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St Germain-En-Laye

ST GERMAIN-EN-LAYE, a town of northern France, in the department of Seine-et-Oise, 13 m. W.N.W. of Paris by rail. Pop. (1006), town, 14,974; commune, 17,288. Built on a hill on the left bank of the Seine, nearly 300 ft. above the river, and on the edge of a forest 10,000 to 11,000 acres in extent, St Germain has a bracing climate, which makes it a place of summer residence for Parisians. The terrace of St Germain, constructed by A.Len&tre in 1672, is ij m. long and looft.wide; it was planted with lime trees in 1745 and affords an extensive view over the valley of the Seine as far as Paris and the surrounding hills: it ranks as one of the finest promenades in Europe.

A'monastery in honour of St Germain, bishop of Paris, was built in the forest of Lave by King Robert. Louis VI. erected a castle close by. Burned by the English, rebuilt by Louis IX., and again by Charles V., this castle did not reach its full development till the time of Francis I., who may be regarded as the real founder of the building. A new castle was begun by Henry II. and completed by Henry IV7; it was subsequently demolished, with the exception of the so-called Henry IV. pavilion, where Thiers died in 1877. The old castle has been restored to the state in which it was under Francis I. The restoration is particularly skilful in the case of the chapel, which dates from the first half of the 13th century. In the church of St Germain is a mausoleum erected by George IV. of England (and restored by Queen Victoria) to the memory of James II. of England, who after his deposition resided in the castle for twelve years and died there in 1701. In one of the public squares is a statue of Thiers. At no great distance in the forest is the Couvent des Loges, a branch of the educational establishment of the Legion of Honour (St Denis). The ffite des Loges (end of August and beginning of September) is one of the most popular in the neighbourhood of Paris.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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