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Fodor's France 2014
Château de Dampierre
Château de Dampierre Review
The unspoiled village of Dampierre is adorned with one of the most elegant family seats in the Ile-de-France. The stone-and-brick Château de Dampierre, surrounded by a moat and set well back from the road, was rebuilt in the 1670s by Hardouin-Mansart for the Duc de Luynes. Much of the interior (guided tours only) retains its 17th-century decoration—portraits, wood paneling, furniture, and works of art. But the main staircase, with its trompe-l'oeil murals, and the richly gilded Salle des Fêtes (ballroom) date from the 19th century. This second-floor chamber contains a huge wall painting by the celebrated artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780–1867), an idealized evocation of the mythical Age d'Or (Golden Age)—fitting, perhaps, since this aristocratic family did many good deeds and was even beloved by locals and farmers during the French Revolution. The extensive park with its large lake, fronted by gigantic gates, was planned by Versailles landscape architect André Le Nôtre.
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