Chateau Day Trip

chateauinnormandieHow ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm
After they’ve seen Paree?

I’m afraid that old chestnut dating back to end of World War I is going to ring true for me in about 17 months. While we still have a good chunk of time left in our time in Paris, I already feel the clock ticking, the opportunities calling, and the regrets piling up of the things I don’t have the time or energy to do.

But why mope? What got me started on this train of thought was my trip Friday out to where Ile de France ends and Normandy begins. And that’s where, after passing through countryside and a series of small villages, you come around a corner and find this!

It’s the 17th century Chateau d’Heudicourt. Louis XIV likely visited there on one of his many hunting escapades and Madame Heudicourt was a court favorite and dear friend to Madame de Maintenon who eventually became the king’s wife. In the 19th century, it became the property of the Comte d’Esteve, Napoleon’s treasurer, who re-did the facade and tamed part of the surrounding woods into a French garden, symmetrical and ordered in contrast to the wilder garden designs taking hold across the Channel.


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