The region of Île de France!!

The region of Île-de-France, also known as the Parisian region and representing 19% of the French population. The region is bordered by the régions of Hauts-de-France, to the north, Grand Est,to the east, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, to the southeast, Centre-Val de Loire,to the southwest, and Normandie,to the west. It includes 8 departments such as Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Paris, Seine-Saint-Denis, Seine-et-Marne, Val-de-Marne, Val-d’Oise, and the Yvelines (my old department home).

A bit of history I like and on the region where I first made my footprints in France and still very much attached to. The Royal domaine was created after the 10C by the Capetians kings, and even if it is in firm land the name of île de France or island of France was given as the land surrounded by rivers such as the Oise, Marne, and the Seine. Another story on it is that the name is an alteration of the Frankish word of Liddle Franke, meaning Little France in French. Under the monarchy it was a French province, with an administration directly under the King of France.

Just until the monarchy ended, this province was covering up to the north and northeast comprising the Soissonnais and Laonnois areas now in the Aisne dept 02; as well as the Beauvaisis and Valois now in the Oise (Picardie dept 60), but less extensive to the east excluding the Brie Champeonoise around Meaux that stays attached to Champagne. To the south the limits were the same as today including the Gâtinais, while to the west at the limit with Normandy stayed the same along the limit of the Epte river.

Following the revolution it was divided into five departments such as Seine, Seine-et-Oise, Seine-et-Marne, Oise, and Aisne. The government change this in 1956 and called the Région Parisienne and covering the departments of Seine, Seine-et-Marne, and Seine-et-Oise that were under the authority of the France under the regime of Vichy from 1941 , and the important department of Seine was given the No 75 and became Paris. Creating as well 3 other departments in and around Paris including 80 towns of the ex Seine and 43 towns of the ex Seine-et-Oise that all became part of the small crown aroundn Paris or the petite couronne. These were Paris city as 75, Hauts-de-Seine as 92, Seine-Saint-Denis as 93 and Val-de-Marne as 94. The biggest part’ of the ex Seine-et-Oise became no 78 Yvelines ! while Seine-et-Marne remained the same. So, you have Val-d’Oise as 95 , Essonne as 91, and the before mentioned Yvelines. This new administrative structure came to be the Île-de-France in 1976.

As far as transport well, this is the main of France or the French main or whatever you want, this is it. All comes and go from Paris. France is a National government.

In 1969, the first RER trains express regional were born with the line Nation to Boissy-Saint-Léger,completely electrified. In 1977, you could cross Paris with the RER A linking Auber with Châtelet – Les Halles. At the same time as the line serving the valley of Chevreuse to the southeast of Hauts-de-Seine was extended to the new hub at Les Halles and became the RER B. The RER C connecting the network in the suburbs from the gare des Invalides and gare d’Austerlitz from 1979, and later to the valley of Montmorency in 1988. Again the RER D line connecting the network out of the Gare de Lyon to les Halles , and the north of France in 1987; later the RER E done to relieve the congestion in the RER A but not totally done until at least 2020. In 1992, the tramways came back to Paris after leaving in 1937 with the line T1 northeast of the city covering La Défense. Then, the T2 to the east and the T4 on the north east. On the boulevards des Maréchaux and the boulevard périphérique you have the T3 and eventually the lines T3a and T3b.

In all we have 16 lines of metro handle by RATP ,metro opened in 1900. The RER trains with five lines, A and B handle by the RATP and SNCF and lines C,D,E handle by the SNCF. The tramway has 10 lines, so 8 handle by the RATP and line T4 by the SNCF and line T11 by Keolis, first line in operation by 1992.

The Transilien train network or TER of the SNCF that has other than the lines RER and T4 tramway ;9 other train lines of the suburbs such as reaching rive droite in Versailles from Gare Saint Lazare for example. The bus has about 1500 lines with about 350 handle by the RATP and 1180 by Optile. There are, also, bike for rental such as Vélib network and electric car for rental such as Autolib.

The highway network is very intensive and dense, you need to be used to big city driving to do it, me no problems, got my driving license in NJ/NY border and been driving here since 1990. The network covered over 800 km of expressways and a dozen radial networks with the principal ones been the Autoroute du Soleil A6 (Dijon, Lyon, Marseille), A1 Nord (Lille), A13 Normandie (Rouen, Caen, Le Havre), and the east A4 (Reims, Metz, Nancy, Strasbourg), A10 Aquitaine and A11 Océane (Nantes, Bordeaux, Rennes) as well as the beltway types such as the A 86, and the Francilienne A/N104.

You have basically three airports such as the aéroport de Paris-Orly built during WWII, the aéroport de Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle built in 1974, and the aéroport de Beauvais-Tillé located about 70 kms from Paris porte Maillot serving low cost airlines. The city of Paris, also, has a heliport,located in the 15éme district or arrondissement south of the boulevard périphérique, at the limit of the city of Issy-les-Moulineaux, and therefore it’s name héliport de Paris – Issy-les-Moulineaux.

From the regional government page in French on transports :

the trains TER:


The airports are easy to get on google and see my other posts on Paris and île de France transportation options in my blog.

The history is link to beautiful wonderful buildings of different eras and styles to make this an unique piece of France. They are gothic architecture such as Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Basilique de Saint-Denis, abbaye de Royaumont, château de Vincennes, Church of Saint-Eustache, Conciergerie ,and the holy chapel or Sainte-Chapelle. Renaissance architecture we have the Château d’Écouen (Val d’Oise) done by Anne de Montmorency in the 16C. The city of Écouen has several of these from this time period and architecture. The Arc de triomphe de l’Étoile, and hôtel national des Invalides ,and the Château de Versailles, Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte,Château de Fontainebleau, and the Château de Rambouillet . The Basilica of Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre with a romano byzantine style of architecture . The great mosque of Paris with a hispano Mùdejar Arabic style; the great Synagogue of la Victoire in the flowery roman style. You have modern and contemporary architecture as well with the Centre Georges-Pompidou, Grande Arche de la Défense, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and on the new cities in teh suburbs such as Marne-la-Vallée(Disneyland), Cergy-Pontoise ,Évry, Melun-Sénart, and Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. These are some of the better known, there is a lot more.

The region also, has 8 cities name as cities of Art and History such as Paris, Boulogne-Billancourt, Etampes, Rambouillet, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Pontoise, Meaux(wife native town !) , and Noisiel. It, also, has four historical touristic routes such as those in Normandie-Vexin, the route François 1er , and the Impressioinists pathways. The region, has four Unesco sites as well such as the banks of the Seine river, Chateau and parc of Fontainebleau, Château and park of Versailles, and Provins and its medieval fairs/festival.

The regional government page on tourism in French here :

The main natural parks in French in the region here:

The official tourist page of the region in English:

The Paris tourist webpage in English here:

And of course the tourism page in English of my beloved Versailles a lot more than a castle !

The church of the Madeleine because so many times passed by it on way to work and ate in all the cafes/restos around it. And the wonderful Notre Dame marché/market with the name direction of hotel du cheval rouge ,the first hotel I stayed when visiting Versailles way back, and later came to lived not far from it. Enjoy it, I still do ::) Cheers!

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