Sunday, August 19, 2012

Château de Breteuil

The château of Breteuil is a 17th century castle located in Choisel, Yvelines (78), 35 kms south-west of Paris. It has been dubbed the château of the Charles Perrault fairy tales because a French artist named Armand Langlois set up fairy tales scenes (including automatons) in some of the rooms. The "Contes de Perrault" include Le Petit Chaperon rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), Cendrillon (Cinderella), Le Chat Botté (Puss in Boots), and Barbe bleue (Bluebeard). These tales were rewritten much later by the Brothers Grimm and made into movies even later by Walt Disney.

The château has been owned by the Le Tonnelier de Breteuil family since 1712. In that family, there is a somewhat famous mathematician and physicist, Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil (1706-1749), known simply as Émilie du Châtelet. She, among other things, translated Isaac Newton's "Principia Mathematica" from Latin to French. There was a French movie made about her (and her liaison with Voltaire) called "Divine Émilie" (2007).

For more info, please visit the quite minimalist (at the time of this writing) Château de Breteuil official website.

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