to Rennes. MAINTENON. 28. Route. 195
The Château or Palais National, reached by the Rue Nationale
and the avenues in the park beyond the omamental water, consists
of a number of incongruous buildings, surrounding an old crenelated
tower. Neither exterior nor interior is of any spécial interest.
The great attraction of Rambouillet is the vParks of the château,
which surpass the gardens of Versailles in size, variety, and natural
beauty, and contain many charming and secluded walks. In front
of the château is a Parterre, adjoined by the Small Park. The sheet
of water in the latter is diversified by several islets (boat 50 c. per
hr. for each pers.). To the right beyond this lake is the Parc An¬
glais, which we reach most directly by skirting the left margin of
the lake and passing through a magnificent avenue of Louisiana
cypresses, said to he unique in Europe. The English Park contains
streams of water, a chalet, and a hermitage. To the right of this
park, to the N.E. of the lake, is a Dairy constructed by Louis XVI.,
with a temple and an artificial grotto. Beyond, at the top of the
avenue, is a Farm, where Napoléon I. kept the first merino sheep
brought from Spain to France. To the right, between the Parc
Anglais and the N. part of the town, lies the Great Park, which
covers 3000 acres and contains numerous avenues of noble trees. —
To the N. of the town extends the Forest of Rambouillet.
At (38 M.) Epernon, a small and ancient town, to the right, an
ohelisk has been erected to its defenders in 1870.
43 M. Maintenon (St. Pierre ; de la Gare), a small town on the
Eure, to the right of the railway, possesses a handsome château of
the 16-17th cent., from which Françoise d'Aubigné, widow of the
poet Scarron, took the title of Marquise de Maintenon on her mar¬
riage to Louis XIV. in 1684, at the âge of forty-nine. To the right,
beyond the station, are the ruins of the huge Aqueduct begun by
Louis XIV. to conduct the waters of the Eure to his gardens at Ver¬
sailles. Upwards of 30,000 men, chiefly soldiers, were employed on
this work from 1684 to 1688, but it was then discontinued owing to
the great mortality among the labourers. Louis XV. used part of
the materials to construct a château for Mme. de Pompadour, which,
however, has disappeared. — Branch-lines hence to Dreux (see
p. 182) and to Auneau (p. 267).
Beyond Maintenon the train crosses the valley of the Voise by
a lofty viaduct and ascends the valley of the Eure. A8l/o M. Jouy ;
51 M. La Villette-St-Prest. The train crosses the Eure, and the
spires of Chartres now corne into sight on the left.
55 M. Chartres. — Hotels. Grand Monarque, R., L., & A. 31/2-61/2,
B-..11!/2'Ji1J- 3> D- 4' Pens- 10-l2i omn. 1/2 fr.; de France, R. 3-7, B. 1,
dej. à, D. di/2 fr. ; Duc de Chartres; ail in the Place de3 Epars (PL b, c, a;
A, 4, 5); de l'Ouest, near the station, déj. 21/2, D. 3 fr.
Cafés. In the Place des Epars ; Boul. Chasles 20; and near the railway
station. — Buffet at the station. — Restaurant-Pâtisserie, Rue de Change 45,
near the cathedral.
Cabs. Per drive 3/4, per hr. 1% fr.