Key dates – Season 1

From 1925 to 1938, the Cité Internationale Universitaire in Paris experienced its first phase of development. From the concept to the first achievements, a review of this genesis in several major stages.

by Lucille Testard de Marans


  • 1919: law on the reclassification and levelling of the Thiers fortifications surrounding Paris. The land was reserved to the University of Paris for the construction of “student housing”.


  • 28th June 1921: creation, by statute, of the Cité universitaire, one day before the due date of the financing proposal from Emile DEUTSCH DE LA MEURTHE.



  • 6th June 1925: creation of a Fondation nationale (a foundation under private law, recognised as being in the public interest), to manage the Cité. André HONNORAT became its President.


  • 1927: inauguration of the Fondation BIERMANS-LAPÔTRE, a residence for students from Belgium and Luxembourg and the first residence financed by patrons from abroad.


  • 1933: inauguration of the Fondation suisse, one of the masterpieces of the Cité, created by LE CORBUSIER and Pierre JEANNERET in an avant-garde style heralding the future “Cités radieuses” or radiant cities.


  • 1933: inauguration of the Fondation Rosa ABREU DE GRANCHERMaison de Cuba, created by Albert LAPRADE. This was the first work undertaken by this famous architect on the Cité; the Cité also awarded him the construction contract for the Maison du Maroc (1953).


  • 1936: inauguration of the Maison Internationale, a communal meeting place for all the Cité’s foundations. It houses various facilities (library, theatre, university restaurant, swimming pool, cafeteria, lounges etc.).


  • 1938: inauguration of the Collège néerlandais, created by Willem Marinus DUDOK. This is the only work constructed in France by this eminent architect of the Dutch School.


  • 1938-1946: evacuation of the foundations and occupation of the Cité by the German army and later by the American army. The Second World War marked the end of the first period of development of the Cité. The odyssey continues in Season 2.


    Inauguration of the Maison Internationale, 1936

See the complete time-line for Season 1 (at foot of page)

To find out more about the history of the Cité, its architecture, its tasks and its development, visit L/Oblique: a permanent exhibition, themed guided tours (on the architecture, the park, the artistic creations, the everyday life of the Cité and the development project) and innovative digital media will transport you through time and space on a voyage of discovery of this exceptional place.