Parc Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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Parc Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Temple philosophie.JPG
The Temple to Philosophy, inspired by Rousseau, a cenotaph
Location Ermenonville, France
Coordinates 49°7′16″N 2°41′28″E / 49.12111°N 2.69111°E / 49.12111; 2.69111
Created 1765 – 1776
Website Conseil général de l'Oise

The Parc Jean-Jacques-Rousseau is a French landscape garden at Ermenonville, in the Département of Oise. It is named for the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who stayed there the last six weeks of his life. He died there in 1778 and was buried in an island in the park. The western part, called "le Désert" is managed by the Institut de France, and the northern part by a hotel/restaurant at the château in Ermenonville. The other parts are not open to the public, for various reasons.


The park at Ermenonville was created by René de Girardin (1735–1808). Girardin was an officer under Stanislas Leszczyński, and fought in the Seven Years' War. Girardin acquired a substantial inheritance from his mother René Hatte in 1762, enabling him to create his park and gardens at Ermenonville.[nb 1] Girardin brought in two hundred English workers to create his garden.

It was inspired by Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophy, in his 1761 work, Julie, or the New Heloise, drawing from the works of the English writers Joseph Addison, Alexander Pope and Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury,[a 1] all three of whom had written on English gardens.

Girardin laid out the garden based on ideas expressed in an essay entitled De la composition des paysages sur le terrain ou des moyens d'embellir la nature près des habitations en y joignant l'agréable à l'utile ("On the creation of landscapes, or means of embellishing nature near inhabited places in merging the agreeable and the useful"). [a 2]

The buildings sitting by the west bank of the Petit Parc. The boats and houses on the parc are not available to walkers. They are part of the Abbaye de Chaalis.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau en 1766
La « cabane du philosophe », fabrique du Désert (partie nord-ouest du parc), où Jean-Jacques Rousseau passait de longues heures lors de son séjour en 1778. Vers 1860.

In the 1770s Rousseau and Girardin met up in Paris.[1] In the spring of 1778, his friend Thérèse Levasseur fell into bad health, and her doctor advised her to have a rest in the countryside. The two then tried to find a new place to live.[a 3]

Girardin, one of Rousseu's many admirers, invited them to stay at a cottage in his garden, and they did from May 1778.[c 1] There, Rousseau recovered his extroadinary enthusiasm for nature. As he said to his friend Girardin: "For a long time, my heart drew me here, and what my eyes see, make me want to stay here always".

On 4 July 1778, Rousseau was buried at midnight, by torchlight, on a little island in the park which now bears his name.

On 26 December 1787, a violent storm devastated parts of the park, which were only partly repaired.[2]


The park was considered one of the foremost English-style parks on the Continent, remarkable "for the landscapes it offered to visitors and the reflections it inspired in the course of a ramble".[a 3]

L'île de pierre au royaume des jardins de Dessau-Wörlitz : c'est le premier parc inspiré par Ermenonville. Il lui est pratiquement contemporain.

It was visited in its early years by several prominent people, including Emperor Joseph II of Austria in 1777, Queen Marie-Antoinette in spring 1780, King Gustave III of Sweden in 1783 and First Consul Napoléon Bonaparte, several times beginning in 1800.,[3] Benjamin Franklin and Maximilien de Robespierre.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Curtil, Jean-Claude (1978). Ermenonville : La glaise et la gloire ("Ermonville, grace and favour"). La Ferté-Macé: Bernard Gallier. p. 66 ndash; -67. 

See also[edit]


  • Curtil, Jean-Claude (1978). Bernard Gallier, ed. La glaise et la gloire. La Ferté-Macé. p. 153. 
  • Dumas, Catherine (2001). Ermenonville: un paysage philosophique; dans : Géographie et cultures, n° 37. Paris: L'Harmattan. p. 144. ISBN 2-7475-0586-3. Dumas2001. , p. 59-80.
  • Mathieu, René (1970). Nouvelles éditions latines, ed. Parc d'Ermenonville. Paris. 
  • Mazel, Geneviève (1996). Groupe d’Étude des Monuments et Œuvres d’art de l’Oise et du Beauvaisis (GEMOB), ed. Ermenonville : l'histoire et la vie du village, le château et les jardins du marquis de Girardin, le souvenir de Jean-Jacques Rousseau: bulletin spécial n°73-75. Beauvais (60). ISSN 0224-0475. 
  • Rahal, Baptiste; Lartillot (photography), Christian (2005). Conseil général de l'Oise, ed. Vers le parc Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Beauvais. ISBN 2-11-095732-8. 
  • Volbertal, J.-Henri (1923). Imprimeries réunies de Senlis, ed. Ermenonville ses sites ses curiosités son histoire. Senlis. 
  • Anonymous (text); Mérigot fils (gravures) (1783 (réédition 1788)). Promenade ou itinéraire des jardins d'Ermenonville. Paris. p. 72. AuteurAnonyme1783.  Check date values in: |date= (help) Lire en ligne sur google livres


  1. ^ Michaud (ed.). Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne XVI. Paris. p. 549. 
  2. ^ Cf. "Le parc Jean-Jacques Rousseau". Retrieved 26 December 2010.  sur le site "Parques à fabriques". .
  3. ^ Cf. Les environs de Paris illustrés, op. cit., p. 368.
  4. ^ Cf. Parc d'Ermenonville, op. cit., p. 19.
  1. ^ p. 62
  2. ^ Victor Hugo (1993,1998), Collins Concise Dictionary of Quotations, Collins, ISBN 0-00-434350-6  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ a b p. 59
  1. ^ p. 16

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°7′16″N 2°41′28″E / 49.12111°N 2.69111°E / 49.12111; 2.69111