Jean-Jacques Rousseau stayed at Les Charmettes from 1736 to 1742. This house had a profound effect on the personality of this great writer.

A place of pilgrimage

The Maison des Charmettes is described in Books V and VI of the Confessions and in the 10th of the Reveries of the Solitary Walker by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. From the revolutionary era, it became a place of pilgrimage for visitors from all over the world and many celebrities (George Sand and Alphonse de Lamartine recount their visit with emotion). Classified as a historic monument in 1905, it is also a preserved natural site and a botanical garden. This place, where the personality of one of the greatest writers in the French language was formed, testifies to his influence in the evolution of universal thought : nature, romanticism, education, happiness, the century of Enlightenment, human rights and citizenship.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau house

Years of simple pleasures

It was in Annecy that Jean-Jacques Rousseau, barely 16 years old, met Madame de Warens in 1728. She quickly became his protector and marked the young man’s life forever by ensuring his education and becoming his lover. . His period at Les Charmettes was for the author not only years of simple pleasures and time devoted to his passions, a place where he defined himself as “free” but also where he formed the essential basis for his work, the pure and essential teaching phase which will then give rise to criticism and therefore to writing. It is therefore at Les Charmettes that Rousseau, following his own working method, will create his “ideas store” to reveal himself a few years later to the eyes of the world through Emile, the Social Contract, his Confessions or even his Discourse on the origin and foundations of inequality among men.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The pleasures of nature

Jean-Jacques Rousseau stayed at Les Charmettes with Madame de Warens between 1736 and 1742 where he discovered the pleasures of nature, indulged in his passion for music and continued his education, both theoretical and sentimental, alongside “Maman”. . But the Charmettes also quickly became a real place of pilgrimage after the death of Rousseau and the French Revolution in 1789. Thus, at the beginning of the 19th century, Georges-Marie Raymond, who would later become curator of the Museum of Fine Arts in Chambéry , lives in Les Charmettes and decides to open the doors of the house to visitors, known or more humble, and sets up a guest book that many personalities from around the world have signed, an initiative that continues to this day.

A bucolic atmosphere

Today, this beautiful building with the “Maison des Illustres” label has stood the test of time and remains marked by the passage of the eminent Rousseau. You will be able to enjoy this special and bucolic atmosphere in this historic residence which has seen so many people pass by. You can also enjoy the garden, between apple trees, vines and various plants, which offers a magnificent view of Chambéry and its surrounding mountains.

Les Charmettes

890 Chemin des Charmettes

73000 Chambery

Tours guided by a mediator offered on February 25 at 2.15 p.m. (individual) or on request, by appointment at the museum public service (paying, €5 per person, flat rate €80 for groups of more than 16 people, free for: schoolchildren, students and those under 26)

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