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Essonne is a Frenchmarker department in the region of Île-de-Francemarker. It is named after the Essonne Rivermarker.

It was formed on 1 January 1968 when Seine-et-Oisemarker was split into smaller departments.


The Essonne department was created on 1 January 1968, from the southern portion of the former department of Seine-et-Oisemarker.

In 1969, the communes of Châteaufortmarker and Toussus-le-Noblemarker were separated from Essonne and added to the department of Yvelinesmarker.


Essonne belongs to the region of Île-de-Francemarker.

It has borders with the departments of:

All of northern Essonne department belongs to the Parisian agglomeration and is very urbanized. The south remains rural.

In descending order, the cities over 25,000 population are: Évry, Corbeil-Essonnes, Massy, Savigny-sur-Orge, Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, Viry-Châtillon, Athis-Mons, Palaiseau, Draveil, Yerres, Les Ulis, and Vigneux-sur-Seine. Milly-la-Forêtmarker is an example of its more rural communes.

Notable places

  • L'École Polytechniquemarker: Founded in 1794, L'Ecole Polytechniquemarker is one of the most prestigious engineering universities in Francemarker. This university was ranked 10th in the world by the Times Higher Education Supplement in 2005. Its campus is in the town of Palaiseau.
  • Université de Paris-Sud: One of the best public schools in France, it is ranked 52nd by Academic Ranking of World Universities. It is best known for its physics department. Located in Orsay, Essonne, about 26,000 students are enrolled.
  • The Headquarters of the Arianespace Company: A major commercial aerospace launcher, servicing companies who wish to launch satellites into space.
  • Château de Montlhéry: Originally having been an ancient fort during Roman times, the first feudal lords began to inhabit the castle around 1000 AD. One major battle was fought in the castle during its lifetime. In 1465, Charles the Rash and French King Louis XI fought in the plains in front of the castle. In 1842, the reconstruction of the castle was started, and currently is being maintained by the local town of Montlhery
  • Château de Courancesmarker
  • The Forest of Sénartmarker: Covering 3,500 hectares in area, this forest is very important to the local population. The local government has kept roads and agricultural companies from cutting down parts of this forest. The forest receives between two and three million visitors annually, and the government spends 1.2 million euros a year maintaining it.


Place of birth of residents

See also

External links

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