Maison des Jardies, Sèvres

Maison des Jardies

In Sèvres, near Paris, on the southern slope of the Saint-Cloud national estate, sits the Maison des Jardies. The house is linked to the memory of two great men of the 19th century, Balzac and Gambetta, who lived there and shaped the history of the property.

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Honoré de Balzac or the Human Comedy

Built at the end of the 17th century on the southern slope of the Saint-Cloud national estate, the Maison des Jardies was originally a humble winegrower’s house before becoming, a few decades later, the country residence of Parisians who, as Rousseau advocated at the time, were looking for a return to nature.

First came Honoré de Balzac who, in 1837, acquired a plot of land at 14 Rue du Chemin Vert, which he gradually extended as far as the Paris-Versailles railway tracks. Having fallen into debt, Balzac had been running away from his creditors for a long time, under false names and in different dwellings. He therefore decided to move to Les Jardies to get away from Paris. He housed his gardener in the old house and had a small wooden cottage built for himself in the garden at the back of the property. The painter Corot, who lived in a house in Ville-d’Avray, often came for neighbourly visits. It was in this house away from the capital that Balzac wrote some of his works before deciding to move on and settle in Passy. The house still has its sideboard in the rustic kitchen, the only asset to escape the creditors and bailiffs.

Gambetta, the founder of the Third Republic

Léon Gambetta, a great figure of the republican resistance to the Prussian army and founder of the Third Republic, settled in the Maison des Jardies in 1878. He wanted to be able to withdraw as often as possible from a hectic political life. It was here that he enjoyed the company of his friend Léonie Léon, with whom he exchanged a famous correspondence of more than 6000 letters over a period of ten years.

Gambetta moved into the former gardener’s house: the ground floor contained the kitchen, hallway and dining room, to which Gambetta added a living room, while on the first floor were the bedroom and bathroom. The upper floor housed Léonie Léon’s apartment. It was in this house that he died on 31 December 1882 at only 44 years of age. The place where the statesman lived and worked has been passed down to us in its original decor, and is today a place to remember the fighting republican.

Popular emotion at Gambetta’s death was immense and the house quickly became a place of republican pilgrimage. In the garden, on the land adjacent to the house, a monument was erected in 1891 by the Alsatian sculptor Auguste Bartholdi, the creator of the Statue of Liberty. Funded by a subscription from the communes of Alsace and Moselle, the monument celebrates the action of this fervent republican, a defender of the Nation. He is depicted as resolute, carrying the flags of the two provinces lost in the 1870 defeat, which await their liberation at his feet. Gambetta’s heart was placed in an urn at the foot of the monument, where it remained until 11 November 1920, when it was transferred to the Panthéon.

Step inside exceptional artists’ houses.

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Community facilities

Access and contact

14 avenue Gambetta
92310 Sèvres

Days and opening hours

All year round, every Thursday and Friday. Closed exceptionally on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th. Open every other weekend. Visits at 2.30, 4 and 5 pm The rest of the year, booking required.


  • Full price: 6 € Group adults: 5 € (Groups of 20 or more adults.) Set price group adults: 450 € (- Conference visit package 450 € (up to 30 people including entrance fee)).
    Free entry for children < 18 years, Job-seeker, disabled people and accompanying persons. Group rate available for > 20 people.
    Free for : For all, every first sunday of the month from 1st of November to 31st of May
    Included in the Paris Museum Pass
    Bulk ticketing from 20 tickets purchased: 5 €.


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  • Activity
  • Temporary exhibition


Spoken languages

  • French

Guided tour languages

  • French

Single mean time tour

45 mins

Single services tour

  • Unguided individual tours available permanently
  • Guided individual tours available permanently
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14 avenue Gambetta
92310 Sèvres

  • Copyright image:
  • Colombe Clier / Centre des monuments nationaux