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
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.
Rambouillet was the birthplace of:
Rambouillet is twinned with: