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Château de Ferrières
Château de Ferrières is a Frenchmarker château built between 1855 and 1859 by Baron James de Rothschild. Rothschild ownership of the Château de Ferrières was passed down through the male line according to the rule of primogeniture. Considered the most important 19th century château in France, it is located on Rue Rucherie in Ferrières-en-Brie in the Seine et Marnemarker département of Francemarker about 26 km east of Parismarker.

Sitting at the crest of a long entry drive, the château was designed by the Britishmarker architect Joseph Paxton. The inspiration for the design of Ferrières was Mentmore Towersmarker in Buckinghamshire, England, the house Paxton built for Baron James de Rothschild's cousin Mayer Amschel de Rothschild. On seeing Mentmore, Baron James is reputed to have summoned Paxton and ordered "Build me a Mentmore, but twice the size"

Built in the Italian Renaissance style, with square towers at each corner, a formal terrace gives way to a landscaped park and 1.25 km² of gardens that were part of a surrounding 30 km² forest. The sculpting of the interior atlas columns and caryatids was by Charles Henri Joseph Cordier and the decorative painting supervised by Eugène Lami. The showpiece central hall is 120 feet (37 m) long and 60 feet (18 m) high, its roof a full glass skylight. The massive library held more than 8,000 volumes. Because lavish entertaining was important, in addition to the private Rothschild apartments, the Château de Ferrières was built with eighty guest suites.

Baron James acquired a vast collection of works of art and statues adorned a number of the château's rooms. Several of the many sculptures were by Alexandre Falguière and the 18th century Italian, Antonio Corradini and the Baron's son later added works by René de Saint-Marceaux.

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and 71, the Château de Ferrières was seized by the Germansmarker and was the site of negotiations between Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of the North German Confederationmarker, and the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jules Favre. The Germans again seized the château during the occupation of France in World War II and this time, looted its vast art collections. The château remained empty until 1959 when Guy de Rothschild and his new wife, Marie-Hélène de Zuylen van Nyeve set about refurbishing it. Their efforts saw it once again became the place where European nobility mingled with Hollywoodmarker movie stars at grand soirées. In 1975, Guy de Rothschild and his wife donated the château to the chancellery of the University of Parismarker, and it is now open to the public for guided tours and special events.

Certain scenes in the Roman Polanski film The Ninth Gate (2000) were filmed at the Château de Ferrières.In the film "Le Professionnel" the castle is directly referenced but it appears it is not the same castle on which the last scenes happen.


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