Château de Guermantes

Guermantes, France

Construction of the Château de Guermantes was undertaken by Claude Viole (died 1638), whose family had possessed the fief of 'Le Chemin' since the mid-16th century. Paulin Pondre (1650-1723) purchased the property in 1698. He engaged Jules Hardouin-Mansart for renovations to the building, completed in 1710, and André Le Nôtre to lay out the garden. Pondre had become one of the most powerful financiers of the reign of Louis XIV; he was appointed President of the Cour des Comptes in 1713.

Guermantes is built of brick with stone facings and quoins, in an H-plan, with projecting pavilions flanking the corps de logis, under tall sloping slate roofs and tall chimney stacks. The house stands in a large park. The front is now approached in the English manner, with a drive sweeping to the side and an unbroken expanse of lawn. On the garden front, the house stands on a terrace with steps leading down to the former parterre, which is now lawn, and the expanse of water in the formally shaped pièce d'eau, from the far end of which the château is reflected in its entirety.

The original furnishings of Guermantes have been scattered, but rooms retain their 17th- and 18th-century boiseries. The family Pondre maintained the property until 1929.

In 1719 the Scottish economist and financier John Law purchased Guermantes for 800,000 livres. He only enjoyed possession for a matter of months. When the economic bubble created by his Mississippi Scheme burst, his life came under threat and he begged Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, the Regent, for permission to leave Paris. The Regent initially only granted Law permission to retire to the Château de Guermantes, and it was there that he spent his final days in France. On the evening of 17 December 1720, Law set off from the Château de Guermantes and fled France never to return. Paulin Pondre was able to take possession once more; his family were dispossessed at the Revolution.

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Details

Founded: 1698-1710
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Steve Scalia (6 months ago)
Lacking some of the modern amenities, but for good reason: historic registry limits construction & alterations. As a result, the history and character of the Castle is amazing. Staff is great. Food is out of this world. Highly recommend for corporate events.
Ercan Ciftci (6 months ago)
Amazing stay, and amazing hosts
Jose Fernandez (10 months ago)
Amazing château
Anurag Sharma (2 years ago)
Fantastic hosts. Amazing property. Unbelievable.
Nicolas Borgis (3 years ago)
Nice place to run workshops and off-sites. Located rather far away from Paris (45 minutes or more depending on traffic, which can be rather hectic on the A4 motorway). The brand has other venues in the Paris area, including a wonderful one located right in the heart of Paris.
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