Cultural ,  Historic in Saint-Denis
1.6 km
  • From "Porte de Paris" to Saint-Denis train station, go to meet the industrial heritage of the area: workshops Christofle, the former pharmacy and its protected fireplace, the role of rail and river transport in the industrial development the city from the nineteenth century.
  • Difference in height
    11.93 m
  • Documentation
    GPX / KML files allow you to export the trail of your hike to your GPS (or other navigation tool)
Points of interest
1 The Plaine industrialisation
In the early nineteenth century, the "Plaine" was still a fertile farming which were cultivated cereals, vines and various vegetables for paris inhabitants.
It was also a very good hunting ground which regularly attracted royal hunts.

The recent evolution of industrial machinery encouraged many craftsmen settled in Paris to seek new locations on larger and cheaper land.
Plain had an advantage: easily exploitable groundwater table that allowed to feed the steam. The authorities also encouraged their settlement in this area, where the prevailing winds from the west swept fumes from factories, taking away from the capital.
Industrialisation de la Plaine Saint-Denis.JPG
2 Gaz factory
At the site of the current Stade de France, was the gasometer of Saint-Denis, managed by the company Gaz de Paris. He produced every day, about one million cubic meters of gas.
3 Saint-Denis canal and its locks
6.6 km long and connected to the roundabout channels (Parc de la Villette) to the downstream of Seine river by seven locks on an elevation of twenty-eight meters, crossing the 19th arrondissement of Paris the towns of Aubervilliers and Saint-Denis. Commissioned in 1821, when it included twelve locks. The canal was completely rebuilt between 1890 and 1895, the number of locks was reduced from twelve to seven
Ecluses Canal Saint-Denis.jpg
4 Former pharmaceutical factory
It was built in 1860 for the Menier family settles its pharmaceutical factory. The Menier are best known for chocolate (which will be their fortune), but originally used mostly chocolate to coat drugs.

In 1867, after Menier left, the "Pharmacie Centrale de France" moved in. In 1900, it is considered the largest and most important chemical factory in France. It ceased operations in 1981. Today, there are only the building management, caretaker's bungalow, workshop and fireplace, all registered as historical monuments. The fireplace is a remarkably aesthetic example of industrial architecture: it shows the polychrome designs. At the top we can distinguish a M initial Menier.
Copie de cheminée usine.JPG
5 Saint-Denis canal waterway
Opened to navigation in 1821 after 10 years of work, the Saint-Denis canal is designed to allow boats to avoid the long bend of the Seine and through the crowded Paris.
During the nineteenth century, the waterway is of great importance, the railroad is not yet established. This is the only way to transport heavy loads. The channel has played a key role in the industrialization of the Plain.
Canal Saint-Denis.jpg
6 Christofle factory
In 1875, the manufacture of Christofle silverware, we see here the house of the Director, moved to Saint-Denis.
The Saint-Denis has a privileged location in 1876, the ground is connected to the railway and the company has a right of enjoyment of the canal bank. Thus, it can receive the nickel by water, but also send their orders to its customers through the canal and the railway.
Thanks to its innovative techniques (refined nickel by chemical means), the company is leading the industry and is able to sell its products twice cheaper than the market.
In 1885, Christofle hosts small and large silverware on Saint-Denis with the space he has (21,000 m²) and employs 500 workers. Stopping the "nickel" activity in the 1930s pushed the son of Christofle, Tony Bouilhet, to centralize its activities on Saint-Denis site and its 1500 workers.
After his factory museum which outlined Christofle collections, company history and techniques related to jewelry, the company has now left Saint-Denis and the museum has been closed since 2008. The buildings are listed as historical monuments since 2007 and are in the redevelopment project. This is one of the few industrial sites in the area to have kept its original appearance.
Like its industry, Christofle has managed to build a site with impressive architecture, cheaply.
Seine croisière 2011 ©Valerie Evrard (6).JPG
7 Former drying place
Made ​​of wood and brick, this building was used for drying the washing boats dock port at the end of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century.
8 The manufacture
In 1902, Saint-Denis has 18 metallurgical plants, located on the left bank of the canal. The company Tréfimétaux (built in 1847) is a survivor. Of the original buildings remains the only market with its huge mills gable brick.
Today, this building has been converted into a place to house services activities and offices. The main focus of the project was to preserve and enhance the existing buiding and the gable brick street steelwork.
Seine croisière 2011 ©Valerie Evrard (5).JPG
In 1884, the city of Paris (which owns the canal, still today) decided to expand and modernize the channel to deal with the increased traffic and the size of the craft.
Traffic reached 2.3 million tons a year before the first World War. In the second half of the twentieth century, skippers ailing to rail.
But the Saint-Denis canal retains an important activity because of its established companies along its banks . Today it retains its industrial aspect, but its banks have been renovated for promenade and tourist activities (cruises).
10 The CFI , Chemin de fer indistrial (industrial railroad)
The CFI was established in 1884.
It allowed all plants who wished to be connected to the railroad tracks going north but also be interconnected.
The company is also developing a port on the Saint-Denis canal where barges are unloaded and goods carried by rail to the factories. Traffic growing rapidly: it increased from 25 000 tonnes in 1884 to 210 000 tonnes in 1890 and 340,000 in 1900.
12 meters of difference in height
  • Start altitude : 34 m
  • End altitude : 34 m
  • Maximum altitude : 39 m
  • Minimum altitude : 32 m
  • Total positive elevation : 12 m
  • Total negative elevation : -12 m
  • Max positive elevation : 3 m
  • Min positive elevation : -5 m