Saint-Germain-en-Laye Things to Do

  • back side of Castle on Rue Thiers
    back side of Castle on Rue Thiers
    by gwened
  • back of gardens entrance on ave des loges
    back of gardens entrance on ave des...
    by gwened
  • front of church St Germain on busy day
    front of church St Germain on busy day
    by gwened

Most Recent Things to Do in Saint-Germain-en-Laye

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    Chateau museum of SGL

    by gwened Updated Nov 3, 2013
    from across street to castle museum
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    a great historical castle back is the place of birth of Louis XIV, and now it is a superb antiquities museum of artifacts from the region of ile de France,and elsewhre in France. And just walks away from city center Saint Germain en Laye with its 700 stores of delights,and plenty of eateries, direct connection to paris on the RER A train.

    the market is second only to my Notre Dame at Versailles, but its great, and cheese shop here is my family's favorite.
    If you need details of a visit let me know. this is another webpage from the national monuments of France,
    http://www.rmn.fr/english/les-musees-et-leurs-expositions-238/national-archaeology-museum-270/

    The importance historically is the castle for what happened there (birthplace of Louis XIV) however, today it is the museum that is of high renown, and Worth your detour from Paris via RER A here, easy.

    A bit of history on the museum part.
    Napoleon III, by a decree of March 8, 1862, decides the "creation at the castle of Saint Germain en Laye, Celtic and Gallo-Roman Antiquities Museum. The destination of the Museum will be specified in a report of June 14, 1863. It was «to gather supporting documentation, so to speak, of our national history...». On April 1, 1865, the first meeting (on eight) of the Organization of the Museum Commission meets under the chairmanship of the count de Nieuwerkerke, Superintendent of fine arts (somehow our Minister of Culture). This Commission brings together big names of archaeology as Alexandre Bertrand, Édouard Lartet, Félix de Saulcy, and Jacques Boucher de Perthes; The final draft will be the work of Auguste Verchère de Reffye, Alexandre Bertrand and Claude Rossignol. The first Director of the Museum is Alexandre Bertrand. It will adopt the aging objects while hitherto prevailed the classification by subject. The Museum of national antiquities is therefore the first (and still today, the only) Museum devoted entirely to the archaeology of the national territory. This is what distinguishes also the archaeological departments of the Louvre that develop at the same time.

    The history of the Museum of national antiquities is inseparable from that of the development of French and European archaeology. Among the first collections to be entered are those of Jacques Boucher de Perthes of Abbeville (Somme) which revealed, at the end of the 20th century, the existence of a prehistoric humanity far previous to the Gauls.

    The rise of French prehistory was subsequently know an extraordinary expansion, through the work of Gabriel de Mortillet, inventor of the current prehistoric chronology, which brought very many archaeological reference series at the Museum. It must also at Edouard Piette most parts of palaeolithic art preserved in the Museum, in the provision which was intended at the beginning of the 20th century.

    Gallic archaeology was literally born with Félix de Saulcy, Alexandre Bertrand and Jacques-Gabriel Bulliot searches on the premises of the Gallic wars, in particular at Alesia and Bibracte. In between the two world wars, is Henri Hubert who was designing an overhaul of the Museum's collections, adding a full comparative archaeology section, including appealing to the discoveries of the far East.

    The major archaeologists of the 20th century contributed to the enrichment and the study of the collections, as especially the Abbé Breuil, Louis Capitan, Henri and Jacques de Morgan, father Cochet, Joseph Déchelette, and many others still.
    Today the collections Evolved with new ones and adding new discoveries, its a mine field for those interested in history like me ::)

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    maison Maurice Denis

    by gwened Written Oct 4, 2013
    the patio of maison Maurice Denis
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    one of the highlights of visiting this royal town not far from Paris and easy connection on trains and RER A.

    The house of Maurice Denis is close on the chapel but the street level and first floor are open to the public until further order as per site. Otherwise open Tuesdays to Fridays from 10h to 17h30 and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10H to 18h30.Admission is 4,50€ adults

    The initial Fund of the Museum is an exceptional donation made in 1976 by the family of Maurice Denis. Since then, the collections have been enriched by many donations and acquisitions of works by Symbolist and nabis artists. Are thus presented works of painters that have marked the history of modern art: Gauguin, Serusier, Filiger, Vallotton, Bonnard, Vuillard, Verkade, Ranson, Lacombe, Redon, Mucha, Anquetin...Composed largely of paintings, the collections also include graphic works, sculptures and pieces of furniture and art objects: fans, screens, stained glass... All these elements to seize the nabis artists desire to integrate art into daily life. Diverse aspects, the collection of the Musée Maurice Denis is fundamentally homogeneous in his mind and reflects the belief of these artists in the profound unity of the different forms of art.

    Who was Maurice Denis, in bref
    Maurice Denis lives and works for nearly all his life at Saint Germain en Laye, while making frequent stays in Britain and Italy. From his youth and studied art at the Académie Julian, he made the acquaintance of Paul Sérusier who is like him looking for new aesthetic solutions. After the painting lesson given by Paul Gauguin to Sérusier in 1888 in Pont-Aven, the Nabis group is formed and is part of Maurice Denis. Nicknamed "Nabi to the beautiful icons", he is also the theoretician of the group.First synthetic and symbolic, a near time of Art nouveau, his painting is then moving towards a renewed classicism. Intimate and family scenes the religious themes, the landscapes of Italy and Britain are very present in his work. Besides easel paintings, Maurice Denis performs in France and abroad of large secular decorations (salon music of Ivan Morosov in Moscow, cupola of the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris...) and religious (churches Sainte - Marguerite de le Vésinet, Geneva Paul, Saint-Louis de Vincennes...). In 1919, he founded with Georges Desvallières les Ateliers d'Art Sacré, in a perspective of renewal of Christian art. Researcher and tireless worker, he left at his death a considerable work.

    nice, worth seeing.

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    church Saint Germain

    by gwened Updated Mar 25, 2012
    front of church St Germain on busy day
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    great church gorgeous inside, must see it, the tomb of king James II of England is inside he lived in town for 13 years daughter Louise Maria Stuart was born here. just across from castle museum.
    enjoy it

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    PARISH CHURCH

    by balhannah Updated Aug 22, 2011

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    Parish Church

    Opposite the Chateau we noticed a rather lovely Parish Church. This Church turned out to be quite interesting.

    Why?
    This Church was commissioned by Louis XIV in 1683, and was built with its back to the castle. In 1765, Louis XV decided the Church had to be rebuilt because of this. In 1824 during the digging of the new foundations three small lead boxes were discovered.

    I quote " The first of these had upon it an inscription identifying the contents as the praecordia of King James II and VII. The second and third boxes are presumed to contain second and third boxes are presumed to contain the praecordia of his wife Queen Mary Beatrice and of their daughter Princess Louise."

    In 1824,the remains of King James, his wife, and daughter were re-interred and the White Marble monument can be seen on the right as you enter the Church.

    One of the inscription's reads..............
    "To royal remains, royal piety.
    Whoever you are who look upon this funerary monument
    think upon the changes of human fortune.
    Great in prosperity, greater in adversity,
    James II, King of England
    loosened the signs of hardship and sad destiny
    by a pious and quiet death
    in this city
    September 16, 1701.
    Some of the more noble parts of his body
    are here preserved hidden."

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    SAINT LOUIS - ST. GERMAIN EN LAYE CHATEAU

    by balhannah Updated Aug 22, 2011

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    Saint Louis
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    Another part of the Museum we were able to visit was Saint Louis Chapel.

    The chapel of St. Louis is Gothic and part of the old castle.
    This Chapel once housed many important pieces including the Holy Crown, the True Cross fragment, relics of the Virgin Mary, the Holy Lance, the Holy Sponge and the Mandylion.

    During the different "ages," treasures were melted down and valuable stones sold. Then, in another age, there was a ban on conserving relics and all other sacred symbols with links to the kings. Luckily, some were saved and are now in the Cathedral treasury of Notre Dame.

    Built in 1245, it is thought to be one of the earliest "High Gothic" buildings in this area. It had a large number of windows making it very light, and outside there were some tombs. It was in very good condition for being such an old building, and I couldn't help thinking of all those Kings and important people who had been to Church here all those years ago.

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    MUSEUM OF NATIONAL ANTIQUITIES

    by balhannah Updated Aug 22, 2011

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    Pieces in the Museum
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    It was in 1862, that Napoleon III decided that Chateau Germain en Laye would become an Antiquities Museum.
    As we were there, we decided to go inside the Chateau and visit the Archeological Museum. The Museum had an excellent display of approx 30,000 pieces making it one of the biggest in Europe.
    There were pieces on display from Paleolithic times [8000BC], Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman Gaul and the Middle Ages.
    It was amazing to see these old pieces, many still in very good condition.
    If you are interested in Archeology, then this Museum would be of interest to you.
    More information is on their website.

    Open Monday to Friday
    9 - 12.30pm & 1.30 - 5pm.
    ADMISSION IN 2011.....6 euros

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    CHATEAU SAINT-GERMAIN EN LAYE & GARDENS

    by balhannah Updated Aug 21, 2011

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    St. Germain En Laye Chateau
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    Chateau de Saint-Germain Castle is an imposing sight in the Town with the same name.

    There is quite a history to this Chateau.

    In the beginning, an old fort that dated from around the year 1238 stood in this location, then King Charles V constructed the old chateau in 1348 on the original foundations. This Castle was demolished and rebuilt by Francois I, only leaving the Saint-Chapelle and the keep of the old castle. By the 18th century, this had also fallen into disrepair. Napoleon III had the chapel and chateau restored between the years of 1862 and 1867 and also set up a museum called the Musee des Antiquites Nationales.

    Two Kings, King Henry II and King Louis XIV were born in the Chateau de Saint-Germain.

    The gardens are very nice, and no wonder why, they were designed by the same person who designed Chateau Versailles and Chateau Chantilly. They disappear down to the River Seine, with distant views of Paris. These gardens, were some of the first Italian style gardens in France, later, the French formal garden originated.

    The Chateau de Saint-Germain was constructed before the Chateau de Versailles and was one of the main residences of the French Court before they moved to Versailles Castle.
    We walked around the outside of nearly all of the Chateau. It does have a moat, but instead of water, it is nicely mown grass.

    Since 1862, it has been a Museum.

    The gardens are FREE to wander around

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    The Church Is Across from the Chateau and the RER

    by hquittner Written Feb 10, 2010

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    The Eglise Near the RER.

    The Church of Saint-Louis-Saint-Germain was built in the period around 1800. It was built near the Chateau and the RER, next to what is now the Place Ch. de Gaulle. This is also next to what in 1834 was the first railroad in France which ran between Paris and St. Germain en Laye.

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    Visit the Museum

    by hquittner Written Feb 8, 2010

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    West Side Chateau & Entry to Museum
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    The Vieux Chateau was rebuilt in 1540 and today is the National Antiquities Museum with a large part of the beautiful Gardens still in use. The museum begins with paleolithic objects of great interest and ends on the upper level in the Merovingian period. It contains every early civilizations and has most interesting collections related to the other western groups besides Greek and Roman, especially the Gauls and pre-dynastic Egypt.

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    Maurice Denis Museum

    by siwi Updated Feb 11, 2003

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    Plage au bonnet rouge, Maurice Denis, 1909

    Maurice Denis is a French Nabi Painter (1870-1943). Les Nabis were a Parisian group of Post-Impressionist artists and illustrators who became very influential in the field of graphic art.
    Their emphasis on design was shared by the parallel Art Nouveau movement. Both groups also had close ties to the Symbolists.

    The museum is set up in the old hospital built in 1678 under the patronage of Madame de Montespan; it later became the house of the painter Maurice Denis. The collection, inspired by the personality of Maurice Denis, displays post-impressionist paintings.

    The artist’s heirs gave much of his oeuvre to the Maurice Denis Museum in St. Germain En Laye's museum near Paris.

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