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Chateau de Saint Aubin
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Saint Aubin sur Loire

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Presentation of the Château [Description] [Architect]

The architect of the Château

Coming from a Burgundy family of carpenters and surveyors dating back to 1593, the architect, Edme Verniquet, was born on October 10, 1727 in Châtillon sur Seine (Côte d'Or-21) and died on November 24, 1804 in Paris.

His father, surveyor to the King, a specialist in the waters and forests of Châtillon, provided his training until his death in 1751, the date on which Edme succeeded him.

Following his marriage in 1763, Verniquet left for Dijon, where he associated with many artists (painters, architects, sculptors) and with whom, several years later, he founded a workshop under the name of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Dijon (the Dijon Fine Arts School).

During this period, the architect made the acquaintance of the famous naturalist Georges Louis Leclerc, the Count of Buffon (Montbard 1707-Paris 1788), who offered him the opportunity to come work in Paris where the naturalist would become his protector.

Of Edme Verniquet's extremely fertile career in Burgundy, we know very little.

vue aérienne du chateau de saint aubin

In 1801, while soliciting a place at the Institute, Verniquet drew up l'Etat de plusieurs édifices construits par le citoyen Verniquet, architecte (The state of several buildings constructed by Citizen Verniquet, architect), but not all of the undertakings attributed to him are identified in this work, nonetheless, let us mention the south façade of the Château de Digoine in Palinges, the Château du Vigneau, and the Château Sarrien in Bourbon-Lancy.

In 1772, Edme Verniquet installed himself in Paris, where his career would follow two major axes: his profession as architect, which firstly he practiced primarily among his Burgundy relations; but secondly, also a substantial project to which he would devote a significant part of his life (around 30 years): The Paris Master Map.

During his career as architect, Verniquet participated in building individual residences, but also in large projects such as the building of an abbey, and the most important without a doubt, the Garden of the King for which he was hired by Buffon from 1780 to 1788 (date of the naturalist's death) in the position of architect, a title, however, that he did not hold.

Starting in 1734, the Comte de Buffon initiated work to make significant extensions and engaged in large-scale renovations, work that Verniquet participated in, at the office of natural history, the new gallery, the kiosk for the labyrinth, and even, the amphitheater.

In parallel to these undertakings, in 1774, he purchased one of the offices of general commissioner of roads.

He was charged with presenting to the Office his reports concerning the affairs of the major roadways, and could in his own right grant authorizations for smaller roads, but had to proceed with operations for alignment ordered by the Treasurers and to do this, a copy of the partial plans for the streets of Paris was necessary.

Up until 1774-1775, the commissioners were still referring to the very detailed map from the Abbott Jean Delarue dated from 1728, however the authorities felt the need to draw up a general map having great precision with respect to land surveys.

Edme Verniquet set himself to this vast task with no financial support, and did so for 8 years. The architect would be required to wait until 1783 for the program of street embellishment and alignment in order for his work to be recognized.

This would be the first accurate map of Paris. It acted as the topographical basis for most of the maps in the 19th century and remains superposable over current maps.


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Chateau de Saint Aubin