Region of ancient settlement, where the Neolithic left of many megaliths, still in place or transported to the Museum of Saint-Germain. The Romans have subsequently left their mark, particularly by channels of communication: the current 186 borrows yet in part the route of the "via nova", which connected Paris to Rouen.

In the middle ages, this territory was directly concerned, by the institution progressive royal power over the île de France, right-of-way which is marked by the construction of castles built for or against the King of France: after the Marly Montjoie, which will inspire the royal war cry, it was Conflans, Beynes, Montfort-L'amaury, Houdan, Chevreuse. Saint Louis, born in Poissy, often resided at Saint-Germain, which he built the Sainte-Chapelle. The region was directly affected by the hundred years war: Du Guesclin resumed Meulan in 1364 and Dunois fought at Poissy in 1436. Region, too, monastic settlements, of which we find traces in Vaux-de-Cernay.

Peace returned, the region remained Royal residence, in particular with the Château de Saint-Germain where the monarchy stayed regularly after his return from the val de Loire. François Ier died at Rambouillet in 1547. The wars of Religion also manifested on our territory, in particular by the vain Colloquy of Poissy. Another royal castle built at Saint-Léger-en - Yvelines.La presence of many forests there attracted Kings, all hunters, and the Château de Saint-Germain, doubled by Henri IV, became the residence of the monarchy until the middle of the reign of Louis XIV, while Ministers were build other residences (houses).

In the dark days of the Fronde, the Royal family, twice, forced to flee to Saint-Germain. But an appointment of Louis XIII hunting during the second half of the 17th century, little by little birth give the royal castle by excellence, Versailles, where Louis XIV moved the Court in 1682: Royal city which became, for a century, the capital of the France. The King of England dethroned moved to Saint-Germain; Louis XIV had built Marly for his privileged; Princes and Ministers did arise from many fields; Mme de Maintenon at Saint-Cyr founded a large House of education. And it is in our region that fought the most religious grandeaventure. literary also. century, pushed almost to the point of martyrdom: Port-Royal-des-Champs.

The monarchical presence was maintained here throughout the 18th century, where Louis XV had built Saint-Hubert, while Mme de Pompadour lived in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, and where Louis XVI acquired Rambouillet.Le October 6, 1789, the monarchy left Versailles, and the great political our region, where we can hardly point out that the creation, at Saint-Germain, boarding house of Mme Campannursery of leading ladies, or even stays of Napoleon at Trianon. In 1815, general Exelmans won the last victory of the Empire in Rocquencourt.

Our region was the first to see the railway, which reached Le Pecq in 1837, then Versailles by two routes. The new communication routes favoured the construction and wood of le Vésinet, loti, became a model residential city, while Park was irretrievably sacked. Thanks to the railway also, Parisians discovered the banks of the Seine; Argenteuil, Chatou, Bougival, Medan, welcomed impressionists and writers. In 1870, it was the invasion, and many battles took place on our soil. The Prussian general staff moved to Saint-Germain and is in the Hall of mirrors at Versailles that was proclaimed the German empire.

New french Government had, before the Commune, withdrawing him into the Royal City, and it is there that after his departure, were, until 1954, elected sixteen presidents of the Republic, which many stayed in Rambouillet.temoin heroic times of aviation (Buc, Villacoublay), our region lives ended the first world war by the Treaty of Versailles, Saint-Germain and Trianon. Between the wars was a great industrial development (Poissy) and residential.The region was hit by the German occupation of 1940-1944 (Rommel had his headquarters at le Vésinet, then to La Roche-Guyon) and by Allied bombing that ravaged Mantes or Poissy. Economic recovery was slow and manifested by industrial settlements (Flins) and a rather untidy residential construction. Some municipalities (Fontenay-le-Fleury, Villepreuxl, La Celle-Saint-Cloud) was a spectacular expansion.

One of the first "estates" was built in Marly (main land) and fairly harmonious residences appeared in Louveciennes. Subsequently, the creation of the new town of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines strove to polarize the phenomenon.The Yvelines Department was born in 1964 and received full powers in 1982. He led an important action, especially in the cultural field.


Geologically, the Department of Yvelines, as throughout the Ile-de-France, consists of alternating layers of sand and limestone, more or less mixed clay. Sands are kept in a large number of locations, while also reappears the calcareous layer. The banks of the Seine are a land of alluvial deposits. These various actions determined the relief of the Department, including a series of trays to an average altitude of 150 metres in which the rivers dug their beds to reach the Seine, to the North (Mauldre), to the West by the intermediary of the Eure (Vesgre) or East (Yvette).

You can delimit, in this Department, from North to South, six natural regions: Valley of the Poissy Seine at Port-Villez, area of vegetable crops and livestock, quarrying of sand and chalk, but whose place of passage vocation has favored residence and industrial implantation; the outskirts of Paris which, Vélizy Houilles and Maisons-Laffitte through Versailles and Saint-Germain, tends to become a huge conurbation, the crops of Chambourcy or Montesson disappearing little by little; the Drouais, bocage country, pasture and Woods; the plain of Versailles, in the center of the Department, region of crops (cereals, maize), but also fruits and vegetables, while patches of sandstone and sand support forests (Marly, Beynes); the region itself Yvelines (Rambouillet, Chevreuse, Saint-Arnoult, Gambais), area of great culture, but also for breeding as well as forests, very residential area; the Beauce Finally, the Yvelines have, Ablis autour, a small part (about 10 000 hectares), plain flat where cereals reach outstanding performance.

Nature is never reports by its relief, and the man's hand is almost everywhere presents through the channels of communication, the habitat and, in some areas, the industry. But the landscape is still lively and often taking with two main elements: streams and forests. For the former, it is firstly the Seine, which crosses the northern part of the Department, describing large meanders caused by the weakness of the slope, and the banks still offer places of the natural aspects, for example in the West, where they line of chalk cliffs. But the river receives, here or elsewhere, amount of tributaries born on the floor of the Yvelines: Mauldre, Yvette, barley, Vixen, Drouette, Vesgre, Vaucouleurs including the banks, despite the proliferation of homes, still views field.

In the field of water, we can still mention ponds, natural or artificial, passing little by little the State of wild mares to sophisticated water parts. As forests, they are a wealth of the Department, be they state-owned (Germain, Marly, Rambouillet, Dourdan) or private (700 000 hectares in all, a quarter of the surface of the Department). It is the area of oak, chestnut and in lesser quantities, birch, beech, charm, but conifers are a most important part.


The growth of villages, the importance of religious communities, the presence of the Court and its satellites have endowed the region of an impressive monumental adornment, which it may be noted that the heads of section. In the middle ages we must not only fortresses, cited, but countless churches, where the novel is quickly supplanted by a Gothic village, modest but still elegant: Poissy, Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines, Maisons-Laffitte, Chatou, Bougival, Triel, Mézières-sur-Seine are some of the different aspects, while the Sainte-Chapelle of the Château de Saint-Germain, recalls the memory of the Capetians and the Collegiate Church of Mantes rises proportions and harmony of a cathedral.

And in religious architecture, medieval puts time to confess defeated and throws his last fire in Montfort-L'amaury, at Richebourg, Houdan, mixing gradually to new forms, while Renaissance already manifested itself in the castles of Saint-Germain, of Mesnuls, de Wideville, as at the cemetery of Montfort. It is still in Saint-Germain that opens the new series of the large homes of the first half of the 17th century, with the Château-Neuf, which we remain two pavilions, followed by Medan, houses and its cave, Rosny, Thoiry, Celle-les-Bordes La, Gambais, Breteuil, the nymphaeum of Wideville: architecture is singing the colors of brick, stone, slate now more residential aristocracy that stately service.

But this is Versailles, which is of course for the second half of the century, the great page not only architecture, but of all the arts that find their framework. And it is necessary, with Versailles, count its Orangery, stables, annexes its satellites (Trianon, Dampierre) and even citywide accompanying. It is still at Versailles that manifests itself, in our region, the Louis XV style, theatrical Cathedral or the flag french, more measured in the library, classicisant at the Opera, while the Interior of Rambouillet offers some of the finest woodwork of the time.

The neo-classicism of the time Louis XVI manifests itself in the dining room of houses, in the dairy of Rambouillet, in the nymphaeum of Chatou, to the Church of Port-Marly and still at Versailles, where the petit Trianon remains as the symbol of that era which flow to its loss through the fantasies of the hamlet by the Queen or the Desert de Retz. After the Revolution, the architecture of the region fell asleep for one hundred fifty years and. one can hardly cite for the 19th century as Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas Castle. But she awoke with Le Corbusier, author of the villa Savoye in Poissy, followed after the second world war by Dubuisson (seat of the C.S.F. at INRIA Rocquencourt), Wogensky (his home in Saint-Rémy-les-Chevreuse), Lourdin (Saint-Thibaut-de-Marly), Zehrfuss (factory Renault of Flins), functional, but rich architectures of invention and originality.

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