubbed the Nanterre massacre. On March 28, the murderer killed himself by jumping from the 4th floor of the « Quai des orfèvres », in Paris, while he was questioned by two policemen about the reason for his killing in the Nanterre City Hall.




Place of birth of residents of Nanterre in 1999
Born in Metropolitan France Born outside Metropolitan France
75.7% 24.3%
Born in
Overseas France
Born in foreign countries with French citizenship at birth¹ EU-15 immigrants² Non-EU-15 immigrants
2.7% 2.8% 3.9% 14.9%
¹This group is made up largely of pieds-noirs from Northwest Africa, followed by former colonial citizens who had French citizenship at birth (such as was often the case for the native elite in French colonies), and to a lesser extent foreign-born children of French expatriates. Note that a foreign country is understood as a country not part of France as of 1999, so a person born for example in 1950 in Algeria, when Algeria was an integral part of France, is nonetheless listed as a person born in a foreign country in French statistics.
² An immigrant is a person born in a foreign country not having French citizenship at birth. Note that an immigrant may have acquired French citizenship since moving to France, but is still considered an immigrant in French statistics. On the other hand, persons born in France with foreign citizenship (the children of immigrants) are not listed as immigrants.


Nanterre is divided into three cantons:

  • The Canton of Nanterre-Nord has a population of 33,173.
  • The Canton of Nanterre-Sud-Est has a population of 22,350.
  • The Canton of Nanterre-Sud-Ouest has a population of 28,758.


Nanterre is served by three stations on RER line A: Nanterre – Préfecture, Nanterre – Université, and Nanterre – Ville.

Nanterre - Préfecture station is also an interchange station on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail line.

See also

Twin towns


  1. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia St. Genevieve

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

NANTERRE, a town of northern France, with a port on the Seine, in the department of Seine, at the foot of Mount Valerien, 8 m. N.W. of Paris on the railway to St Germain. Pop. (1906), town, 11,874; commune, 17,434. The principal manufactures are chemicals, tallow and aluminium; stone quarried in the vicinity; the town is noted also for its cakes. The combined prison and mendacity depot for the department is a large institution, about 2 m. from the town. Nanterre (the ancient Nemptodurum or Nemetodurum) owes its origin to the shrine of Ste Genevieve (420-512), the patron-saint of Paris, whose name is still associated with various places in the town and district. The shrine is the object of a pilgrimage in September.

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Simple English

Nanterre is a town in the west suburbs of Paris, France. Nanterre is the prefecture (capital) of the Hauts-de-Seine département and is in the Île-de-France region. Its population is about 84,000 (March 8, 1999 census). Its density is about 7,200/km².

Eastern Nanterre, contains a part of the La Défense business district of Paris and some of the tallest buildings in Paris. The city of Nanterre also includes the University called Paris X – Nanterre, and its one of the largest in the Paris region.

Twin towns


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