[ram-boo-ley; Fr. rahn-boo-ye]
Rambouillet, Catherine de Vivonne, marquise de, 1588-1665, famous Frenchwoman, whose salon exercised a profound influence on French literature. She retired from court life in 1608 and began to receive at her house the intellectuals of Paris. Her literary salon was the first of the kind, and her example was soon imitated throughout France and spread to the rest of the world. The height of her influence was between 1620 and 1645. Her circle included Mme de Sévigné, Mme de La Fayette, Mlle de Scudéry, the duchesse de Longueville, the duchesse de Montpensier, Jean Louis Guez de Balzac, Corneille, Richelieu, Malherbe, Racan, Voiture, Bossuet, Chapelain, Scarron, Vaugelas, and La Rochefoucauld. The conversation and literary criticism of the Hôtel de Rambouillet, as her house was called, aimed solely at refinement and good taste, although the marquise liked to indulge in practical jokes on her guests. The name précieux (fem. précieuse) adopted by the members of her circle lacked at that time its derogatory connotation, but the preciosity made fashionable by her salon soon deteriorated into extravagance and was much ridiculed by Molière. The oldest daughter of the marquise de Rambouillet was Julie d'Angennes (later duchesse de Montausier), to whom the members of the circle addressed the cycle of verses Guirlande à Julie. A younger daughter, Angélique, was the first wife of the marquis de Grignan.
Rambouillet, town (1990 pop. 25,293), Yvelines dept., N France. It is a summer resort in the heart of a magnificent forest. Sheep are raised, and radio equipment and plastics are made. The nearby château (14th-18th cent.), set in a beautiful park, is the official summer residence of French presidents, and the vast forest is used for official hunting parties. A national farm there was established by Louis XVI.

Rambouillet is a commune in the metropolitan area of Paris, France. It is located southwest from the center of Paris (as the crow flies). Rambouillet is a sous-préfecture of the Yvelines département, being the seat of the arrondissement of Rambouillet.

Rambouillet is famous for the vast forest of the same name, as well as for the Château de Rambouillet which hosted several international summits. Due to its proximity to Paris and Versailles, Rambouillet has long been an occasional seat of government.


Rambouillet was in the spotlight during the Kosovo Crisis, where parties to this conflict met in February/March 1999 under the auspices of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The meeting was meant to end the crisis there, with calls for restoration of Kosovo's autonomy, ceasefire by Yugoslavian paramilitary forces and allow NATO peacekeeping forces in Kosovo. Yugoslavian authorities refused to sign the Rambouillet Agreement, claiming a deferred independence to Kosovo. This started the Kosovo War: NATO's reaction to the refusal to sign the agreement was an air strike on Yugoslavia carried out between March and June 1999.


Rambouillet is served by the Rambouillet station on the Transilien Paris – Montparnasse suburban rail line.


The old fortified Château de Rambouillet was acquired by Louis XVI of France in 1783 as a private residence; it is still the official summer residence of French presidents. In 1784 Louis XVI had a range built as a meeting for the government (the palace was subsequently rebuilt and occupied as the Palais du Roi de Rome by Napoleon Bonaparte's son).

It was largely ignored until February 1896, when Rambouillet was visited by President Félix Faure, with a view to spending the summer months there. Rambouillet thus became the official summer residence of the Presidents of the Fourth Republic and has retained its position.

Many other buildings owned by substantial political figures are to be found in the town and nearby area.

Notable people

Rambouillet was the birthplace of:


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