Meudon

Meudon

Meudon, town (1990 pop. 46,173), Hauts-de-Seine dept., N central France, a suburb SW of Paris. Metal products, automobile bodies, and explosives are the chief manufactures. The astrophysics department of the Paris Observatory is located in the pavilion of an 18th-century château, which commands a magnificent view of Paris. François Rabelais, Richard Wagner, and Auguste Rodin lived in Meudon. Rodin is buried in the garden of his villa, which is now a museum containing many of his sculptures.

Meudon is a municipality in the southwestern suburbs of Paris, France. It is in the département of Hauts-de-Seins. It is located 9.1 km. (5.6 miles) from the center of Paris.

Geography

The town of Meudon is built on the hills and valleys of the Seine. 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").

History

At Meudon, the Argile Plastique clay was extensively mined in the 19th century. The first fossil of the European diatryma Gastornis parisiensis was discovered in these deposits by Gaston Planté.

Archaeological sites show that Meudon has been populated since Neolithic times.

The Gauls 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 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, 1871, while it was occupied by Prussian soldiers. A branch of the Paris Observatory was founded in 1877 on the ruins. The Meudon town hall sits some 43m in altitude above that of Paris and the climb from there to the observatory offers some rewarding views of Paris.

Economy

Although a choice residential district, access to the railway (RER) and the Seine 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.

CNRS has a campus in Bellevue.

Transport

Meudon is served by Meudon – Val Fleury station on Paris RER line C.

Meudon is also served by two stations on the Transilien Paris – Montparnasse suburban rail line: Meudon and Bellevue.

Finally Meudon is served by the Meudon-sur-Seine station on the Paris tramway line T2

People

  • Johnny Depp, American actor most known for playing eccentric characters such as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, lives here with his partner and two children.
  • Rodin's villa des Brillants, now a museum of his art, is located here, as is his grave.
  • Richard Wagner was a resident (No. 27 Av. du Château), and here composed The Flying Dutchman.
  • Louis-Ferdinand Céline lived here until his death, and is buried in Bas Meudon.
  • Painter May Alcott lived here until her death.
  • Artists Jean Arp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp were resident here from 1929-1940. Their neighbours were the artist and architect Theo van Doesburg and his wife Nelly.
  • The town has a monument to Rabelais who died here as canon of Meudon, where he held the benefice from 1551-1552.
  • Jean-Luc Marion was born in 1946.
  • Clémence Poésy, French Actress most know for her portrayal of Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie.

External links

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