Germain

Germain

[jer-meyn; Fr. zher-men]
Pilon, Germain, 1535-90, French sculptor. He was court sculptor under the later Valois sovereigns. He executed several sculptures on Henry II's mausoleum at Saint-Denis. In the Louvre are a number of his vigorously realistic works including The Three Graces, supporting an urn that once held the heart of Henry II; portrait busts of Henry II and Francis II; The Virgin; and, his masterpiece, the figure of Chancellor René de Birague. As controller of the mint under Charles IX he made the finest medallions, medals, and coins of his time.
Germain, George Sackville, 1st Viscount Sackville, 1716-85, British soldier and statesman. He was known as Lord George Sackville until 1770, when under the terms of a will he took the name Germain. His early military career, in the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War, ended in court-martial and dismissal (1760) for insubordination at the battle of Minden (1759). A member of Parliament intermittently from 1741, he attached himself to Lord North and was his secretary for the colonies (1775-82). With the 4th earl of Sandwich, Germain has received much of the blame for the British reverses in the American Revolution. He and John Burgoyne were the chief authors of a plan (see Saratoga campaign) to end the Revolution by splitting New England from the rest of the colonies. However, his vague orders to Sir William Howe to join Burgoyne may have cost Burgoyne the campaign of 1777, while the confusion in the plans of Lord Cornwallis and Sir Henry Clinton, arising partly from Germain's ignorance of American geography, contributed to the disaster of the Yorktown campaign. He was created viscount in 1782.

See biography by L. Marlow (1974).

Germain, Sophie, 1776-1831, French mathematician. Although self-taught, she mastered mathematics and corresponded with J. L. Lagrange and C. F. Gauss. She is known especially for her study of the vibrations of elastic surfaces.
For treaties with this name see Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (disambiguation)

Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris in France. It is located 19.1 km (11.9 miles) from the center of Paris. Inhabitants are called Saint-Germanois. With its elegant tree-lined streets it is, with Garches-Vaucresson, the wealthiest suburb of Paris, combining both high-end leisure spots and ultra-residential neighborhoods (see the Golden Triangle of the Yvelines).

It is a sous-préfecture of the Yvelines département, being the seat of the Arrondissement of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Because it includes the National Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, it covers approximately 48 km², making it the largest commune in Yvelines. It occupies a large loop of the Seine. Saint-Germain-en-Laye lies at one of western terminus of the line A of the RER.

History

Saint-Germain-en-Laye was founded in 1020 when King Robert the Pious (ruled 996-1031) founded a convent on the site of the present Church of Saint-Germain.

Prior to the French Revolution in 1789, it had been a royal town and the Château de Saint-Germain the residence of numerous French monarchs.

The old château was constructed in 1348 by King Charles V on the foundations of an old castle (château-fort) dating from 1238 in the time of Saint Louis. François I was responsible for its subsequent restoration. In 1862, Napoleon III set up the Musée des Antiquités Nationales in the estwhile royal château. This museum has exhibits ranging from Paleolithic to Celtic times. The "Dame de Brassempouy" sculpted on a mammoth's ivory tusk around 23,000 years ago is the most famous exhibit in the museum.

Kings Henri IV and Louis XIII left their mark on the town.

Louis XIV was born in the château (the city's coat of arms consequently shows a cradle and the date of his birth), and established Saint-Germain-en-Laye as his principal residence from 1661 to 1681. Louis XIV turned over the château to King James II after his exile from Britain after the Glorious Revolution in 1688. King James lived in the Château for 13 years, and his daughter Louisa Maria Stuart was born in exile here in 1692. King James Stuart is buried in the Church of Saint-Germain.

Saint-Germain-en-Laye is famous for its 2.4 kilometre long stone terrace built by André Le Nôtre from 1669 to 1673. The terrace provides a view over the valley of the Seine and, in the distance, Paris.

During the French Revolution, the name was changed along with many other places whose names held connotations of religion or royalty. Saint-Germain-en-Laye became Montagne-du-Bon-Air.

In the 19th century, Napoleon I established his cavalry officers training school in the Château-Vieux.

During the occupation from 1940 to 1944, the town was the German Army Headquarters.

Transport

Saint-Germain-en-Laye is served by Saint-Germain-en-Laye station on Paris RER line A.

It is also served by two stations on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail line: Saint-Germain – Bel-Air – Fourqueux and Saint-Germain – Grande Ceinture.

Finally, Saint-Germain-en-Laye is also served by Achères – Grand Cormier station on Paris RER line A and on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail line. This station is located in the middle of the Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, far away from the urbanized part of the commune.

Miscellaneous

Births

Saint-Germain-en-Laye was the birthplace of:

Twin towns

Saint-Germain-en-Laye is twinned with:

External links

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