La Verriére and Vélizy-Villacoublay!!

So here I am caught up in nostalgia, not big tourist attractions but more of the every day life of a family in France . We tend to deal with glorious spots on travels and many times forget what we have at home. Well , my home back then was Versailles... not a shabby place ,but around it were many towns of little tourist attractions that were very memorable for our family. Therefore, I like to mention for the record in my blog the towns of La Verriére and Vélizy-Villacoublay.

La Verrière is located in the Yvelines department 78 in the Île-de-France region. The town is located 26 km from Paris. The neighboring towns are Élancourt to the northeast, Le Mesnil-Saint-Denis to the southeast, Coignières to the west and Maurepas to the northwest.

The town of La Verriére area is bordered to the north by national road N10 (which becomes the A10) and to the east by departmental road D58 which leads, to the north, to Élancourt and, to the south, to Mesnil-Saint-Denis and Dampierre-en-Yvelines. The departmental road D13 crosses the western part of the town leading, towards the north then the northwest, to Montfort-l’Amaury and, towards the south, also to Mesnil-Saint-Denis then to Chevreuse. La Verrière is part of the arrondissement or district of Rambouillet in the Yvelines. This district also includes Chevreuse, Maurepas, Montfort l’Amaury, Saint Arnoult en Yvelines and Rambouillet.

The bus network is by sqybus or Saint Quentin en Yvelines, never taken bus here. There is the webpage and shows a pdf file with the lines passing by La Verrière. SQYBUS here: https://www.sqybus.fr/plans-reseau

The town has its own train station called La Verrière. The station is served by line N Rambouillet – Paris Montparnasse and by line U La Verrière – La Défense. This line U is the one my oldest son took to go to college from Versailles Chantiers. The line is here from the transilien regional transports site: https://www.transilien.com/lignes/rer-trains/ligne-U

A bit of history I like

The land on which the town of La Verriére is located belonged to the lords of La Verrière, also owners of a castle which dates from 1507. The parish of La Verrière was created in 1739 by the merger of three hamlets, La Petite-Verrière, Grande- Verrière and l’Agiot, detached the same year from the parish of Mesnil-Saint-Denis at the request of the lord of the time, Jacques Cordier de Launay, advisor to the king and treasurer general of wars. Became a town during the French revolution, it remained during the 19C a small village, although its location on the main road from Paris to Chartres (the current RN10) encouraged migrants to settle there.

The one thing to see from a tourist point of view even if it is not visited at least you don’t want to go there…is the Château de la Verriére. Today owned by the Mutual General of National Education (MGEN), the castle of La Verrière and its magnificent park are also witnesses of history. From 26 hectares at the start, the estate expanded to reach 838 hectares in 1830. In 1920, Mr. Moulton, a wealthy American, bought the place. When he died in 1951, his heirs resold it to the MGEN, which restored the site of 174 hectares, and transformed it into a psychiatric center at the end of the 1950s. A garden with a superb alley, symmetries and elegance , the castle grounds constitute a precious historical heritage. It is said without a doubt   owed to André Le Nôtre, the gardener of Louis XIV, also behind the Tuileries, Luxembourg, Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles gardens.

The town of La Verriére on its heritage in French: city of la Verriere on its heritage

However, what I did came here was because my oldest son spent time for his Hotelerie/Restaurant degree at the CFA AFFIDA of La Verriére. And of course, time to have some lunches here spending it with him. The school is at 4 rue Louis Lormand ,from the back you can come straight from the train station just crossing the track on a pedestrian lane. The school gave him the Baccalauréat Professionnel Métiers du Commerce et de la Vente or sort of a pro commercial sales degree ,which wen well with his resto/hotel degree. Since 1997, the CFA AFFIDA L’Ecole Commerciale offers apprenticeship candidates (work-study contracts) and professional training contracts a quality training offer, from CAP to Bachelor (in partnership with CNAM) for the trades Commerce, Sales, Management and Management. Their webpage in French is here: CFA AFFIDA school of Commerce La Verriere

La Verriere

The town of Vélizy-Villacoublay  is located in the department of Yvelines 78 in the Île-de-France region, Since January 1, 2016, it is part of Versailles Grand Parc (VGP), a French intermunicipal structure located in the departments of Yvelines and Essonne (91), in the Île- de-France. The town is located 15 km from Paris and 3.5 km from Versailles. Vélizy-Villacoublay is about 15 minutes by car via the N 118. The town is served by the A86, the RN 118 and the RN 12 roads. From by 2021, the town should be served by a new A 86 interchange at Vélizy 2 shopping center.

The town of Vélizy-Villacoublay is served by: RER C trains at Chaville – Vélizy station, in the town of Viroflay; Tramway T6, with 7 stations in the town; the Phébus bus network organized by Île-de-France Mobilités and operated by the Keolis Vélizy group for the Vélizy-Villacoublay buslines.

A bit of history I like

Formerly Vélizy was only a simple hamlet in the village of Ursine, a village which was in the middle of the woods. Ursine, or Ursines, was erected as a parish in the 13C. The territory was made up of three distinct lordships, Vélizy, Villacoublay and Ursine, mentioned from the 11C, which, in the Middle Ages, were the properties of the Hôtel-Dieu de Notre Dame de Paris. It was then the Louvois family, already the owners of the lordships of Chaville and Meudon, who gradually acquired these territories. In 1674, when Louvois had bought the lordship of Chaville, he had the church, which was at Versailles, transported to Vélizy with the ok of the Pope. The Ursine traffic circle is the memory of the village at the origin of Vélizy-Villacoublay. These domains gradually entered the royal domain from the 17C and at the end of the 18C for that of Vélizy.

It was at Vélizy, on July 1, 1815, that General Exelmans, at the head of the dragons, knocked down two regiments of Prussian hussars which he drove to Rocquencourt, where they were completely destroyed by detachments of the French army. . Following these combats, the national guards of the country having taken up arms and shot at the Prussian horsemen, the next day the Prussian troops, in reprisals, almost completely burned the village and pillaged it, which gave it the nickname of Little Moscow. In 1937 , the aerodrome of Villacoublay has become so important at the international level that the town council of Vélizy decides, on May 29, 1937, that the name of Villacoublay should be joined to that of Vélizy and that the town takes the name of Vélizy-Villacoublay. On July 18, 1937, the “Fête de l’air” or air show took place, a large air meeting that foreshadowed the Paris Air Show after WWII. Today it hold an important French air force station with duties of protecting Paris and the Palais de l’Elysées home of the President of the French Republic. The town does not contain any building or object listed in the general inventory of the cultural heritage of France.

The city of Vélizy-Villacoublay on its heritage in French: City of Vélizy Villacoublay on its heritage

What we came here and know the town was for shopping from our beloved Versailles. The Velizy II or now Westfield Velizy 2 has 156 stores which are favorites were Auchan, Boulanger, C&A, Comtesse du Barry, FNAC, H&M ,Jeff de Bruges,Lacoste, Louis Pion, Micromania, Montre Service, Orange, Pharmacie du Centre, Printemps, UGC Cinemas, Yves Rocher, and restaurant Big Fernand, Brioche Dorée, Burger King, Old Wild West, and Paul. However, our favorite was El Rancho now gone. The shopping center is at 2 Avenue de l’Europe and you can get there as we did by car from the palace/museum on avenue de Paris go up towards rue des Etats Generaux direction gare de Chantiers becoming rue des Chantiers, same road name Rue du Pont Colbert and get on the road N12 direction Meudon to become the A86 exit/sortie 4.1 ZA Villacoublay to get on the road N118 direction Paris; take exit/sortie 3, just follow the signs to Centre Comercial Vélizy II.

And as usual, our main stop there was El Rancho tex mex restaurant who also had a branch in Versailles by the rive gauche château station,(in Versailles they went out  of business first and then Vélizy). We had some fun family times there and remember it well, just for the memories that will never go away, this post is dedicated to all families.

velizy villacoublay

The official Westfiel Vélizy II shopping center in French: Westfield Velizy 2 shopping center

Info on Vélizy for the CC Vélizy II in French: Velizy info on the Velizy 2 shopping center

Hope you enjoy this most personal post and family values which we need more than ever today. We are kept together by these memories first with my mother Gladys and then with my dear wife Martine. La Verriére and Vélizy-Villacoublay are two precious spot in our world.

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

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