Rambouillet

France

Rambouillet lies on the edge of the vast Forest of Rambouillet (Forêt de Rambouillet or Forêt de l’Yveline), and is famous for its historical castle, the Château de Rambouillet, which hosted several international summits.

Sights

  • The Château de Rambouillet, a former medieval fortress, was acquired by Louis XVI of France in 1783 as a private residence because of its ideal situation in the game-rich forest of Rambouillet. It became a bien national during the French Revolution of 1789, and one of the imperial residences of Napoléon I during the First French Empire. At the time of the Bourbon Restoration, the castle became royal residence, and it is there that Charles X signed his abdication on 2 August 1830. Sometimes neglected at times of political unrest, the château de Rambouillet became the official summer residence of the French President of the Republic after President Félix Faure chose it as summer residence for himself and his family in 1896; Rambouillet thus became the official summer residence of the Presidents of the Third Republic and has retained its position ever since.
  • The Palais du Roi de Rome. In 1784, on a parcel adjacent to the gardens of the castle, Louis XVI had ordered the construction of the Hôtel du Gouvernement, which was restored during the reign of Napoléon I, and renamed Palais du Roi de Rome as the official Rambouillet residence of Napoleon’s infant son. Its entrance is situated in the rue Charles de Gaulle, Rambouillet’s main street.
  • The Hôtel de Ville, the former Bailliage (Bailiwicks building) was built in 1786 at the request of Louis XVI by the architect Jacques-Jean Thévenin. It was given by Napoléon I to the inhabitants of Rambouillet to serve as their City Hall. The inscription over the doors of the City Hall reads “Donated to the inhabitants of Rambouillet by Napoleon the Great, [in the] Year 1809”.
  • The new Saint-Lubin church was built between 1868 and 1871. Its architect was Anatole de Baudot, a student of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.
  • The Bergerie nationale was built on the grounds of the Domain of Rambouillet at the request of Louis XVI, and is the home of the Rambouillet Merino sheep since 1786.
  • The Laiterie de la Reine, the Queen’s Dairy also built on the grounds of the Domain of Rambouillet, is adjacent to the Bergerie. It was built in 1787 at the request of Louis XVI for his wife Marie Antoinette and designed by the architect Jean-Jacques Thévenin.
  • The Chaumière des coquillages, a thatched-roof cottage with its marble interior decorated with shells and mother of pearl, was built in 1779-1780 in the English garden of the Domain of Rambouillet by Claude-Martin Goupy, the architect of the duc de Penthièvre, for the princesse de Lamballe, Penthièvre’s widowed daughter-in-law.
  • The Musée Rambolitrain, situated across from the Saint-Lubin church, is a museum featuring miniature trains. We find a faithful reconstruction of a Parisian toy store of the 1930s.
  • The Monument Américain (The American Eagle Monument), is situated at the south entrance of the town on the D 906 road to Chartres, at the site of two ambushes in which seven American soldiers were killed, on 16 August 1944. The monument was erected in 1947. It bears the inscription: “À la mémoire des soldats américains tombés pour la libération de notre région en août 1944”, “In memory of the American soldiers fallen for the liberation of our region in August 1944”. The names of nine American soldiers are inscribed on a plaque on the monument. Commemorative ceremonies are held at the monument every 19 August.

Events

Saint-Lubin, Muguet Festival, patriotic ceremonies, association forum, discover these events which punctuate the city of Rambouillet.

The thrush festival

The Muguet Festival is a traditional festival of Rambouillet which takes place every year where the Muguet is honored.

While taking advantage of the many attractions and activities, you can attend the parade of floats built by various associations at the start of the afternoon! During this parade, you will be able to see the Queen of the Lily of the Valley and her dauphines in the first float. It will end in front of the Château de Rambouillet, where the most beautiful floats in the parade will be rewarded.

The Saint-Lubin

Every two years since 1990, Rambouillet puts on its old clothes to offer the population a retrospective on the theme of agricultural shows. On the occasion of this festive meeting with its history, the whole city: elected officials, traders, associations, individuals, plays the game of dressing up.

For a day, the straw-covered streets rediscover a little air of the past in a joyful and festive atmosphere. Each Saint-Lubin takes a different era but is always found around its cattle market where sheep, fat oxen, donkeys, as well as a wide variety of draft horses rub shoulders. A costumed parade, to which everyone is invited, leaves around 11 am from the station square, to cross the city to the town hall, where a country meal is served. In the afternoon, the official competition rewards the most beautiful draft horses.

If the Place de la Liberation becomes for one day the center of a cattle market, free activities punctuate the city, horse rides, ox cart, various tastings .There are also many artisans, as well as typical local products. Exhibitions transport the visitor, who leaves the 21st century to plunge back into history. Along the streets, he might come across a blacksmith, a combine harvester, old cars, and even unusual objects such as the treadmill.

The Night of the Lily of the Valley

This election has been held every year since 1911. It takes place on the last weekend of January.

Contact

Town Hall
email
Via contact form
address
2, place de la Liberation
phone
01 75 03 40 00