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Coordinates: 48°53′49″N 02°05′29″E / 48.89694°N 2.09139°E / 48.89694; 2.09139

Commune of Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye01.jpg
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Location
St-Germain-en-Laye map.png
Location (in red) within Paris inner and outer suburbs
Coordinates 48°53′49″N 02°05′29″E / 48.89694°N 2.09139°E / 48.89694; 2.09139
Administration
Country France
Region Île-de-France
Department Yvelines
Arrondissement Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Mayor Emmanuel Lamy
(2001–2008)
Statistics
Elevation 22–107 m (72–351 ft)
(avg. 78 m/256 ft)
Land area1 48.27 km2 (18.64 sq mi)
Population2 43,015  (2006)
 - Density 891 /km2 (2,310 /sq mi)
Miscellaneous
INSEE/Postal code 78551/ 78100
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.
For treaties with this name see Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (disambiguation)

Saint-Germain-en-Laye (French pronunciation: [sɛ̃ ʒɛʁmɛ̃ ɑ̃ lɛ]) is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris 19.1 km (11.9 miles) from the center.

Inhabitants are called Saint-Germanois. With its elegant tree-lined streets it is, with Garches-Vaucresson, the wealthiest suburb of Paris, combining both high-end leisure spots and exclusive residential neighborhoods (see the Golden Triangle of the Yvelines).

Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a sub-prefecture of the department. Because it includes the National Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, it covers approximately 48 km2 (19 sq mi), making it the largest commune in the Yvelines. It occupies a large loop of the Seine. Saint-Germain-en-Laye lies at one of western terminus of the line A of the RER.

Contents

History

Saint-Germain-en-Laye was founded in 1020 when King Robert the Pious (ruled 996-1031) founded a convent on the site of the present Church of Saint-Germain.

Prior to the French Revolution in 1789, it had been a royal town and the Château de Saint-Germain the residence of numerous French monarchs.

The Church of Saint-Germain.

The old château was constructed in 1348 by King Charles V on the foundations of an old castle (château-fort) dating from 1238 in the time of Saint Louis. Francis I was responsible for its subsequent restoration. In 1862, Napoleon III set up the Musée des Antiquités Nationales in the estwhile royal château. This museum has exhibits ranging from Paleolithic to Celtic times. The "Dame de Brassempouy" sculpted on a mammoth's ivory tusk around 23,000 years ago is the most famous exhibit in the museum.

Kings Henry IV and Louis XIII left their mark on the town.

Louis XIV was born in the château (the city's coat of arms consequently shows a cradle and the date of his birth), and established Saint-Germain-en-Laye as his principal residence from 1661 to 1681. Louis XIV turned over the château to King James II after his exile from Britain after the Glorious Revolution in 1688. King James lived in the Château for 13 years, and his daughter Louisa Maria Stuart was born in exile here in 1692. King James Stuart is buried in the Church of Saint-Germain.

Saint-Germain-en-Laye is famous for its 2.4 kilometre long stone terrace built by André Le Nôtre from 1669 to 1673. The terrace provides a view over the valley of the Seine and, in the distance, Paris.

One of the German bunkers built in 1942

During the French Revolution, the name was changed along with many other places whose names held connotations of religion or royalty. Saint-Germain-en-Laye became Montagne-du-Bon-Air.

In the 19th century, Napoleon I established his cavalry officers training school in the Château-Vieux.

During the occupation from 1940 to 1944, the town was the headquarters of the German Army.

Transport

Saint-Germain-en-Laye is served by Saint-Germain-en-Laye station on Paris RER line A.

It is also served by two stations on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail line: Saint-Germain – Bel-Air – Fourqueux and Saint-Germain – Grande Ceinture.

Finally, Saint-Germain-en-Laye is also served by Achères – Grand Cormier station on Paris RER line A and on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail line. This station is located in the middle of the Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, far away from the urbanized part of the commune.

People

Saint-Germain-en-Laye was the birthplace of:

Twin towns

Saint-Germain-en-Laye is twinned with:

See also

References

External links

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