Clichy-sous-Bois is a commune with a population of 28 thousand people, 16 km from Paris in the northeastern department of the Ile-de-France Seine-Saint-Denis region.
In historical chronicles, the commune of Clichy-sous-Bois was first mentioned under its former name of Clichy-en-Aulnoy in 632, when the land surrounding the village with numerous vineyards and extensive pastures was granted by King Dagobert to the abbey of Saint-Denis. In the late Middle Ages, from 1261, Clichy-sous-Bois belonged to the Knights Templar. In 1312, by decree of King Philip the Fair, the village was transferred to the Order of the Hospitallers, in whose ownership it remained until the revolution of the 18th century. Since the end of this century, most of the population of the village adhere to the Protestant faith.
In the middle of the 19th century the commune receives its modern name. In 1869, the village loses part of its land, as a new municipality of Rancy was created on the territory of Livry and Gagny. During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, Clichy-sous-Bois was badly damaged during the hostilities and during the placement of a ten thousandth Prussian garrison in it.
Industrial Revolution 19th century almost did not affect the economy of Clichy-sous-Bois, which was still dominated by agricultural production. Its radical transformation began only in the 1960s. The ambitious plan for the development of the commune was developed by the architect B. Serfass, whose motto was the words "Space, light, nature."
Despite the turbulent events in the past, several buildings have survived in the historic center of Clichy-sous-Bois, which were given the status of monuments of history and culture.
Mansion de Ville
The mansion de Ville (L'hôtel-de-ville) was built on the site of a 16th century castle, which in 1645 was acquired by the superintendent of King Louis XIV R. de Brazhelon. The building was extensively rebuilt in 1807 in a neoclassical style. Two small wings adjoin the central part with the portal. A pavilion was attached to the south wing of the mansion. Since 1930, the town hall of Clichy-sous-Bois has been located in the mansion.
The layout of the park adjacent to the mansion was radically redesigned during the years of the empire. The traditional, regular French style of landscaping has been replaced by free planning in English patterns. According to the project of architects AT Bronart and H. Robert, an artificial lake and a fountain were created in the garden. The park also houses the Louis XVI flower conservatory.
Church of Saint Denis
The oldest church in the commune of Saint-Denis (L'église Saint-Denis) was built on the site of an older temple of the 13th century. in 1641. This is a very simple church with one nave and an ambulatory enveloping its altar.
The stained glass windows of the 17th century have been preserved in the interior of the church. The temple was rebuilt several times in 1759, 1811 and 1847. During the last reconstruction of the building, a spire was installed above its bell tower.
La Terrace Castle
The construction of another architectural monument, the castle of La Terrasse (Le château de La Terrasse), was completed in 1908 on the Avenue de Sevigne.
At this place in the 12th century. was the residence of the Knights Templar, on the ruins of which a mansion was built at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1870, this building was also destroyed during the Prussian invasion.
The Bondy forest (La forêt de Bondy), which covers an area of 170 hectares, comes close to the eastern outskirts of Clichy-sous-Bois. Thanks to this green area, the commune is in second place in terms of greenery in the Seine-Saint-Denis department.
In the earlier Middle Ages, the Bondi forest occupied most of the historical area of Aulnoye and had a very dark reputation: in 675, the Frankish king Childeric II was killed by robbers.
In the middle of the forest, back in 1212, a chapel was built on the site of the miraculous rescue from robbers by the angels of three merchants from Anjou sent by the Virgin Mary. In 1650-1660, the chapel of Our Lady of the Angels (chapelle Notre-Dame-des-Anges) was erected in its place.
The order for its construction was given by the abbot of Livry Abbey C. de Coulanges. The chapel, which was burnt down in a fire in 1791, was restored by 1808. In 1865, due to the increased number of pilgrims, it was expanded, and a dome appeared over its central part. In 2012, the 800th anniversary of the pilgrimage to the shrine of the chapel was solemnly celebrated - a copy of the Black Madonna, a wooden statue of Our Lady of the Angels.
For centuries, the forest has been a source of timber for construction and industry in Paris. Logging in it continued until 1913. The forest area has also been greatly reduced due to logging, housing and road construction in the region, and the development of a gypsum quarry. Since 1999, Bondi has been run by the National Forestry Bureau.
Despite the relatively small size, the flora and fauna of the forest are very diverse. Oak, alder, willow, chestnut, maple and pine grow here. A complex hydraulic system, consisting of streams, five lakes and ponds, creates favorable living conditions for fish and amphibian inhabitants of the forest. Scientists estimate that up to 25% of bird species in the Ile-de-France region nest in this forest park.
In the vicinity of Paris, the Bondi forest is the most popular green area among nature lovers: it is visited by about 1 million people a year, or about 11 thousand visitors a day.
How to get from Paris
From the south station, the metro (line number 5) departs to the Bobigny - Pablo Picasso station. Then you need to take the 146 bus and get to the Avenue Ladrette stop. Travel time will be approximately 75 minutes. There are Mobilis travel cards (1-2 zones) and Navigo.