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Meudon
Observatory of Meudon

Coat of arms
Paris and inner ring départements
Coordinates: 48°48′27″N 2°14′25″E / 48.8075, 2.2403Coordinates: 48°48′27″N 2°14′25″E / 48.8075, 2.2403
Country France
Region Île-de-France
Department Hauts-de-Seine
Arrondissement Boulogne-Billancourt
Canton Meudon
Intercommunality Arc de Seine
Government
 • Mayor (2001–present) Hervé Marseille (NC)
Area1 9.90 km2 (3.82 sq mi)
Population (2006)2 45,682
 • Density 4,600/km2 (12,000/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 92048 / 92190, 92360
Elevation 28–179 m (92–587 ft)
(avg. 103 m or 338 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Meudon (French pronunciation: [mø.dɔ̃]) is a municipality in the southwestern suburbs of Paris, France. It is in the département of Hauts-de-Seine. It is located 9.1 km (5.7 mi) from the center of Paris.

Geography[]

The town of Meudon is built on the hills and valleys of the Seine. The wood of Meudon lies for the most part to the west of the town. The northwest part of Meudon, overlooking the Seine, is known as Bellevue ("beautiful view").

History[]

At Meudon, the Argile Plastique clay was extensively mined in the 19th century. The first fossil of the European diatryma Gastornis parisiensis was discovered in these deposits by Gaston Planté.

Archaeological sites show that Meudon has been populated since Neolithic times.

The Gauls called the area Mol-Dum (sand dune), and the Romans Latinized the name as Moldunum.

The handsome Galliera Institutions, on the hill of Fleury, were founded by the duchess of Galliera for the care of aged persons and orphans. The buildings were completed in 1885.

The old castle of Meudon was rebuilt in Renaissance style in the mid-sixteenth century. It was bought by Louis XIV as a residence for Louis, le Grand Dauphin, under whom Meudon became a center of aristocratic life. After the death of le Grand Dauphin in 1711 the château was neglected, emptied in the Revolutionary sales, and finally burned at the close of the Franco-Prussian War, 1871, while it was occupied by Prussian soldiers. A branch of the Paris Observatory was founded in 1877 on the ruins. The Meudon town hall is about 43 m (141.08 ft) in altitude above that of Paris and the climb from there to the observatory offers some rewarding views of Paris.

Automotive Pioneering[]

Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, the inventor of the 'world's first automobile', is reported to have carried out some early trials at Meudon in the early 1770s.

Pioneering Aviation[]

Chalais-Meudon was important in the pioneering of aviation, initially balloons and airships, but also the early heavier-than-air machines. A Corps d'Aérostatiers under the command of Jean-Marie-Joseph Coutelle was established in 1794, its balloons being used at the Battle of Fleurus. 'Hangar Y' (at 48°47′52″N 2°13′59″E / 48.7977, 2.233) was built in 1880 at the request of the military engineer Captain Charles Renard (1847–1905), for the construction of balloons and airships. The building is 70 m (230 ft) long, 24 m (79 ft) wide and around 26 m (85 ft) high. The airship La France, designed by Renard and Arthur Krebs, was built in Hangar Y in 1884 and was the first airship which was controllable during flight and which could return to its starting point.[1]

Economy[]

Although a choice residential district, access to the railway (RER) and the Seine River have made Meudon a manufacturing center since the 1840s. Metal products and military explosives have been continuously produced there since then.

Scientific facilities[]

In addition to the Observatory, what is today ONERA, a national aerospace research institute and wind tunnel has been present since the military opened its aerostatic (lighter-than-air) field in the Chalais park in 1877. From 1921 to 1981 the Air Museum was located here until it moved to Le Bourget Airport.

CNRS has a campus in Bellevue.

Transport[]

Meudon Val Fleury Station

Meudon is served by Meudon – Val Fleury station on Paris RER line C. Meudon is also served by two stations on the Transilien Paris – Montparnasse suburban rail line: Meudon and Bellevue.

Finally Meudon is served by the Meudon-sur-Seine station on the Paris tramway line T2.

The area was once served by the Bellevue funicular, a model of which is in the local Museum of Art and History.

International relations[]

Meudon is twinned with:[2]

Personalities[]

  • Rodin's villa des Brillants, now a museum of his art, is located here, as is his grave.
  • Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich of Russia lived here in exile in Château Sans-Souci (in Bellevue), from 1920.
  • Richard Wagner was a resident (No. 27 Av. du Château), and here composed The Flying Dutchman.
  • Louis-Ferdinand Céline lived here until his death, and is buried in Bas Meudon.
  • Painter May Alcott lived here until her death.
  • The artist Jean Metzinger lived and works in Meudon from around 1911, during the crucial years of Cubism (i.e., at its outset).
  • The painter Gwen John lived in Meudon from 1911 until just before her death in 1939.
  • Artists Jean Arp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp were resident here from 1929-1940. Their neighbours were the artist and architect Theo van Doesburg and his wife Nelly.
  • The town has a monument to Rabelais who died here as canon of Meudon, where he held the benefice from 1551-1552.
  • Charle-Michel Marle, mathematician, born in 1934, has lived in Meudon since 1970.
  • Jean-Luc Marion was born in 1946.
  • Clémence Poésy, French actress best known for her portrayal of Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie.
  • Lionel Jospin, former France prime minister was born here.
  • André Kertész, photographer legend, took a famous photo of the train viaduct in Meudon.
  • Marcel Dupré, perhaps the most famous French organist of the 20th century, lived and worked in Meudon. He transformed his home into a small concert hall; the current owners of the home still hold public concerts there.[7]
  • Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, footballer
  • Gregoire Defrel, footballer
  • Souleymane Doukara, footballer
  • Adama Soumare, footballer

See also[]

  • Communes of the Hauts-de-Seine department
  • A statue of François Rabelais by Georges Saupique stands in front of the Meudon town hall. François Rabelais was the parish priest of Meudon from 1551 to 1553

References[]

Notes

External links[]

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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Meudon. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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