A Council of Europe initiative, the European cultural heritage days take place in September in some 50 countries. They provide an opportunity to visit monuments and sites and thus develop an appreciation of our cultural heritage. On Sunday 19 September the Chateau de Septfontaine (literally the 7-fountain castle) opened its doors to the public.
Villeroy and Boch set up its Luxembourg porcelain manufacturing plant in the Septfontaines Valley in 1767 and the Boch brothers later decided to construct a dwelling, of late Baroque-Austrian-German inspiration, nearby. A Chinese pavillion was constructed in the grounds in 1830. The building was later sold to the Pescatore family and was re-purchased by Villeroy and Boch in 1970 by which time the building had fallen into a sad state of disrepair. Pictures on the wall in the formal dining room show its sad condition. Between 1970 and 1982 the building was restored and today provides a comfortable, cozy environment with many examples of the famous Villeroy and Boch porcelain decorating it.
Chinoiserie, from the French word “chinois” (Chinese) was a Western European style of interior design which appeared in the mid-to-late 17th century whose popularity peaked around the middle of the 18th century, when it was easily assimilated into rococo. The fad spread rapidly; indeed, no court residence, especially in Germany, was complete without its Chinese room and pleasure pavilions in “Chinese taste” appeared in the formal parterres of late Baroque and Rococo German and Russian palaces, as well as in tiled panels.
This Chinese interest has been carried into the interior decor and a couple of the rooms open to the public had beautiful Chinese influenced curtains and wallpaper.
detail of the wallpaper
Venetian glass chandeliers (almost certainly from Murano) adorned the ceilings, some of which had intricate plasterwork decorations.
this was a wonderful opportunity to visit a small scale chateau. It is no longer lived in but is available for hire for corporate and other functions.