Once a rural village and getaway for writers and intellectuals, Massy was laid out as a Parisian commuter town in the 1960s. It is dotted with châteaux and stately villas that date back to the reign of Louis XIV and is home to one of France’s most modern opera houses.
Things to do in Massy
In the heart of Massy is St. Mary Magdalene Church, which has long been a stop for pilgrims on the Way of St. James. It was damaged during Allied bombing in World War II, with only its 13th-century bell tower remaining. Now on the site is a modern church built in the 1950s on a design by the Parisian architect Pierre Pinsard.
Massy is home to one of the youngest opera houses in France, the Opera de Massy, which hosts regular dance and theatrical performances, as well as music recitals. It was designed by Arturo Oliveras and Alain Aubert, with a glass roof that enables light to shine in. You can join a guided tour to go behind the scenes, which includes visits to the rehearsal stage and orchestra pit.
Set within a 55-hectare park in the far west of Massy is the Château de Villegenis, which was constructed between 1823 and 1852 in an Empire architectural style. It’s renowned for its pond dug in the shape of Napoleon’s hat and commissioned by the emperor's brother, Jerôme Bonaparte. Hugging the Bievre River as it flows through the estate is a picturesque walking trail.
Getting around Massy
Massy is around 30 minutes’ drive from the centre of Paris and 45 minutes from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, which has flights to destinations across the globe. Commuter trains and high-speed rail services connect to the Massy railway station while buses travel throughout the commune.