Anglo-Chinese gardens of France decorated with fabriques

The grotto of the Folie Saint-James


Those of which few remains

in this page :

dedicated pages :
the Chinese pavilion of Cassan
the Folie Saint-James
the nymphaeum of Chatou

Some French Anglo-Chinese gardens are regarded as less important, either because they were less famous in their time, or because only one monument has survived from the original garden.

We can for instance speak of the Folie Saint-James in Neuilly, the Chinese pavilion of Cassan in l'Isle Adam, the nymphaeum of Chatou by Soufflot, the ruined pyramid in Mauperthuis (near Coulommiers) by Brongniart, all considerably reduced. There are other gardens which are even less well known (my page in French).

The park of the de Montesquiou in Mauperthuis
  (Mauperthuis, 7 km south-west of Coulommiers by D402- Seine et Marne)

The marquis de Montesquiou arranged a park leaning along a small river, l'Aubertin. The main remainer is the pyramid, which could have been designed by Brongniart (also architect for the Paris stock exchange called "palais Brongniart") or by Nicolas Ledoux (visionary architect of salines d'Arc et Senan).

The pyramid

The pyramid of the de Montesquiou park

The pyramid stands in a private estate, called the Moulin de Mistou, along the south road (D402) from which one can easily look at it.
Other partially remaining buildings are a gothic tower (along the road, close to the moulin), a fountain (in the main place of the village) and a grotto (on the other side of the road).

No visits. Phone to tourism office 01 64 03 88 09.

You will have noticed that the parks of upper aristocracy are the best preserved. Those belonging to financial investors were dismembered.

The parks of the upper aristocracy still exist because the lineage of the creators had a major social rooting, even if several of them were decapitated during the Revolution (Philippe Egalité, Marie-Antoinette...).

On the other hand, creations of financial investors were only the sign at a given time of a fugitive capacity, that of the gathering of fiduciary richness, without structural translation in the social order. After the death of the owner, the dispersion of this accumulation led to the destruction of the object.

Acknowledgments to Kirk Johnson, contributor ext to Suite101, for his kind corrections to this English translation.

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Copyright of author : Dominique Césari
Last update : Monday, February the 28th 2000