Voltaire frequently stayed there with the President de Maisons, and nearly died there of the small-pox. On his recovery, he had scarcely left the chateau to set out on his return to Paris, when the room he had occupied and the adjoining chambers were destroyed by fire.
In the chateau was bought by the Comte d'Artois, and an apartment was arranged there for each of the royal family. Maisons was sold as national property at the Revolution, and has since belonged to the Due de Montebello, and to the banker Laffitte, by whom part of the park has been cut up for villas. As Maisons is approached by the railway, there is a fine view on right of the stately chateau rising above the west bank of the Seine, with a highly picturesque mill of the same date striding across an arm of the river in the fore- ground.
The nave piers are cylindrical, the arches pointed transitional.
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This place receives its first name from its situation at the confluence of the Seine and Oise; its second from the shrine of S. Honorine, brought hither by a native of Graville for protection from the Normans in : her relics are still carried in procession on Ascension Day.
The parish church of S. Maclou has an admirable romanesque tower of the xn. In the choir is the tomb of Jean I. A tower, called La Baronnie, marks the site of the priory of S. Poissy Hotel: de Rouen, right of station — very humble , on the left bank of the Seine, was the seat of a very ancient royal residence, destroyed by Charles V. Louis was not born he was certainly baptised here, and was wont to sign himself ' Louis de Poissy. Late romanesque, with flamboyant additions, it has a most striking outline. The older por- tions — the nave, the apsidal choir with its two apsides, and the west and central towers, date from the xi.
The nave chapels are xvi. The west tower formerly served as a porch, but this is now blocked up, and the principal entrance is by a magnificent early xvi. A number of early statues of saints are full of quaint character. The romanesque chapel on the north of the choir contains a fragment of the font in which S. Louis was baptised; a considerable part at least of the rest has been taken as dust in glasses of water by the faithful as a cure for fever. In the same chapel is a tombstone, with a very curious epitaph, recording how Remy Henault, T, was twice dead and twice alive; how, after having been consigned to the tomb, he was resuscitated by the devotion of his son, expressed in ardent prayer to S.
Genevieve, and rose again a second Lazarus, to be called ' Le ressusciteV His son, a second Remy, who ordained special worship to S. Genevieve for her favour, now rests with him. In the opposite chapel, of S. Louis, are relics of the sainted king.
This chapel formerly had a stained-glass window representing the birth of S. Louis, and beneath were the xvi.
A little behind the church is a fine old gateway, flanked by two round towers, the principal existing remnant of the famous Abbaye de Poissy, which Philippe le Bel founded in , in the place of an earlier Augustinian monastery founded by Constance of Normandy, wife of King Robert. Nothing remains of the mag- nificent abbey church, a marvel of architectural beauty, begun by Philippe le Bel and finished by Philippe de Valois, which was pulled down in the beginning of the xix.
A pewter urn, containing the heart of the founder, Philippe le Bel, was found during some repairs in Reached by the abbey gate is the house occupied, through thirty years, by the famous artist Meissonier. On the right of the station is the entrance to the Bridge originally of thirty-seven arches built by S.
Louis, but all its character is destroyed by its being lowered and by the substitution of a cast-iron parapet for the original of stone. The famous Cattle-market of Poissy, founded by S. Louis, is still held every Thursday. The line passes 1. Medan, with a chateau dating from the xv. In the xvn. Paul in Paris, in which many kings and princes have been baptised.
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A considerable place under the hills, on the right. A number of ruined emigres on their return to France after the Revolution united to buy its chateau, and spent the rest of their lives there in happy harmony! The adjoining village of Verneuil has a central romanesque tower with late additions. The cruciform church of Triel itself is chiefly of the xiv. Vaux i k. The station is at Mureaux, where the modern church contains six curious xm.
The church of Notre Dame, in the lower town, is xiv. Nicolas, on the hill Le Haut Meulan , has a xn. Near Notre Dame is a good xiv. On the island called Le Fort are remains of a xv. Jacques, and of a castle, of which Du Guesclin overthrew the donjon, when it was defended by the parti- sans of Charles le Mauvais. Chateau de Vigny, built by Cardinal Georges d'Amboise. The chateau belonged to the family of 1 See page i.
The church has an octagonal romanesque tower, containing an xi. Aulnay, where the church contains an ancient tabernacle beautifully sculptured ; and 20 k. Maule, where the church was built — 11 18, has a tower of , and covers an xi. It was in , after burning Mantes, which he had reclaimed from Philippe I. L'agitation qu'il s etait donnee en courant et en criant, la chaleur du feu et de la saison rendirent sa blessure dangereuse.
On le transporta malade a Rouen, et de la dans un monastere hors des murs de la ville dont il ne pouvait sup- porter le bruit. II languit durant six semaines, entoure" de medecins et de pretres, et son mal s'aggravant de plus en plus, il envoya de l'argent a Mantes pour rebatir les eglises qu'il avait incendiees. The noble church of Notre Dame was built with the money sent by William the Conqueror, and was again rebuilt at the end of the xn. Its facade shows what that of Paris would have been if its completion had not been delayed till the middle of the xin.
Of the three grand portals, two are admirable examples of the xn. Above the three portals are seven arches, of which four light the first floors of the two towers.
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Higher, is a large window in each tower, and in the centre a beautiful rose-window. The graceful gallery above, of slender lancet arches, is comparatively modern. The upper story of the towers, of open arches, is indescribably light and beautiful. The retired space, shaded by trees, in which the church stands, recalls an English cathedral close in the charm of its seclusion. The clerestory is exceedingly light, and the triforium, covering the whole space of the aisles, of great width.
Two leaden coffins recently discovered are supposed to contain the heart and entrails of Philippe Auguste, who died at Mantes, July 14, Viollet le Due mentions the Chapelle de Navarre on the south of the choir, with its four arches meeting at a central pillar, as one of the finest examples of the xiv c. Against the wall of the north aisle is the curious incised gravestone of Robert Gueribeau, , founder of the Ursuline convent.
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Below the church, ' the Grande Rue presents that precipitous descent which sadly, sorrowfully, and ignobly terminated the Conqueror's earthly career. Many picturesque fragments remain of the ancient walls and towers with which Mantes was surrounded by Charles le Mauvais and Charles le Sage, especially the Tour de S. Martin and an old postern gate on the Quai des Cordeliers. Of the other gates, the Porte Chante VOie still exists.
There is a very picturesque half-ruined bridge connecting the right 1 Palgrave. Beyond the island, with its pleasant promenades, a second bridge leads to the suburb of Zimay, which has a modern Mairie, of good design, and a church chiefly of the xm. Antoine, which they founded at the Celestine Convent ; behind it is a Pieta in coloured relief, on either side of which are the founders presented by their patron saints.
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The low wide font is of the xm. Sauveur 4 k. The way winds along the edge of the limestone hills, which, ugly in form, especially lend themselves to vineyards, and the views of the windings of the Seine are beautiful. A stone cross stands at a point where there is an exquisite view of Mantes — the noble towers of Notre Dame rising above rich woods and a graceful bend of the river, and the wavy hills, in soft succession of pink and blue distances, folding behind them.
The hermitage is very quaint and picturesque — a little establishment enclosed by walls, and a church of considerable size caverned out of the rock and containing a curious old S. Those who wish for a longer walk may cross the Seine by a ferry to the church of Gassicourt 3 k. The portal is curious.
The choir windows have remains of stained glass given by Blanche of Castile. A singular sculpture represents Jesus offering to the Queen, as the Virgin, the portrait of S. Louis as a child. There are considerable remains of mural paintings, and, in the Chapelle S.
Eloi, a sculptured lavabo. A road runs north-west from Mantes, evading a wide bend of the river, by the Chateau de Mesnil to 12 k. The porch bears the monograms of Francois I. The south and west doors are sculptured with scenes from Scripture history. The west portal, surmounted by a triple gallery, has statues of royal benefactors ; the central column bears a figure of Charity. The unfinished tower is of In the interior are considerable remains of mural paintings.
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