The area surrounding the city of Viarmes

Asnières sur Oise

img-alentours-asnieresAround 1840, at the corner of the road going from Viarmes to Beaumont and from Asnières to Royaumont, was established a modest manufacture, where, during several years, various activities had little success. In 1862, a manufacturer from Paris, M. Culaz, settled there to manufacture rubber articles. Success came very quickly when he started manufacturing toys. He employed M. Derolland, coming like him from Haute Savoie, who became his partner in 1872. He gave him the manufacture and the offices in Paris two years later. M. Derolland developed the activity and invested in new machines. In 1880, the “Maison Derolland” offered a whole range of toys that were popular around France as well as in foreign countries. M. Derolland took with him his nephew, M. Delacoste, who would succeed him and continue, with his descendants, the expansion of the activity.
During 1950 – 60, the company is at its apogee; it covers a surface of more than 6 hectares, on which are 30 000 m2 of buildings, nearly 700 people work there (100 at the annex of Gouvieux and Fleurines in the Oise). Amongst their activities are: production of plastic and rubber toys, industrial manufacture of sounding balloons to study the various upper layers in the atmosphere -Delacoste being one of the five specialists in this field. At that time the manufacture produces 4 millions of toys per year (47 000 articles per day). It’s the biggest French manufacturer of balloons and rubber toys. Those products are exported around the world, the most famous one being Sophie the giraffe. At the beginning of the 70s, the firm is struck by the oil crisis. In 1977, it is incorporated in the group “Le jouet français”, which includes “Jouef”, “Solido” and “Heller”. But in 1981, it is bankruptcy. The company is bought by Vullierme. The main activity is gathered in the north part of the plant, the south part taking in new companies.
On Vulli’s side, thirty people continue to produce a million toys per year. But in 1993, the totality of the activity is transferred to Haute-Savoie. This is now the place where the most popular teething toy: giraffe “Sophie” is manufactured (400 000 examples per year).

Royaumont Abbey

The Royaumont Abbey is a monument of outstanding historical and architectural interest. The Royal Abbey’s history is extraordinary, ranging from the best years during the time of Saint Louis to the worst during the French Revolution.
Visitors to the Abbey can also take a quiet stroll around its park and avenues.
The buildings of the Abbey are arranged around the superb Gothic cloister whose four galleries lead to separate areas. To the west, the lay brothers’ building; to the north lie the spectacular ruins of the church; next to them are the sacristy and the chapter room; to the south, the monks’ refectory and the kitchens, both magnificently restored in 2002. Royaumont Abbey is open 365 days a year.
Come alone, with friends, or in a group to admire this grand complex, now nearly 700 years old, with its wealth of history and architecture, lying in a protected area that lends itself to walks and meditation.
At the park entrance, a bookshop-gift shop offers a wide range of books about the Middle Ages (history and architecture), contemporary poetry and music, regional works, children’s books, cards, CDs and gifts.
The bar – tearoom is open from 12 noon to 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays (5:30 from November to February).

La Fondation Royaumont

The Royaumont Foundation (Fondation Royaumont (Goüin-Lang) pour le progrès des Sciences de l’Homme) was set up in 1964. As the owner of the 13th century Cistercian abbey, which it received as a donation, the Foundation conserves and expands its heritage, lending it vitality by making it available to artists and accessible to the public.
The Foundation’s research, experiment, training and artistic creation programmes, focused on music and dance, are designed for professionals from all over the world who are brought together here, where they have the benefit of the residential ensembles and the François-Lang music library, to practice their art. The Foundation promotes a productive dialogue between heritage research and artistic creation and cultivates it with the public through its Music Season concerts, Fenêtres sur Cour[s] events, symposia, seminars, Abbaye aux Enfants children’s workshops, cultural programmes to help the disadvantaged enter the mainstream and “Hors les Murs” outside tours.
In the same spirit, the Abbey serves as a venue for residential seminars, symposia and events organised by a wide range of companies, international organisations and public institutions, first and foremost those supporting it through patronage and subsidies.

Château de Chantilly

The château of Chantilly stands at the heart of a large estate of 1900 acres of land, located in one of the largest forests of the Paris area, the massif of the three Forests (Chantilly, Halatte, Ermenonville).
Since the medieval ages, the Chantilly Estate has belonged to the great Prince families of France. This illustrious heritage serves as a stepping stone, today, for the fame of this important French heritage element, in which it holds a very special place, alongside Versailles, Fontainebleau, Ecouen, Vaux-le-Vicomte, etc.
The Condé Museum’s painting collection makes it the number one museum of ancient paintings (prior to 1850) in France after the Louvre Museum. Comprised of more than a dozen rooms, you’ll discover throughout the tour over 800 masterpieces of French, Italian, Flemish, English painting and more. Many art pieces complete this collection.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll around our vast park (7500ft²), designed by Le Nôtre for the Grand Condé at the end of the seventeenth century, and today’s unique testimony to the history of Western gardens.