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A famous philosopher’s house in Chambéry – Jean Jacques ROUSSEAU

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A few minutes by bike from home is the former « countryside property » (as it was considered at the time) of Madame de Warens.

She was the rich ‘protector’ of the young Jean-Jacques freshly arrived from Genève, in the nearby Switzerland. While he had an official occupation in the Chambéry city administrative services, he spent a lot of time in contemplating the exceptional nature surrounding the city and in which you are totally immersed into, as far as you walk a few paces out of any street…

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This naturalist’s approach which was new at the time led him to jump to his reflections about human nature, then the human society and it grounded most of his future work.

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Note that JJ Rousseau is buried in a stone grave placed on a small islet of Château d’Ermenonville park, far from the alpine foothills where he discovered the principles that made famous through the past two centuries, read around the whole world and inspirational guide for many modern democratic societies.

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People come in number from ALL OVER THE WORLD just to visit this house, which is symbolic of the philosopher’s inspiration.

The mansion of Madame de Warens is also visible in Chambéry downtown.

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The small mansion above the city, called « Les Charmettes », is kept by the Municipality as an open museum where exhibitions themed around Chambéry and Savoie are often organized.

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Everyone can visit after downloading a thematic guiding app that will drive you through the different rooms and the gardens. Tablets are also lended free of charge for those who dislike smartphone use. Google Play and Apple Store provide « Charmettes », « Rousseau à Turin », « Guidigo » (for kids) for download.

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Bio of the writer-philosopher and vdo 360° are available on the Muni official website:

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After reading, you will learn that young Jean-Jacques was tought about other matters than just litterature and sciences by Madame de Warens… Kind of Natural Sciences for sure. Think about it when you will visit the bedroom and its alcova fitted with a small escape door…

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Here is just an overview, with pictures shot outside the busy touristic season (summer), which allows for deserted rooms picturing.

Enjoy the tour and try to arrange a real visit the next time you are about to be in Chambéry.


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The modern way of « writing », 200 years later: I build a Kindle eBook with a handheld Tablet PC, designing the cover on screen with a stylus just like drawing on paper. Then I upload it wirelessly toward an e-commerce giant ( which arranges almost instantly its distribution all over the world…
I wonder what Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who witnessed the early rebirth of Sciences in the XVIIIth Century, would think of that.
 People come from all over the world to pay a visit to Jean-Jacques’ house, notably many literate Chineses and other highly educated Asians.
My Thai wife, was already living here for a while when doing the same…

Antique Scherping SxS of rare historical value

I have built a dedicated website (unlisted to sustain some revisions for now) about my weapons’ collection best piece, an old 120+ years Scherping hunting shotgun with the unique feature of having being pre-owned by TWO emperors!

Wilhelm II last Emperor of Prussia, deemed as responsible for the priming of WWI, firstly. His son, the heir Crown Prinz Friedrich-Wilhelm, secondly. Both were forced to abdicate and exiled in the NL – and this is where a pair of nicely adorned & engraved shotguns changed hands to subsequently enter in my family possessions.

500 pairs were ordered at the time to Scherping, Hannover to serve as diplomatic and personal gifts to any person both Emperors deemed worth receiving.

This included the close, long serving staffs and this is how one matching pair landed into the hands of a french language tutor who later splitted it forming his own gift to a close friend of my grandfather, who ended receiving the gun #1.

Later, the shotgun was meant to protect our Provence wine property, from the top of the ‘tower’ where my grandfather had his main bedroom. It seems we just fired it once, some 40 years ago, with plain hunting ammo.

From 1,000 guns of this kind ever produced, it is likely to be just a few still in circulation around the world ; I guess the #2 of « our » pair is now somwhere in Israel. This renders this collectible flavored with « romantic » as well as historical background even more regarded as a rare curiosity of a gone by era.

Emperor Wilhelm II   640px-Wappen_Deutsches_Reich_-_Reichsadler_1889.svg

Imperial Monogram of Kaiser WilhelmII.svg      Kronprinz_Friedrich_Wilhelm