Chateau de Reux
Pont-L'Evêque, Calvados, Normandy
This house is best associated with...
Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild
Baroness (Charlotte) Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, died without children
In the late 18th century, the well-known author the Comte de Lauraguais (1733-1824) observed that the chateau was decorated with many fine pieces of 16th century glazed pottery ('faience') made by Bernard Palissy (1510-1589). From the 1890s, the chateau sat on an estate of 320-acres and was accessed by two stone bridges that crossed the moat.
After 1905, Beatrice spent most of her time on the Cote d'Azur where she built the Villa Ephrussi-Rothschild. After she died in 1934, she left the chateau to her brother, Édouard Alphonse James de Rothschild, but he rarely visited and it was left "practically abandoned". He died in 1949 when it passed to his only surviving son, Guy de Rothschild.
Alix de Rothschild
At the time of his father's death, Guy was married to his first wife, the Austro-Hungarian Baroness Alix von Koromla (1911-1982). She immediately fell in love with Reux and though she and Guy were divorced in 1956, she remained here and devoted the last thirty years of her life to the chateau and the village, even serving as Mayor of Reux in 1953.
Aside from Reux itself, Alix was a passionate supporter of Israeli art and artists, and it was here that the pianist Eugene Istomin began his long and close friendship with the Israeli painter Avigdor Arikha. At the chateau, Alix commissioned artwork by Norbert Kricke and Francis Bott designed the stained glass windows in the chapel.
Today, the chateau is the country home of Guy and Alix's only son, David (b.1942), who was married here in 1974 to the eighteen year old Italian Princess, Olimpia Aldobrandini (b.1955). Aside from serving as a Chairman of De Beers and Chairman of the Governing Board of the World Jewish Congress, he was also Mayor of Reux for eighteen years.
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