Suresnes is a commune in the Hauts-de-Seine department of the Ile-de-France region, just 9 km from the central districts of Paris. Located west of the capital and bordered by the communes of Saint-Cloud, Nanterre, Ruelle-Malmaison and Puteaux. Included in the metropolitan area Greater Paris.
The earliest mentions of Suren are found in the donation of 918 by Charles III the Rustic on the land near him to the abbot of the abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés Robert, Count of Paris.
Until the 19th century the village near the Bois de Boulogne was hardly touched by the important events of French history. In 1844, on the site of the abbey of the Congregation of the Priests of Calvary, near Suresnes, the fort of Mont-Valérien was built, and since that time the town has acquired great strategic importance. During the First World War, it became one of the centers of the military industry in the vicinity of Paris.
During the interwar period of the 20th century. peaceful industries are also developing in Suresnes, in particular, factories of the Citroen company are being built. During the occupation of France by Nazi Germany, Fort Mont-Valérien becomes a place of detention for members of the Resistance. During the war years, more than 1000 of its prisoners and hostages were shot in the courtyard of the fort, including the writer Jacques Decor.
After World War II, Suren became a major transport hub on the outskirts of Paris and developed as a scientific and educational center. The city has the National Center for Education and Professional Training of Children with Disabilities, as well as the Higher School named after P. Langevin, training specialists in the field of commerce.
Attractions of the suburb
The Mont-Valérien fortress (La forteresse du Mont-Valérien) is one of the most significant and interesting sights of Suren. This is one of six forts built in 1840-1846 to defend Paris under the program of strengthening the defense of the capital, adopted by the government of A. Thiers.
The pentagonal citadel was of great importance during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 and the events of the Paris Commune. During the First World War, it housed air defense units.
Memorial Fighting France
Not far from this fortress is the Memorial "Fighting France" (Mémorial de la France combattante). It was created in 1946 with the active participation of A. Frenet. The area of the esplanade of the memorial is 1 thousand m2. In the center of the wall, 150 m long and 12 m high, the Lorraine cross marks the entrance to the memorial hall, where 17 burials under marble slabs are placed in an arc. In the center of the hall is an urn with the ashes of dead concentration camp prisoners.
There are 16 statues along the wall, symbolizing various forms of the struggle for liberation. In 1952, soldiers of the French army who died in Indochina in battles with the Japanese army were reburied here. In total, about 2 thousand participants of the Second World War are buried within the memorial.
American Memorial Cemetery
On the hillside of Mont Valerien is the American Memorial Cemetery. It is unique for Europe in that 1,5 thousand participants in the battles of the First and Second World Wars, who died from wounds and diseases, are buried here in one place.
The cemetery also commemorates several hundred missing servicemen. The memorial complex with a chapel built by architect C. A. Platt was opened in May 1919 in the presence of US President W. Wilson.
Church of the North Dame de la Pax
When visiting Suresnes, many tourists pay attention to the Église Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix church built in 1922 in the Art Nouveau style by architect D. Bellot.
Interesting is the building of the Jean-Vilar theater opened in 1932 by A. Thomas.
Museum of Urban and Social History
The Museum of Urban and Social History (Le Musée d'histoire urbaine et sociale) is located in the old train station of Suresnes Longchamp.
The exposition of the museum opened in the summer of 2013 with an area of 1,3 thousand m2 dedicated to the history of the city and tells about its sights in an interactive way.