Musée du Domaine départemental de Sceaux: Presentation of the Domaine de Sceaux
Le domaine de sceaux

Presentation of the Domaine

Presentation of the Domaine

The Domaine


The Château and the Museum

The Musée de l’Île-de-France was set up in 1937 and stands at the very heart of the Domaine de Sceaux, where it now houses its collections in a number of prestigious buildings such as the Château, the Orangery, the Pavillon de l’Aurore, the Petit Château and the Stables. A tour of all the buildings, together with a stroll along the paths of the park designed by Le Nôtre, the Sun King’s gardener, allows visitors to take a fascinating walk into history, from Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s time right up until the present day.

The Park

The original park layout was destroyed at the time of the French Revolution and its area was reduced by twenty per cent at the end of the 1920s. It now covers 180 hectares. The original vast vistas have been preserved and even today it is still one of the loveliest places to go for a walk in the Paris area. The Conseil Général des Hauts-de-Seine, which owns the Domaine de Sceaux, was awarded the Eve® label for an environmental green space in May 2012, in recognition of the environmentally-friendly way in which the grounds here in Sceaux have been managed.

The Pavillon de l'Aurore

Jean-Baptiste Colbert had the Pavillon de l’Aurore built in the early 1670s. It drew its inspiration from Italian architectural models and the space inside it is set off by a dome with rich allegorical decoration portraying the Dawn, as a symbol of Renewal, painted by Charles Le Brun, after Vaux-le-Vicomte and before the enormous decorations of Versailles. 

The Orangery

The Orangery was built for Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Marquis de Seignelay, by the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1686, and was immediately converted for use as an art gallery. It has now been restored to its original use and displays the estate’s collections of historic sculptures. A number of these statues have been replaced by casts in the park.

The Stables

The former stables and sheds, which are attributed to the architect Antoine Lepautre, were erected in the early 1670s, in the northern part of the Domaine, to the right of the main entrance. They were renovated in 2006 and now house a two-storey temporary exhibition gallery in the central nave of the building, plus a multimedia space along with the museum’s shop in the East wing, on the site of what used to be the grooms’ quarters.

The Petit Château

The courtyard of the Petit Château du Domaine de Sceaux leads right out into the town centre and, since 2010, it has been another of the Musée de l’Île-de-France’s spaces which are open to the public, and is now an established meeting place for graphic art lovers. It was built in 1661, at the request of Nicolas Boindin, an adviser to the King, and after Colbert acquired it in the very early 1680s so that it could be incorporated into his estate, the Petit Château was used to accommodate Colbert’s guests. The children of the Duke and Duchess of Maine were then housed there in the 18th century.

The Pavillon de Hanovre

This gazebo had been built by the architect Jean-Michel Chevotet for Louis Du Plessis, Marshal de Richelieu, at the end of the garden of his townhouse, in the mid 18th century, and stood near what is now the Boulevard des Italiens, in Paris. After the fall of the Second Empire, the goldsmith Christofle set up his warehouses here, then it was moved from Paris to the western end of the park in 1930.

The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal was created at the end of the 17th century, at the request of the Marquis de Seignelay. In 1687, the acquisition of the seigneury of Châtenay, which had belonged to the chapter of Notre-Dame de Paris, allowed the park to be enlarged considerably both to the west and to the south of Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s original garden.

The Octogone lake

The Octogone lake lies across one of the park’s main vistas and is a huge body of water created on the site of a pond known as La Mer Morte (The Dead Sea) between 1670 and 1675. The land surrounding the pond had been added to the park by René Potier de Gesvres, the owner of Sceaux before Jean-Baptiste Colbert, in 1647.

Memorial to the deportation of the Jews of Hauts-de-Seine

A Memorial to the deportation of the Jews of the Hauts de Seine region was opened in the western part of the park, on the Châtenay side, on the edge of La Plaine de la Pépinière, in July 2006.

The Château and the Museum

The Musée du Domaine départemental de Sceaux was set up in 1937 and stands at the very heart of the Domaine de Sceaux, where it now houses its collections in a number of prestigious buildings such as the Château, the Orangery, the Pavillon de l’Aurore, the Petit Château and the Stables. A tour of all the buildings, together with a stroll along the paths of the park designed by Le Nôtre, the Sun King’s gardener, allows visitors to take a fascinating walk into history, from Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s time right up until the present day.

The Park

The original park layout was destroyed at the time of the French Revolution and its area was reduced by twenty per cent at the end of the 1920s. It now covers 180 hectares. The original vast vistas have been preserved and even today it is still one of the loveliest places to go for a walk in the Paris area. The Conseil Général des Hauts-de-Seine, which owns the Domaine de Sceaux, was awarded the Eve® label for an environmental green space in May 2012, in recognition of the environmentally-friendly way in which the grounds here in Sceaux have been managed.

The Pavillon de l'Aurore

Jean-Baptiste Colbert had the Pavillon de l’Aurore built in the early 1670s. It drew its inspiration from Italian architectural models and the space inside it is set off by a dome with rich allegorical decoration portraying the Dawn, as a symbol of Renewal, painted by Charles Le Brun, after Vaux-le-Vicomte and before the enormous decorations of Versailles. 

The Orangery

The Orangery was built for Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Marquis de Seignelay, by the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1686, and was immediately converted for use as an art gallery. It has now been restored to its original use and displays the estate’s collections of historic sculptures. A number of these statues have been replaced by casts in the park.

The Stables

The former stables and sheds, which are attributed to the architect Antoine Lepautre, were erected in the early 1670s, in the northern part of the Domaine, to the right of the main entrance. They were renovated in 2006 and now house a two-storey temporary exhibition gallery in the central nave of the building, plus a multimedia space along with the museum’s shop in the East wing, on the site of what used to be the grooms’ quarters.

The Petit Château

The courtyard of the Petit Château du Domaine de Sceaux leads right out into the town centre and, since 2010, it has been another of the Musée de l’Île-de-France’s spaces which are open to the public, and is now an established meeting place for graphic art lovers. It was built in 1661, at the request of Nicolas Boindin, an adviser to the King, and after Colbert acquired it in the very early 1680s so that it could be incorporated into his estate, the Petit Château was used to accommodate Colbert’s guests. The children of the Duke and Duchess of Maine were then housed there in the 18th century.

The Pavillon de Hanovre

This gazebo had been built by the architect Jean-Michel Chevotet for Louis Du Plessis, Marshal de Richelieu, at the end of the garden of his townhouse, in the mid 18th century, and stood near what is now the Boulevard des Italiens, in Paris. After the fall of the Second Empire, the goldsmith Christofle set up his warehouses here, then it was moved from Paris to the western end of the park in 1930.

The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal was created at the end of the 17th century, at the request of the Marquis de Seignelay. In 1687, the acquisition of the seigneury of Châtenay, which had belonged to the chapter of Notre-Dame de Paris, allowed the park to be enlarged considerably both to the west and to the south of Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s original garden.

The Octogone lake

The Octogone lake lies across one of the park’s main vistas and is a huge body of water created on the site of a pond known as La Mer Morte (The Dead Sea) between 1670 and 1675. The land surrounding the pond had been added to the park by René Potier de Gesvres, the owner of Sceaux before Jean-Baptiste Colbert, in 1647.

Memorial to the deportation of the Jews of Hauts-de-Seine

A Memorial to the deportation of the Jews of the Hauts de Seine region was opened in the western part of the park, on the Châtenay side, on the edge of La Plaine de la Pépinière, in July 2006.

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