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A castle and its park in time  of the “imperial feast”

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Portrait of Jeanne Lebrun,  Duchess of Plaisance 

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Castle of the  Twin, South facade

Nothing remains of the old Château de la Jumellière, located on very old Angevin land passed on to the Lebascles of Argenteuil in the 18th century, then to the Maillé in 1806. The current castle was built between 1858 and 1862 by the famous architect Henri Parent, for about 500,000 francs, which represents the cost of a small Parisian hotel. Inaugurated in 1866, it was quickly enlarged around 1874 by the agency of Ernest Sanson, another renowned architect, in order to fit out a billiard room and a small smoking room. Near the new residence remains another building of the same name, rebuilt in 1730 and transformed into a residence for the manager in the 19th century. Before partition, the entire land of La Jumellière included twenty-eight farms and extended over more than 1,300 hectares. La Jumellière, estimated at 2 million francs in 1907, provided an annual income of 65

000 francs; however, it only represented part of Jeanne Lebrun's fortune, which amounted to 16 million francs, with an annual income of 500,000 francs. Built under the Second Empire, marked by the memory of the Maillé, the Princes of Wagram and the Dukes of Plaisance, the Jumellière is the result of the meeting of two dynasties: that of the Dukes of Plaisance and that of the Parent architects. The sponsor of the Château de la Jumellière, Armand-Louis (1816-1903), Count of Maillé and fourth Duke of Plaisance, President of the General Council in 1884 and Senator of Maine-et-Loire in 1896, had married Jeanne Lebrun (1835- 1920), granddaughter of the Duke of Plaisance. The Jumellière was worn in 1913 in the house of Polignac by the alliance of Jeanne de Maillé (1889-1950) with François-Sosthène (1887-1981), Prince of Polignac. The Princess of Polignac then passed it on to her grandson Pierre-Edmond, Count Fugger-Babenhausen. Son-in-law of Joseph-Antoine Froelicher, the architect adored by the Legitimists, Henri Parent won the favor of the royalist party to the point of becoming for posterity the architect of the "noble suburb" - that of Saint-Germain - and of the Monceau plain, major artery of the Second Empire.

The facades of the building, different from each other, form a harmonious and balanced overall composition, through the interplay of vertical and horizontal lines of the corner links and backsplashes, bands and reigning cornice. The front facade, to the south, is made up of a central part with two avant-corps and two wings. The rear facade, to the north, is organized around a central part with a slight avant-corps, covered with a half-dome, and two wings at right angles, with a canted projection. The facades are distinguished by their ornamental richness on many fields and supports, in particular by the reminder of the she-wolf of the Dukes of Plaisance, which adorns each corner chaining. The imposing pavilion roof, with multiple hips, semi-dome, dormer windows and oculi, is characterized by great exuberance. The Château de la Jumellière bears witness to the uses and way of life of a society profoundly changed after the First World War, not only in its mores, but also its fortunes and its symbols. Everything, or almost, has been preserved from the distribution, the furniture and the interior decorations, from the outbuildings located in the basement to the bedrooms of the


Wolf of the Dukes of Plaisance,
Facade detail

servants in the attic. The ground floor, in particular, includes a vestibule and a suspended spiral staircase, in oak, connected to a gallery, all surmounted by a ceiling with compartments and a painted sky. The decor of the reception rooms, namely the two neo-Louis XVI salons and the neo-Louis XIV dining room, is made up of patinated woodwork, high panelling, faux marble painted plinths, wall lights, consoles, valances and double curtains in Aubusson tapestry with trimmings. To these rooms is added the billiard room, fitted out around 1874. The neo-Louis XIV dining room and the neo-Louis XVI salons testify to the sure values that triumphed from the 1840s, until the Belle Epoque, precisely under the influence of Henri Parent.


Grand Staircase  of honor 

The vestibule presents a staircase of a beautiful stereotomy and especially a gallery, to which the architect resorts on several occasions, in particular for the living room of the Parisian hotel of Gustave Eiffel (disappeared) and the winter garden of the hotel. by Édouard André, whose decorations are however more ostentatious. And it is not even the half-dome that does not refer, in certain respects, to the Tuileries Palace itself, taken over by Visconti and Lefuel for the Cour Napoléon of Napoleon III's Nouveau Louvre. As for the stables and the gardener's house, using brick, they evoke the Picardy model farmhouse of Valanglart, built by Henri Parent for the Marquis de Valanglart. Henri Parent's work is located in a sixty-hectare park, planted around 1867 and represented with precision on a plan drawn up in 1872. It is possible that the landscape architect Auguste Killian was the designer, while the landscape architect Achille Duchêne appears having intervened a little later at the Jumellière. Invoices and plans show work and hydraulic development at the level of the flower garden, to the north, which includes two basins, a water tower, two greenhouses and a flower barn; at the back is the old vegetable garden, with the gardener's pavilion and its courtyard, then the old vegetable garden enclosed by walls. The stables are located to the south. The park, whose entrances are marked by gates and two gatehouses, remains almost as it was designed in 1872. June 16, 2014.

Solen Peron In charge of documentary studies DRAC


The Castle Stables 

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