Rambouillet is a commune in the Yvelines department in the south of the Ile-de-France region. The center of the sub-prefecture of the same name is located 78 km from Paris.
The commune of Rambouillet has been known since 768 thanks to the mention in the documents of the donation of the forest of Yvelines to the Abbey of Saint-Denis during the reign of King Pepin the Short of the Franks. In the 9th century Rambouillet returns to the domain of the king, and since the 11th century belongs to the Comte de Montfort.
In 1783, the estate near Rambouillet was acquired by Louis XVI, in which the commune received new incentives for economic development. The construction of the railway in 1849 led to the rapid development of industry and the growth of the city's population.
In the 20th century it hosts important international meetings, including the 6 G1975 summit and the 1999 Kosovo-Serbia Conference. Bilateral meetings of the President of France with the Prince of Monaco Rainier, the Duke of Edinburgh, the leader of the Libyan Jamahiriya M. Gaddafi and other politicians were organized in the Rambouillet castle.
Monuments of architecture
The most famous landmark of the city is the castle of Rambouillet, built in the 14th century. - This is a fort-fortress built in 1374-1384 in the likeness of the Bastille and the Louvre for the Prevost of Paris J. Bernier with neoclassical elements of the facade design introduced later. The architectural ensemble consists of a citadel with round towers, one wing and a medieval crenellated tower by Francois I, named after the king who died in it in 1547.
For a long time until the end of the 17th century. the castle belonged to the aristocratic Anzhann family, was a royal residence, and in the 19th - early 21st century. ‒ country dacha of the Presidents of France. From 2009 to the present, it has been under restoration of facades and interiors.
Palace of the King of Rome
The construction of the palace of the King of Rome (Le palais du roi de Rome) was completed in 1784.
Initially, it belonged to Louis XVI, and then, after reconstruction by the architect O. Fermin, during the First Empire it became the residence of Napoleon II.
Church of Saints Luben and John the Baptist
The main church of the Rambouillet, St. Luben and St. John the Baptist (L'église Saint-Lubin-et-Saint-Jean-Baptiste) was built in 1868-1871 instead of a dilapidated church of the late 10th century. The project of the temple was developed by the architect Viollet-le-Duc.
His reliquary contains a fragment of the "true Holy Cross" brought from Palestine by Count Simon IV de Montfort.
Monument American Eagle (Le monument du Souvenir et de la reconnaissance), installed at the site of the death of a soldier from the US Army in August 1944. The authors of the memorial were the sculptor G. Le Bourgeois and the artist R. Calli.
The monument was opened in 1947 in the presence of French President V. Oriol and American Ambassador D. Caffrey.
Railway Transport Museum
Rambouillet is home to the largest museum of the history of railway transport in France (Rambolitrain). It was opened in 1984 in an old mansion of the 19th century. on Place Jean d'Arc thanks to the enthusiasm of collectors and railway historians J. Wisbeck and A. Baldy.
The museum fund, located on two floors of the mansion, unites more than 4 thousand museum items, mainly models of carriages and locomotives.
In the garden near the museum there is a narrow-gauge railway, along which a small train runs in summer.
The National Sheep Center or the Royal Sheepfold (La laiterie de la Reine) is another unusual attraction in Rambouillet.
It was built in 1786. The old building still houses an agricultural enterprise that breeds sheep, goats and cows. There is also a small sheep breeding museum.
Gardens and forests
The oldest part of the Rambouillet garden adjacent to the castle was designed by F. Armenonville in 1699 in the French style. It includes lawns with flower beds, a terrace, linden alleys and a network of canals that form artificial islands when crossing.
In 1779, Count Pantier ordered the creation of a picturesque garden in the English style, decorated with grottoes and a Chinese pavilion. By the end of the 18th century also includes the construction of La chaumière aux coquillages and the Dairy Queen in the park.
Near the city there is an extensive forest of Rambouillet, covering an area of 200 km.2. This oak grove is only a small part of the vast forest of Yvelines, heavily cut down in the Middle Ages, but still impressive in size. With a width of 15 km, it extends for 35 km in length and 15 km in width and is characterized by a great variety of ecosystems.
On the territory of the forest there are several ponds, rivers with waterfalls, rocky outcrops and sandy plains. Part of the forest is the Regional Park of the Upper Chevreuse Valley. The Rambouillet forest is the second most visited forest, second only to the forest in popularity Fonteblo.
In the Rambouillet forest there are several equipped places for observing wild animals: Green Odyssey (Odyssée verte), Forest of eagles (Forêt des aigles), Wild forest (Forêt sauvage) and Deer forest (Forêt des cerfs). During your stay in it, you can see dozens of species of birds, reptiles, or meet deer, wild boars and even a bison acclimatized here.
How to get from Paris
From Gare Montparnasse there is a train to Rambouillet. Travel time will be 35 minutes. For a profitable journey, the Navigo card is suitable.