My Travel Blog

The Colorful History of Chateau Bussy-Rabutin

Our next adventure took us to the source of the River Seine.  We didn’t know what to expect, but were a bit disappointed when we finally arrived.  I was hoping for a huge artesian spring gushing forth crystal clear water. What we found was a marble statue set in a grotto surrounded by a shallow pond that was half empty.  To say we were disappointed would be an understatement…  At least the green pastures, multi colored leaves, blue sky, and white puffy clouds that accompanied us on our drive were pretty special.  The good news was that we were in the middle of a forest crisscrossed by hiking trails. Lisa and I are both diehard members of the Heartbreak Hiking Fools (HHF).  This group of intrepid hikers that meets three times a week to hike the local mountains surrounding our homes in Southern California. The source of the Seine is surrounded by hills so it didn’t take us long to find a trail that went up hill.  HHF members only go in one direction, and that’s up hill.

We love the fall leaves.

Not much when you consider how impressive the Seine River is through Paris.

This bridge crossed the Seine River, but the river bed was dry.

Our next stop was the Chateau of Bussy-Rabutin. We soon discovered that Roger de Rabutin was quite the character.  King Louis XIV forced him into exile for taking part in an orgy at the Chateau de Roissy near Paris. I suspect he was exiled because the King probably didn’t get an invite to the festivities. The French Kings really knew how to party, and the thought of missing out on a good orgy would certainly piss them off. While in exile Rabutin spent his time writing his Histoire Amoureuse des Gaules.  This was a partially accurate account about four famous ladies of the court. When word got back to the King he must have blown a gasket for Rabutin was sent to the Bastille on April 17, 1665 where he spent more than a year. The only reason he was able to secure his release was because Rabutin agreed to return to Bussy-Rabutin where he spent another seventeen years.

The private chapel at Chateau Bussy-Rabutin.

Lisa standing in front of Bussy-Rabutin.

More castle and less Lisa.

While Rabutin was back at Chateau Bussy-Rabutin he amassed an impressive collection of portraits that are still on display in the castle.  The most interesting part of his collection were the paintings sent to him by his former lovers.  Women would send him their portrait, which he would hang on the wall, and then write a caustic inscription under each one. Rabutin was a very busy man, and had an extensive collection of female portraits.

The beautiful grounds surrounding the castle.

A pool with a view.

Beautiful Fall leaves.

Chateau Bussy-Rabutin.

After our tour of the castle we walked the impressive grounds with their mature trees and acres of green lawn. Rabutin even had a swimming pool.

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– 
Chuck Palmer Adventure novels

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About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.