Meudon

Meudon

Not very well known, the history of Meudon is nevertheless very interesting and linked to French royalty. From François Ist to Louis XV through the Sun King, Meudon underwent various evolutions, such as the construction of castles, its famous terrace but also huge parks. Other characters stand out like Madame de Pompadour or Napoleon Bonaparte. The latter was notably at the origin of the construction of one of the castles of Meudon. Beyond this period, other distinguished personalities such as Wagner settled in Meudon and left the imprint of their passage. Various constructions make Meudon well-known, such as the Wagner house inspired by one of his works, the orphanage Saint Philippe, the Brilliant City. Composed of 6 districts, the city is divided between forest and urban area. Meudon is full of wonders to be discovered, allowing you to discover a charming, bucolic and charming landscape full of much sought-after luxury goods.

 
The name of Meudon has evolved a lot since Roman times: Meclodunum, Milidonem, Moldon and Meodum in the 12th century, Moldunum then Meudo, Meudonum, Meudun, Modun, Meuduno, Moudon and Meudon in the 13th century. At that time, there were at least two large lordships, one belonging to the lords of Meudon, the other to the abbey of St Germain which, in the course of time, enlarged its seigneury and bought back the seigniorial rights of certain neighboring fiefdoms. Anne de Pisseleu, mistress of François I became owner of the land and the castle in 1539 and lived there from 1527 to 1552 before selling the manor to Charles de Guise who enlarged it with a series of pavilions and fountains nicknamed " the Cave ". In 1550, " the Cave " became a large house that belonged to the king's surgeon, Ambroise Paré. At that time, the cure was given to Rabelais, and Meudon was populated by launderers, glassworkers and winegrowers, just like the surrounding towns.

The Superintendent of Finances, Abel Servien bought the estate in 1654 and built a large terrace in Meudon and developed the forest of Meudon. Then, Louis XIV bought the estate and the Dauphin had a second castle built there, the Château Neuf, on the site of the Cave , which had fallen out of fashion and was therefore destroyed. The castle then returned to the Regent's daughter and, in 1726, Louis XV attached the estate to the crown. However, he gradually preferred the castle of Belle-vue, which he had built in 1748 for Madame de Pompadour. Louis XVI and his wife Marie-Antoinette lost the little dolphin in Meudon itself, in the Château-Neuf, which died on June 4, 1789, one month before the storming of the Bastille. The castles were abandoned at the time of the Revolution and fell victim to a fire in 1795, because the old castle was used as an artillery test area. In 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the destruction of the old castle, and the astronomer Jules Janssen established an observatory in the other one. However, the Bonaparte family occupied the Château-Neuf during the 19th century: Marie-Louise during the Russian expedition, then Princes Jérôme and Jérôme-Napoléon during the Second Empire. In the midst of a fire on January 31, 1871, the astronomer Jules Janssen established an observatory in 1875, modifying very significantly what remained of the castle; the observatory of Meudon was merged with that of Paris in 1927.

The Industrial Revolution then brings to Meudon, a first station thanks to the railway line linking Paris-Orsay to Versailles, in 1840; then, the Val Fleury viaduct is built. On May 8, 1842, a railway disaster took place in Meudon, in which Jules Dumont d'Urville died. It is the first in France and one of the first in the world. Louis-Philippe made the Château-Neuf available to care for the survivors. Later, a new railway line was built at the Bellevue funicular and Bas Meudon stops. In the 19th century, the peasant farms were replaced by limestone quarries, by the aeronautical industry with the current Hangar Y, and by the Paris-Meudon observatory. An industrial town, Meudon is also a beloved city for artists: it is home to the composer Wagner, the writer Céline and the painter Jean Arp. Finally, following the Algerian war, migration became increasingly dense, which led to the creation of Meudon-la-Forêt, which houses many housing units to absorb the numerous arrivals of population. Today, Meudon is a pleasant city that retains a trace of its agricultural past through its many green spaces.

The city is divided into two large districts;
- Meudon-la-Forêt, divided into Meudon-la-Forêt and Forêt domaniale
- Meudon Centre divided into Bellevue, Bas-Meudon, Le Centre, and Val Fleury

Meudon-la-Forêt

Originally, this space was a forest, wooded by Abel Servien, which was reduced in 1960 by the construction of social housing to accommodate the black feet repatriated from Algeria. This space was also the place of scientific experiments, in particular with the Hangar Y which gave birth to the flight of captive balloons and airships, but also to cinematographic works because it was the setting of several scenes of the film "A long engagement Sunday". Nevertheless, the district preserves its agricultural past with its plains and its greenery

Bellevue

Originally, this area was home to a convent, then Louis XV built the castle he intended for Madame de Pompadour. Later, in 1846, Louis Désiré Fleury built a hotel that would become the Grand Hôtel de Bellevue. Parisians enjoy strolling on the Bellevue funicular that leads to the forest. Artists enjoyed it, like Wagner who moved to the present 27 avenue of the castle, while architects enjoyed it, like André Bloc who, much later, designed the house-studio. This neighborhood became the main site of industrialization in Meudon, particularly with the construction of the railway line that gave birth to the Bellevue station, the first station in Meudon. This industrialization is characterized by the houses of the architect Prouvé, who built wooden and metal houses to accommodate the workers. Today, the Bellevue district is surrounded by green spaces. Its proximity to the forest has led to the construction of many houses and low-rise buildings that stand alongside the city's most beautiful properties .

Wagner House: built in 1841, the composer Richard Wagner lived here for 27 years. The new owners designed the decoration of the house as a tribute to him, based on the theme he composed in Meudon, the Phantom Ship.

André Bloc studio houses: built in 1949, these houses are characterized by their originality, making them resemble sculptures.

Meudon sur Seine (formerly Bas-Meudon)

This district welcomed fishermen, coalmen and glassmakers but also Parisians who enjoyed strolling around the guinguettes. The Renault Factories, facing the Ile Seguin, and Chausson accentuate the popular side of the neighborhood, which today seduces by its proximity to the Seine and its small pavilions. Chalk quarry : in the 18th century there was a craft exploitation which evolved with the industrial revolution before ending in 1973 to be replaced by mushroom beds.

Center - town

The city center retains traces of its origin, that of a small village. Like most villages, Meudon developed around the parish of Saint Martin, built in the 13th century. The church is today classified as a historical monument. The town center also hosted the Grand Dauphin's vegetable garden, in 1681, which was located on his place of residence. This marks the royal past of Meudon and its historical heritage. Today, when you head towards the Park of the Observatory, the small pavilions that make it up give the appearance of a country town to this very lively city center.

Square Rabelais: this park bears his name because of the bust it contains, that of François Rabelais, parish priest of Meudon in 1550, and inaugurated in 1887. In 1996, the bust was reformed and the park was equipped with a fountain and green spaces, making the city center all the more picturesque.

Val Fleury

This neighborhood is home to the Val Fleury viaduct (known as the "Pont Hélène") built in 1840, which is 37 meters high, and the second Meudon railway line, built in 1889 for the World's Fair. Today, this district is home to beautiful houses, green spaces and many walkers in fine weather...

Villa des Brillants : Rodin's house in 1893, this villa keeps the traces of its former owner with its basin decorations, its stone benches and statues as well as its mouldings.

Saint Philippe Orphanage : founded by Marie-Brignole de Galliera at the beginning of the 19th century, this orphanage was also a hospice, then became a military hospital during the World Wars, before becoming a horticulture school. The current buildings date from 1885