This floating castle appears to be from an enchanted fable, but in actuality it is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle.
Affectionately known as “The Pink House”, La Maison Rose in the Montmarte district of Paris is a pleasantly pink restaurant lauded for its facade and fascinating history as a once a popular haunt frequented by some of Paris’ greatest artists – including Pablo Picasso.
At one time, Montmarte was a village separate from Paris with windmills, homes, and vineyards gracing its picturesque hilltop. Built around 1850, the home that would go on to house La Maison Rose was bought by Germaine Pichot around the turn of the century. The wife of artist of Catalan painter Ramon Pichot and a former model of Picasso, Germaine was a magnetic figure who attracted many of the city’s creative crowd.
Germaine socialized with the likes of Maurice Utrillo, Albert Camus, Matisse, and Picasso. Carlos Casegamas, a close friend of Picasso, fell in love and relentlessly pursued Germaine. Despite her refusals, Carlos persisted. Scorned by rejection, he ended up committing suicide. When Picasso heard of Carlos’ death, it’s said he became depressed and began his blue period of work.
Despire Carlos’ tragic death, the story of Germaine and her beloved La Maison Rose continued on. The house was eventually painted its signature pink after Germaine & Ramon visited Catalonia, Spain where they were inspired by the towns’ brightly colored homes. In the 1930s, Maurice Utrillo immortalized La Maison Rose in his painting “La maison rose à Montmartre“.
Germaine owned La Maison Rose until her death in 1948. The restaurant passed down through the hands of different Montmarte locals who remained faithful to the establishment’s origins as a neighborhood cafe. Eventually it was purchased by Laurence Miolano, the grandchild of its former owner Beatrice, who has since restored the restaurant to its former glory.
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