The Pavillon Henri IV ,and Louis XIV !!!

Back to more familiar territory of my belle France. Again, even if posted several on this area there is always something missing that I am trying to bring back to life. I will uupdate this older post on the historical Pavillon Henri IV of Saint Germain en Laye !!!  Maybe the name do not ring a bell but it does a lot to me as even dined there!! and know the architecture and history of this place close to my former home of Versailles. This is in wonderful Saint Germain en LayeYvelines dept 78 of the Île de France region.


The Pavillon Henri IV is a gourmet hotel-restaurant located at the side back of the Castle of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, now Archeology museum.(see post), The Pavillon Henri IV exactly at the end of 19 rue Thiers, at the southern end of the large terrace, overlooking the Seine valley to the east. Really the back of the castle! The Pavillon Henri IV is exposed on the hillside and overlooks the Seine valley. The gourmet restaurant benefits from this spectacular panoramic view.


The building that houses this establishment includes a historic part, the pavilion of the king’s oratory, one of the surviving remains of the old Château-Neuf of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. This castle, which was royal residence under Henri IV, Louis XIII and Louis XIV, until 1660, date on which the royal family resettled in the Château-Vieux, before leaving for Versailles in 1682. On the night of September 4 to 5, Anne of Austria felt the pains of childbirth and gave birth to Louis Dieudonné, the future Louis XIV, on September 5, 1638. This birth came so late that it was sometimes considered like a miracle. Louis XIV had the nickname “Louis-Dieudonné” or Louis God given, There remains of this castle the last building on the right which is now part of the Pavillon Henri VI. It is said that Charles X wanted to destroyed the pavilion for it was already dilapidated in order to rebuild it, the French revolution put an early end to this project. What was left was then sold as national property.


In 1825, an entrepreneur by the name of Barthélémy Planté bought it before restoring and enlarging it, then ceded it to the West Railway Company, the building was then rented to Jean-Louis-François Collinet, chef, who transformed it into a restaurant. This restaurant quickly acquired a certain celebrity thanks to this chef to whom we owe the creation of pommes soufflées and sauce béarnaise (yeah right here folks!). The puffed potatoes were invented by chance on August 24, 1837, the first day of train service between Paris Saint-Lazare station and the Le Pecq landing stage, located just next to the bridge on the right bank of the Seine river. A reception was organized in this restaurant for Queen Marie-Amélie who was on the train. The delay in the train forced the chef to reheat his apples by immersing them in the oil, which gave the “puffed apples” look and voilà French gastronomy had an addition.

Some famous names ,and not so famous by here were : In the 1840s, Alexandre Dumas resided at the hotel and it was there that he wrote some of his most famous works, such as Les Trois Mousquetaires and Le Comte de Monte-Cristo. Jacques Offenbach will spend the end of May 1877, the spring of 1879 and the summer of 1880 at the Henri IV Pavilion. He will compose pages of his latest works: Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Belle Lurette. Adolphe Thiers, first president of the Third Republic, who came to rest there, died there on September 3, 1877.  Other names were Georges V, Victor Hugo, and Franz Listz.  The great headquarters of the Nazis army for the occupied zone was installed in the Pavillon Henri IV, until it was hit by a bomb from the Royal Air Force on March 3, 1942; it is then transferred to Villa David. From November 1 to 16, 1955, on his way back from exile from Madagascar, the Moroccan monarch Mohammed V occupied the entire hotel with his family and his suite. A plaque commemorating his stay was inaugurated on July 24, 1982, as part of the twinning between Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Témara.

The official Pavillon Henri IV

The Seine St Germain en Laye tourist office on the Pavillon Henri IV

There you go folks, a wonderful historical place with great views over afar Paris and the service is sublime worthy of its reputation , worth the detour even for a look alone. The Pavillon Henri IV is part of our history and on wonderful Saint Germain en Laye! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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