The Rothschilds are legendary as one of the greatest European banking families ever. They own grand estates and Chateaus throught the world that are well-known for anything but squalor, ruin or decay. However just outside of Paris, walking distance from Metro Jean Jaurès Line 10, standing quietly behind a thick wall of shrubbery and overgrowth is the haunting, ghostly figure of the Chateau Rothschild.
The neo-Louis XIV estate house has been abandoned since the World War II when the Rothschild family fled to England. Germans would inhabit and plunder the house during the four-year Nazi occupation of Paris. After the city’s liberation, the U.S. army were the next tenants at the Chateau Rothschild. The Rothschilds never returned to their home which has been left to rot, crumble and deteriorate.
This once palatial estate was built to reflect the Rothschild wealth and fortune. It boasted a regal English garden with picturesque waterfalls and beautiful indoor frescoes by Eugène Lami. For over eight years James Rothschild and his wife Betty, hosted the most lavish parties of the time within these walls.
Their guests and party goers would include great artists of the day like Rossini, Chopin, Balzac, and Delacroix as well as, a who’s who of the financial and political world.
Chopin even dedicated his Valse Op. 64, N° 2 in C sharp minor to their daughter Charlotte.
As the champagne flowed while the laughter and music rang through the halls, it would have been impossible to imagine that the this great estate house, the Chateau de Rothschild would be doomed to become a playground for vermin, graffiti artists and vandals.