Wonderful Rambouillet !!

This is one of those town we came for the history we read and passing nearby many times on the N10 , we decided first to see its mini train museum and the rest is history as they said. A nice town, very much visited later on while living in Versailles. I like to update this older post for you and me; hope you enjoy it as I. I am talking of course of Rambouillet, yes there is a castle from the monarchies ,emperors and presidents of France it has it all. Rambouillet, of course, is in my dear Yvelines dept 78 of the region of Ïle de France in my belle France!

It is at about 45 km (28 mi)  from Paris and 29 km (18 mi) from Versailles, the capital of the Yvelines department 78.  Very well connected town by road with the main routes, the N10 avoiding city center passing on the east in direction of  Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Versailles, and  Paris (the prefer route) as it also connects you to the autoroutes  A12, A13 and  A86, as well as the nice D191 towards Mantes-la-Jolie, and to the west direction Chartres connecting with the autoroutes A10 ,and  A11 by Ablis . Also,  the D906 connecting Rambouillet with Maintenon on the west, and the D936 connecting Rambouillet with Houdan and onwards to Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines and  Dourdan. All good roads and many times traveled by yours ; truly. Train never came by it here but you have the regional Transilien Paris-Montparnasse and the TER Val de Loire-Centre passing by to Rambouillet and onwards to Chartres.

A bit of condense history I like

It is said that the first mention of Rambouillet was in 768, and from there many deviations in name until  after the French revolution and the current name. The ancient texts tell us the town grew up in the current neighborhood of  Groussay and the old lordship of  Montorgueil where today we have the famous bergerie nationale.  Thanks to the heritage of mother Amicie, Simon V is at the head of a vast domain including Montfort, Rochefort, and the forest of the yvelines. He goes on the 4th crusade in 1202 upon returning he brings a piece of the True Cross that after stolen in 1882 were never found. He was killed in 1218 on the ramparts of Toulouse. His oldest son Amaury inherits all but cannot keep the territory of his father given away to the Count of Toulouse and the albigeois lands to king Louis VIII of France in 1224.  In 1368, Jeanne de Breucourt heir to Rambouillet sells to Jehan Bernier the houses and rights to the village of Rambouillet; it is this later that transform the mansion here into a castle, the beginning of what we see today. The king  François Ier, died in 1547 at the Castle.

In December 29 1783 king Louis XVI buys the castle and by 1785 ordered built the milk pet farm or bergerie for Marie Antoinette.  The French revolution of course takes it all, and stayed abandoned until 1809, when self proclaimed emperor Napoléon Ier bequeathed to the city of Rambouillet.  The Château de Rambouillet was the scene of many international events such as the economic summit of the G6 of 1975 with the USA, Great Britain, Italy ,Japan, West Germany, and France. The conference of  Rambouillet, negotiations for the peace in Kosovo between the independent Kosovars and  Serbia under the NATO in 1999. The old hunting lodge host several personalities such as the Duke of Édimbourg, Prince  Rainier of Monaco ; on the side you have the military outpost of Des Gardes or Caserne Des Gardes.

Things to see in Rambouillet:

The Château de Rambouillet,built between 1368 and 1384 ,receiving visitors such as François Rabelais,doctor of the king and king François Ier that loved to hunt here in 1547, died on a tower that afterward kept his name.  Napoléon spent a night here in 1815 before his final departure  in exile for Sainte-Hélène.  In 1830, king Charles X escaping Paris from the insurrection of the three glorious days or the  Trois Glorieuses, reached  Rambouillet with most of his family, court, and the rest of his troops still loyal, they camped in the park and on a room of the castle in August 2 1830, the king and the dauphin heir abdique in favor of the young Duke of Bordeaux (not to be the Count of Chambord or Henri V) . President of France Félix Faure made of  Rambouillet  his official residence in summer of 1896, and until 2009 Rambouillet was one of the official residences of the President of France ; now it is used for conferences, meetings etc.

Rambouillet chateau-from-gardens mar11

Other places to see are the Saint Lubin and St John the Baptist Church , rue de la République at place Jeanne d’Arc built early 1868 and opened for service in 1871 replacing a Church by the same name dating from the 10C. The king of Rome palace or Palais du roi de Rome  was built from  1784 on orders of king Louis XVI to served as a government mansion and later change by emperor Napoleon  Ier that made it into the residence of his son the king of Rome in 1812. It kept the name until the Restoration of the monarchy  in 1830. By 1989 the city of Rambouillet buys the property to host expositions, and cultural events as well as created a museum of the game of goose or the musée du Jeu de l’oie.


There is the unique monument to the memory and recognition or the monument du Souvenir et de la reconnaissance, also known as the American monument or monument américain, as well as the American Eagle Monument  done by veterans of the August 1944-45  combats in the area erected on the way of out of Rambouillet  on the route de Gazeran.  This is in memory to the American Soldiers dead for the liberation of this region in August 1944. The owners of the land where the Americans felled gave it as bequest to the city so the monument can be built. The monument opened in June 1947 by then President of France  M. Vincent Auriol, Jefferson Caffery, US Ambassador to France and Doctor  Petit, new major of Ramboullet, as well as many personalities civil and military of France and the USA.

Adjacent to the castle you can see the Chaumiére aux coquillages, built in 1775 all done in shells. The Laiterie de la Reine, a little farm adore by Marie Antoinette, all in the middle of an English garden. All done with tiles and marble with a dome ,open every day see same webpage as the castle above. The gardens and park of the domaine where the castle is takes from a French garden to terraces, and bushes, trees, a little stream in many sites, and little isles around them. It was created by the Duke of Penthiévre in 1779. Great park for a picnic which I have done with the family.

There is the wonderful Rambolitrain, train museum that my boys love it!! , opened in 1984 and one of the most important museums in France on train miniature models  showing the history of railroad from the origins to today with many train toys and train toy stores of the 1930’s. It is a minituare train museum great for old and young alike, my kids love it. More than 4000 pieces on display with model railroad station and running trains.  You have, the cavern of Ali Baba, a re creation of a toy store from the 1930’s.  Its located at 4 place Jeanne d’Arc, city center.  We love it, as said. The museum of the goose or  Musée du jeu de l’oie opened since 2001, shows a collection by Pierre Dietsch, of more than 2400 games of goose. The Bergerie Nationale also has a museum of the Sheep or musée du mouton. Built by king Louis XVI with imported merino sheeps from Spain. It has a working farm with about 1000 sheeps. There are cows and donkeys, goats,pigs,horses, all living as before. You can have horse wagon rides, and demonstrations. Near the castle.  There is the Espace Rambouillet,a place to observed animals  in the forest by the public. The Espace Rambouillet  offers you an introduction to the forest of Rambouillet. With over 100 kinds of wild birds of prey plus wild pigs,deers, etc you can see them up close with different themes in the Forêt des Cerfs, Forêt Sauvage, and Forêt des Aigles. It is on road D27 between Rambouillet and Clairefontaine, follow the N10 from Rambouillet .The forest of Rambouillet, covers over  200 km2,  with a vast ensemble of oak trees. 

And last but not least the Carrousel des Palais at Place Félix Faure which we walked by when in town, so figure need to post it here as with many photos they are hard to find if any lol!  Eating places , I had quick formule du jour at Cafe de la Gare, 10 place Ferdinand Prud’homme  ,yes its next to the train station in city center. For evenings and French traditional resto I have try the Le Cheval Rouge, 78 rue du Général de Gaulle , which is the road up from the castle going into city center.


The city of Rambouillet on its heritagehttps://www.rambouillet.fr/loisirs-associations/tourisme/

The Rambouillet tourist office on its heritagehttps://www.rambouillet-tourisme.fr/a-decouvrir/patrimoine-et-culture/

The official Castle of Rambouillet on castle, laiterie de la Reine and Chaumiére aux coquillageshttps://www.chateau-rambouillet.fr/en/

The official Bergerie Nationalehttp://www.bergerie-nationale.educagri.fr/bergerie-nationale/histoire/

The Yvelines dept 78 tourist office on Rambouillet castle : https://www.sortir-yvelines.fr/Art-et-culture/Art-et-culture-dans-les-Yvelines/chateau-yvelines/chateau-Rambouillet

There you go folks, another dandy royal, imperial, and presidential city to you.  You will love it at Rambouillet and still an off the beaten path site me think. Again hope you enjoy it as I.

And remember ,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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