08/29 > 09/20/2020

On the road


Population: 1,440,274

Prefecture: Versailles

Sub-prefectures: Mantes-la-Jolie, Rambouillet, Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Surface: 2,284 km2

Region: Île-de-France

Specialties: Paris Brest, artisanal syrups, chocolates, the Noyau de Poissy distillery, cheeses and yogurts from the Coubertin (medal-winning) or Viltain farm, several brasseries including La Volcelest in the Chevreuse valley, I-Grec yogurts, biscuits and Les Deux Gourmands honey farm (also awarded at the Agricultural Show), a large number of market gardeners and local producers

Sport: 1st department of Ile-de-France with more than 380,000 licensees and 2,400 clubs, including Paris-Saint-Germain (camp des Loges).

Events: Paris-Nice, host site for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024 (track cycling at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines velodrome, mountain biking, BMX, golf, equestrian events and modern pentathlon at the Palace of Versailles).

Culture and heritage: Châteaux of Versailles, Rambouillet, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, la Madeleine in Chevreuse, Breteuil, Vallée de Chevreuse, French Vexin park, royal estate of Marly-le-Roi, Villa Savoye, Maison Zola, Museum Maurice Denis, Houses of Jean Monnet and Léon Blum, Collegiate Church of Mantes-la-Jolie, Collegiate Church of Poissy, Thoiry Zoo,…

Festivals: Yvelines Cinéma (August), Electric Park Festival (September, Chatou), Thoiry Lumières Sauvages-lantern festival (from October, Thoiry), Festival Pulsations (September, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines), Electrochic ( March, Versailles Grand Parc), the Maki festival (June, Carrières-sur-Seine), Jazz at any time (March), Musical Fantasies, Ravel Days (October), Blues sur Seine (November)

Economy: 1st private R&D department in Ile de France with nearly 40 research laboratories; 1st industrial department of Ile-de-France; sectors of excellence (automotive industry, aerospace industry, eco-industries, ICT); tourism (2.5 million hotel nights in 2019)

Websites and social networks: www.yvelines.fr / www.yvelines-infos / Facebook: @ Yvelines.78 / Twitter: @Les_Yvelines / Linkedin: Department of Yvelines / Instagram: @les_yvelines / www.sortir-yvelines.fr / https://www.facebook.com/tourisme.yvelines/ /  https://www.instagram.com/ytourisme/?hl=fr / Facebook: @ tourisme.yvelines / Twitter: @ Ytourisme / Instagram: @ ytourisme 

Yvelines offer a unique living environment in Ile-de-France, the right balance between magnificent landscapes, an invaluable cultural and historical heritage and diversified activities: agricultural, rural, urban, economic, industrial, tertiary, high-tech ...Historically a land of cycling, Yvelines was labelled "Land of cycling excellence" by the French Cycling Federation in 2019. This recognition highlights the quality of the department's cycling offer. It was meant to become the favourite playground for cycling enthusiasts, whether for everyday use, relaxation or sport. The second cycling department of Ile-de-France in terms of club members (1,900 cyclists and 26 clubs), Yvelines has 850 km of cycling trails and the largest free bicycle parking in Ile-de-France at the RER station of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Three national cycle routes cross the territory: Véloscénie (Paris to Le Mont Saint-Michel), the London-Paris Green Avenue and Seine à Vélo (Paris to Le Havre and Honfleur) inaugurated in June 2020.
In 2024, the Yvelines will have three Olympic sites dedicated to cycling events: the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines National Velodrome for track cycling events, the Élancourt hill for mountain biking, the leisure island of Saint- Quentin-en-Yvelines for BMX.The Department of Yvelines has signed two partnership agreements with ASO; one, since 2010, to host the grand départ of Paris-Nice; the other to host the start of the last stage of the Tour de France until 2023. A fine way to strengthen the links between the department and the “little queen”.

Km 2

Gargenville (Pop: 7,500)

This small industrial town, known for its cement factories and oil facilities on the banks of the Seine, forms with its neighbor, Issou, an agglomeration of around 10,000 inhabitants.

The Maisonnettes of Lili and Nadia Boulanger 
Around 1908, Madame Boulanger, their mother, acquired a group of three buildings, called Les Maisonnettes, a stone's throw from the home of the famous pianist Raoul Pugno. Nadia and Lili came here in the summer to work on their music with the maestro.
The exceptionally gifted elder Nadia composed and taught while instructing her younger sister Lili. In the early twenties, after the death of Lili, Nadia Boulanger asserted herself in her true vocation: teaching. In Gargenville, Mademoiselle conducted the summers of Hanneucourt, accommodating her students at the Maisonnettes and in the surrounding houses, which she connected to each other by telephone. With "the Boulangerie (Bakery)", Gargenville became world famous as the Maisonnettes became the beating heart of the world’s musical education. Nadia Boulanger, who for nearly seventy-five years was the most famous teacher in the world, entered the history of music during her lifetime. The greatest musicians, from Aaron Copland to Astor Piazzola, from Leonard Bernstein to Michel Legrand, were her pupils.

Km 3.5

Épône (Pop : 6,500)

Temple of David
Painter Jacques-Louis David drew its plans. It was built in 1785 by Lord Marie-Jean Hérault de Séchelles to celebrate the signing of the 1778 treaty of alliance between France and the young United States of America. Benjamin Franklin, negotiator of this treaty for the United States, worked there.
This construction is considered a symbol of Franco-American friendship and as the first Masonic temple known in France by its typical decoration.
Robespierre and other revolutionaries drafted there the first constitution of 1791. Listed as an historical monument in 1947, it is owned by the city.

Km 11.5

Bazemont (Pop: 1,580)
The castle was built by Charles d'O (whose family included financiers, governors and soldiers) at the end of the 16th century. It underwent important changes when it became the property of Louis-Pierre Parat de Chalandray in 1765. The latter lord had the last turret knocked down and a wing added to the taste of the time. In 1893, the castle was acquired by the municipality to house the town hall and schools.

La Comédie
In 1804, lord Louis-Pierre Parat de Chalandray had a performance hall built in his park, which he called "La Comédie". The pointed windows which give it all its charm overlook the large drinking trough built in 1789 and which has become a pond where fish and ducks frolic. Later, the building was used as a workshop and then as a second home before being bought by the municipality in 1986. “La Comédie” thus regained its vocation as a venue for public or private meetings.

Km 12.5

Maule (Pop: 5,850)
Maule is the hometown of Robert Charpentier (1906-1966), Olympic road champion in 1936.

Agnou Castle
It is a building built at the end of the 16th century and today listed as a historical monument. It stands on the remains of an old castle with a 12th century keep, the Château Saint-Vincent. Work of Nicolas de Harlay, sire of Sancy and superintendent of finances of Henri IV, it required, for its construction, the total draining of the surrounding marshes. Today a private co-ownership, the castle of Agnou served in particular as a hospice during WWI, then as a place of reception for the Wehrmacht during WWII. It has a single sixty-metre wing, partly rebuilt in the 17th century, as well as a very beautiful stone staircase leading down to the gardens. It still has its dovecote, a tall cylindrical tower from the 16th century, one of the largest in Île-de-France and one of the oldest in France.

Km 19.5

Crespières (Pop: 1,610)
Among the famous villagers was popular singer Georges Brassens, qui bought the mill of La Bonde, in which he lived from 1958 to 1971. The village inspired singers since 1960s teenage idol Sheila and 1980s rock chanteur Alain Bashung also lived in Crespières.

Château de Wideville
The Wideville estate belonged in the 16th century to René de Longueil, marquis de Maisons, governor of Saint-Germain. The estate was sold in 1579 by the heirs of Pierre Picquet, treasurer of the Queen of Navarre, to Benoît Milon, first steward of the finances of King Henry III. He had the current castle built there on the site of an old manor, from 1580 to 1584, according to plans by Jacques Androuet du Cerceau. The castle was remodeled in 1620 by Claude de Bullion, superintendent of finances to King Louis XIII, who had the gardens redesigned and embellished by decorating them with factories. Among its famous owners are the Duke of Uzès (Jean-Charles de Crussol), the Duchess of Châtillon, the Marquis de Rougé and the Count of Galard who in 1870 undertook a complete restoration of the castle. It is currently owned by Italian fashion designer Valentino.

Km 26.5

Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche (Pop: 4,910)

With its two tournament courses, training areas, a swimming pool, a multisport field and a children's house, the Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche golf course is one of the most famous in France and plays a significant role. in the city's economy. It has hosted major international competitions such as the Lancôme Trophy from 1970 to 2003.

Km 30.5

Villepreux (Pop: 11,000)

Vincent de Paul delivered his first sermons there when he was tutor to the Gondi family. The city has a heritage of old residences such as the Saint-Vincent house, second house of the Daughters of Charity founded by Saint Vincent de Paul, which has become an exhibition and conference space, or the Grand'Maisons estate, a castle listed from the 18th century transformed into a hotel for receptions, weddings and banquets.
Villepreux was the destination of the Royal Alley of Villepreux, designed by Le Nôtre and which links the Palace of Versailles to Saint-Cyr-l'Ecole, Fontenay-le-Fleury, Rennemoulin and Villepreux. Abandoned, the alley, which crossed the king’s hunts, is the subject of a major rehabilitation program.

Villepreux castle
The Villepreux castle is listed in the inventory of historical monuments. In 1598 the Francini family had the hotel built, which would later become the castle of the seigneury of Villepreux. The Francinis were the fountain builders of the kings as the two brothers, Thomas and Alexander, were hydraulic engineers of great talent. From 1661, they dedicated themselves to the Palace of Versailles. Due to the variety and profusion of water entertainment that they were able to design, the Francinis became the magicians of the park of Versailles. In 1768, François-Honoré, the last of the Francinis, sold the seigneury of Villepreux to Louis XV. François Heurtier, architect of the royal buildings, bought the castle from Louis XVI in 1788, he was municipal councilor of Villepreux and it is he who in 1789 brought the commune's cahiers de doleance (revolutionary grievances) to Versailles.
Today the estate is a place for receptions and seminars.

Km 34

Fontenay-le-Fleury (Pop: 13,500)
The castle of Ternay, is mentioned in 1482 on the registers of Villepreux. This property was modified in the 19th century in Directory style. French playwright Sacha Guitry lived there from 1937 until his death in 1957. A famous actor, playwright and film director, Sacha Guitry, who had decided to make the Ternay estate his secondary home, was very attached to the city of Fontenay-le-Fleury. On July 4 and 5, 1939, he celebrated his marriage to French actress Geneviève de Séreville in the Church of Saint Germain in Fontenay-le-Fleury. Today, Château de Ternay is privately owned.

Km 35.5

Saint-Cyr-l'Ecole (Pop: 18,800)
The military high school of Saint-Cyr is one of the six lycées de la Défense (former military high schools) of the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, located in the town of Saint-Cyr-l'École. The buildings of the school have a particularly rich historical past: it was preceded by the Royal House of Saint-Louis, the Military Prytaneum and the Special Military School. The mottos of the school are "Rather die" and "The real school of command is general culture".

Military school museum
Housed in the former Archives Pavilion, the Museum traces the history of the place since its creation by Madame de Maintenon, wife of Louis XIV. The school's goal was to educate penniless noble girls. The site then became a military hospital then a prytaneum before giving way to a special imperial military school then to a college and finally to the military high school in 1983.

Km 40.5

Versailles (Pop : 86 000)

The prefecture of Yvelines owes its reputation above all to its palace, undoubtedly one of the most famous in the world. It is still in Versailles that the congress of deputies and senators meet to ratify any modification of the constitution. Located 17 km from Paris, the city is mainly residential and touristy, but has a good university infrastructure.
Louis XIV, the Sun King, imagined the fate of Versailles and its castle with the highest ambitions. Its essential role in the history of France goes along with a lasting relationship with the Tour, which started from the castle in 2013 for the last stage of its hundredth edition.
In 1989, a time trial from Versailles turned into a nail-biting fight between Laurent Fignon and Greg LeMond. The final stage to the Champs-Élysées ended with the narrowest gap in history: eight seconds in the final overall standings for the American over the Frenchman.
Previously, the royal city had been the starting point of the final Tour de France time trial eight times, placing Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Eddy Merckx and Luis Ocana in the orbit of success.

Versailles palace
Listed for 30 years as a world heritage site, the Palace of Versailles is one of the finest achievements of French art in the 17th century. The former hunting lodge of Louis XIII was transformed and enlarged by his son Louis XIV who installed the Court and the government of France there in 1682. Until the French Revolution, kings followed one another, embellishing the castle to their taste.
Hall of Mirrors, King's Apartments, Museum of French History: over the centuries, the Palace of Versailles, the seat of power until 1789, has continued to expand.
In the 1670s, Louis XIV notably had the King's and Queen's Grand Apartments fitted out. The most emblematic realization of these spaces, parade and reception places par excellence, remains the Hall of Mirrors imagined by Mansart. In the following century, extensions continued, notably with the construction of the Chapel and the Opera. Today, the castle has 63,154 m2 divided into 2,300 rooms.
If the Château lost its vocation as the official seat of power in 1789, in the 19th century it experienced a new destiny: it became the Museum of French History by decision of Louis-Philippe, who became king in 1830. Many rooms in the Château then welcomed the new collections retracing the major events in the history of France, enriched until the beginning of the 20th century.


Population: 1,603,268. (2016)

Prefecture: Nanterre

Sub-prefectures: Antony, Boulogne-Billancourt

Surface: 176 km²

Specialties: Levallois-Perret honey, Suresnes vines

Sports clubs: Racing 92 (rugby), Nanterre 92 (basketball)

Competitions: Jardy Eventing Show 2017 / International Three Day Event Rider Masters, in July, and Horse Day and International Jumping Contest * and **, in September, at the Haras de Jardy Departmental Domain at Marnes-la-Coquette, Rugby season Top 14 and Champions Cup of Racing 92 at Yves-du-Manoir stadium in Colombes, basketball season team Nanterre 92 at the Palais des Sports in Nanterre, Marathon Hauts-de-Seine and Nautical Hauts-de-Seine. Two venues for the 2024 Olympics: Yves du Manoir Stadium in Colombes and U-Arena in Nanterre)

Festivals and cultural events: Musical Seine (Boulogne-Billancourt), Chorus Festival, La Défense Jazz Festival, Petites Nuits de Sceaux, European Heritage Days, exhibitions at the Museum of the Departmental Domain of Sceaux, Chateaubriand House - Domaine de la Vallée-aux-Loups (Chatenay-Malabry). Open-air opera (Sceaux), Orangery Festival (Sceaux) and many dynamic cultural venues (Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers, Théâtre de Gennevilliers, Théâtre 71 de Malakoff, Les Gémeaux à Sceaux, National Pole of Circus Arts) Antony ...)

Economy: La Défense business district (16,000 employees, 400 private companies, 20,000 inhabitants, 17,000 students)

Websites and social networks: www.hauts-de-seine.fr / @ hautsdeseine.fr / www.facebook.com/hautsdeseine.ledepartement/

Km 46.5

Chaville (Pop: 20,520)

Chaville is known to cycling fans for having hosted for nine years, between 1979 and 1987, the classic Paris-Tours, first renamed Blois-Chaville, then Créteil-Chaville. Joop Zoetemelk, Sean Kelly and Phil Anderson were among the winners in Chaville.

Km 53.5

Issy-les-Moulineaux (Pop: 63,000)

The city of Issy-les-Moulineaux is primarily known by Tour de France for hosting the headquarters of the touring company, Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) before they moved to Boulogne-Billancourt. L’Equipe and numerous accredited media on the Tour de France have had their premises in the city, and in particular in the Val de Seine basin, a huge office hub dedicated to media and new technologies. The city has a real cycling past: its Sports Palace bears the name of local-born Robert Charpentier, who was Olympic champion on the road in 1936 ahead of Guy Lapébie. Charpentier participated in the 1947 Tour, but the War deprived him of a pro career in line with his amateur career. Issy-les-Moulineaux is also the city of Thierry Adam, who has long been the Tour commentator on France Télévisions.
The city, resulting from the meeting of the villages of Issy and Moulineaux, was also an aviation stronghold at its inception, as indicated by several streets and places (Guynemer, Voisin) dedicated to the pioneers of aviation.
Issy essentially developed in the 18th century thanks to the Conti, who bought the chateau in 1699. The castle no longer exists but one of iots towers remains in the building now housing the Playcard Museum.
Issy ironically never held a Tour de France stage but hosted the Paris-Nice prologue eight times.

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