Twelve miles outside of Paris, there’s a pastoral and picturesque village known as Goussainville.
Almost no one lives there.
In 1972, the Charles de Gaulle Airport was built right next door in the town of Roissy. The farming village of Goussainville was directly in the flight path.
With the constant noise of planes flying overhead, the village’s 144 homes were slowly abandoned as families moved away, many of them without bothering to sell their property.
Then in 1973, the supersonic Tupolev Tu-144 crashed during the Paris Air Show, killing all six people on board. Eight other people were killed on the ground in Goussainville after the plane destroyed several buildings, including the abandoned school.
Nowadays, only a few families remain living in what is now virtually a ghost town.
But even with all the decrepit buildings, the French village remains gorgeous.
From the classified historic monument Eglise St. Pierre et St. Paul Church to the still-standing 19th-century manor homes, Reuters photographer Charles Platiau shows there’s still beauty despite the city’s neglect.
By 1973, many of the 144 families living in the area had abandoned the town. Only a handful remain today.
Parts of the town still look gorgeous and pastoral, like this 19th century manor, making it obvious why families chose to live here in the first place.
Yet for the most part, the city has fallen into disarray. So why did the residents abandon the town 40 years ago?
In 1972, Roissy's Charles de Gaulle Airport officially opened. Goussainville was in its direct flight path.
Which meant planes would fly over the town all the time. Residents began moving away, unable to stand the noise.
Here, a commercial airliner flies over the 14th century Eglise St. Pierre et St. Paul Church (it's one of the only buildings that has remained in good shape since it's classified as an historic monument).
As if the noise wasn't enough, in 1973, the supersonic Tupolev Tu-144 crashed in Goussainville during the Paris Air Show, killing all six people on board and eight others on the ground.
That was enough to convince those still living in the village to leave their homes without selling them and move away from Goussainville.
Today, the ruins of the town show what life for residents was like before the Charles de Gaulle airport. This former cafe was called 'Au Paradis' (in Heaven).
A lock and a chain secures one of the access gates to a house in Goussainville -- perhaps the resident plans to return someday.
And many of the homes have been taken over by trees and vegetation after being left alone for 40 years.
This rusted sign shows the way to where the baker's and pastry maker shops used to be in Goussainville.
But as long as the airport's path still flies directly over Goussainville, it's doubtful people will move back.
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