La Lanterne, Versailles

Coordinates: 48°48′14.6″N 2°5′32″E / 48.804056°N 2.09222°E / 48.804056; 2.09222 La Lanterne is a hunting lodge in Versailles, France. Along with the Fort de Brégançon in Var, it is one of the two official retreats of the President of the French Republic.

The estate is adjacent to the Park of Versailles and situated on the road that links Versailles with Saint-Cyr-l'École. The estate includes a central two-story U-shaped building with a central section measuring 20 by 6 metres (66 by 20 ft). The central section is flanked by two parallel wings—of a later date and lower than the central section—which frame a gravel courtyard. A tree-lined lane links the courtyard with the Saint-Cyr road. The estate also includes a swimming pool, a tennis court, and five guest rooms.


It is located next to the Palace of Versailles, in the city of Versailles.[1][2][3][4] It is four hectares wide, bordered by a tall wall and poplars, and it is forbidden to fly over the property.[1][2] It takes 30 minutes by car to get there from the Élysée Palace, the official residence of the President of France.[1][3]


The Pavillon de la Lanterne, located on the border of the Ménagerie, was built in 1787 by Philippe Louis Marc Antoine de Noailles, prince de Poix,[1][2][4] who was the captain of the hunt and governor of Versailles, and was offered to his father, the comte de Noailles, by Louis XV. Then it included a ground floor as well as an attic floor. The façades were ornamented with seven stucco decorated spans—six windows and one central door, which was surmounted by a pediment. Owing to the lack of archival information, the architect of this building is unknown.

Between 1785-1786, the 36 herms of the grille that separated the courtyard—and especially the two herms surmounted by deer heads—were restored. As with other buildings at Versailles, La Lanterne was given up during the Revolution. In 1818, Louis XVIII repurchased the estate. Between 1942-1943 the deer-headed herms of the entry grill were restored; and in 1994, a full restoration of the pavilion was executed.[5]

From 1959 to 2007, it was the secondary residence of the Prime Minister of France.[1][2] Michel Rocard, who served as Prime Minister from 1988 to 1991, commissioned a swimming-pool and a tennis court.[1] Édouard Balladur, holding the office from 1993 to 1995, buried his dog in the garden.[1] Lionel Jospin, Prime Minister from 1997 to 2002, together his wife Sylviane Agacinski, spent most weekends there.[1] Dominique de Villepin, Prime Minister from 2005 to 2007, liked its extensive wine cellar.[2] Since 2007, under President Nicolas Sarkozy, it was also used by the President of the French Republic.[1] His wedding dinner to Carla Bruni took place there.[2]

In December 2020, President Emmanuel Macron contracted the coronavirus during the COVID-19 pandemic in France. He decided to self-isolate at the former hunting lodge and continue working from there, starting on 17 December.[6]


  • Patrice Machuret, Un long dimanche à Versailles : la République à la Lanterne (Seuil, 2010).


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Jim Jarrassé, Bertrand Riotord, François Hollande succombe aux charmes de la Lanterne, Le Figaro, 02/08/2013
  2. ^ a b c d e f Mathilde Lemaire, Hollande garde les clés de la résidence de la Lanterne, France Info, July 30, 2013
  3. ^ a b Didier Micoine, Hollande souffle à la Lanterne, Le Parisien, 05.08.2013
  4. ^ a b Pourquoi Hollande préfère la Lanterne à Brégançon, Le Journal du Dimanche, August 12, 2013
  5. ^ Versailles décor sculpté extérieur Archived 2007-10-14 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "President Macron continues Covid isolation in Versailles". Connexion France. 18 December 2020. Retrieved 18 December 2020.