el ganeden d'esmareldas

the garden of emeralds

Goussainville (Le Vieux Village), Val-d’Oise, France

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The origin of the name ‘Goussainville’ is likely from the way the French named rural land in earlier times (around the 4th century). The owners’ surname would simply be attached to the suffix -ville as to say ‘villa of (surname)’. The earliest mention of Goussainville, however, is in the 9th century in 832 in a charter of the monks of Abbey of St Denis, who then owned the land. The church, St Peter and St Paul, of which ruins of it remain today, is first mentioned in the 12th century. Some of the lords of Goussainville later participated in the Crusades in the 13th century. In 1870, the Prussians occupied part of Goussainville and destroyed some of the town’s documents and burned buildings. In 1905, a sugar factory was built in Goussainville and operated for 80 years, bringing many jobs to town and turning it to a city. Much urbanization occurred during the 60s, which brought schools, businesses, and transport to the city.

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Le Vieux Village, year unknown. ‘Au Paradis’ is still standing, though abandoned, and you can still see its painted letters. However, I was unable to get an image of it through Google Earth as that part of the town had no coverage.

The part of the city in the image shown is called ‘Le Vieux Village’ or the ‘Old Village’. Residents of Le Vieux Village were not happy with the construction of the Charles de Gaulle airport nearby, because of the noise, and many of them began to leave the village as the airport was being built. Shortly later in 1973, before the airport had even opened, the Paris Air Show was being held. A new plane being tested there, the Tupolev Tu-144, crashed into Le Vieux Village during its flight, killing all six crew on board and eight residents of the neighbourhood. After this, nearly all the remaining residents left Le Vieux Village. Later in 2000, Air France Flight 4590 caught fire and crashed into a hotel from the Charles de Gaulle airport, just 6km from Le Vieux Village. All 109 people on the plane died along with four on the ground.

Today, Le Vieux Village has a few residents left (estimated 10 households max) and has now received attention and is visited for sight seeing of the ruins of the St Peter and St Paul Church and the rest of the village.

49°01′33″N 2°28′28″E

Historical img srcs

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