Discover the history of the Domaine
The Middle Ages: The lords of Senlis establish a fortress amidst swampland in Ermenonville during the late period of the Frankish kings. This utilises a drawbridge controlled by 4 watchtowers.
1351: End of feudalism. The lords of Senlis sell to Robert de Lorris. The Jacquerie, the first great revolt in France, takes place as peasant farmers, pushed to the limits by over-taxation and oppression, set fire to the Château d’Ermenonville.
Modern period: Louis XI - Henri IV and Dominique de Vic.
1474: Louis XI often stays at the Château d'Ermenonville. The end of the century is a painful time. Wars of religion, epidemics and famine have ruined the country. There is no longer a lord at the Château d’Ermenonville. A soldier, Dominique de Vic, a cavalier with a wooden leg, buys the Château. Henri IV, a great friend of Dominique de Vic, often comes to stay at the Château d’Ermenonville. Here he finds the most beautiful woman in the kingdom, Gabrielle d'Estrées, who becomes his mistress.
1600-1700: The de Vic family remain owners of the Château for 150 years until it is passed by marriage to the Lombards. In the first half of the 18th century they remodel the building.
1754: The Lombards sell Ermenonville to one of the leading counsellors of King Louis XV, Rene Hatte, a wealthy tax collector. Thanks to his considerable fortune, he is able to continue the transformation of the estate.
1766: The Marquis René de Girardin, René Hatte's grandson, inherits the Château d'Ermenonville. He finances, designs and creates the gardens. Visitors come from all over the world to see the resulting magnificence.
1778: The philosopher, writer and composer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau is inspired by the gardens to spend six weeks of great serenity in Ermenonville. He dies here on July 2nd, 1778, and René de Girardin has him buried on the Isle of Poplars.
1880: The Château d'Ermenonville is sold by Girardin's heirs to Prince Radziwill.
1927: Death of Léon Radziwill and the sundering of the estate. The Parc au Midi is sold to the Touring Club de France and renamed the Parc Jean Jacques Rousseau.
1942: The Château and the Parc au Nord are sold to Ettore Bugatti.
1964: The Hispano-Suiza automotive company, which bought the Bugatti factory, sells the Château to a group of financiers. The place then undergoes mixed fortunes, becoming in turn a retirement home, a restaurant and the headquarters of a sect.
1991: To the great satisfaction of all connected with the Château, the Hôtels Particuliers group acquires and proceeds to manage it with all due respect for its distinguished history.
2018: The Antoine Haswani group becomes the owner of the Château d'Ermenonville, investing a lot of love in the place, resuscitating its history and revealing the full extent of its charms to the world.
A word from the Chatelain
I am proud to be the Châtelain of the Château d'Ermenonville, a treasure trove of history, heritage and beauty. We put our know-how, our creativity and all our hearts into the Château, so that it may transport you into a new realm of experience.
I and my team commit ourselves to bringing satisfaction to, and fulfilling the dreams of, our valued visitors. May every day be a coronation for our guests, who are the real Queens and Kings of the Château d'Ermenonville."
Activities at the Château
- The Parc du Château
- Boat trips
- Horse riding
- Board Games
- Massage (by reservation)
Activities in the vicinity
- The Parc Jean Jacques Rousseau
- The Mer de Sable theme park
- The Royal Abbey of Chaalis
- Parc Asterix
- Apremont & Raray golf courses
- The city of Senlis
- The France Galop training centre for racehorses
- The Château de Chantilly and the Condé Museum
- The chateaux of Compiègne and Pierrefonds