Les Ormes Castle was reconstructed in the second half of the 17th century by the Pussort brothers, uncles of Colbert. In 1729 it becomes the property of Count Marc Pierre de Voyer d’ Argenson Minister of War of Louis XV . Fallen into disgrace in 1757, he withdraws there, making this castle the Mecca of Philosophic, Literary and Artistic exchanges, accommodating in particular Voltaire and the Encyclopaedists. From 1769, at the request of his son Marc-René, the architect Charles de Wailly reconstructs the central pavilion, preserving the 18th left side wing and the very beautiful 17th century outbuildings forming the right side wing. The central part is destroyed in 1823 and reconstructed at the end of the 19th century by the Parisian architect Coulomb.
The “French style” garden was recreated according to plans of the period. The first building to be saved was the library. Its contents had been bequeathed in 1803 to the Arsenal of Paris library ; it constitutes the main part, even today.
Inside the Castle :
- A big marble gallery of more than 60m long.
- Several lounges decorated with woodwork and a stucco marble dining room.
- Immense kitchens of the 17th and 18th centuries with a beautiful “potager” (cooker using embers) with 5 fires.
- Permanent collections are exposed in glass cabinets : the Herbarium of the Marquis d’Argenson collected in the 19th century and antique ironwork of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Outside the Castle :
- The ice house of the 18th and 19th centuries.
- A powerhouse of the early 20th century.
- In the adjoining farm, a motorboat classified as “Historic Monument” is exhibited.
More information : visit castle’s web site