Last updated
Medan - Mairie02.jpg
Town hall
Blason Medan01.svg
Coat of arms
Location of Médan
France location map-Regions and departements-2016.svg
Red pog.svg
Ile-de-France region location map.svg
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Coordinates: 48°57′15″N1°59′49″E / 48.9542°N 1.9969°E / 48.9542; 1.9969 Coordinates: 48°57′15″N1°59′49″E / 48.9542°N 1.9969°E / 48.9542; 1.9969
Country France
Region Île-de-France
Department Yvelines
Arrondissement Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Canton Verneuil-sur-Seine
Intercommunality CU Grand Paris Seine et Oise
  Mayor (20012008) Serge Goblet
2.85 km2 (1.10 sq mi)
 (2016-01-01) [1]
  Density500/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
78384 /78670
Elevation18–171 m (59–561 ft)
(avg. 63 m or 207 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Médan is a village in the Yvelines department, Île-de-France region, in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, France, about 25 km from the capital. Inhabitants of Médan are called Médanais.

Île-de-France Administrative region of France

Île-de-France, often called the région parisienne due to containing the city of Paris, is north-central and the most populous of the 18 regions of France. It covers 12,012 square kilometres, or two percent of the national territory, and has official estimated population of 12,213,364 as of January 1, 2019, or 18.2% of the population of France. The region accounts for nearly 30 percent of the French Gross Domestic Product (GDP).



Médan is located in the Seine Valley, surrounded by the towns of Triel-sur-Seine to the northeast, Villennes-sur-Seine to the south, Orgeval and Morainvilliers to the southeast, and Vernouillet to the northwest. The village counts about 1,500 residents and has very little commercial activity. It is a bedroom community for people working in Paris. While the commune is partially urbanized, green space comprises 66% of the territory. It has a primary school, a Romanesque church (open from Easter to Toussaint) and a municipal meeting room (Salle Maeterlinck). Médan is divided by the secondary roads RD 164 and RD 154. Médan is also served by the highways A13 and A14 or by Poissy station of the RER line A and the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail line at Villennes-sur-Seine.

History and Culture

In the ninth century, the village was known as Magedon, and consisted of a feudal manor and 24 small houses.

Cezanne, Chateau de Medan (1880) Chateau de Medan, par Paul Cezanne, Yorck.jpg
Cézanne, Château de Médan (1880)

The castle of Médan

The castle of Médan was built in the late fifteenth century. During the Renaissance, the castle was frequented by Ronsard and the poets of the Pléiade (Du Bellay, Baïf ...) who came to hunt and write poems. Paul Cézanne painted it three times from 1879 to 1881.

Maurice Maeterlinck, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911, moved to the castle in 1924 where he wrote La vie des Termites and L’Araignée de verre. The castle, abandoned after World War II and then damaged by fire in 1956, has been on the national registry of historical monuments since 1926. The newspaper «Combat» was printed there from 1966 to 1974. Today, the restored property is in private hands and open for visits by appointment only.

Émile Zola’s House

Emile Zola's House Medan - Maison d'Emile Zola01.jpg
Émile Zola’s House

Thanks to the success of L’Assommoir, French writer Émile Zola acquired a house in Médan in May 1878 that he referred to as a “rabbit hutch”. Over three years, he transformed it into a manor house where he led a relaxed lifestyle, with his garden and farm. He designed the park of which he always dreamed.

<i>LAssommoir</i> novel by Émile Zola

L'Assommoir[lasɔmwaʁ] (1877) is the seventh novel in Émile Zola's twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. Usually considered one of Zola's masterpieces, the novel—a study of alcoholism and poverty in the working-class districts of Paris—was a huge commercial success and helped establish Zola's fame and reputation throughout France and the world.

Émile Zola French writer

Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola was a French novelist, playwright, journalist, the best-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism, and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'Accuse…! Zola was nominated for the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902.

During the summer in Médan, Zola hosted Cézanne, his childhood friend, and other artists such as Édouard Manet and Camille Pissarro, and naturalist writers such as Alphonse Daudet, Guy de Maupassant and J.K. Huysmans. The writers combined their efforts in a literary collection entitled Les soirées de Médan (Médan Evenings) (1880) named after the amusing evenings they had spent in Zola’s home. Zola split his time between Médan and Paris, where he died on 28 September 1902.

Camille Pissarro French painter

Camille Pissarro was a Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas. His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Pissarro studied from great forerunners, including Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. He later studied and worked alongside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac when he took on the Neo-Impressionist style at the age of 54.

Alphonse Daudet French novelist

Alphonse Daudet was a French novelist. He was the husband of Julia Daudet(Mastani) and father of Edmée Daudet, and writers Léon Daudet and Lucien Daudet.

Guy de Maupassant French writer

Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant was a French writer, remembered as a master of the short story form, and as a representative of the naturalist school of writers, who depicted human lives and destinies and social forces in disillusioned and often pessimistic terms.

In 1905, Alexandrine Zola, his widow, donated the house to a newly created Zola Foundation. It served as a convalescent home for children and eventually a nursing school before being turned into a museum in 1985. The property was taken in hand by the Association pour la Rayonnement de l’Oeuvre d’Émile Zola (Association for the Promulgation of the Works of Émile Zola) in 1998. The Association, led by financier Pierre Bergé and his partner, fashion designer Yves St. Laurent, spearheaded efforts to restore the house, develop the museum, and add a wing dedicated to Alfred Dreyfus. Some 10,000 people visited the house and garden annually in the 2000s.

Pierre Bergé French industrialist and patron

Pierre Bergé was a French industrialist and patron. He co-founded the fashion label Yves Saint Laurent, and was a longtime business partner of the eponymous designer.

The Zola-Dreyfus Project construction led to closing the house to visits in 2011 for an anticipated four years. The project includes renovation of Émile Zola’s house and the creation of the Dreyfus Museum, which will be a place for exhibiting and teaching, for debates and reflection, for memory and vigilance.

See also

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  1. "Populations légales 2016". INSEE . Retrieved 25 April 2019.