Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Location (in red) within Paris inner and outer suburbs
|• Mayor (2001–2008)||Emmanuel Lamy|
|• Land1||48.27 km2 (18.64 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||890/km2 (2,300/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||78551 / 78100|
|Elevation||22–107 m (72–351 ft)
(avg. 78 m or 256 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
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 mi) from the centre of Paris.
Inhabitants are called Saint-Germanois. With its elegant tree-lined streets it is one of the more affluent suburbs 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 the western termini of Line A of the RER.
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 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 erstwhile 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.
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 James VII & II of Scotland and England after his exile from Britain after the Glorious Revolution in 1688. James lived in the Château for 13 years, and his daughter Louisa Maria Stuart was born in exile here in 1692. James II is buried in the Church of Saint-Germain.
Saint-Germain-en-Laye is famous for its 2.4-kilometre (1.5 mi) 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.
The Treaty of Saint-Germain was signed in 1919 and was applied on July 16, 1920. The treaty officially registered the breakup of the Habsburg empire, which recognized the independence of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (Yugoslavia).
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.
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.
Saint-Germain-en-Laye has a proud footballing history. From 1904 to 1970 it was represented by Stade Saint-Germain which, following a 1970 merger with Paris FC, became Paris Saint-Germain, or Paris SG for short. They are a first division football team who have won several French football cups and one C2 cup. They are currently the 2nd highest ranking team in France. From 1904 to 1974, "Le Camp des Loges" was the main stadium where the team trained. They are now, however, based in Paris - but continue regularly to train in their original stadium. In 2011, Paris Saint-Germain was bought by the Qatar Investment Authority, bringing greater financial means.
There is one main sporting facility in Saint-Germain-en-Laye: the Stade Municipale Georges Lefèvre. It covers over 12 hectares and contains: - 5 football pitches - 3 stands - 1 athletic track - 22 tennis courts - 1 clubhouse - 1 multibeach terrain 
Representation in Art
Saint-Germain-en-Laye was the birthplace of:
- Henry II (1519–1559), King of France
- Jeanne d'Albret (1528-1572), Queen Regnant of Navarre
- Charles IX (1550–1574), King of France
- Louis de Buade de Frontenac (1622–1698), French courtier and Governor of New France
- Louis XIV (1638–1715), King of France
- Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, (1640–1701), younger brother of Louis XIV
- Louisa Maria Teresa Stuart (1692–1712), daughter of James II of England, known to Jacobites as the Princess Royal
- Louis-Michel Letort de Lorville (1773 - 1815), French general of the Napoleonic Wars
- Jean Albert Gaudry (1827–1908), geologist and palaeontologist
- Salomon Reinach (1858–1932), archaeologist
- Claude Debussy (1862–1918), composer of European classical music
- Jaque Catelain (1897-1965), actor
- Jehan Alain (1911–1940), composer of European classical music
- Jacques Fesch (1930–1957), christian mystic
- Albert Dupontel (born 1964), actor
- Benoît Delbecq (born 1966), jazz pianist and composer
- Amélie Mauresmo (born 1979), tennis player
- Mélanie Thierry (born 1981), French actress
- Ismael Gace (born 1986), footballer
- Christopher Oualembo (born 1987), footballer
- Marion Maréchal-Le Pen (born 1989), French politician
- Jonathan Eysseric (born 1990), tennis player
The town is also associated with:
- Gérard de Nerval (1808-1855), poet, who lived there during part of his childhood and adolescence
- Pierre de Porcaro (1904-1945), priest and prisoner-of-war during the Second World War
Saint-Germain-en-Laye is twinned with:
- Aschaffenburg, Germany, since 1975
- Temara, Morocco, since 1982
- Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom since 1984
- Winchester, Massachusetts, United States, since 1990
- Konstancin-Jeziorna, Poland, since 1992
- Nashik, India, since 2009
- BBC History, "James II (1633 - 1701)", Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/james_ii.shtml
- Encyclopedia Britannica "Treaty of Saint-Germain", retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/517198/Treaty-of-Saint-Germain
- fr:Paris Saint-Germain Football Club#Depuis 2011 : l'ère Qatar Investment Authority
- fr:Paris Saint-Germain Football Club#1973-1978 : l'ère Hechter
- "Contact." Capcom. Retrieved on 12 August 2011. "France: Capcom Entertainment France 30 bis, rue du Viel Abreuvoir FR.78100 Saint Germain En Laye"
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