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Coordinates: 48°50′52″N 2°26′21″E / 48.8478°N 2.4392°E / 48.8478; 2.4392
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Vincennes city hall
Vincennes city hall
Flag of Vincennes
Coat of arms of Vincennes
Location (in red) within Paris inner suburbs
Location (in red) within Paris inner suburbs
Location of Vincennes
Vincennes is located in France
Vincennes is located in Île-de-France (region)
Coordinates: 48°50′52″N 2°26′21″E / 48.8478°N 2.4392°E / 48.8478; 2.4392
CantonVincennes and Fontenay-sous-Bois
IntercommunalityGrand Paris
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Charlotte Libert-Albanel[1] (UDI)
1.91 km2 (0.74 sq mi)
 • Density26,000/km2 (66,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
94080 /94300
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Vincennes (/vɪnˈsɛnz, væ̃ˈsɛn/, French: [vɛ̃sɛn] ) is a commune in the Val-de-Marne department in the eastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 6.7 km (4.2 mi) from the centre of Paris. Vincennes is famous for its castle: the Château de Vincennes. It is next to but does not include the Bois de Vincennes, from which it took its name, which is attached to the city of Paris.


Statue of king Saint Louis at Château de Vincennes.

The Marquis de Sade was imprisoned in Vincennes fortress in 1777, where he remained until February 1784 although he escaped for a little over a month in 1778. Thereafter Vincennes fortress was closed and de Sade transferred to the Bastille.

In 1821, the noted French poet, Alfred de Vigny, wrote his poem, "La Prison," which details the last days of the Man in the Iron Mask at Vincennes.

The ministers of Charles X were imprisoned at the fortress of Vincennes after the July Revolution.[3]

A test was conducted in 1849 on Claude-Étienne Minié's invention the Minié ball which would prove successful and years later be adopted by the French army.

On the morning of 15 October 1917, famous femme fatale Mata Hari was executed for espionage by a French firing squad at Vincennes castle.[4]

In 1929, the commune of Vincennes lost about half of its territory when the city of Paris annexed the Bois de Vincennes, a large part of which belonged to the commune of Vincennes.

City Hall, rue de Fontenay in Vincennes.

Vincennes was also the site of some famous European colonial expositions in the 20th century in which fairs were held to showcase artifacts from former European colonies.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 2,014—    
1800 2,163+1.02%
1806 1,853−2.55%
1821 2,035+0.63%
1831 2,854+3.44%
1836 3,032+1.22%
1841 3,522+3.04%
1846 4,700+5.94%
1851 4,765+0.28%
1856 5,834+4.13%
1861 13,414+18.12%
1866 14,573+1.67%
1872 17,064+2.66%
1876 18,243+1.68%
1881 20,530+2.39%
1886 22,237+1.61%
1891 24,626+2.06%
1896 27,450+2.20%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 31,405+2.73%
1906 34,185+1.71%
1911 38,568+2.44%
1921 41,527+0.74%
1926 45,236+1.73%
1931 46,859+0.71%
1936 48,967+0.88%
1946 49,226+0.05%
1954 50,434+0.30%
1962 50,436+0.00%
1968 49,143−0.43%
1975 44,261−1.48%
1982 42,870−0.46%
1990 42,267−0.18%
1999 43,595+0.34%
2007 47,372+1.04%
2012 49,831+1.02%
2017 49,891+0.02%
Source: EHESS[5] and INSEE (1968-2017)[6]



The city is famous for its castle, the Château de Vincennes, and its park, the Bois de Vincennes hosting the only larger zoo in Paris, Paris Zoological Park (though these two are now within the limits of the City of Paris). It also features a large military fort, now housing various army services. This fort and an adjoining plain known as the "Polygon" has historically been an important proving ground for French armaments.

The city is also home to the Service Historique de la Défense (SHD), which holds the archival records of the French Armed Forces.[7]



In 1933 Georges Saupique was commissioned to work on one of three "dessus-de-porte" to be placed above the doors of the new Vincennes' city hall "salle des fêtes". His composition involved allegorical figures representing commerce and industry supporting the Vincennes' coat of arms.



In the old royal château, a porcelain manufactory was established in 1740, specializing in imitations of Meissen porcelain and naturalistic flowers, which were incorporated into bouquets under the direction of Parisian marchands-merciers. The Vincennes porcelain factory continued until 1756, when the production was transferred to new buildings at Sèvres, initiating the career of world-famous Sèvres porcelain.



Vincennes is served by two stations on Paris Métro Line 1: Bérault and Château de Vincennes.

Vincennes is also served by Vincennes station on Paris RER line A.

Twin towns – sister cities


Vincennes is twinned with:[8]



The commune has eight public preschools, six public elementary schools, and three private schools contracted by the state.[9]

  • Public elementary schools: Est-Passeleu, Est-Libération, Roland-Vernaudon, Sud, Ouest, Jean-Monnet
  • Private elementary schools: Externat Saint-Joseph, Notre-Dame de la Providence, Ohel-Barouch

There are three public junior high schools, Collège Hector-Berlioz, Collège Saint-Exupéry, and Collège Françoise-Giroud; as well as a contracted private junior high school, Notre-Dame de la Providence.[10]

Public senior high schools/sixth-form colleges:[10]

Private senior high schools/sixth-form colleges:[10]

Vincennes University


In 1970 the "University of Paris VIII" was established in Vincennes as France's first major experiment in open admissions education, as a result of the academic reforms which followed the student risings of 1968. Intended to lessen the French university system's traditional emphasis on formal and elitist schooling, the school (generally known simply as Vincennes) admitted students without the usual entrance requirement of the baccalaureat degree and introduced courses such as the History of Cinema, Sexology, and Third World Economics. Enrollments peaked at 32,000 with more than 40% of students holding full-time jobs off the campus. However problems associated with political unrest and alleged widespread drug usage among the student body led to the resignation of the Vincennes University President and the relocation of the campus to Saint-Denis by the French Government in 1980.[11][page needed]

Notable people


See also



  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires" (in French). data.gouv.fr, Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises. 13 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021" (in French). The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ The July Monarchy: A Political History of France 1830-1848
  4. ^ WW1 spy Mata Hari framed - lawyer. CNN.com (2001-10-16). Retrieved on 2017-10-14.
  5. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Vincennes, EHESS (in French).
  6. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  7. ^ Service Historique de la Défense. Accessed November 24, 2013.
  8. ^ "Jumelages". vincennes.fr (in French). Vincennes. Retrieved 2021-04-10.
  9. ^ "L'école primaire." Vincennes. Retrieved on September 3, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "Collège et lycée." Vincennes. Retrieved on September 3, 2016.
  11. ^ Time Magazine March 31, 1980