Empress Eugenie de Montijo by VB.com. Links with Cremerie de Paris

Empress Eugenie / Eugenie de Montijo (1826 - 1920)


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Empress Eugenie of the French
Eugenie de Montijo

Eugenie de Montijo (1826 - 1920)
Eugenie was the wife of Napoleon III.
She was a fashionista and the creative mind behind
the renovation of the Les Halles Centrales foodmarket.
Eugenie transmitted the legends about Cremerie de Paris and the Halles
to Alix Hessen, mother of Anastasia Romanov
and great-great-aunt of the current Cremerie de Paris.

Queen Victoria by WinterhalterQueen Victoria and Empress Eugenie
Queen Victoria (1819-1901) who was six years older had
a strong influence on the young French Empress.
Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom in 1837.

Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie
1848, Napoleon III, a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte
became President of France
1852, he became emperor after un coup d'etat,
creating the Second French Empire.
1853, january 29 and 30 Napoleon III married Eugenie de Montijo
in the Palais de Tuileries.
1856, march 16 birth of the only child Louis Napeloen, Prince Impérial.

Napoleon III has many projects for the city of Paris.
The city was enlarged by annexing eleven surrounding Communes,
creating the existing 20 arrondissements.

Napoleon III and Baron Eugene Haussmann, his prefect of the Seine department (which included the city of Paris)
completely rebuilt the heart of the city,
creating new boulevards interconnecting the already existing monuments.

Rue des Halles & Pavillons Baltard
Emperess Eugenie fascinated by decorative arts was extremely interested
by the Halles Centrales projects.

Villa EugenieVilla Eugenie
The idea to create the "Rue des Halles"
was born in Biarritz where the Emperor and spent her vacation
in her summer home, the Villa Eugenie.
Today Villa Eugenie is the Hotel du Palais,
one the the Grand Hotels of the World

Crystal Palace London
In 1848 the invention of plate glass had made it possible
to product large sheets of strong quality.
This enables the construction of the Crystal Palace
build in London for the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Crystal Palace created a new structure with an amount
of glass never ever seen before in a building.
Visitors were amazed, in particular the French Emperor
Napoleon III and his wife Emperess Eugenie.

Pavillons BaltardPavillons Baltard
Napoleon III and Eugenie were rivalizing with Queen Victoria
and they had the project to make Paris
become the world's most beautiful city.
After seeing Crystal Palace
Eugenie influenced Napoleon III to change the plans
for new Halles Centrales foodmarket.

Under her influence
the just constructed first pavillion was demolished
and Victor Baltard was asked to present a new project
using as much glass and steel as possible.

Pavilons Baltardthe original rue des Halles
Emperess Eugénie used her influence to make the Halles Centrales
as beautiful as possible.

She imagined Rue des Halles
to be the central avenue of the food market.
The original rue des Halles connected rue de Rivoli
and the place du Châtelet
with the Pavillons Baltard going from rue des Halles N°1 to N°32

Every little detail, every cariatide, every facade ornement
has gone through her hands.

Fascinated be the beauty of the old VB mansion
Baron Hausmann had to change the axis of the future street
so that the old Hotel de Villeroy Bourbon could stay in place.

Cremerie de Paris is located on a hotspot
in the junction of the century old rue des Déchargeurs
and Eugenie's new rue des Halles
right next to the historic gate of the VB mansion (Hotel Villeroy Bourbon)

Palais des TuileriesPrince Imperial
Living 10 minutes walking distance from rue des Halles
at the Palais des Tuileries
it is easy for Eugenie to follow up on the construtions.
And of course she shows the VB mansion to her son Louis Napoléon.
The boy was named after Louis XIV
and after his father Napoléon III / his uncle Napoléon Bonaparte.

A story that leaves France
Eugenie transmits the stories to children

Empress Eugenie and Alix Hessen
1870 attacked by Otto von Bismarck
Napoleon III lost the Franco Prussian war
which resulted in the end of the Second Empire.

Napoleon III and Eugenie had to leave the country
which became the 3rd Republic
September 5 the Empress left Paris with help of her dentist Doctor Evans.
September 7 she arrived in Deauville,
September 8 she took a boat from Trouville to England.

Empress Eugenie and Alix HessenLouis Napoleon Bonaparte in 1874
Queen Victoria gave them exile in England.
The family settled at Camdem Place in Chislehurst, south of London.

Exhausted Napoleon III died in 1873.
Eugénie hoped her son would be able to make a comeback,
1879 Louis Napoléon died in Zoulouland (South Africa).
Eugenie fell into depression.

Empress Eugenie and Alix HessenEmpress Eugenie and Alix Hessen
1880 Eugenie met Queen Victoria's grand-daughter Alix Hessen.
The young girl had just lost her mother, Princess Alice of Great Britain.
Queen Victoria wanted to protect her but she did not have enough time
for her grandchild.

This gave Eugenie a new responsability and she started to tell the little girl
all her wonderful stories of Paris,
including the fairytales of Cremerie de Paris
where two centuries earlier a boy of her age had grown up, Louis XIV.
Louix XIV, third Bourbon King of Francegate of the Cremerie de Paris / Hotel de Villeroy

In France the "Belle Epoque" starts ...
Empress Eugenie would have loved to read the book
la "Rose Blanche"
It is only that the autor Caroline von Krockow
wasn't born yet ...

Eugénie oldPavillons Baltard 1897
Eugénie lived for a long time
and she continued to transmit the legends about
Cremeries de Paris and the les Halles foodmarket to children.

Travelling through Pars she lived at the Hotel Continental
(today the Westin Paris ex Intercontinental).
She always went by her Pavillons Baltard,
her rue des Halles and her Cremerie de Paris.
She came by incognito and nobody imagined that the old Lady
observing the locations with nostalgie
was the one that had orchestered their construction.
The picture taken in 1897 show the Pavillons near Cremerie de Paris N°9.

Les enfants Romanov en 1910
The Love of Eugenie for les Halles continued to be alive in Russia
around the children of her friend Alix Hessen, that had become the wife of Nicolas II.
The children and their cousins (great-aunts and uncles of the editor of this article)
all wanted to come to Paris to see the magnificient foodmarket and the Cremeries de Paris.

construction des Pavillons Baltardconstruction des Pavillons Baltard
The beauty and the legends of les Halles fascinated the Romanov children.

marché des Halles Centrales en 1903
Alix Hessen, the mother of the children got some maps
so she could better explain the food market.

villa Cyrnosvilla Cyrnos
Eugenie lived in Farnborough in the Hampshire, United Kingdom.
She also had the villa Cyrnos n the côte d'Azur, Cap Martin.
Sissi of Austria was one of her guests.

1918 Eugiene was devastated to hear about the assasination of her friend Alix Hessen,
killed by the Bolcheviks with her five children and Nicolas II.

1919 december Eugénie came to Paris for the last time,
A plate is still located on the facade of the former Hotel Continental.

1920 july 11 Eugénie died in Madrid at the age of 94.
A special train broght her back to England
where she is burried in Farnborough in the Saint Michel Abbaye.
She lies next to Napoléon III and her son Louis Napoleon.

The jewels of the Empress

Empress Eugenie and Queen Victoria had the most important jewelery collection of her times.
At the fall of the Second Empire part of the jewels remained in Paris
others followed her to London.

1872 june 24 hundred-twenty-three jewels were sold
by the former Empress through Christies London.
Eugenie needed money to keep up her livestyle.

1887 Most of the jewels left in France were sold.
The sale was poorly organised by the French Republic.
President Jules Grévy did not want to keep any souvenirs of French Royalty
and liquidated a national treasure.
The sale made the fortune of professional jewelers like Charles Tiffany.

From time to time Eugenie continued to sell other jewels.

The jewels with the Thurn & Taxis

les MargueritesMarguerete Thurn und Taxis
1890 Some jewels, in particular Eugénies Diadème
designed by Gabriel Lemmonier
were bought by Albert von Thurn & Taxis.

MAlbert Thurn und TaxisMJohannes Thurn und Taxis
1952 Albert left the Crown Jewels to his grandson Johannes ...
The first picture shows Albert Thurn & Taxis with his grandson Johannes,
the second Johannes Thurn & Taxis with Aimée de Heeren and the editor of this article.

more coming soon

The jewels with Aimée de Heeren

BendorAimee de Heeren
1939 to 1953 the 2nd Duke of Westminster
developped a passion for buying French Crown jewels
in order to offer them to
Aimée de Sotto Maior / Aimée de Heeren.

He had met Aimée in 1939 through Coco Chanel.
Based in Paris and later New York and Palm Beach
Aimée was a Brazilian Secret Service agent
who fascinated the Duke.
His nickname was Bendor, "Or" is the French word for Gold.

Bendor who was immensly wealthy
hired a private detectives to find out
where the jewels of the "Couronne de France"
could be and tried to buy them from the owners.
Many jewels were at that time located in London.

Even though Aimee was the girlfriend of Patrick Joseph Kennedy Jr
she could impossibly refuse the presents
as Bendor was collecting them for her
like a child collecting beautiful shelves on a beach.

les MargueritesAimee de Heeren
Aimée kept the jewels like a tresure.
She liked to carry some of them during receptions.

The jewels were based in Biarritz, those that were allowed to travel with her
were hidden in the uggliest of her numerous suitcases
always kept by her maid Lydia.

The editor of this article in the above picture with Aimée
has uncountable crazy and funny souvenirs about them ...

1986 he was invited to accompany Aimée for a week-end in Normandy
at the house of Edouard de Lobkowicz and Françoise de Bourbon Parme.
Suddenly Aimée thought it was dangerous to leave the jewels
in her Paris appartment, avenue d'Iena.
So it was decided to take the suitecase with the jewels to Normandy.

On the way back to idea came up to visit the Cathedral of Rouen.
Parking the car near the church right next to a beautiful BMW series 6,
Aimée thought it was not a good idea to leave the jewels in the car,
so the editor of this article carried the heavy, heavy little suitcase through the Cathedral,
not realising that he was holding in his hand many of the "French Crown Jewels".

From time to time people from Sothebys and Christies
approched Aimée
to make her sell some of her jewels.

The answer was always no,
she would never ever sell any of these treasures
as she had in her mind
to leave a Museum for the Crown Jewels
with her Biarritz Villa La Roseraie
so that future generations should have
a souvenir of Eugénie and herself.

A story that returns
Une histoire qui est revenue

The stories about the Cremerie and the Halles Centrales foodmarket
were so fascinating - twenty years later -
Alix Hessen took them to St Petersburg
and told them to her own children and their cousins,
Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, Alexei
and their cousins Dmitri Romanov, Philipp Solms, Carl Solms and Friederike Solms

... resulting in the reopening of the Cremeries de Paris,
116 year after Eugenie's departure from France
and 16 years after the end of the foodmarket

As if it was destiny, the above mentioned Aimée de Heeren
assisted the reopening of the Cremeries.

First a store for Sony phones
followed by a the first Internetcafe in Paris
where the Phonebook of the World,
Brazilian Whitepages
and VB.com were invented.

Eugenie might be amused that her beloved Cremerie de Paris

reopened and turned into a Museum
unfortunately not for her jewels
but for another interesting topic ...

Companies that present their latest products and inventions
through iconic Pop Up Store using some
of the best event designers like Julie Joie or Francois Linh Hoang.

Thanks to the magic of the past
and the fact that Eugenie kept transmitting the Cremerie's history to children
the guest list has adapted to modern times
and is turning
into a
"Meeting Place of the World's most famous Brands".