We are house sitting in La Celle St Cloud France, and a couple of days ago while on a walk with Hudson the doggie we are minding, and we ended up in the Forêt de Fausses-Reposes.
It is cool and beautiful in the woods and I love how every so often you find little creations along the path.
Anyway, on our walk home, we ran into a rather amazing building... to think it is a few blocks from our house sit. I christened it our haunted mansion, as it was late in the day, and it looked rather creepy in the dimming light. Today we went back to learn more about the building and to see it by light of day.
From Wikipedia... "The Pavilion du Butard is a hunting lodge in the Forêt de Fausses-Reposes in the territory of La Celle-Saint-Cloud in Yvelines, France. Part of the gardens of Versailles, it was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel for Louis XV and built between 1750 and 1754. It was made state property on 27 June 1794 by François-Nicolas Périgon, notary at Paris, during the French Revolution. On 23 April 1802 it became the property of empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, who wished to merge it with her Malmaison estate, but it returned to being state property on her divorce from Napoleon in 1809.
It was later also enjoyed by Charles X of France and emperor Napoleon III of France. It was occupied by the Prussians during the Franco-Prussian War. Still state property, it was made a monument historique on 29 August 1927.
We were the only ones there today when we arrived - to think that Louis XV, Napoleon, Josephine, all stood here, at one time.
AND... it is for sale! Oh my goodness! I did suggest we buy it - I love the odd little doer-upper! Have a little dream with me for a moment if you will, and imagine sitting in a dining room where Josephine once entertained! What fun, and oh what responsibility to restore it! And of course, we all, in reality, hope that it will be passed into the tender hands of those who will keep it for the people, for the ages to come.
The bell pull looked like it would still work (it did) and with the dog warning sign I wondered if anyone still was living there.
A group of people from the area - Les Amis du Butard - are trying to gather like minded people to help save it for cultural purposes. I've translated their intro web page via google - from The Friends of Butard site...
"Pavilion Butard, created by the architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel for Louis XV between 1750 and 1754 will be sold by the state in 2017 . This majestic building, currently closed and sleepy part of our heritage and must remain our common good at the heart of the forest of False-Reposes. We are a group of residents of La Celle Saint-Cloud which joined the inhabitants of Vaucresson, Chesnay and elsewhere.
"We are committed to the rescue and preservation of this historic monument and we are eager to contribute to its next opening to the public, the arts and culture. We are supported in our efforts by association leaders, elected officials and various personalities including Franck Ferrand, writer and talented journalist in history. We work in conjunction with the Heritage Foundation.
We are at the initiative of a citizen and participatory project, nonprofit, which aims to acquire this building and its preservation and maintenance. it will be open to cultural and artistic activities (exhibition gallery, music room, literary circle, conference center ...). We now meet individual and appreciate this project and companies interested in participating in the backup this magnificent monument. to make your voice heard and contribute to this beautiful project by your action or your support, please contact us now." contact: Les Amis du Butard