Orly is a French commune located in the Val-de-Marne, a few kilometers from Paris. Taken from the Latin Aureliacus whose origins date back to the Carolingian period, this city is mentioned for the first time in 851 AD. Some works see the terms “aureliacum” appear in documents dating back to the Middle Ages.
Towards the 11th century, we find the designations Orleium and Orliaco in 1201, at which time one writes with French not Latinized: Orli. Other origins speak of the name Aureliacum meaning the domain of Aurelius, just as Orleans would come from Aureliani. These are names related to the Gallo-Roman civilization. The same Gallo-Roman toponymal is found in Auvergne region: Aureliacum for Aurillac. Also, logic would lead us to thinking that Orly would indeed be an appellation of Gallo-Roman origin.
Prehistory in Orly
Artefacts from the Neolithic period were found in the vicinity of Orly. Dated from the Neolithic in their great majority, some objects are older. Some Stone Age objects were found, and Neolithic pits were discovered in sand pits.
Origins of Orly airport
Orly is the second French airport in terms of passenger traffic, it also bears the title of airport of Paris. Previously, it was a military site that housed an American base installed in 1919. During the First World War, the Allied armies used the Longboyau plateau following a requisition by the Ministry of Armies in 1918.
Located on the Seine, Orly airport will also host the first aerodrome in the world. It is the birth certificate of the Orly-Villeneuve aviation camp, where the allied armies meet and where several planes have left for the front. After the war, the site will be used by the navy as a future naval base to test aircraft.
This site will also host the general warehouse of Naval Aeronautics. A civilian airport begins to supplement this installation of the armies of land. It was in 1954 that the navy left the place to make room for the future international airport of Paris-Orly. With very encouraging traffic from the first month, the airport has two modern terminals, which were visited as monuments. This progression was slowed because of the impossibility of extending to the surrounding area.
Since 1954, the airport has been expanded, but following binding measures such as the requisitioning of land. These works also caused the misappropriation of National 7 in order to optimize the sideboard of the airport.
The architecture of Orly will soon be a stopover. Luxury commercial galleries and movie theaters are a major tourist attraction for this airport. Moreover, with its 4 million visitors in 1965, Orly becomes the most frequented French site, followed closely by the Eiffel Tower. With the increase in passenger traffic intensifying (50% more than its theoretical capacity in 1969), it was decided to build the West Terminal, inaugurated in 1971. Its design, with departures to the floor and arrivals on the ground floor, is new for the time, and will often be copied. A fourth runway is built.
October 24th, 1945: creation of the public establishment.
1946: first provisional terminal of Paris-Orly, redevelopment of Paris-Le Bourget. An annual average of 300,000 passengers then passes through the terminal.
1947: first runway is built, with 2,100 meters of lenghth. Opening of the provisional terminal at Orly Nord.
1952: Air France joins Paris-Orly, the traffic reaches 1.2 million passengers in the year, twice more than Paris-Le Bourget.
Tourism in Orly and the surrounding area
‘Along the runways’ is an interesting visit with a clear presentation in the reserved area for discovering the operation of Paris-Orly airport. The visit is very close to the planes and there are explanations of the different jobs on the runway. During the stopover, an observation of the work of the runway agents with identification of the phases of treatment of the aircraft: parking, unloading, loading, refueling, and catering. A photocopy of the identity card must be sent by email to the house of the environment no later than 10 days before the date of the visit.
How are Orly’s hotels noted by local guides?
Senia Grand Hôtel
With more than 300 reviews on the travel forums, the local guides classify this hotel among the 5 best situated in the Paris region. Beneficiary of a Certificate of Excellence, it offers online booking and it is situated within 15 kilometers of the Catacombs and 20km of the Odeon Theater and Roland-Garros.
Hôtel Ibis Paris-Orly
This property offers excellent value for money. Ranked n°1 of hotels in Orly, the Ibis is located on Union’s avenue, 94310 Orly, France. This hotel has rooms suitable for families, couples or solo travelers.
Fast transfers from Paris to Orly airport by private car, RER, bus or tram
By private car
If going by car to Orly, joining A86 would be necessary, the ring road of Ile-de-France. This itinerary will be passing through Vitry sur Seine, Choisy le Roi and Thiais. Arriving at Orly, you will have to continue straight to the Boulevard of the Allies to get to the airport. The fastest way to reach Orly airport is by car or taxi.
If you choose to go to Paris Orly airport by the RER, several options are available, including lines B and C. Line B of the RER connects Paris to Orly airport in about 40 minutes’ time. It leaves from Saint Michel Notre Dame and stops at Antony station, from which a bus shuttle is available for the Orly airport.
By bus (from Danfert Rochereau)
The bus transfers between Paris and Orly are every 30 minutes or less. The first bus leaves at 06:00 and the last one at 23:00, in both directions.
The tram T7 for Orly is leaving from the Villejuif-Louis Aragon station every 8 to 15 min, 7 days a week. The first one leaves the station at 05:30 and the last one at 00:30.