A Brief History of my Family in France - Part 20 - Moving to Rambouillet - Last Part (but not really)steemCreated with Sketch.

in story •  2 years ago  (edited)

Hello everyone. This is the continuation of the story of my French family.

The story starts here
Previous episode: Part 19

Moving to Rambouillet

After their wedding, Paul and Marie lived in the big apartment of Marie's parent in the XVIth arrondissement of Paris.
My two older brothers, Philippe and Bruno, and myself, we were born in "Hospital of the Deaconesses of Reuilly" in the 12th arrondissement of Paris.

Then, my parents found a house to rent in Rambouillet, at some 50 km from Paris, where Paul was working at the Institut de France. It was quite a big house for a young couple. The house was not new and it still exists, which means it must be around 90 years old.

Our House in Rambouillet
(source: Google Maps Street View)

Rambouillet is a small, peaceful town of less than 30,000 inhabitants. The main attractions in Rambouillet are the castle with its park and the "Bergerie Nationale" (The National Sheepfold).

The Château de Rambouillet was originally built during the 14th century. Of course, like many castles it has been modified numerous times, both externally and internally.

Castle of Rambouillet

In the XVIth century, the castle was owned by Jacques d'Angennes, the captain of the guard of the King of France François Ier (Francis I). As the domain included a large game-rich forest, the king was often coming to Rambouillet to hunt. In fact, he died in the castle in 1547 from sepsis.

Over the years, the castle belonged to different noble families until Louis XVI bought it in 1783. Obviously, he did not enjoyed it for very long.
Louis XVI bought 350 Spanish Merino sheep and installed them in Rambouillet. His hope was that the queen, Marie-Antoinette, who hated Rambouillet, but who liked farm animals, would agree to come more often to Rambouillet. There are still sheep in Rambouillet at the "Bergerie Nationale". They are of a specific breed, the Rambouillet Merino or French Merino.

Another view of the Château de Rambouillet

During the French Revolution, the castle was basically abandoned, until Napoléon decided to repair it. Since then, it has been an imperial castle, a royal castle and finally a summer residence for the French Presidents, similar to Camp David in the United States.

During the 1950s, the President René Coty and his wife Germaine came often during the summer to Rambouillet.
While my mother was at the hospital of Rambouillet after giving birth to one of my sister, she was visited by Madame Coty.
Madame Coty died in the castle in 1955 from cardiac arrest.

René Coty was the last president to sojourn in Rambuillet. After that, the castle was only used to receive foreign visitors (including Boris Eltsine, Hosni Moubarak or Nelson Mandela) or for international conferences.

However, since 2009, the castle is no longer used by the presidents and is open to the public.

Paul and Marie stayed in Rambouillet until April 1957. They already had seven children (Philippe, Bruno, Vincent, Monique, Brigitte, Antoine and Benoît) and the house was starting to be too small.

This is the end of the story of my family.
But the story continue with my personal story

If you like this story, please consider to follow me @vcelier

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4
Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8
Part 9 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12
Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15 - Part 16
Part 17 - Part 18- Part 19

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  


While my mother was at the hospital of Rambouillet after giving birth to one of my sister, she was visited by Madame Coty.

Why? are they friends?

That house doesn't look small at all. Here - that would be a very expensive villa :D. Marie must miss it. Do you?


No, Marie and Madame Coty were not friends. It just happened that Madame Coty was visiting the Rambouillet hospital when Marie had just been given birth to my sister, and Madame Coty, during her visit, stopped to have a chat with her.

The house was not small for 3 children, but was starting to be small with 7, at least for middle class families in France at the time.