Invitation to Château...
- December 15, 2022
- History and Heritage
Few are those who remain insensitive to therich and magical imagination of château: rooms in enfilade, parquet floors and marquetry freshly waxed,... Read more
Le Domaine de Madame Elisabeth or the happy days of a princess with a tragic fate.
Today we take you to discover a place particularly dear to Loc'Hall, an 18th century jewel in a sea of greenery very close to an illustrious neighbor, the Château of Versailles!
It is a delightful 18th century property consisting of an aristocratic residence in the neoclassical taste of the Age of Enlightenment, a beautiful orangery and outbuildings within a romantic English park.
If the domain has known troubled periods that drew an uncertain future, it is today the last princely residence in Versailles preserved in its entirety which makes it, in addition to its undeniable charm, a quite remarkable place.
A haven of peace, rural and intimate away from the court
Belonging to the royal domain since the Middle Ages, Montreuil is in the 18th century, a village that crosses the Avenue de Paris. At the end of the reign of Louis XV, it became a place of promenade where aristocratic properties gradually appeared. In 1772, the powerful prince of Rohan-Guéméné acquired the 8 h of the Montreuil estate and undertook important works to transform it into a pleasant holiday resort.
Following a resounding financial scandal, the prince was forced to sell his office and property in 1783. Louis XVI bought the property for his young sister Elisabeth and gave it to her for her birthday. venues The princess was 19 years old and also embarked on a major renovation: the wealthy property of the Guéménée family became a haven of bucolic and rural peace, a comfortable country house, but a thousand miles away from the gilding and splendor of Versailles. An intimate refuge where she escaped from the constraints of the court just as her sister-in-law, Marie Antoinette, did at Trianon.
Designed between 1772 and 1782 by Alexandre de La Brière, architect to the king, the park is one of the most beautiful English gardens in the kingdom. Far from the strict layout of the gardens of the neighboring château of Versailles, the estate is all undergrowth, rocks and exotic plants. At the time of Madame Elisabeth, a stream ran through the property and led to a millstone grotto. In place of the stream, a green tunnel planted with beech, hornbeam, yew and apple trees now provides shade and coolness for visitors. The atmosphere is more reminiscent of the Queen's hamlet than Le Nôtre's gardens.
The Domaine de Montreuil, an enchanted interlude in the life of Madame Elisabeth
Born in 1764, favorite granddaughter of Louis XV, youngest sister of three kings of France, beloved little sister and goddaughter of Louis XVI, Madame Elisabeth is a little-known princess with an endearing personality whose short life was marked by tragedy and marked by drama. Orphaned at the age of 3, she saw her dear older sister leave her at the age of 11 to marry the Prince of Piedmont while her favorite aunt entered the Carmelite convent. For a time, she was destined to marry Joseph II, Marie Antoinette's brother and become Empress of Austria, but she refused. Just as she would refuse the charge of the prestigious Abbey of Remiremont. She will remain at the side of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette until the end.
In Montreuil, Elisabeth knew the happiest hours of her life. She went there every day, when she could, between 1783 and 1789, but the king forbade her to sleep there until she came of age at 25.
This outstanding horsewoman led peaceful days there, surrounded by her friends whom she took hunting or fishing. Passionate about mathematics, geography, gifted draughtswoman, she never really interrupted her studies. Deeply pious, learned and wise, Madame Elisabeth was also funny, cheerful and incredibly generous to everyone, showering her entourage with gifts and engaging the inhabitants of Montreuil through her many charitable actions (such as the dispensary she set up in a room of the house).
As a minor in 1789, she finally had the right to sleep in Montreuil. The revolutionary events decided otherwise: the one that the inhabitants of the village called "the good lady of Montreuil" had to go to Paris and would never see Versailles again. Of an unfailing loyalty to her brother, she refused to emigrate on several occasions. Faithful to the end, she followed the king and the queen to Varennes, to the Temple prison, and then to the scaffold, on which she climbed in 1794 at the age of 30, before being buried in a common grave.
In the years following the Revolution, the furniture was sold and the estate became a military hospital for a few years, then a clock factory before undergoing a succession of owners. First divided into several entities, the property regained its original surface at the end of the 19th century. In the middle of the 20th century, it attracted the appetite of developers, but in 1983 it was the Conseil Général des Yvelines that acquired it. The château was then the object of a complete restoration program: renovation of the facades, renovation and fitting out of the different floors, restoration of the furniture and tapestries. The house has been deeply transformed over time but has kept 3 original salons: the grand salon, the Turkish salon and the company salon.
The Domaine de Madame Elisabeth today...
The park has been open to the public free of charge since 1999. Exhibitions are regularly organized in the orangery. The residence is only open on an exceptional basis. This is why Loc'Hall is delighted to offer you, exclusively for your events, the Domaine de Madame Elisabeth, a bucolic getaway, a country house in the middle of the city, an intimate setting and a place steeped in history 30 minutes from Paris.