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Taverny (Municipality, Val-d'Oise, France)

Last modified: 2010-11-13 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Taverny]by Arnaud Leroy

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Presentation of Taverny

The municipality of Taverny (1,048 ha; 26,092 inhabitants [1999 census], Tabernaciens) is located 20 km north-west of Paris.

The Gallo-Roman city of Taverny was located 10 lieues, that is 22 km, from Lutetia (Paris), and was built on the site of on oppidum (fortified camp) dated from the Age of Bronze and nicknamed Camp de C´sar. The name of the city was probably derived from the Latin word taberna, a public place where you paid for food and drink.
The first mention of the villa (estate) of Taverny dates back to 754. King of the Franks Pépin le Bref (751-768) confirmed the rights of the villa in a document part of the cartulaire (a compendium of official acts) of Saint-Denis.

A later act, dated 1122, states that lord Bouchard de Montmorency-Banthelu ceded his rights on the church Notre-Dame-de-Moncelles in Taverny to the Saint-Martin's abbey in Pontoise. In the XIIth-XIIIth centuries, the village of Taverny was grouped around its church and churchyard. The evolution of the land of Taverny was complex, and it might have emerged from a larger domain including the modern municipalities of Beauchmap, Bessancourt, Le Plessis-Bouchard, Saint-Leu-la-Forêt and Taverny.

Constable Mathieu II de Montmorency built the church Notre-Dame in 1237 and was buried in the church in 1260. The church is one of the best examples of Gothic style. It is said that the cornerstone of the church was put down by Blanche de Castille (1188-1252), St. Louis' mother. The church was restored in the XVth century and "perfected" in the XIXth century by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879). Viollet-le-Duc saved several monuments from ruin (for instance the cathedral Notre-Dame-de-Paris and the fortified city of Carcassonne) but his personal interpretation of the medieval architecture made most of his restorations very questionable (for instance his reconstruction of the medieval castle of Pierrefonds for Napoléon III). The masterpieces of the church of Taverny are a stone altarpiece from the Renaissance, offered by constable Anne de Montmorency (1493-1567), the stone statue of Notre-Dame-des-Fers (late XVth century) and the wooden statue of Notre-Dame-de-Taverny (XIVth century).

The Ecce Homo chapel was built in the XVIIth century by Marie de Lumague, wife of Francois de Pollalion, a member of the court of Louis XIII (1610-1643). The chapel is shown on the map drawn in 1719 by Blondel. The legend said that it was built for the redemption of the filles de mauvaise vie (prostitutes).

Until the end of the XIXth century, wine-growing was the main activity in Taverny, as shown by several place names, les bonnes vignes, les plants, le clos de Beauchamp, le clos de Boissy, les sarments. Grape vine was replanted six years ago by the municipality.

Taverny is mostly known, however, for its Air Force base (Base aérienne 921). Gypsum quarries were dig in Taverny and Bessancourt in 1815. From 1941 to 1944, they were used by the Germans to store ammunition and to assemble V1 and V2 rockets. In 1957, the CODA (Centre d'Opérations de la Défense Aérienne) was set up by the French Air Force in Taverny. The general staff of the CAFDA (Commandement Air des Forces de Défense Aérienne) joined in 1961. Two years later, the CFAS (Commandement des Forces Aériennes Stratégiques) and its operation center (COFAS) were also relocated in Taverny.
The base has an area of 43.6 ha but the decision center is located underground on an area of 15 ha, included in the ancient gypsum quarry. The transmission center, one of the most advanced in the world, is linked to the outside world by 15 kms of galleries and hires 1,400 specialists. The underground base has a complete autonomy of 10 days. Information gathered by 10 radar stations is collected and analyzed in Taverny. The control system is linked to equivalent systems in the neighbouring countries and covers an area of 5,000,000 sq. km, that is 9 times the area of France.
In peace time, the missions of Air Defense are flight assistance to civil and army aircrafts and search and rescue of lost or crashed aircrafts. In war time, the headquarters of the Air Defense in Taverny are activated. Its mission is to detect any airborne threat, alert and organize the air defense. The base of Taverny hosts the headquarters of the Nuclear Air Defense.

Ivan Sache, 19 March 2004

Description of the flag of Taverny

The flag of Taverny, as reported by Arnaud Leroy, is white with the municipal logotype.

The official interpretation of the logotype is the following (my translation):
"Wishing to set up a dynamic communication, mayor and general councillor Maurice Boscavert ordered a new municipal logotype as soon as elected, in 1989.
To give a new image to Taverny is a way to show its today's reality.
The Tabernacien tree reflects the natural and green environment of the city, its link to nature, and the dynamism of its ways of communication.
The foliage is the place where culture and tradition interlace, thus allowing solidarity and wellfare."

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 19 March 2004