Château de Romainville

Château de Romainville

The first lords of Romainville appeared in the 13th century. In fact, the seigniory was only really established with the arrival of Nicolas Le Quelen. In 1630, he had a castle built behind the church, in the heart of the village, surrounded by a large park. Today, nothing remains of the castle of Romainville.

The Segur family between Romainville and Gagny

The style of the castle of Romainville is between the Renaissance and the classicism of the eighteenth century, in a trend called the French architecture more commonly called the Louis XIII style. The residence is composed of a central building where the facade presents the regularity required by this style (location of the windows, symmetry of the front body, sobriety of the decorations). Flanked by two pavilions, the Château de Romainville remains faithful to the tradition of French construction with its high roof, its dormers, its chimney stacks, and its forecourt emphasizing the interior distribution of the building. When thirty years later, in 1666, the seigneury became a barony, the de Baud family took possession of the castle and welcomed many personalities linked to the court.

In 1723, Henri-François de Ségur (1689-1751), acquired the castle and became Baron de Romainville. A few years later, he gave it to his son Philippe-Henri (1724-1801), to settle in his new acquisition, the castle of Maison-Blanche in Gagny. Philippe-Henri de Ségur was appointed Minister of War in 1780 and Marshal of France in 1783. He lived in Romainville with his family until the French Revolution. In the castle of Romainville, the de Ségur family liked to receive artists. Among them, Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (1755-1842) decorated one of the bedroom doors with a trompe l'oeil painting of an embracing couple. Other decorations in the building were done by Hubert Robert (1733-1808), an artist famous for his archaeological landscapes which he often exhibited at the annual Salons. In one of the reception rooms of one of the pavilions there is a magnificent parquet floor in marquetry. Made with a mixture of various types of wood, in keeping with the refined taste of the time, it features various ornamental forms such as rosettes.

Fortunes and misfortunes of the old castle

Sold as a national property at the time of the French Revolution, the castle of Romainville knows then the beginning of its decline. The last person to have lived there was the Duke of Noailles (1757-1845) who moved there in 1823. He called upon the architect Mandar (1757-1845), the first designer of the Champ de Mars, to revise the plans of the property, create a garden and carry out a new decoration. From 1839 onwards, the vicissitudes of the castle's existence began. At first, the central part of the building was transformed into a plaster quarry. It was not really exploited until 1848. The park, abandoned, is gradually occupied by farmers who install gardens while the lower part is developed into a brick factory.

For many years, all that remained was a corner pavilion in a very poor state of repair and distorted by a brick construction. The plasterwork was crumbling and the roof slates were blowing away in the slightest wind. However, it was still possible to see in the interior decoration some paper-tentures imitating Aubusson tapestries. On the first floor, one of the salons was decorated with large panels inspired by village scenes by Teniers, a 17th century Flemish painter. These representations are typical of the wallpapers created in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine in Paris in the 1880s. This suggests that the château de Romainville pavilion was occupied and maintained at least until the end of the 19th century.

The whole site, has been hardly preserved several years, weakened by the presence of a gypsum quarry that has exploited the basement in great depths. The SCI des Bas-Pays, the current owner, is in charge of its filling.

In 1988, the municipality acquired the remains of the castle and an association was created to preserve one of the most important vestiges of the local heritage.

The Île-de-France region bought the castle site in 1992 with the objective of transforming it into a leisure area. The renovation project was abandoned because the remaining pavilion is very degraded. A fire in 2010 will hasten the fate of the castle. For safety reasons, the ruins were cleared and the remains of the castle were demolished in April 2017. It is planned to open the park of the castle to the public. A square is already open to the public which prefigures the project of leisure island of the Corniche des Forts and its ecological walk which opened in 2021.

Château de Romainville
2 rue de Paris

48.88572339910391 , 2.435791334918198
Château de Romainville, 2 rue de Paris, 93230 ROMAINVILLE
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