A hidden story: Villepreux!

So back in the swing of things on my blog for 2020 full of energy and travel plans. However, let me bring you back to my old domaine and tell you about an off the beaten path that is worth the detour for its architecture and history.

The town of  Villepreux is located in the department of Yvelines (78) in the Île-de-France region.The town is about 12 km west of Versailles, in the plain of Versailles in the extension of the perspective of the gardens of Versailles, as drawn by André Le Nôtre, practically in line with the perspective of the Grand Canal ( an axis which corresponds to the Royal Alley of Villepreux) even if this axis was somewhat forgotten after the French revolution of 1789 and the moving to Paris of the royal family.

We happened to know it very well as it is the town of my twin son former girlfriend a relationship of over 2 years which ended when we moved to Bretagne. They met at the private high school in Le Chesnay, just over the street from Versailles.

We went there always by car , taking the road D10 along the Orangerie of the Château de Versailles direction to Saint Cyr L’école and there take D11 passing Fontenay –le-Fleury to Villepreux.. However, my twin son has gone there by train in company several times. The Transilien train of line N from Paris Montparnasse passes by Versailles Chantiers station (which they took)  and onwards to Villepreux direction Mantes la Jolie stop Station or Gare de Villepreux-Les Clayes. More info on the train here: Official region of ile de France Transilien Line N

There is also a bus of network STAVO line 44 that goes from Versailles Rive Gauche RER train station in Versailles (closes to palace) direction Plaisir-Valibout and stop or arrêt Gare routiére des Clayes (bus terminal). More info on this alternative here (never taken by us). Bus network Stavo line 44 Versailles to Villepreux

A bit of history I like

If the first mention written on Villepreux dates back to a Charles-the-Bald charter dated 856 that does not exclude the existence of inhabitants before this time as attested by the discovery of a Merovingian cemetery at the top of the nursery from the Le Nôtre horticultural school, at the end of the 19C (now a vocational training center). From the 11C to 1789, Villepreux had 34 successive lords. Many of them link the history of the city to the big history of France. Too many to mention the 34 but it includes the Montmorency’s.

Some of the nice things to see here are

The Saint-Germain Church, from the 12C. The Château de Grand’Maisons. Built from 1720 for the Francini family, creators of the water fountain games at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Fontainebleau and Versailles; it was completed in the 19C .The Château de Gondi..From the old 17C castle that belonged to the Gondi family, only the gate and an entrance pavilion Mansart remain. It was rebuilt in 1885 by Georges Nagelmackers, director of the Compagnie internationale des wagons-couches..( https://www.newrest.eu/en/who-we-are/our-history/) . La ferme de Grand’Maisons (farm). Today it is a center for seminars. And the Saint-Vincent house, Located in the old village, former corbelled and half-timbered house, it was the second house of the Daughters of Charity, founded by Saint Vincent de Paul and is today a place of exhibitions, animations and meetings.

villepreux

For the anecdote, the house we visited was near the Château de Grand’Maisons. The city page on its history in French is here City of Villepreux on heritage

Like I said a souvenir spot for us, with great architecture and history as the walls of the farm are the back of the old domaine du Château de Versailles reduce greatly after the French revolution to the grounds you see today.  Worth an off the beaten path detour from Versailles.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

One Comment to “A hidden story: Villepreux!”

  1. Good memories, good advice!

    Liked by 1 person

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