8-13 July 2014
Château de Button
Europe/Paris timezone
1st Bulletin now available

History of the domain

Brief history of the domain
In 1754, Claude Mérault, a King's lieutenant, "Seigneur de Gif et de Frileuse", begins the construction of a new palace to replace the old stately manor. From 1756 to 1771, Pierre Desmaisons, the King's architect enlarged the building, adding two wings to the central body, while the landscape mater Pillet was in charged of planning the gardens and park, both inpired from Le Nôtre. The interior of the building includes exquisite woodwork, mirrors, comfortable rooms and elegant lounges. In 1771, Pierre-Charles Débonnaire, Baron of Forges, attorney at the Grand Council, becomes the heir to the viscounties of Gif and Châteaufort. After his death in 1788, his family remained in the castle during the French Revolution. Subsequently, the 67-acre property, changed owners on numerous occasions. Edward Noetzlin, director of the Bank of Paris and of the Netherlands bought it in 1912.
He had it further enlarged, landscaping the grounds and common grounds. Upon the death of his father, Jacques Noetzlin no longer wished to carry the burden of the domain. In 1946, he sold it for 12 million francs to the CNRS.
The State commits not to build on the grounds, to the maintenance of the buildings, and its grounds and gardens, also engaging to hire the staff previously dedicated to serving the family.
Today, the CNRS receives its guests and organises conferences and other events on the castle.
Since 1991, the park has been officially classified as a "Refuge for birds" by the League for the Protection of Birds. The fauna and flora are also protected.

Gif-sur-Yvette and its history
The grounds of the "Château de Button" belong to the town of Gif-sur-Yvette, named after Yvette river. The town spreads over 12km2, of which 4km2 correspond to forests and parks.

The human presence on the Moulon Plateau originates in Neolithic times. Agriculture was developed, notably during the Roman era. Between the 12th and the 18th century, an important Benedictine abbey was built in Gif. In the 19th century, Gif remained very agricultural (in particular, operating mills). In 1867, Gif was linked to the path of the Sceaux train (which would later become the south branch of the RER B line).

Following the First World War, Gif went through an important demographic change. In 1930 the town adopted the name of "Gif-sur-Yvette". Just after the Second World War, Gif-sur-Yvette acquired an international scientific reputation, which has steadily increased over the years. Numerous research organizations exist in this area, such as the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), the CEA (Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique), Supélec (École Supérieure d'Électricité), the LGEP (Laboratoire de Génie Électrique de Paris, associated with Supélec) and the Institute of Plant Biotechnology. Also, Gif is home to the Centre National d'Études.

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