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The family chateaux

The chateau de Tocqueville

View of the chateau de Tocqueville

View of the chateau de Tocqueville
© AD Manche

Tocqueville often changed addresses in Paris during his career - no less than ten times - and spent his holidays in a number of places, often staying at the Kergorlays' chateau de Fosseuse, or at his brother Édouard's chateau in Baugy. And yet, the one place where he really felt at home, as he himself wrote, was the ancestral chateau de Tocqueville. When he saw it for the first time in 1833 (although the house was supposed to go to his brother Édouard)), he was immediately charmed by the feelings of serenity and tranquility that the place inspired in him. To his way of thinking, this charm was only magnified by the memory of his ancestors who haunted the spot, ancestors that Tocqueville like to think could be traced back to William the Conqueror.  play sound extractlire l'extrait sonore  

« I long for Tocqueville, for our solitude, our intimacy, our tte--ttes, for everything, that is, that constitutes the real foundation of my happiness in this world. »
(Letter to Marie Mottley,
July 3, 1842)

Thus, when the chateau de Tocqueville finally became his in the division of the family assets, Alexis de Tocqueville decided to move there permanently in 1836 with his wife, who subsequently became the real mistress of the place. Although it is true that Tocqueville's residence in the chateau and the town of the same name made it easier for him to win reelection as deputy from Valognes, the chateau was above all the place where he and Marie found peace, a haven of conjugal bliss. Nevetheless, the chateau de Tocqueville, which had remained unoccupied for a half century, was far from a comfortable spot.

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Panoramic view

Take a virtual tour of some of the best views of the chateau... Enjoy your tour!

View from the east side

View from the east side

View from the west side

View from the west side

You must have QuickTime installed on your computer in order to view the panoramas on this site.

Slide show: the chateau de Tocqueville

Slide show: the chateau de Tocqueville

Barfleur

Barfleur, Anonymous
© AD Manche / A. Poirier

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