Monday, July 02, 2012

Chapel - Chateau Voltaire, Ferney-Voltaire

Erected to God by Voltaire - 1761
The philosopher Voltaire erected a chapel in the park of his own Chateau in 1761. It and even the chateau itself are now in a state of disrepair, so much so that the chapel is falling down.
Nature claims back that which is not taken care of
The philosopher settled in the small village of Ferney in order to be close to Switzerland, a country he could flee to in times of persecution. He built a small chapel in the grounds of the castle. The tower has the following inscription.


DEO EREXIT VOLTAIRE
MDCCLXI
(ERECTED TO GOD
BY VOLTAIRE
1761)
The beauty is still there
Even though Voltaire is one of the ultimate heroes of France, it is shocking to enter, and find his home in such a state. The chateau itself bears the mark of neglect, after the French state bought from a private owner in 1998. It was declared a National Monument as far back as 1958.
The chateau is also marked by neglect
The state of the chapel is the most shocking, as the roof has given in to the elements, and weeds and shrubbery is growing in cracks everywhere in the dilapidated building. I am tempted to cry shame on you for such a neglect of a man that is buried in Paris’s Panthéon, with the motto inscribed at the entrance reads, “To its great men, a greatful fatherland.”
So those of you that want to see this building Voltaire built to God’s Honor should hurry up, as nature will claim, what man does not care for, and that even counts for the French government.
Read more on the state of Chateau Voltaire and the chapel in this fascinating  blog entry on The personal website of Malcolm Curtis, a Swiss communications professional. 

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