Ville d’Avray!!

Ok so lets bring you back up to the Paris region and my old hunting ground as in living. Again, there is so much material to write on my belle France and lucky enough to have traveled thru these places. I found some photos on a nice town and would like to tell you more about it.

This is Ville d’Avray in Hauts de Seine dept 92 in the region of ïle de France; and I was here way back by chance. Let me tell you a bit about it ok

As often the case with so much to see sometimes is the visitor who push you to go beyond the resident/citizen role and find new places. My alma mater alumni director from FL USA was coming to meet me and she stays in the hotel in the town so i need to go meet her, lunch and take her out into Paris and the Paris Air Show! And this is how I step in into historically known Ville d’Avray , even if it is just a step away from my Versailles!!!

Ville-d’Avray has as neighboring towns the Sèvres, Marnes-la-Coquette, Saint-Cloud, Chaville, Viroflay, and Versailles. Viroflay is only accessible by the paths of the Fausses-Reposes forest (no road). The village or town is now part of the   Grand Paris Seine Ouest born on January 1, 2010, from the merger of the two agglomeration communities, Arc-de-Seine and Val de Seine, grouping the towns of Boulogne-Billancourt, Chaville, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Meudon, Sèvres , Vanves and Ville-d’Avray.

You get there easy by car from Versailles and Paris and a bit more complicated on public transports as there are always works on the lines. Normally, these are By train, the stop is at gare de Sèvres / Ville-d’Avray, the line linking here is from Paris gare   Saint-Lazare /La Défense/Versailles rive-droite (line L my station but never taken here) ,and La Défense/La Verrière. The La Verrière on line U departing from Gare de Sèvres Rive-Gauche , and line N from Paris- Montparnasse / Versailles – Chantiers.

The special electric mini bus Dagobus allows you to go to Garches train station and return to Sèvres – Ville-d’Avray train station. It’s a free shuttle also connects the Sèvres / Ville-d’Avray train station at the end of the rue de Versailles. The new line 526 electric line circulates on the territory of Grand Paris Seine Ouest to ensure new connections between Ville-d’Avray, the Monesse district in Sèvres and the center of Marnes-la-Coquette. Ville-d’Avray is served by the bus lines of the GPSO (Grand Paris Seine Ouest) and Phébus network (Versailles). The bus line 426 (Pont de Sèvres / La Celle Saint-Cloud); line 471 (Saint-Cloud Les Coteaux / Versailles Gare SNCF Rive droite); line 469 (Porte des Hauts-de-Seine / Chaville Station Right bank); line 526 100% electric (Marnes-la-Coquette, Sèvres and Ville-d´Avray.

By the road, the way I have come here the two main routes are the D 407 which links Garches to Sèvres by crossing the town in a north-west to east direction via the rue de Marnes and rue de Sèvres and the D 985 road (my route) which connects Versailles to Suresnes by crossing the town in the south-west to north via the forest of Fausses-Reposes. Parking in town is reduce and street parking hard to find, but the best known ones are the Parking La Fontaine du Roy located under the college of same name but accessible by the rue de Saint-Cloud. Open every day, Sunday and public holidays, 24 hours a day – Doors closed at night from 20h30 to 8h. Also nice parking at Place Charles de Gaulle. The town is about 10 minutes from Pont de Sèvres or Pont de Saint-Cloud by car.

ville d avray

In the village of Ville d’Avray is the Fontaine du Roy, the waters of which were reputed to be the best around Paris, and which king Louis XVI reserved for his particular use. In 1815, General Piré in concert with General Exelmans fought the Prussians there. Nice parks to stroll and very nice in quiet peaceful Ville d’Avray are Parc de Lesser doors at rue de Sèvres and avenue Gambetta open 7h – 20h ; and Parc du Château :7h15 – 20h.

Some other nice things to see here are

Les Etangs de Corot (tops) : The old pond was created at the end of the Middle Ages by the lords to serve as a fishing reserve. It belonged for a long time to the Célestins de Paris, lords of Ville-d’Avray, who sold the fish to Parisian merchants. It used to be called “the pond of Célestins”. In 1680, Louis XIV’s brother Philippe Duke of Orléans decided to build a new pond to meet the water supply needs of the Château de Saint-Cloud (now gardens) and its park. It is to him that we owe the creation of the Etang Neuf or new pond , and its dike around 1690, and of the underground aqueduct which connects it to the park of Saint-Cloud passing through the Etang de la Ronce and the Fontaine du Roy. The ponds are fed by channels collecting rainwater from the nearby forest and by an aqueduct draining groundwater. This aqueduct is extended by the great channel of Ville-d’Avray which winds through the open air through the properties, upstream from the Vieil étang or old pond. This privileged site was long frequented by Jean-Baptiste Camille  Corot who had his country house nearby and left many paintings, visible in museums around the world. This is why we often speak of “Corot ponds”. The Old Pond has an area of more than one hectare and a depth of 3 meters. It is the wildest and the most attractive. The new pond, more than 3 centuries old, has an area of 3 hectares and a depth of 5 meters. Its banks have been replanted since the storm of 1999 thanks to the Ville-d’Avray Fishing Society. This place for walking is easily accessible to pedestrians since the creation of the mall passage in 1986 which connects the ponds to the center of the city and crosses the former property of Jean Baptiste Camille Corot. The property hotel there now which made me come to know this village is here in English:Etangs Corot property

ville d avray

ville d avray

The Forêt de Fausses-Reposes or false forest remains of the ancient Rouvray massif, this forest belonged to the Célestins order from the end of the Middle Ages. This wood evokes royal hunts and hikes. King Henri IV’s hunting ground, it became lordship property, integrated into the royal domain in the 18C and today retains the structure of its facilities, with its straight roads and its star crossroads. It is planted mainly with chestnut trees. It covers 624 hectares, and includes 8.5 km of forest roads, 8 km of footpaths, 2 sports trails, as well as a playground. A bit more on it in French here: Tourist office dept 92 Hauts de Seine on the Foret Fausses Reposes

The Church of Ville-d’Avray is the primitive church of the village, which undoubtedly dates from the 12C, stood at the top of the hill of the Monastery, at the top of the village, on the hillside, along what is today rue Grange-Fontenelle. It was an imposing church if one refers to the painting of Pau de Saint-Martin by the end of the 18C,now property of the Musée de Ville-d’Avray, and which constitutes one of the rare documents known to this church. , already dedicated to Saint Nicholas.. Very dilapidated in 1788, it was demolished in 1791 after the construction by Baron Thierry of the present church. The first stone was laid on July 11, 1789 in the presence of Marc-Antoine Thierry who financed the work thanks to the funds granted by the King. The Saint-Nicolas Church became the Saint Nicolas Saint-Marc Church, patronym of the Baron. in a neoclassical style, it is one of the few churches built in France during the French revolution. The interior was decorated in the 19C by artists staying in Ville-d’Avray such as frescoes by Corot, statues by Pradier etc. The parish of Ville d’Avray on the church in French: Parish webpage of the Church of Ville d’Avray

Some anecdotes of the town of Ville d’Avray are

In Vercoquin et le Plankton, the residence of the hero created by Boris Vian, in which the absurd and crazy parties from the young author’s revolt take place, is in “Ville-d’Avrile”, an obvious nod to Ville -d’Avray, in which the author has resided for many years. The participants in these “Viannesque” orgies also arrive by train from Versailles. The hero of a new eponym of Boris Vian, Le Loup-garou, lives on rue de Versailles, just before the côte de Picardie hill. And the movies with Les Dimanches de Ville-d’Avray, a film directed by Serge Bourguignon (1962), Oscar 1963 for best foreign film!

The city of Ville d’Avray on its history in French: The city of Ville d’Avray on its history

The tourist office of dept 92 Hauts de Seine on the Etangs de Corot in French: Tourist office dept 92 Hauts de Seine on Etangs Corot

And there you go another dandy in my belle France and very near Paris on a off the beaten path per se, hope you enjoy it as I have souvenirs of the Ville d’Avray.

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

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