Pièce 50 - Description par Harry Peckham du château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye

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Description par Harry Peckham du château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye


  • 1793 (Production)

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Gentilhomme anglais.

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« [p. 217] It is not above two miles from thence to the palace of St. Germains, which is situated on a moutain twelve miles distant from Paris. Had Louis XIV, expended half the treasure in erecting a palace there, which he did at Versailles, it must have been superior to any thing in Europe : there is a lofty moutain at S. Germains, washed by the river Seine, looking over a delightful country to Paris : Mount Calvary, St. Denis, and a vast reach of the river are comprehended in one view ; a forest of six thousand acres ajoins to the palace, and a grand terrace of three thousand paces, which overlooks the [p. 218] whole county. This is the situation of St. Germains, which Louis XIV had not sense enough to admire, but preferred Versailles which was so boggy that he was obliged to make a hill to build on, which has no prospect ot two miles extent, and which has all the inconveniences of a low and damp situation ; at the same time that the water is obliged to be brought from six miles distance.
Having seen the prospect, you have seen every thing at St. Germains, except a picture, by Poussin, and. St. Louis giving alms, by Le Brun, which are in the chapel. In the sacristy are two most admirables piece, the one of the Virgin Mary feeding the infant Jesus ; St. John lying on his gands and knees blowing with his mouth the fire of the chasing dish, on wich stands the pap pan ; this is by Michael Angelo ; the other is by Caracci, of the Virgin holding a dead Christ in her armes, with her head bending over his face in a most moving and expressive attitude.
The palace is an olde brick quadrangle, very narrow, flanked with four large towers, and [p. 219] surrounded with a dry ditch ; it was built by Francis I. and is now inhabited by different families, chiefly Englich, descended from those who by more than human weakness abandoned their fortunes and their country with their ideot king, who had neither policy to keep, nor courage to defend that crown which by inheritance descended to him. »

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Harry Peckham, A tour through Holland, Dutch Brabant and the Austrian Netherlands and part of France, in which is included a description of Paris and its environ, Londres, G. Kearsley, 1793, p. 217-219

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