Meudon is a municipality
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

 in the southwestern suburbs of Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. It is in the département of Hauts-de-Seine. It is located 9.1 km (5.7 mi) from the center of Paris
Kilometre Zero
In many countries, Kilometre Zero or similar terms in other languages, is a particular location , from which distances are traditionally measured...



The town of Meudon is built on the hills and valleys of the Seine
The Seine is a -long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Saint-Seine near Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre . It is navigable by ocean-going vessels...

. 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").


At Meudon, the Argile Plastique clay
Clay is a general term including many combinations of one or more clay minerals with traces of metal oxides and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure.- Formation :Clay minerals...

 was extensively mined in the 19th century. The first fossil
Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals , plants, and other organisms from the remote past...

 of the European diatryma Gastornis parisiensis was discovered in these deposits by Gaston Planté
Gaston Planté
Gaston Planté was the French physicist who invented the lead-acid battery in 1859. The lead-acid battery eventually became the first rechargeable electric battery marketed for commercial use.Planté was born on April 22, 1834, in Orthez, France...


Archaeological sites show that Meudon has been populated since Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...


The Gauls
The Gauls were a Celtic people living in Gaul, the region roughly corresponding to what is now France, Belgium, Switzerland and Northern Italy, from the Iron Age through the Roman period. They mostly spoke the Continental Celtic language called Gaulish....

 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
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

 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
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

, 1871, while it was occupied by Prussian soldiers. A branch of the Paris Observatory
Paris Observatory
The Paris Observatory is the foremost astronomical observatory of France, and one of the largest astronomical centres in the world...

 was founded in 1877 on the ruins. The Meudon town hall sits some 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
Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot
Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot was a French inventor. He is believed to have built the first self-propelled mechanical vehicle...

, the inventor of the 'world's first automobile'
History of the automobile
The history of the automobile begins as early as 1769, with the creation of steam engined automobiles capable of human transport. In 1806, the first cars powered by an internal combustion engine running on fuel gas appeared, which led to the introduction in 1885 of the ubiquitous modern gasoline-...

, 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 powered craft. 'Hangar Y' (at 48.7977°N 2.233°E) was built in 1880 on request of the military engineer Captain Charles Renard (1847–1905), for the construction of balloons and airships. The building is 70 meters long, 24 meters wide and around 26 meters high. The airship 'La France', designed by Charles 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.


Although a choice residential district, access to the railway (RER
The RER is a rapid transit system in France serving Paris and its suburbs. The RER is an integration of a modern city-centre underground rail and a pre-existing set of commuter rail lines. It has several connections with the Paris Métro within the city of Paris. Within the city, the RER...

) and the Seine
The Seine is a -long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Saint-Seine near Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre . It is navigable by ocean-going vessels...

 River have made Meudon a manufacturing center since the 1840s. Metal products and military explosives have been continuously produced here since then.

Scientific facilities

In addition to the Observatory, what is today ONERA, a national research institute on aerospace topics (and wind tunnels), 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
Le Bourget Airport
Paris – Le Bourget Airport is an airport located in Le Bourget, Bonneuil-en-France, and Dugny, north-northeast of Paris, France. It is now used only for general aviation as well as air shows...


CNRS has a campus in Bellevue.


Meudon is served by Meudon – Val Fleury station on Paris RER line C
The RER C is one of the five lines in the RER rapid transit system serving :Paris, France. It is operated by SNCF.The line runs from the northwestern terminuses Pontoise , Versailles – Rive Gauche and Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines to the southeastern terminuses Massy-Palaiseau , Dourdan-la-Forêt , ...

Meudon is also served by two stations on the Transilien Paris – Montparnasse
Transilien Paris – Montparnasse
Transilien Paris – Montparnasse is one of the sectors in the Paris Transilien suburban rail network. The trains on this sector depart from Gare Montparnasse in the southwestern part of Paris. There are three lines in this sector , leading to Rambouillet, Dreux and Mantes-la-Jolie...

 suburban rail line: Meudon and Bellevue.

Finally Meudon is served by the Meudon-sur-Seine station on the Paris tramway
Tramways in Paris
The French region of Île-de-France, encompassing the capital city of Paris, currently has four tram lines, and is planning an additional line. Of the existing lines, three are operated by its public transport authority, RATP, which also operates the Paris Métro and most bus services. The fourth...

 line T2.

The area was once served by the Bellevue funicular
Bellevue funicular
The Bellevue funicular , in Meudon, Hauts-de-Seine department, was from 1893 to 1934 a funicular running from the Bellevue-Funiculaire station on the Coteaux line , to the Gare de Bellevue, on the Paris–Brest railway line....

, a model of which is in the local Museum of Art and History.

International relations

Meudon is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Mazkeret Batia, Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

Celle is a town and capital of the district of Celle, in Lower Saxony, Germany. The town is situated on the banks of the River Aller, a tributary of the Weser and has a population of about 71,000...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

Farnborough, Hampshire
-History:Name changes: Ferneberga ; Farnburghe, Farenberg ; Farnborowe, Fremborough, Fameborough .Tower Hill, Cove: There is substantial evidence...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

Aldershot is a town in the English county of Hampshire, located on heathland about southwest of London. The town is administered by Rushmoor Borough Council...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 Brezno, Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

Ciechanów is a town in north-central Poland with 45,900 inhabitants . It is situated in Masovian Voivodeship . It was previously the capital of Ciechanów Voivodeship.-History:The grad numbered approximately 3,000 armed men....

, Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...


  • Rodin
    Auguste Rodin
    François-Auguste-René Rodin , known as Auguste Rodin , was a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past...

    '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
    Richard Wagner
    Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

     was a resident (No. 27 Av. du Château), and here composed The Flying Dutchman
    The Flying Dutchman (opera)
    Der fliegende Holländer is an opera, with music and libretto by Richard Wagner.Wagner claimed in his 1870 autobiography Mein Leben that he had been inspired to write "The Flying Dutchman" following a stormy sea crossing he made from Riga to London in July and August 1839, but in his 1843...

  • Louis-Ferdinand Céline
    Louis-Ferdinand Céline
    Louis-Ferdinand Céline was the pen name of French writer and physician Louis-Ferdinand Destouches . Céline was chosen after his grandmother's first name. He is considered one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, developing a new style of writing that modernized both French and...

     lived here until his death, and is buried in Bas Meudon.
  • Painter May Alcott lived here until her death.
  • Artists Jean Arp
    Jean Arp
    Jean Arp / Hans Arp was a German-French, or Alsatian, sculptor, painter, poet and abstract artist in other media such as torn and pasted paper....

     and Sophie Taeuber-Arp
    Sophie Taeuber-Arp
    Sophie Taeuber-Arp was a Swiss artist, painter and sculptor. Born in Davos, Switzerland, Sophie Täuber began her art studies in her homeland, at the School of Applied Arts in St. Gallen...

     were resident here from 1929-1940. Their neighbours were the artist and architect Theo van Doesburg
    Theo van Doesburg
    Theo van Doesburg was a Dutch artist, practicing in painting, writing, poetry and architecture. He is best known as the founder and leader of De Stijl.-Biography:-Early life:...

     and his wife Nelly.
  • The town has a monument to Rabelais who died here as canon
    Canon (priest)
    A canon is a priest or minister who is a member of certain bodies of the Christian clergy subject to an ecclesiastical rule ....

     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
    Jean-Luc Marion
    Jean-Luc Marion is among the best-known living philosophers in France, former student of Jacques Derrida and one of the leading Catholic thinkers of modern times. Marion's take on the postmodern is informed by his expertise in patristic and mystical theology, phenomenology, and modern philosophy...

     was born in 1946.
  • Clémence Poésy
    Clémence Poésy
    Clémence Poésy is a French actress and fashion model. Since starting on the stage as a child, Poésy had dramatic education, and has been active on both film and television since 1999, including some English-language productions...

    , French actress best known for her portrayal of Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a 2005 fantasy film directed by Mike Newell and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the fourth instalment in the Harry Potter film series, written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman...

  • Lionel Jospin
    Lionel Jospin
    Lionel Jospin is a French politician, who served as Prime Minister of France from 1997 to 2002.Jospin was the Socialist Party candidate for President of France in the elections of 1995 and 2002. He was narrowly defeated in the final runoff election by Jacques Chirac in 1995...

    , former France prime minister was born here.
  • André Kertész
    André Kertész
    André Kertész , born Kertész Andor, was a Hungarian-born photographer known for his groundbreaking contributions to photographic composition and the photo essay. In the early years of his career, his then-unorthodox camera angles and style prevented his work from gaining wider recognition...

    , photographer legend, took a famous photo of the train viaduct in Meudon.
  • Marcel Dupré
    Marcel Dupré
    Marcel Dupré , was a French organist, pianist, composer, and pedagogue.-Biography:Marcel Dupré was born in Rouen . Born into a musical family, he was a child prodigy. His father Albert Dupré was organist in Rouen and a friend of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, who built an organ in the family house when...

    , 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.
  • Actor Johnny Depp
    Johnny Depp
    John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II is an American actor, producer and musician. He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. Depp rose to prominence on the 1980s television series 21 Jump Street, becoming a teen idol...

     and his partner Vanessa Paradis
    Vanessa Paradis
    Vanessa Chantal Paradis is a French singer, model and actress. She became a child star at 14 with the worldwide success of her single "Joe le taxi"...

     maintain a permanent home in Meudon.
  • Nicolas Isimat-Mirin
    Nicolas Isimat-Mirin
    Nicolas Isimat-Mirin is a French football player who plays for French club Valenciennes in Ligue 1. He plays as a central defender and is a former graduate of the Clairefontaine academy. After his departure from the academy, Isimat-Mirin joined Rennes and spent two seasons at the club before...

    , footballer
  • Gregoire Defrel
    Grégoire Defrel
    Grégoire Defrel is a French professional footballer who plays for U.S. Foggia on loan from Parma.-Career:Defrel – a fine dribbler who has been compared to compatriot Jérémy Menez – joined Parma in 2009 and made his début for the club as a substitute at the age of 19 on 22 May 2011 in the final...

    , footballer
  • Adama Soumare
    Adama Soumaré
    Adama Soumaré is a French-Burundian defender currently playing for Ligue 2 side Le Havre AC.-Career:Soumaré began his career 2000 by Le Havre AC and was loaned out to Vannes on 7 January 2009.-Personal life:...

    , footballer

External links

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