Rambouillet

European award for "art de vivre"

Rambouillet is a provincial town that managed to control its growth while preserving its natural assets. Its 26,000 inhabitants can take advantage of a welcoming town centre with more than 300 ships. Rambouillet is also home to 10,000 children and students while the workforce is 12,000 with an unemployment rate among the lowest in France at 5.7 pc.
Provincial by its charms, its markets, its tranquillity, it is also close to Paris and very active economically. In 2006, it was ranked the most dynamic small town in France by financial magazine Les Echos.
While the capital is not far, the country environment accounts for a pleasant lifestyle, which helped Rambouillet receive the European award for “art de vivre” in 2000. The castle and the forest are famous worldwide and tell the story of the town’s glorious past.

Rambouillet town hall - © Ville de Rambouillet
One previous stage
Population : 25,700
Sub-prefecture of Yvelines (78)

Economy : automobile, cosmetics.
Specialities : mushroom, game.
Celebrities : King Francis 1, King Louis XVI, Napoleon 1, Gérard Larcher (politician), Georges Wilson (comedian), Jeremie Alladiere (football player).
Sport : Race track, FC Rambouillet-Yvelines (football), Rambouillet Sports.

Timeline

  • 768

    First mention of Rambouillet in an act of donation od the Rambouillet forest to the Abbey of St Denis.
  • 1375

    Construction of the Rambouillet Castle.
  • 1547

    King Francis 1 dies of septicemy in the Rambouillet castle.
  • 1783

    King Louis XVI purchases the Rambouillet castle and orders major works halted by the Revolution.
  • 1785

    Louis XVI buys a dairy for Queen Marie-Antoinette.
  • 18th century

    Rambouillet, at first a simple mail post, grows and becomes a town.
  • 1849

    The rail leads rich bouregois to settle in large and cosy villas.
  • 1896

    The Rambouillet castle becomes a presidential residence.
  • 1975

    First G7 summit in Rambouillet.
  • 1999

    Rambouillet Conference on Kosovo.
Francis I ended his life in the castle of Rambouillet / Painting by Jean Clouet at the Musée du Louvre
One previous stage
Population : 25,700
Sub-prefecture of Yvelines (78)

Economy : automobile, cosmetics.
Specialities : mushroom, game.
Celebrities : King Francis 1, King Louis XVI, Napoleon 1, Gérard Larcher (politician), Georges Wilson (comedian), Jeremie Alladiere (football player).
Sport : Race track, FC Rambouillet-Yvelines (football), Rambouillet Sports.

Rambouillet and cycling

The scenario of the 1996 Tour de France was marked by the unsuccessful fight between Poulidor and Anquetil, which allowed Lucien Aimar to win the Yellow Jersey by taking advantage of a breakaway which caught out most of the favourites. The wild card of the Ford team, he was completely free to do what he wanted after his leader Anquetil retired. However he still had to hold out against Janssen and Poulidor in the Tour’s final time-trial, which took place on the last day between Rambouillet and Paris. In the final stretch, Aimar kept his 1'07" lead over Janssen. More recently, the start stages of Paris-Nice have also been organised in Yvelines. In 2010, the prologue from Montfort l’Amaury and the stage from Houdon in 2011 were won by the Dutch rider Lars Boom and Belgium’s Thomas De Gendt respectively.
Rambouillet is the birthplace of French rider Joel Gallopin. The brother of Alain and Guy rode four Tours between 1978 and 1981 and is rhe father of cycling hopeful Tony Gallopin.

Lucien Aimar, winner of the 1966 Tour de France ahead of Jan Janssen and Raymond Poulidor at the end of the final stage, Rambouillet - Paris - © Presse Sports
One previous stage
Population : 25,700
Sub-prefecture of Yvelines (78)

Economy : automobile, cosmetics.
Specialities : mushroom, game.
Celebrities : King Francis 1, King Louis XVI, Napoleon 1, Gérard Larcher (politician), Georges Wilson (comedian), Jeremie Alladiere (football player).
Sport : Race track, FC Rambouillet-Yvelines (football), Rambouillet Sports.

What to see

Rambouillet castle

The old medieval castle was gradually changed into a comfortable residence, purchased by King Louis XVI in 1783. The former royal domain became a presidential palace, which regularly hosts visting heads of State. The inner decoration is sumptuous, like the marbles room or the 18th century oak panes. The castle is surrounded by a garden à la française, canals and six islands.

The sheep farm

The sheep farm, created by Louis XVI, is a great opportunity to discover a functioning farm with its stables, its pigsty, its poultry-yard and of course its sheep farm. Its thousand sheep, including the famous merinos, produces wool for luxury products for sale on the spot. Several animations are organised on the Wednesdays and Sundays (guided visits, animal care, milking).

The Queen dairy

It was built on order by Louis XVI for Queen Marie-Antoinette. Inside can be seen a sculpture by Pierre Julien "Amalthea and the nymph".

King of Rome Palace

The building was built from 1784 by Louis XVI to be used as a Government Hall. It was rebuilt and transformed by Napoleon 1 in 1812 to serve as a palce for his son, the King of Rome. Today, the right wing is used as a showroom for temporary exhibitions.

National sheep farm - © Ville de RambouilletKing of Rome palace - © Ville de RambouilletStatue and park in the castle - © Ville de RambouilletThe queen’s dairy overview - © Ville de Rambouillet
One previous stage
Population : 25,700
Sub-prefecture of Yvelines (78)

Economy : automobile, cosmetics.
Specialities : mushroom, game.
Celebrities : King Francis 1, King Louis XVI, Napoleon 1, Gérard Larcher (politician), Georges Wilson (comedian), Jeremie Alladiere (football player).
Sport : Race track, FC Rambouillet-Yvelines (football), Rambouillet Sports.

Rambouillet conferences

In almost seven centuries, the Rambouillet Castle has played a major part in the History of France: Francis 1, the great king of the Renaissance, died here, King Louis XVI enjoyed his last moments of peace before being toppled by the Revolution while Napoleon1 also settled in it. But it is by becoming a presidential residence in 1896, under president Felix Faure, that the castle started playing a role in World History.
The former stronghold has been turned into a comfortable palace, ideal for world sumits and international conferences. And it is in Rambouillet that the tradition of informal meetings between the World leading powers, now known as G8, started in the 1970s. The fisrt oil crisis led to afirst summit, organised by president Valery Giscard d’Estaing in November, 1975: the United States, Japan, France, West Germany and United Kingdom, plus Italy, created a think tank rapidly known as G6. The six heads of State pledged to meet annually under a rotating presidency to discuss economic and financial issues. The summits are meant to "discuss world affairs frankly and unceremoniously in a relaxed atmosphere".
Throughout the years, Germany was reunified, Canada then Russia joined and the group became G8.
The Rambouillet castle was again, 24 years later, home to another major international conference. The meeing aimed at solving the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo and failed to reach an agreement. The inconclusive summit led to NATO strikers against Yugoslavia.

Castle of Rambouillet - © Ville de Rambouillet
One previous stage
Population : 25,700
Sub-prefecture of Yvelines (78)

Economy : automobile, cosmetics.
Specialities : mushroom, game.
Celebrities : King Francis 1, King Louis XVI, Napoleon 1, Gérard Larcher (politician), Georges Wilson (comedian), Jeremie Alladiere (football player).
Sport : Race track, FC Rambouillet-Yvelines (football), Rambouillet Sports.
video22/07/2012 

The towns 2012 : visit Rambouillet

Jersey wearers after the stage 5

Classifications after the stage 5

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