Place:Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, France

Alt namesNotre Dame des Vertussource: Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 91
TypeInhabited place
Coordinates48.917°N 2.4°E
Located inSeine-Saint-Denis, France
Also located inSeine, Île-de-France, France    
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Aubervilliers is a French commune in the Seine-Saint-Denis department in the Île-de-France region in the north-eastern suburbs of Paris, France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Albertivillariens or Albertivillariennes.

The commune has been awarded two flowers by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia


As with many communes in the outer suburbs the town had long been a rural area. Formerly known as Notre-Dame-des-Vertus, the village was on is a plain which produced the best vegetables around Paris.

Middle Ages

Aubervilliers appears in the archives in was first mentioned in 1059 as Albertivillare, meaning "estate of Adalbert" and in the following year when Henry I donated it to the Priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs. In 1111 the serfs were freed in Aubervilliers. In 1182 the priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs, located in Paris, granted Paris butchers the right to freely graze their cattle in the fields after the harvest was over. In 1221, Guillaume Bateste, lord of Franconville, became the first Lord of Vivier les Aubervilliers. The church, which at the beginning of the 13th century depended on one of the parishes of Saint Denis, soon became famous for the miraculous appearance of an image of the Virgin.

In 1336 Father Jacques Du Breul, Prior of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, reported the Miracle of the rain: A young girl busy preparing flowers to adorn the statue of the Virgin in the church saw her face streaming with tears when the rain began to fall on the parched crops. In 1338 King Philip VI of France and his queen went to Aubervilliers to visit the image. From 1340 to 1792 people went there in droves each year from Paris and its surroundings. In 1402 Michel de Laillier, Lord of Ermenonville, became Lord of Vivier les Aubervilliers. In 1429 the town was occupied by the English but was retaken by Michel de Laillier in 1436. Louis XI went there in November 1474 to the house of Pierre L’Orfèvre, the new Lord of Vivier from then until August 1478. The image of the Virgin in lead that the king wore on his hat was a representation of the one at Aubervilliers.

In 1531 the Lordship of Vivier les Aubervilliers was sold to the Montholon family which held it until 1779. The facade and tower of the church were built in the reign of Henry II. Civil wars which the Armagnacs stirred up in France led to the destruction of the village but the abundant alms of the many pilgrims who came from all sides allowed a prompt reconstruction. On 10 November 1567 the Battle of Saint-Denis took place in the Plaine Saint-Denis between the Catholic army of Anne de Montmorency and the Protestant troops of the Prince of Condé.

Henri IV stayed in Aubervilliers during the Siege of Paris in 1590.

From the Renaissance to the 18th century

The visit by Louis XIII in 1613, then again in 1614 and 1628, allowed the development of pilgrimage to Notre-Dame des Virtues. Jacques Gallemant, pastor of Aubervilliers, allowed a community of Oratorians to settle in Aubervilliers in 1618. They took charge of the Church of Notre-Dame-des-Vertus and developed an important pilgrimage around the statue of the Virgin of Aubervilliers. The installation from 1622 of a "House of Notre-Dame des Vertus" by the Oratorians of John de Bérulle then its progressive extension throughout the 17th century made Aubervilliers an important centre of French Catholic spirituality. Thinkers, "pious and famous faithful" such as Francis de Sales, Vincent de Paul, John Eudes (he stayed for two years), Jean-Jacques Ollier, Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, the philosopher Nicolas Malebranche, and the son of the great Jean Racine - the poet Louis Racine participated in a pilgrimage there and returned. At the end of the 17th century and in the first half of the 18th century, the House of Oratorians of Aubervilliers became a "stronghold" of the Jansenist dissent.

In 1649, during the Fronde, Aubervilliers fell into misery. Crops were destroyed, death reigned and population declined. There were 125 deaths in 1652 in a population of about 1,500 inhabitants. Nevertheless the small town was reborn although until the 19th century it was populated by farmers. Proximity to the Paris markets promoted Market gardening, especially on the Plain of Vertus which was famous for its onions and a wide range of vegetables. The existence of the Mazier farm at 70 Rue Heurtault is attested by a document in 1699.

French Revolution and Empire

On 12 August 1787 the first meeting of the Municipal Assembly of Aubervilliers took place. In 1789 there was alist of grievances, complaints and remonstrances written by Mesme Monard, the parish priest, and one of the leaders against the Oratorians. On 24 January 1790 the election of the first mayor of Aubervilliers took place: Nicolas Lemoine was elected. In 1792 the boundary of the commune of Aubervilliers was delineated.

The Plain of Aubervilliers was, in 1814 and 1815, the scene of a bloody battle between French troops and the Prussians who took and re-took it several times. The French soldiers were overpowered by numbers and were eventually forced to abandon it.

From the Restoration to the Paris Commune

On 13 May 1821 the Canal Saint-Denis opened. In 1832, an outbreak of cholera decimated the population. In 1840 a factory was set up to manufacture soap from resin. The Fort d'Aubervilliers was built in 1843 - it was part of the Thiers wall, a structure authorised in 1840 by Adolphe Thiers to protect Paris and, where appropriate, to subdue its rebellions forming an elongated belt around Paris. It was used for the repression of the Paris Commune. The grounds of the fort and its surroundings are part of Aubervilliers commune. In 1861 the Central Market was created.

On 1 January 1860, the city of Paris was enlarged by annexing neighbouring communes. On that occasion, a small part of the commune of Aubervilliers was annexed to the city of Paris. At the same time, the commune of La Chapelle-Saint-Denis was disbanded and divided between the city of Paris, Aubervilliers, Saint-Denis, and Saint-Ouen. Aubervilliers received a small part of the territory of La Chapelle-Saint-Denis.

The Industrial Revolution and the expansion of Paris radically changed the situation in Aubervilliers. Industries were established next to the canal. On 6 October 1862 Baron Hainguerlot began the operation of General Stores in Saint-Denis. In 1866 he moved to Aubervilliers. In 1866 Saint-Gobain purchased a factory manufacturing sulphuric acid from John Frédéric Boyd which was located on Rue du Landy. On 12 September 1867 Lady Lequin began operating a Match factory at a place called La Motte, Rue du Vivier.

During the Siege of Paris in 1870 the municipal government took refuge in Paris at 20 Boulevard de Strasbourg. At the beginning of 1877 a tramway arrived in the city centre. In 1879, the boyauderie (Tripe factory) owned by Mr. Jacquart was established. It was later purchased by Witt SA, a boyaudier from La Courneuve. The whole complex was bought in 1921 by the Wanner establishment who manufactured insulating materials: ceramic, plaster, and cork tiles. On 18 June 1897 a grease manufacturing factory (industrial oils and greases) was established on Chemin Haut de St Denis at Aubervilliers and remained in operation until the Second World War. In 1898 a tram depot was built at the corner of the Avenue de la République No. 30 and Rue du Midi.

The Belle Époque to the Second World War

At the end of the 19th century the life of the small town was already closely linked to nascent industrialization. People from Belgium, Lorraine, Alsace, Brittany, Spain, and Italy arrived in successive waves. This capacity to absorb and mix populations is characteristic of the history of the commune. Workers come to live in the suburbs which were cheaper than in Paris. Ever since Aubervilliers has been a multicultural city where more than 70 nationalities live.

For decades major industries shaped the identity of the city.

The district of Quatre-Chemins, which straddles the boundary of Aubervilliers and Pantin, was pejoratively nicknamed La Petite Prusse (Little Prussia) due to many immigrants coming to work in the Saint-Gobain glassworks - established in 1866 next to the canal. The identity of the district led them to ask in vain for the status of full-function commune at the end of the 19th century.

Summary of events
  • 15–16 April 1900: the burning of the church.
  • 1908: installation of the Edmond Jean Enamel works.
  • 1923: Pierre Laval became mayor of Aubervilliers.
  • 1927: Construction of the main post office on Rue Achille-Domart.
  • 1929: Construction of 186 cheap housing units and 4 shops by the Société Anonyme d'HBM d'Aubervilliers on avenue Jean-Jaurès, opposite the Fort.
  • 1931: Construction of 110 cheap housing units and 4 shops by l’Office public d’HBM d’Aubervilliers, Rue de la Goutte d'Or and Rue Bordier. Work on the Auguste Delaune Municipal Stadium ends.
  • 1944: the Leclerc division is stationed on Route nationale 2. Charles Tillon becomes mayor.

Contemporary period

  • 1948: Construction of 142 housing units at Pont Blanc.
  • 1953: Mayor Charles Tillon resigns, Émile Dubois replaces him; 19 April: construction by the HLM Group of Prés Clos; 14 July: delivery of the Ethel and Julius Rosenberg Estate on Avenue du President Roosevelt.
  • 18 July 1954: construction of 37 housing units at 37 Rue des Grandes-Walls.
  • 1957: following the death of Mayor Émile Dubois, André Karman becomes mayor.
  • 1958: Construction of the Gabriel-Peri Estate.
  • 15 May 1965:, delivery of the Maurice Thorez Estate at 21 rue des Cités.
  • 1969: construction of the République Estate located at 64-68 Avenue de la République.
  • On the night of 1 and 2 January 1970 five Africans were found dead in a migrant workers residence from asphyxia due to an improvised heating system. This drama has a strong impact and gave rise to a lively debate on immigration and living conditions in the migrant workers' residences. Despite a call for privacy at the funeral on 10 January, there was an the eruption of demonstrators by the Gauche prolétarienne (Proletarian Left) and people such as Kateb Yacine, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Michel Rocard. The Aubervilliers slum was visited two days later by Prime Minister Jacques Chaban-Delmas, followed by a controversial televised debate on 14 January on Les Dossiers de l'écran. This drama made a lasting impression on the representation of immigration in the French collective imagination.
  • 1972:, the Aubervilliers Slum on the Chemin de Halage along the canal near Stains bridge completely disappeared.
  • 1974: The Tour La Villette is an example of contemporary architecture.
  • 1978: Renovation of the Maladrerie district.
  • 1979: Inauguration of the Paris Métro stations of Aubervilliers-Pantin-Quatre Chemins and Fort d'Aubervilliers.
  • 1984: On the death of Mayor André Karman Jack Ralite becomes mayor.

The construction of the Stade de France (Stadium of France) just north of the commune in 1998 was a stimulating element in the Saint-Denis Plain. With its 750 hectares on the outskirts of Paris, The Saint-Denis Plain covers one third of Aubervilliers and extends over Saint-Denis and Saint-Ouen. Since the early 2000s this area, which was one of the largest industrial areas in Europe, has been changing and should receive the Campus Condorcet in the late 2010s.


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