Saint-Germain-en-Laye (French: [sɛ̃.ʒɛʁmɛ̃.ɑ̃.lɛ] (listen)) is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris, 19.1 km (11.9 mi) from the centre of Paris.
Location (in red) within Paris inner and outer suburbs
|Intercommunality||CA Saint Germain Boucles Seine|
|• Mayor (2020–2026)||Arnaud Pericard|
|51.94 km2 (20.05 sq mi)|
|• Density||860/km2 (2,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||22–107 m (72–351 ft) |
(avg. 78 m or 256 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Inhabitants are called Saint-Germanois or Saint-Germinois. With its elegant tree-lined streets it is one of the more affluent suburbs of Paris, combining both high-end leisure spots and exclusive residential neighborhoods (see the Golden Triangle of the Yvelines).
Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a sub-prefecture of the department. Because it includes the National Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, it covers approximately 48 km2 (19 sq mi), making it the largest commune in the Yvelines. It occupies a large loop of the Seine. Saint-Germain-en-Laye lies at one of the western termini of Line A of the RER.
In 1688, James II, King of England and VII of Scotland, exiled himself to the city after being deposed from the throne in what has become known as the Glorious Revolution. He spent the remainder of his days there, and died on 16 September 1701.
Prior to the French Revolution in 1789, it had been a royal town and the Château de Saint-Germain the residence of numerous French monarchs. The old château was constructed in 1348 by King Charles V on the foundations of an old castle (château-fort) dating from 1238 in the time of Saint Louis. Francis I was responsible for its subsequent restoration. In 1862, Napoleon III set up the Musée des Antiquités Nationales in the erstwhile royal château. This museum has exhibits ranging from Paleolithic to Celtic times. The "Dame de Brassempouy" sculpted on a mammoth's ivory tusk around 23,000 years ago is the most famous exhibit in the museum.
Kings Henry IV and Louis XIII left their mark on the town. Louis XIV was born in the château (the city's coat of arms consequently shows a cradle and the date of his birth), and established Saint-Germain-en-Laye as his principal residence from 1661 to 1681. Louis XIV turned over the château to James VII & II of Scotland and England after his exile from Britain after the Glorious Revolution in 1688. James lived in the Château for 13 years, and his daughter Louisa Maria Stuart was born in exile here in 1692. James II is buried in the Church of Saint-Germain.
Saint-Germain-en-Laye is famous for its 2.4-kilometre (1.5 mi) long stone terrace built by André Le Nôtre from 1669 to 1673. The terrace provides a view over the valley of the Seine and, in the distance, Paris. During the French Revolution, the name was changed along with many other places whose names held connotations of religion or royalty. Temporarily, Saint-Germain-en-Laye became Montagne-du-Bon-Air. During his reign, Napoleon I established his cavalry officers training school in the Château-Vieux.
The Treaty of Saint-Germain was signed in 1919 and was applied on 16 July 1920. The treaty officially registered the breakup of the Habsburg empire, which recognized the independence of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (Yugoslavia).
The population data in the table and graph below refer to the commune of Saint-Germain-en-Laye proper, in its geography at the given years. The population of Fourqueux, absorbed in 2019, is not included.
|Source: EHESS and INSEE (2007-2017)|
Saint-Germain-en-Laye is connected to other communes by the Résalys bus network operated by Transdev Montesson-les-Rabeaux. Saint-Germain-en-Laye is served by Saint-Germain-en-Laye station on Paris RER line A.
Saint-Germain-en-Laye is also served by Achères–Grand-Cormier station on Paris RER line A and on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail line. This station is located in the middle of the Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, far from the urbanized part of the commune.
Saint-Germain-en-Laye has a proud footballing history. From 1904 to 1970, it was represented by Stade Saint-Germain, but following a 1970 merger with Paris FC, became Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). PSG are a top-flight football team who are the most successful team in France in terms of trophies.
There is one main sporting facility in Saint-Germain-en-Laye: the Stade Municipal Georges Lefèvre. It covers over 12 hectares and contains: – 5 football pitches – 3 stands – 1 athletic track – 22 tennis courts – 1 clubhouse – 1 multibeach terrain 
As of 2016[update] the schools in this commune had 20,581 students, with 7,300 of them living in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. There is a high ratio of overall students to town inhabitants. The municipal nursery and primary schools have 3,549 students. 1,026 students attend private schools in the commune. 522 students attend the Lycée International de Saint Germain-en-Laye nursery and primary divisions.
The Lycée International de Saint Germain-en-Laye, a public school, consistently ranks among France's top schools and is considered to be the country's best public international school. It includes 14 different language sections, including one for Japanese students, and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) lists that program in its group of European hoshuko (part-time Japanese educational programmes).
Other public high schools:
- Lycée Jeanne-d'Albret
- Lycée technologique Léonard-de-Vinci
- Lycée technologique Jean-Baptiste-Poquelin
- lycée agricole et horticole de Saint-Germain-Chambourcy
Private schools include:
The Institut d'études politiques de Saint-Germain-en-Laye is also located in the city.
There are two libraries:
- Bibliothèque multimédia
- Bibliothèque George-Sand
Saint-Germain-en-Laye was the birthplace of:
- Henry II (1519–1559), King of France
- Marie of France (1344–1404) Duchess of Bar
- Jeanne d'Albret (1528–1572), Queen Regnant of Navarre
- Charles IX (1550–1574), King of France
- Louis de Buade de Frontenac (1622–1698), French courtier and Governor of New France
- Louis XIV (1638–1715), King of France
- Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, (1640–1701), younger brother of Louis XIV
- Louisa Maria Teresa Stuart (1692–1712), daughter of James II of England, known to Jacobites as the Princess Royal
- Charles O'Gara (1699–1777), a courtier and official of the Holy Roman Empire of Jacobite Irish descent
- Claude Debussy (1862–1918), composer
- Albert Alain (1880–1971), composer and organist
- Jehan Alain (1911–1940), composer
- Marie-Claire Alain (1926–2013), organist and organ teacher
- Benoît Delbecq (born 1966), jazz pianist and composer
- Mohamed Haddadou (born 1974), footballer
- Amélie Mauresmo (born 1979), tennis player
- Ismael Gace (born 1986), footballer
- Christopher Oualembo (born 1987), footballer
- Jonathan Eysseric (born 1990), tennis player
- Caroline Garcia (born 1991), tennis player
- Rashad Muhammed (born 1993), footballer
- John Patrick O'Gara (born 1692), a soldier in the Spanish Army of Jacobite Irish descent
- Charles Gautier de Vinfrais (1704–1797), hunter and encyclopédiste
- Louis-Michel Letort de Lorville (1773–1815), French general of the Napoleonic Wars
- Jean Albert Gaudry (1827–1908), geologist and palaeontologist
- Salomon Reinach (1858–1932), archaeologist
- Jaque Catelain (1897–1965), actor
- Jacques Fesch (1930–1957), Christian mystic
- Jean-Jacques Lafaye (born 1958), writer, essayist
- Albert Dupontel (born 1964), actor
- Emmanuelle Polack (born 1965), art historian
- Christian de Boisredon (born 1974), social entrepreneur
- Mélanie Thierry (born 1981), French actress
- Marion Maréchal-Le Pen (born 1989), French politician
The town is also associated with:
- James II of England, king who lived there in exile and is buried there
- Charles-Hippolyte de Paravey, French engineer who died in the city
- Gérard de Nerval (1808–1855), poet, who lived there during part of his childhood and adolescence
- Gabriel de Mortillet (1821-1898) French archeologist and anthropologist, mayor of the town in 1882-1888
- Pierre de Porcaro (1904–1945), priest and prisoner-of-war during the Second World War
Twin towns - sister citiesEdit
Saint-Germain-en-Laye is twinned with:
- "Populations légales 2018". INSEE. 28 December 2020.
- "James II (1633–1701)". BBC History. BBC. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
- Encyclopædia Britannica "Treaty of Saint-Germain", retrieved from Britannica.com.
- Arrêté préfectoral 19 December 2018 (in French)
- Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Saint-Germain-en-Laye, EHESS. (in French)
- Populations légales 2012, INSEE
- Téléchargement du fichier d'ensemble des populations légales en 2017, INSEE
- "Site officiel du Paris Saint-Germain". FR.
- fr:Paris Saint-Germain Football Club#Depuis 2011 : l'ère Qatar Investment Authority
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 June 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Contact." Capcom. Retrieved 12 August 2011. "France: Capcom Entertainment France 30 bis, rue du Viel Abreuvoir FR.78100 Saint Germain En Laye"
- "Children > Presentation." Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- "欧州の補習授業校一覧（平成25年4月15日現在）" (Archive). Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "Home." Saint-Germain-en-Laye Libraries. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- "Les villes jumelles". saintgermainenlaye.fr (in French). Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Retrieved 18 November 2019.