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Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Coat of arms of Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Location of Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Saint-Germain-en-Laye is located in France
Saint-Germain-en-Laye is located in Île-de-France (region)
Coordinates: 48°53′56″N 2°05′38″E / 48.8989°N 2.0938°E / 48.8989; 2.0938Coordinates: 48°53′56″N 2°05′38″E / 48.8989°N 2.0938°E / 48.8989; 2.0938
IntercommunalityCA Saint Germain Boucles Seine
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Arnaud Pericard[1]
51.94 km2 (20.05 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2019)[2]
 • Density860/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
78551 /78100
Elevation22–107 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.

Saint-Germain-en-Laye (French: [sɛ̃ ʒɛʁmɛ̃ ɑ̃ lɛ] (listen)) 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 or Saint-Germinois. 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.


A view of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, taken from the castle.

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.

In 1688, James II of England exiled himself to the city after being deposed from the throne in what has become known as the Glorious Revolution. He spent the remainder of his days there, and died on 16 September 1701.[3]

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.

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 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 parish church.

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. During the French Revolution, the name was changed along with many other places whose names held connotations of religion or royalty. Temporarily, Saint-Germain-en-Laye became Montagne-du-Bon-Air. During his reign, Napoleon I established his cavalry officers training school in the Château-Vieux.

One of the German bunkers built in 1942

The Treaty of Saint-Germain was signed in 1919 and was applied on 16 July 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).[4]

During the occupation from 1940 to 1944, the town was the headquarters of the German Army.[clarification needed]

On 1 January 2019, the former commune Fourqueux was merged into Saint-Germain-en-Laye.[5]

Saint-Germain parish church[edit]

The Church of Saint-Germain.

The parish church, which is dedicated to Germain of Paris, was originally constructed in the eleventh century, and the present building (the fourth on the site) was built in the 1820s in a Neoclassical style, with six Tuscan columns supporting a pediment on the main façade. The church houses the mausoleum of James II of England and was visited by Queen Victoria in 1855.[6]

The organ, originally installed in 1698, was rebuilt by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll in the nineteenth century and refurbished in 1903. The church's organists have included Albert Renaud (1891–1924), Albert Alain (1924–1971) and Marie-Claire Alain (1971–2010).


The population data in the table and graph below refer to the commune of Saint-Germain-en-Laye proper, in its geography at the given years. The population of Fourqueux, absorbed in 2019, is not included.

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 13,400—    
1800 8,954−5.60%
1806 9,798+1.51%
1821 10,291+0.33%
1831 10,671+0.36%
1836 10,951+0.52%
1841 13,618+4.46%
1846 13,488−0.19%
1851 12,527−1.47%
1856 14,283+2.66%
1861 15,708+1.92%
1866 17,478+2.16%
1872 22,862+4.58%
1876 17,199−6.87%
1881 15,790−1.69%
1886 16,312+0.65%
1891 14,262−2.65%
1896 16,489+2.94%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 17,297+0.96%
1906 17,288−0.01%
1911 18,344+1.19%
1921 20,008+0.87%
1926 22,180+2.08%
1931 21,996−0.17%
1936 22,539+0.49%
1946 22,013−0.24%
1954 29,429+3.70%
1962 34,621+2.05%
1968 38,308+1.70%
1975 37,509−0.30%
1982 38,499+0.37%
1990 39,926+0.46%
1999 38,423−0.43%
2007 41,517+0.97%
2012 39,476−1.00%
2017 40,765+0.64%
Source: EHESS[7] and INSEE (2007-2017)[8][9]


Saint-Germain-en-Laye is connected to other communes by the Résalys bus network operated by Transdev Montesson-les-Rabeaux. 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.

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 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, but following a 1970 merger with Paris FC, became Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). PSG is a top-flight football team that is the most successful team in France in terms of trophies.[10]

Sporting facilities[edit]

There is one main sporting facility in Saint-Germain-en-Laye: the Stade Municipal 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 [11]


Capcom Entertainment France, a Capcom subsidiary, has its head office in Saint-Germain-en-Laye.[12]


As of 2016 the schools in this commune had 20,581 students, with 7,300 of them living in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. There is a high ratio of overall students to town inhabitants. The municipal nursery and primary schools have 3,549 students. 1,026 students attend private schools in the commune. 522 students attend the Lycée International de Saint Germain-en-Laye nursery and primary divisions.[13]


As of 2016 the municipality operates ten nursery schools and nine primary schools.[13]

The Lycée International de Saint Germain-en-Laye, a public school, consistently ranks among France's top schools and is considered to be the country's best public international school. It includes 14 different language sections, including one for Japanese students, and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) lists that program in its group of European hoshuko (part-time Japanese educational programmes).[14]

Other public high schools:

Private schools include:

The Institut d'études politiques de Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Collège Marcel Roby are located in the city.


There are two libraries:[15]

  • Bibliothèque multimédia
  • Bibliothèque George-Sand

In art[edit]


Notable people[edit]

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






The town is also associated with:

Twin towns - sister cities[edit]

Saint-Germain-en-Laye is twinned with:[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires" (in French)., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises. 13 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2019". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2021.
  3. ^ "James II (1633–1701)". BBC History. BBC. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  4. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica "Treaty of Saint-Germain", retrieved from
  5. ^ Arrêté préfectoral 19 December 2018 (in French)
  6. ^ French Monuments, Discover the church of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  7. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Saint-Germain-en-Laye, EHESS. (in French)
  8. ^ Populations légales 2012, INSEE
  9. ^ Téléchargement du fichier d'ensemble des populations légales en 2017, INSEE
  10. ^ "Site officiel du Paris Saint-Germain". FR.
  11. ^ "Site officiel de la Ville de Saint Germain-en-Laye: Stade municipal Georges Lefèvre". Archived from the original on 21 June 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  12. ^ "Contact." Capcom. Retrieved 12 August 2011. "France: Capcom Entertainment France 30 bis, rue du Viel Abreuvoir FR.78100 Saint Germain En Laye"
  13. ^ a b "Children > Presentation." Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  14. ^ "欧州の補習授業校一覧(平成25年4月15日現在)" (Archive). Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Home." Saint-Germain-en-Laye Libraries. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  16. ^ "Les villes jumelles". (in French). Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Retrieved 18 November 2019.

External links[edit]