Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Forest Of Saint-Germain-En-Laye

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Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye

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The Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye or Forêt de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, is a dominial forest of 35 km² in area which lies in a meander of the River Seine, France. Situated 20 km West of Paris, between Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Maisons-Laffitte, Achères and Poissy, It is situated entirely within the commune of Saint-Germain. Essentially composed of oak (53 %) and beech (18 %), it is now a forest bordered by built up areas and divided by communication links: route nationales, A14 and the railway line from Paris to Caen.The Fête des Loges is, every year, organised in an open space near Saint-Germain.


The Forest of Laye is a relic of the ancient Forest of Yveline. Very early it became a royal domain and hunting grounds of the Kings of France who resided at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Henry IV and Louis XIII of France often used the forest for fox hunting. Louis XIV also walked the forest and hired an architect, André Le Nôtre, to build a terrace bordering the forest dominating the valley of the River Seine in 1663. He also built a high wall, finished by Napoléon, encircling the forest to prevent game from escaping the woods. After the abandonment of the forest of Saint-Germain in 1682 by Louis XIV, Charles X resumed the hunting tradition of Saint-Germain. Napoléon III purchased land to the South to link the forest of Saint-Germain with the Forest of Marly. The arrival of the railway in 1835, then the development of...
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