woensdag 11 februari 2015

Pentemont Abbey (French: Abbaye de Penthemont

Pentemont Abbey (French: Abbaye de Penthemont, or Pentemont, or Panthemont, or Pantemont) is a set of 18th and 19th century buildings at the corner of Rue de Grenelle and Rue de Bellechasse in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. The abbey was a Cistercian convent founded near Beauvais in 1217 and moved to its current site in Paris in 1672 at the behest of Louis XIV.

The abbey was disestablished during the French Revolution and the buildings were turned over to military use, first as the home of the National Guard, then the Imperial Guard, and later the Cent-gardes.[7] It continues to be occupied by the Ministère de la Défense with the exception of the former chapel, which since 1844 has been a Protestant church, the Temple Penthemont.[8]

The many famous students educated at the abbey included the noted abbess and princess Louise Adélaïde de Bourbon,[17] and Louise d'Esparbès de Lussan, the mistress of the Count of Artois, the future Charles X of France.[18] Thomas Jefferson's daughters Martha and Mary were both educated at the Pentemont Abbey while he was Minister to France. Their entry into the school was sponsored by the wife of the Marquis de Lafayette. Abigail Adams was shocked that Jefferson would send his girls to a Catholic school but he assured her that there were many Protestants at the abbey. Conditions were spartan for the students, despite the presence of three princesses, with no fires until the water froze and a prohibition on speaking outside of class and recreation. Her time at the school led Martha, nicknamed Patsy, to write a letter to her father expressing her desire to become a nun. Jefferson quickly removed his daughters from the care of the convent.[19]
The abbey also provided elegant apartments to highborn women seeking independence from families or difficult marriages. The ladies were free to come and go as they liked, with constraints on the hours allowed outside the convent, often had their children and servants with them, and spent their evenings socializing and commiserating in the abbey's salons. One such resident was Joséphine de Beauharnais, the future Empress of France, during her separation from her first husband, Alexandre de Beauharnais. The court granted her temporary independence from her husband and required her to stay at Pentemont with her children at the expense of Alexandre.[20]

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