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Subprefecture and commune
A view of the cathedral of Saint-Maclou, from the Garden of Five Senses, on the promontory of the castle
A view of the cathedral of Saint-Maclou, from the Garden of Five Senses, on the promontory of the castle
Coat of arms of Pontoise
Coat of arms
Location (in red) within Paris inner and outer suburbs
Location (in red) within Paris inner and outer suburbs
Coordinates: 49°03′06″N 2°06′06″E / 49.0516°N 02.1017°E / 49.0516; 02.1017Coordinates: 49°03′06″N 2°06′06″E / 49.0516°N 02.1017°E / 49.0516; 02.1017
Country France
Region Île-de-France
Department Val-d'Oise
Arrondissement Pontoise
Canton Pontoise
Intercommunality Cergy-Pontoise
 • Mayor (2001–2008) Philippe Houillon
Area1 7.15 km2 (2.76 sq mi)
Population (2011)2 29,885
 • Density 4,200/km2 (11,000/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 95500 /95300
Elevation 22–87 m (72–285 ft)
(avg. 27 m or 89 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Pontoise (French pronunciation: ​[pɔ̃twɑz]) is a commune in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 28.4 km (17.6 mi) from the centre of Paris, in the "new town" of Cergy-Pontoise.


Pontoise is the official préfecture (capital) of the Val-d'Oise département, although in reality the préfecture building and administration, as well as the department council (conseil général), are located in the neighboring commune of Cergy, which is regarded as the de facto capital of Val-d'Oise.

Pontoise is also the seat of the Arrondissement of Pontoise, the sous-préfecture building and administration, unlike the préfecture, are located inside the commune of Pontoise.

Sister cities[edit]

The city of Pontoise has three sister city relationships with:


Known for being a violent city in the late 20th century, with a criminal rate of 137.62 incidents per 1000 inhabitants, Cergy-Pontoise has enjoyed a significant decrease in violence in the first decade of the 21st century. By 2008, the rate had declined to 99.87, although this is still considered high.[1] That rate has continued to decline in the second decade.


Pontoise is the historical capital of the Vexin français, its foundation dates from Roman times (Pontisara). At that time, the rock peak overhanging the river Oise supported the defense of the fort which was on the Roman road, the Chaussée Jules César, between Lutetia (Paris) and Rotomagus (Rouen). The road still exists and is now part of the N14 from Paris to Rouen, it is also known to many people as the birthplace of the alchemist Nicholas Flamel. With an over 2,000 year patrimonium, Pontoise still has vestiges of the past, of which medieval lanes, convents, churches and museums, and was awarded the "City of Art and History Label" in 2006, the impressionist painter Camille Pissarro made it famous through many paintings which are present nowadays in the most famous art galleries in the world.


Climate data for Pontoise
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.5
Average high °C (°F) 6.6
Average low °C (°F) 1.2
Record low °C (°F) −17.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 55.8
Average precipitation days 10.8 8.8 10.2 9.1 10.4 9.1 8.2 7.4 8.1 10.4 10.3 11.3 114.0
Source: Météo France[2][3]


At the census of 1999, the population was 27,494.
The estimate for 2005 was 28,500.


Place of birth of residents of Pontoise in 1999
Born in Metropolitan France Born outside Metropolitan France
68.2% 31.8%
Born in
Overseas France
Born in foreign countries with French citizenship at birth1 EU-15 immigrants2 Non-EU-15 immigrants
4.8% 3.4% 1.9% 21.7%
1This group is made up largely of former French settlers, such as pieds-noirs in Northwest Africa, followed by former colonial citizens who had French citizenship at birth (such as was often the case for the native elite in French colonies), and to a lesser extent foreign-born children of French expatriates. Note that a foreign country is understood as a country not part of France in 1999, so a person born for example in 1950 in Algeria, when Algeria was an integral part of France, is nonetheless listed as a person born in a foreign country in French statistics.
2An immigrant is a person born in a foreign country not having French citizenship at birth. Note that an immigrant may have acquired French citizenship since moving to France, but is still considered an immigrant in French statistics, on the other hand, persons born in France with foreign citizenship (the children of immigrants) are not listed as immigrants.


The railway bridge between Pontoise and Saint-Ouen-l'Aumone

Pontoise is served by Pontoise station, a terminus on Paris RER line C and an intermediate terminus for suburban trains originating from Gare Saint-Lazare as well as a terminus for suburban trains from Gare du Nord. Some trains originating at Gare Saint-Lazare continue onto Gisors, for bus services, Stivo (formerly Services des Transports de l'Agglomération Nouvelle) operates within the new town of Cergy-Pontoise, and in and around Pontoise, with transport interchanges situated Place Charles de Gaulle and Parking Canrobert.

Pontoise – Cormeilles Aerodrome is the area airport.


Public preschool through elementary schools include:[4]

  • Seven preschools ('maternelles): des Cordeliers, Eugène-Ducher, de l'Hermitage, Laris, Ludovic-Piette, Jean-Moulin, Parc-aux-Charettes
  • Two primary schools: École primaire Gustave-Loiseau and École primaire des Maradas
  • Seven elementary schools (élémentaires): Paul-Cézanne, Eugène-Ducher, de l'Hermitage, des Larris, Jean-Moulin, Ludovic-Piette, Parc-aux-Charrettes

Public senior high schools/sixth-form colleges:

There are also six private schools: École Saint-Martin-de-France (up to senior high school), École "Ella", École Saint-Louis, Établissement Vauban, Notre-Dame-de-la-Compassion (junior and senior high school)[4]


Pontoise is one of the capitals of the impressionist movement. Many painters took as a starting point the city and its area for the creation of landscapes. Camille Pissarro lived there for seventeen years. Other artists lived or worked in the area such as Vincent van Gogh (Auvers-sur-Oise), Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Charles-François Daubigny, Gustave Caillebotte, Gustave Loiseau, etc.

Cathédrale Saint Maclou

Main sights[edit]

  • Cathédrale Saint-Maclou de Pontoise. It was built in the 12th century and reconstructed and enlarged in the 15th and 16th centuries, the tower, as well as the central portal, is in flamboyant style. The central body is flanked by Renaissance additions, the remaining 12th century part of the cathedral is to the back. To the North of the building is a Renaissance portal.
  • Musée de Pontoise (Musée Tavet-Delacour). The museum houses sculptures from the Middle Ages, manuscripts from the seventeenth century and paintings from the twentieth century
  • Musée Pissarro (impressionist collections) and garden of the five directions. The Museum is situated in a bourgeoise house at the entrance of the old castle.

Parks and recreation[edit]


  • Le Jardin de la Ville
  • Le Parc des Larris
  • Le jardin partagé de Marcouville
  • Le Jardin des Cinq Sens
  • Le Parc du Château de Marcouville
  • Les jardins et la terrasse basse du Dôme
  • Le Jardin des Lavandières
  • Plaines de jeux

Notable people[edit]

A famous religious sister, Blessed Marie de l'Incarnation (1566-1618), formerly known as Madame Acarie, the foundress of the Reformed Carmelites in France, lived, died and was buried here in the Carmelite Monastery.[9][10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Le palmarès de la violence, ville par ville, from Le Figaro
  2. ^ "Données climatiques de la station de Pontoise" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved January 5, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Climat Île-de-France" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved January 5, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Les établissements scolaires." Pontoise. Retrieved on September 6, 2016.
  5. ^ Home. Lycée Camille Pissarro Pontoise. Retrieved on September 6, 2016.
  6. ^ "Collèges et lycées." Cergy. Retrieved on September 6, 2016. "Lycée polyvalent A. Kastler[...]26 avenue de la Palette, sur la commune de Pontoise "
  7. ^ Home. Lycée Alfred Kastler de Cergy-Pontoise. Retrieved on September 6, 2016.
  8. ^ "Les parcs & jardins." Pontoise. Retrieved on September 6, 2016.
  9. ^ Patricia. "Pontoise". Carmel.asso.fr. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Pontoise, la chapelle du Carmel". Patrimoine-historie.fr. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 

External links[edit]