The Saint-Cloud estate passed from hand to hand between the historical figures of France from 1577 to 1892. First, in 1577, it was offered as a gift to Jérôme de Gondi by Catherine de Medicis. The squire of the queen mother then transformed the house into a castle and arranged Italian gardens in the courtyard. King Henry III died in the castle of Saint-Cloud on August 2nd 1589, stabbed by the monk Jacques Clément. In 1655, the estate became the property of Barthélemy Hervart, finances intendant of Louis XIV. Three years later, the Sun King redeemed him to offer it to his brother, the Duke of Orleans, who transformed it into a place of rejoicing. He then enlarges and modernizes the place with the most famous artists and landscapers of France. In 1785, Marie-Antoinette bought the estate and made repairs with her architect Mique.
After the Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte prepared his coup d’état from Saint-Cloud the 18th Brumaire and chose to reside there. On May 18th 1815, Napoleon I was proclaimed emperor in the wing of the so-called Apollo Gallery’s building. Louis XVIII lived in the castle during the Restoration after the fall of Napoleon. The last great event lived by the palace was the coronation of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte as emperor on December 2nd 1852. After the attack of the Prussians, the castle was razed in 1892. Only the Trianon and the pavilion of Valois remain. The first was assigned to the International Bureau of Weights and Measures of 1875 and the second was occupied by the Ecole Normale Superieure from 1882 to 2000.
One of the most beautiful gardens in Europe
The Saint-Cloud Park carries the print of the most famous French landscapers and architects. It obtained the label "Jardin remarquable" in 2005. Under the era of Catherine de Medicis, the castle was decorated with Italian gardens. During the reign of Louis XIV, it was the most seasonal landscaper painter and artisan of the Château de Versailles’s gardens, Le Nôtre, who arranged the garden. Le Pautre and his second Jean Girard build the Cascade and Pierre Mignard erects the Apollo’s gallery. The staircase entrusted to Hardouin-Mansart was moved by Marie Antoinette in 1785. Napoleon Bonaparte entrusted the renovation of the castle to Pierre Fontaine and built the lantern of Demosthenes in which a fire was burned to signal the presence of the emperor. It is also destroyed during the besiege of Paris.
Things to see in Saint-Cloud
The national estate of Saint-Cloud (classified as a historical monument in 1994) is an immense park of 460 hectares which is at the gates of Paris. It is made up of gardens, forests and fountains. It is a very popular place for Francilians and foreign tourists. Walk, imaginary journey through time, relaxation and a great breath of fresh air are at the rendez-vous during a day at the park. The officials organize permanent exhibitions and temporary exhibitions for all, as well as fun performances for children. Two cultural events are held every year in Saint-Cloud: Festival Rock en Seine and Film Festival under the Stars.
Grande Arche de La Défense
A monument dedicated to the historical axis of Paris
The historical axis of Paris is the rectilinear way that crosses the west of the capital, part of the Hauts-de-Seine and the business district of La Défense. This axis has its origins since the reign of Catherine de Medici. The Arch of Defense or Grande Arche de la Fraternité took on a historic dimension by being inaugurated on July 14, 1989, the day of celebration of the bicentenary of the French Revolution. This building is the result of an international architectural competition launched on July 7, 1982, which brought together 424 candidate projects. Johan Otto Von Spreckelsen of Denmark won the first prize thanks to the originality of his "open cube". He works with the Danish engineer Erik Reitzel and the French Paul Andreu for the design. Measuring 112 m long, 106.9 m wide and 110.9 m high, the Arch of Defense can hold Notre-Dame Cathedral (including the arrow). Its exterior faces are covered with 5 cm thick of glass.
One of the most visited monuments in Paris
The Grand Arche is one of the outstanding architectural features of the 20th century. It weighs 300,000 tons and rests on 12 pillars sunk at 30 m in the ground. Its roof offers an exceptional view of the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe and the obelisk of Concorde place. Before the roof was closed to the public in 2011, the Grand Arche recorded 250,000 visitors a year. However, it is one of the most photographed places in Paris.
The Rodin Museum of Meudon
Museum devoted to a great master of modern sculpture
The Rodin Museum is a museum of 45,900 m² housing the works of Auguste Rodin (1840-1817). It is located at the Villa des Brillants in Meudon (Hauts-de-Seine). The other site devoted to painter-sculptor-engraver is at the Hotel Biron in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. The Museum of Meudon was the residence of the artist. His tomb is also on the site. He settled there in 1893 with his companion Rose Beuret before buying it in 1895. He lands the estate until the end of his life.
Admire the beautiful estate and get to know the artist through his workshop, his thousands of works and his personal collections
The workshop villa of Meudon commemorates the centenary of the death of the artist this year 2017. It is in his last residence that one can penetrate a little more in the intimacy of the author of the Man with the broken nose. It is a Louis XIII house style built in brick and stone where visitors can experience life in an artist's residence.
How to get from Arche de La Défense to CDG Airport by car
The journey between Grande Arche de La Défense and CDG Airport is 34.3 km, traveled in about half an hour. From Grande Arche space, take the Division Leclerc Avenue to reach Puteaux and admire this beautiful commune on the Left Bank. Cross the Seine and continue until Neuilly-sur-Seine. Then take the peripheral Boulevard till the Porte de la Chapelle and take the A1, pass the tunnel of Landy and continue to Roissy-en-France. From Roissy-en-France to CDG airport there is only 7.5 km left.