Place:Courbevoie, Hauts-de-Seine, France

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NameCourbevoie
TypeCommune
Coordinates48.9°N 2.25°E
Located inHauts-de-Seine, France
Also located inSeine, Île-de-France, France    
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


Courbevoie is a city in France, on the left bank of the river Seine. The La Défense business district is located in part in Courbevoie (the rest spreading over Puteaux and Nanterre).

Courbevoie, seat of the Nautical Society of the Lower Seine, hosted the Rowing, Swimming and Water Polo competitions during the 1900 Olympic Games. The crawl was swum there for the first time in Olympic Games.

History

The name Courbevoie comes from the Latin "curva via", which means the curvy way, referring to the curved road which crosses the city. This phrase is found on the town motto, which iswritten on the city's coat of arms: Curva via mens recta (curvy road, straight mind) whihc is believed to have been authored by Antoninus Pius, son of Roman emperor Hadrian.

At the beginning Curvia was a small hamlet of fishermen and winemakers. In the 8th century the village was under the tutelage of Saint-Wandrille, near Rouen, then became controlled by the clergy of Sain-Denis in the 12th century. Later it will belong to the Colombes parish, until 1787.

In 1606, while King Henri IV of France and Marie de' Medici where coming back to Paris from Saint-Germain-en-Laye, they took a ferry to cross the Seine. The royal carriage fell in the water. Following this incident, Henri IV asked his Minister Sully to build a bridge, at the spot of the current Neuilly bridge. The bridge, initially made of wood, was rebuilt out of stone in the 18th century, then as a metallic structure in 1946. This bridge will be utilized by the procession bringing back the ashes of Napoleon on December 14, 1840 from Saint Helena to Les Invalides.

Until the middle of the 18th century Courbevoie is a vilage of a few hundreds of inhabitants. Toward the end of the 1730s, Courbeoie becomes a garrison town and the population soon doubles. Workers and craftsmen and numerous small businesses thrive, while vineyards remain an important activity until the end of the 19th century.

The city becomes autonomous in 1790. The population soon grows from under 1500 at the end of the 18th century to 25,000 at the end of the 9th, due to the growth of manufacturing and the arrival of the railroad.

After World War II and the building of La Défense, large construction projects give rise to new modern neighborhoods with apartment buildings, shops and infrastructure for sport, entertainment and culture. Courbevoie's economy transitions from manufacturing to a more urban, service-oriented activity.

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