Maisons-Laffitte is an affluent suburb northwest of Paris. It is famous for the Château de Maisons-Laffitte and its gardens which were turned into a residential Garden City (the Parc de Maisons-Laffitte) during the 19th century. It is also a paradise for equestrian sports and is commonly known as the cité du cheval ("City of the Horse"), and you'll quite often see horses being ridden around the area.
The original château and surrounding 300-hectare park was built in the 17th century by René de Longueil, a minister in the cabinet of Louis XIV. Maisons-Laffitte developed its modern character in the 19th century after the estate of the Château was bought by the banker Jacques Laffitte in 1818, who also gave the town (which had previously been known solely as Maisons) its current name. His later role as minister in the cabinet of the constitutional monarch Louis-Philippe ended up being a major burden to his finances, and so from 1833 he ended up being forced to divide up most of the Parc de Maisons-Laffitte for residential development. However, he was also anxious to safeguard the character of the area, and created a "town made up of country houses" for wealthy Parisians in search of fresh air, with very strict regulations on what could be built where.
Maisons-Laffitte is also home to France's first horse-racing track - the Hippodrome de Maisons-Laffitte, and is still home to a large number of stables.
Today, Maisons-Laffitte is also home to a large British expat population, attracted to the area by its proximity to the British School of Paris. It was the birthplace of the actress Emma Watson where she lived until the age of 5.
Maisons-Laffitte station is served by the Poissy and Cergy branches of the RER Paris-Saint Lazare station., and by the Cergy branch of Transilien Line which goes directly to
- 1 Parc de Maisons-Laffitte (pretty much anything east of Rue de la Muette and Rue de Paris). Beautiful garden city laid out according to the original plans of the gardens of the chateau.
- 2 Chateau de Maisons-Laffitte, 2 Avenue Carnot, ☏ . W M 10:00-12:30 and 14:00-17:00, closed Tu.
- 3 Maisons-Laffitte Racecourse (Hippodrome de Maisons-Laffitte), 1 Avenue de la Pelouse, ☏ .
Maisons-Laffitte is known for its numerous stables and horse riding schools, e.g.,
- 1 Maisons-Laffitte Equestrian Centre (Centre Hippique de Maisons Laffitte), 42 Avenue le Kain, ☏ . A theatre and art house cinema.
- 2 USMT Section Equitation, 23 Avenue de Montebello, ☏ . Daily 09:00-21:30.
- 3 Pony Club du Parc, 5 Avenue du Général Foy, ☏ . Daily 08:30-18:30.
- Saint-Germain-en-Laye and the adjacent forest.
- Poissy, features Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier, one of the best known creations of this architect.
- La Défense
|Routes through Maisons-Laffitte|
|Poissy ← Achères ←||W E||→ Sartrouville → Paris|
|Cergy ← Achères ←||W E||→ Sartrouville → Paris|
|Cergy ← Achères ←||W N||→ Sartrouville → 8th arrondissement|