An old Yveline farm where the future of Europe has been played.
Jean Monnet bought the house in Houjarray in 1945 when he was returning from Washington to take up his post as a Commissioner for Planning in Paris. This picturesque cottage located in the Yvelines, near Montfort-L’Amaury, belonged to a Swedish doctor. Ironically, Monnet, a cognac dealer in his youth, bought the home of the former physician, an abstinence activist who was behind the Swedish rationing system for alcohol.
The charm and the location of this house suited his long habit of reflecting in nature and walking in the woods early in the morning. The interior is a reflection of the occupant: simple and warm.
In this thatched-roof house nestling in a hollow of the countryside around Paris, the future of Europe was discussed among the highest dignitaries of his time. In late April 1950, it was here that Monnet with his collaborators wrote the historic declaration that Robert Schuman was to make to Europe on May 9, proposing the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and thus laying the bases for the European Community. Robert Schuman, Walter Hallstein, Paul-Henri Spaak, Konrad Adenauer, René Pleven, Helmut Schmidt and many others have exchanged views on our common future with Jean Monnet.
On Sundays, he would invite his friends passing through Paris to visit him. He liked conversations by the fireside with great journalists or politicians.
Jean Monnet passed away in his house in Bazoches on March 16, 1979. In 1982, the European Parliament considered that the House, a symbolic place steeped in memories, should be the common heritage of Europeans. He acquired the property, restored it and entrusted the reconstruction, management and animation to the Jean Monnet Association.
The “House where Europe was born” has thus become a museum open to the public and a conference center.
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