The arts in Ville d’Avray!!

Let me bring you back to my old hangout corners in the Paris area and update for you and e the arts in Ville d’Avray. I had found some pictures of the  nice town and would  love to tell you the artsy story of 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.  As often the case with so much to see sometimes is the visitor who push you to go beyond the resident/citizen role and finding new places. My alma mater alumni director from FL USA was coming to meet me and she stayed in the hotel in the town so i needed 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 was 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.  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. Go figure all this mixing of towns supposely for economies of scale but, they arctually bring more charges,,,,believe me !  You get there easy by car from Versailles and Paris. I have come here the two main routes are the D 407 which links Garches to Sèvres by crossing the town 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 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. Picture below my on street parking to hotel.


By public transports is more complicated. 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) ,and La Défense/La Verrière. (line U) departing from Gare de Sèvres Rive-Gauche , and (line N) from Paris- Montparnasse / Versailles – Chantiers. I have done it by car always here, so no experience with public transports that you can read online.

Some nice things to see here ,me think, are :

In the town 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 ,entrance by rue de Sèvres and avenue Gambetta open 7h – 20h ; and Parc du Château :7h15 – 20h.

Les Etangs de Corot (tops worth the detour) : 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. . 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, castle gone) 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. 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 Les Etang de Corot,there now which made me come to know this  town webpage:


ville-d-avray-corot-2007The 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 wonderland for the nature lover in all of us. The Hauts de Seine dept 92 tourist office on the forest :

The National office of Forests of France on the Fausses Reposes forest

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 Catholic Parish of Ville d’Avray

The château de Ville d’Avray. Built in 1776 by Baron Marc-Antoine Thierry, Louis XVI’s first valet. In 1854, Paul Cocteau, ascendant of Jean Cocteau, became the owner. During WWI, the castle will be converted into a military hospital and occupied by Nazis troops during  WWiI. The Hauts de Seine dept 92 tourist office on the castle:

An anecdote on the town of Ville d’Avray:  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 VianLe Loup-garou, lives on rue de Versailles, just before the côte de Picardie hill. And the movie of Les Dimanches de Ville-d’Avray, a film directed by Serge Bourguignon (1962), Oscar 1963 for best foreign film!

The town of Ville d’Avray and its heritage

The town of Ville d’Avray on the ponds of  Corot, splendid site:

There you go folks, 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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