Saint-Ouen docks neighborhood located along the Seine River was first an important industrial place before becoming an eco-quarter.
On the actual site of the castle of Saint-Ouen was first located the castle of Joachim de Seiglières de Boisfranc, built in 1669 by the architect Le Pautre. Though, it was destroyed by Louis XVIII which built another castle for his mistress, the Cayla countess. This castle is one of the rarest examples of Restoration architecture still standing today.
At the end of the 19th century, the park was converted into a racetrack. On October 23rd 1880, the race track was inaugurated. It is still possible today to see remaining of the castle gate leading to the entrance of the racetrack on the place de Mairie de Saint-Ouen (in front of the administrative and social center).
The “Docks de Saint-Ouen” is not only located on an ideal site along the Seine river and close to Paris, but was also marked by a unique history.
The industrial heritage of Saint-Ouen starts with the opening of the water station on May 25th 1830. Saint-Ouen is at that time the place where the Seine River flows near Paris. The water station enables boats to avoid the numerous bridges of the capital and is a strategic place for industrials who will establish their warehouses and industries there.
The Docks enabled the connection of the two major good transportation modes: the river and railways. Along the river, commercial activities and industries settle step by step: chemistry, metalworking, electricity, electronics, automobile, etc… The Docks became a powerful metalworking pole until the mid-20th century.
Saint-Ouen urban renewal also includes the renovation of the Docks: the project is to now construct an eco-quarter with new accommodations for the inhabitants but also shops, schools, around a large park including shared gardens.
If you're looking for an original way to visit this place, you can try the PR4 hiking path that includes all the major places of Saint Ouen.