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Nemours Mansion and Gardens
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The Nemours Mansion and Gardens is a 300-acre country estate with jardin à la française formal gardens and a classical French mansion in Wilmington, Delaware, USA.
Built to resemble a French château, its 105 rooms on five floors occupy nearly 47,000 sq ft.
It shares the grounds with the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, both owned by the Nemours Foundation at 1600 Rockland Road.
The estate is part of the Du Pont family legacy and is located on the DuPont Historic Corridor.
Nemours was created by Alfred I. du Pont in 1909–10 as a gift for his second wife, Alicia, and named for the north central French town affiliated with his great-great-grandfather, Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours. Carrère and Hastings designed it, and the architecture is of the Louis XVI-Rococo style of French architecture.
The mansion contains rare French 18th-century furniture and an eclectic collection of notable antiques, works of art and tapestries. Artworks range from 16th-century religious works to paintings by the European masters to early works by Americans Frederic Remington and Sidney Lawrence.
Of particular interest is a rare Louis XVI musical clock, circa 1785, by David Roentgen and Peter Kinzing, which plays four tunes on a dulcimer and pipe organ. Another clock at the mansion with a connection to French royalty is one made for Marie Antoinette, which she never received.
The mansion also has a chair from the 1937 coronation of King George VI, an event which was attended by Alfred I. du Pont's third wife Jessie, and a chair from Independence Hall. Alfred I. du Pont's own portrait is also in the mansion.
The estate has the most developed and largest jardin à la française (French formal garden)-style landscape park and collection of individual gardens in North America.
The design is patterned after the gardens of Versailles surrounding the Petit Trianon at the Château de Versailles. Their central axis extends ⅓ of a mile from the mansion facade, paralleling the main avenue leading to the house.
The grounds are beautifully landscaped with plantings, fountains, pools, a carillon tower, statuary and a pavilion surrounded by naturalized woodlands.
The named features include:
*The Boxwood Garden – French parterre garden with boxwood edging and a central faun fountain.
*The Colonnade (1926) – memorial to Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours and his son Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, designed by Thomas Hastings.
*The Maze Garden – a maze garden with main hedges of Western Arborvitae 'Spring Grove', inner hedges of Japanese Barberry 'Crimson Pygmy', and central statue of Achievement, by Henri Crenier, atop a base with images of Triton and Neptune's face.
*The Reflecting Pool (1 acre) – 40 feet (12 m) in diameter, with 157 jets, backed by Japanese cryptomeria, pink flowering horse chestnut, and pin oaks.
*The Sunken Gardens – designed by Alfred Victor du Pont and Gabriel Masséna. Features large lake, grottoes, and 1930 statue by Charles-Marie Sarrabezolles (1888–1971). A. V. du Pont (1900-1970) was the only son of the owner and an architect trained at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
*The Temple of Love – in classical style, with life-sized statue of Diana (1780) by Jean-Antoine Houdon.
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