A day told by the Art & Culture association

With my association Art and Culture, we wanted this year to go out to the Paris region. Rather than (re) visiting one of these great monuments of the capital, we wanted to see what we hiding the other face of Île-de-France.

I chose to go through group service from OT Grand Roissy to reserve a cultural day, which busy with organization from transport to visits through meals. With a single contact, it is more easy and more to Apply !

Start of the day… the meeting is given at Paris, place de La Nation to go to Écouen by tourist bus. 20 km later, we are north of the capital and Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport.

Écouen is a tourist town thanks to its historical wealth, as evidenced by the national museum of the Renaissance. Located in the magnificent Château d'Écouen, the museum overlooks the beautiful expanse of the Plaine du Pays de France and today houses exceptional collections in a jewel case magnificent.

From the outside, we are already impressed by this immense property of a Grand Lord of the Renaissance era: Anne de Montmorency.

Our guide welcomes and takes us for a 1 hour visit in the footsteps of this great sponsor that was the Constable.

We begin this visit with the Chapel where I finds a beautiful ceiling vault painted with the emblems of Anne de Montmorency. I marvel at this copy of the famous Supper of Leonardo da Vinci executed by his pupil Marcio d'Oggiono.

We then head to the weapons room where a collection of weapons and armor is exhibited thematically. Each object is a real work of art.

Our guide then invites us to go out into the courtyard of the castle where I can admire the wing devoted to the apartments of the king and the queen as well as all the badges of the time. A real journey in time.

I go up with the group to the first floor where I find the Connétable and Madeleine de Savoie apartments where sumptuous furniture and objects rub shoulders.

I discover in the following two rooms: the Abigail Pavilion and the gallery of Psyche, the prestigious wall hanging in the history of David and Bathsheba designed and woven around 1520/1525. Each group member is amazed by the size of the latter and by the thoroughness necessary to achieve it.

I see now the King's apartments with his cabinet, his bedroom, his anteroom and his great room.

We end this first visit by the second floor where I am captivated by artistic creation of the European Renaissance with the collection of goldsmithery, ceramics, painted enamels, ironwork, bronze and carved wood and the lively impression of having made a return to the past.

Now is the time to lunch at the castle restaurant : At the Table of Kings.

Located on the garden side, it has a beautiful terrace from where we have a magnificent view over the plain of France.

The taking of beautiful photos is going well!

Terrace of the table of kings © table des rois

Un tasty and delicate menu is served to us according to the formula previously reserved with our Group Manager.

It's certain these sweet notes that we leave the castle grounds and that we descend the stairs to the left of the Museum exit to reach the terrace of the tea room within the Tourist Office. A completely charming and relaxing setting.

This office has the particularity of being within a period building: The Manoir des Tourelles built at the beginning of the XIXth century in the old rose garden of the castle.

entirely restored in 2009, its privileged location in the heart of the center city ​​history gives it a major role in the synergy of local sites. It even seems that its second and third floor house a exhibition space and stained glass and painting workshops. We will come back to see it all.

Right here, we divide our group in two. While our colleagues are attending the Chappe Telegraph exhibition, we are going on a digestive and informative stroll through the city.

Through a course of 20 lecterns called the painters' journey, we walk the old picturesque streets with the provincial cachet of Écouen.

These streets bear names that are not very suggestive: Edouard Frère, Auguste Schenck, Emmanuel Duverger, Paul Lorillon or Théophile Hingre. These characters were however very famous painters or sculptors in the second half of the XNUMXth century. We have the pleasure de discover that over time some buildings are remained intact and are identical to the canvases depicted on the lecterns. One can also easily imagine the scenes of life of the time. Indeed, the specialty of these painters is what is called genre painting or the art of painting everyday life of yesteryear.

Then comes the time to attend the Chappe Telegraph conference within the Office. This hour-long conference informs us that on July 12, 1793 takes place on the top of the hill of the village of Écouen the first official experiment of aerial optical transmission of a successful message. This operation is considered today as the birth certificate of telecommunications. Using written materials through the members of the Chappe Telegraph association, we learn how to decipher these coded messages. Impressive!

Finally, we visit the Saint-Acceul Church. Our passionate guide tells us that the church was built from 1536 by Constable Anne de Montmorency (builder of the castle of Écouen) who wanted to make this imposing monument a symbol of the rank and power of the Montmorency.

The main characteristic of the church of Ecouen lies in its stained glass windows which have survived intact since the Renaissance. A real gem!

I end this rewarding day with a gourmet break at the Manoir des Tourelles and the Tourist Office, which has a charming and friendly tea room. Hot drinks and sweet treats We are served by volunteers who are always ready to tell us anecdotes about this magnificent city that is Écouen and which fascinates them so much.