1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/St Cloud (France)

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ST CLOUD, a town of northern France, in the department of Seine-et-Oise, on the left bank of the Seine, 2 m. W. of the fortifications of Paris by road. Pop. (1906) 7316. Picturesquely built on a hill-slope, St Cloud overlooks the river, the Bois de Boulogne and Paris; and, lying amid the foliage of its magnificent park and numerous villa gardens, it is one of the favourite resorts of the Parisians. The palace of St Cloud, which had been a summer residence for Napoleon I., Louis XVIII., Charles X., Louis Philippe and Napoleon III., was burned by the Prussians in 1870 along with part of the village. In spite of the damage inflicted on the park at the same period its magnificent avenues and ornamental water still make it one of the pleasantest spots in the neighbourhood of Paris. Every year in September, at the time of the pilgrimage of St Cloud, a fair lasting four weeks is held in the park. Within its precincts are situated the national Sèvres porcelain manufactory and the Breteuil pavilion, the seat of the international commission on the metre. St Cloud possesses a modern church in the style of the 12th century with an elegant stone spire; and here, too, is established the higher training college for male teachers for the provincial training colleges of primary instruction.

Clodoald or Cloud, grandson of Clovis, adopted the monastic life and left his name to the spot where his tomb was discovered after the lapse of 1200 years, in a crypt near the present church. He had granted the domain to the bishops of Paris, who possessed it as a fief till the 18th century. At St Cloud Henry III. and the king of Navarre (Henry IV.) established their camp during the League for the siege of Paris; and there the former was assassinated by Jacques Clément. The castle was at that time a plain country house belonging to Pierre de Gondi, archbishop of Paris; in 1658 it was acquired by the duke of Orleans, who was the originator of the palace which perished in 1870. Peter the Great of Russia was received there in 1717 by the regent, whose grandson sold the palace to Marie Antoinette. It was at St Cloud that Bonaparte executed the coup d'état of 18th Brumaire (1799); after he became emperor the palace was his favourite residence, and there he celebrated his marriage with Marie Louise. In 1815 it was the scene of the signing of the capitulation of Paris; and in 1830 from St Cloud Charles X. issued the orders which brought about his fall. Napoleon III. was there when he received the senatusconsult which restored the empire in his favour (1st December 1852). Seized by the Prussians at the beginning of the investment of Paris in 1870, St Cloud was sacked during the siege.