The French village of Goussainville-Vieux Pays, located in the scenic Val d’Oise bordering Paris was once a place where time seemed to stand still.
A spot where generations of families have lived among cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings, soaking up the peace and quiet of an idyllic rural existence.
But fate had other plans, the ambitious development of the Charles de Gaulle Airport, which would grow to become France’s largest and busiest aviation hub, irreversibly transformed the landscape of Goussainville-Vieux Pays in the 1970s.
What happened next was a story of turmoil, loss, and final abandonment that turned this once-thriving village into an eery ghost town.
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Residents were annoyed and disheartened by the airport’s constant noise and activity. They began packing their belongings, leaving their ancestral houses and memories behind in order to seek sanctuary in quieter neighbouring villages or the lively streets of Paris.
The promise of a quiet village was destroyed forever.
The disaster that occurred during the 1973 Paris Air Show was a watershed moment in the collapse of Goussainville-Vieux Pays.
A Tupolev TU-144, a prototype Soviet supersonic aircraft, crashed into the village, killing six crew members and eight innocent civilians. This traumatic tragedy deeply traumatised the village, causing a widespread exodus of remaining villagers.
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Today, only a few families live among the deteriorating ruins.
The magnificent 14th-century Eglise St Pierre et St Paul Church is a recognised historic monument and one of the rare buildings that have suffered neglect.
Weathered edifices remain closed in other regions, and there is still no demand for residences beneath the flight route.
Previously gorgeous homes have succumbed to the elements, standing overgrown and in decay.
The desolate mansion nestled in its own spacious field is without a doubt the most appealing aspect of Goussainville.
This meadow was probably previously painstakingly planted as a magnificent garden.
The mansion at Goussainville has not escaped the fate of the village’s other homes having given up its roof, floors, and a large number of its windows.
Names and initials have been spray-painted on practically every visible surface, evoking the manor’s far more magnificent past.
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