The castles in France are an endless opportunity to study history at its different stages. Kings, princes, dukes, nobles and just rich businessmen lived here. Each of them had their own interests and preferences, which we can trace today in refined and luxurious interiors. Situated in the heart of the forest, the Castle of Rambouillet is a reminder of how the royal families loved hunting. One can visit it with a guide, or just walk through the huge French-style park and explore the outbuildings.
Built in 1345, the castle was once a royal residence in the heart of a giant forest, and later became the presidential residence. Today it still hosts heads of state. Some rooms of the palace keep a special history. For example, Francis I died in one of them, Napoleon I spent his last night in France in another, and the third majestic room with magnificent wooden decoration is Marie Antoinette’s boudoir.
The Castle of Rambouillet owes its fame to the rich game forest in the very heart of which it was built. The former medieval fortress was gradually transformed into a holiday residence. Renowned owners, including the d’Angennes and Toulouse-Penthièvre families, Louis XVI, Napoleon I and the Presidents of the Republic, contributed to the design of the interiors
In the Middle Ages, Rambouillet was a fortified outpost. After the death of Francis I of France, some of the greatest figures in French history lived in the Castle of Rambouillet at different times: the Count of Toulouse, Louis XVI, Napoleon I.
The Count of Toulouse, a passionate hunter, made the castle of Rambouillet his residence in the 18th century and turned it into a real palace, which during the reign of Louis XVI became the residence of kings
Since the end of the 19th century, the presidents of France lived here, who turned the territory into a prestigious hunting estate.
In order to ennoble the area surrounding the castle, which was essentially a flat wetland, a 740 m long channel was dug, which made it possible to probe the territory: a geometric quincunx was laid to the west, from which the only in Europe avenue of Louisiana cypresses was planted to the east.
At the request of Louis XVI, a real dairy farm was built for Marie Antoinette. Here you can see the statue “Amalthea and the Nymph” by Pierre Julien
The second, transverse, channel opened a view of the forest and the horizon. In the trapezium formed by these channels, there were two islands, one of which contained a grotto dedicated to François Rabelais. An emerald lawn separated the canals from the edges of the Rambouillet Forest.
Given its proximity to the capital, Rambouillet Castle is a great place for a day trip from Paris.