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Tour of the village with an audioguide
Roissy-en-France offers up its secrets
Take the time to make a surprising and useful discovery. Visit an unusual and functional place. All villages have a history, but Roissy very nearly lost its one. But the real agricultural village, with Gallo-Roman origins, has resisted the airport’s extension. A small piece of humanity where each sign of the past has been meticulously protected and restored.
Parc de la Mairie
The audioguide, how does it work?
Discover the history of an authentic and unusual village step-by-step... Listen to the story of Roissy-en-France, its church, its castle, its park, its inhabitants... In eighteen stages, discover the remains of the castle, Saint-Eloi Church and the history of the village which, in the space of 20 years, progressed from the plough to the supersonic age.
Listen to extracts of the visit by clicking on the videos below.
Duration: between 1 hour and 1½ hours Languages: French-English-Spanish Price: €1 (Deposit for the hire of the audioguide: the Tourist Office will ask you to provide an identity document as a deposit).
At the end of the 1950s, the heads of Aéroports de Paris wisely predicted a huge increase in air traffic and noted the fact that the platforms in Bourget and Orly would soon be saturated. A new airport was needed.
In 1964, Roissy was a French village with 1,250 inhabitants where 95% of the land was still farmed.
The 1960s and 1970s were a nightmare for the inhabitants of Roissy.
With a ban on the construction of new houses, the village’s population started to decline. For several years, the inhabitants were forced to live in complete uncertainty. Very few people believed that the airport’s construction was going to be an incredible local and regional economic revolution.
By the decree of 13 January 1964, the government decided to build a new airport.
It would be installed on farm land in the Pays de France, 20 kilometres north-east of the capital. The works caused a great disturbance, with the arrival of heavy plant and damage caused to the village
streets (trucks, mud, underground facilities destroyed, etc.), with access to the site transiting the village
On 13 March 1974, after years of work, the village saw the inauguration and commissioning of Charles-de-Gaulle airport, the largest in Europe in terms of surface area. Its construction at the start of 1968 greatly modified the village’s appearance. 800 hectares were taken from the municipality’s 1,400 hectares of land and the prospect of sound disturbances led to the banning of any new buildings in the fields, something which posed a threat in the medium-term to the village’s survival.
The fate of Roissy was transformed. It was no longer a village surrounded by fields, but a village looking for a new identity.
The uncertainties about its future did not favour new initiatives. Its environment had been completely transformed. To their great surprise, the village’s inhabitants quickly realised that life was possible with this new neighbour. Once this positive observation had been made, it was time to give hope back to the population and launch a new wave of dynamism.
That year, nobody yet believed that this village’s name was going to be pronounced by people from around the world: Roissy Charles de Gaulle. In 1976, a year and a half after the airport’s inauguration, the first hotel opened its doors at No.1 on the new Allée du Verger. A new economic era was born. New opportunities opened up, but there were many difficulties to overcome.
In 1977, this observation forced the new municipality led by André Toulouse (Mayor of Roissy-en-France) to adopt several measures: as a priority, obtain a POS (land use plan), a real estate programme for a hundred houses was voted for the village centre, in the process enabling the creation of a more coherent town plan for the village. Squalid housing was gradually removed to provide decent homes for former farm workers. The new buildings required the complete review of the village’s drinking water supply, as well as its sewage system: a new borehole was drilled in 1978 and commissioned the following year.
In 1980, the Tournelles sports complex was created and later improved.
Finally, the municipal team encouraged the rehabilitation of old buildings by taking charge of public subsidy applications in order to encourage owners to renovate the village and preserve its original character.
A sign of new times, the first building permit since 1964 was issued in 1979.
In October 1996, L'Orangerie cultural centre was inaugurated.
n 2003, the Municipality set up the Tourist Office, a sign of the sector’s dynamism...