Built on a bend of the river Marne in the early 18th century, the Château de Champs-sur-Marne is the archetypal leisure mansion. Owned in turn by the Princess of Conti, the Duke of La Vallière and the Marquise de Pompadour, the Château de Champs played host to some famous guests, including Diderot, d’Alembert and even Voltaire.
In the 19th century, Louis Cahen of Antwerp restored it to the splendour it possessed before the Revolution; he restored the Château in the spirit of the Age of Enlightenment and filled it with exceptional furniture crafted by the leading names in French cabinet-making. His guests included Marcel Proust, Isadora Duncan and the King of Spain Alfonso XIII… The Estate became the property of the State in 1935, then the presidential residence from 1959 to 1974 and welcomed France’s most prestigious guests.
Champs and the cinema
The Château de Champs-sur-Marne boasts some exceptional pieces of furniture and interior decoration reflecting its illustrious past. The grounds, awarded the ‘Remarkable gardens of France’ label, are in a leafy setting of 85 hectares of parkland, where the French-style garden ornaments cohabit harmoniously with the meadows and mature trees of an English-style park.
This remarkable setting has been the inspiration for set designers and film directors for many years. The estate has thus provided the set for more than 80 long and short feature films, and has played host to some famous French and international actors, such as John Malkovich and Glenn Close in ‘Liaisons Dangereuses’ by Stephen Frears (1986), Kirsten Dunst in Sofia Coppola’s ‘Marie-Antoinette’ (2006), or Gérard Depardieu in Roland Joffé’s ‘Vatel’ (1999)…