An old farmhouse in Yvelines where the future of Europe was decided.
Jean Monnet bought the house in the hamlet of Houjarray in 1945, when he returned from the United States to take up official duties in Paris.
The charm and location of this picturesque thatched cottage suited his habit of reflecting in nature and taking a walk in the woods in the early morning. The interior matched the occupant – simple and warm.
It was in this thatched cottage that Jean Monnet discussed the future of Europe with the most senior politicians of the time. Here, in the final days of April 1950, that he and his associates wrote Robert Schuman’s historic declaration. Addressing Europe on 9 May, the Minister for Foreign Affairs proposed the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ESCA), which laid the foundations for the first European Community.
On Sundays, the Monnets would receive visits from friends and their families. They loved to talk by the fire, or under the shade of large trees.
Jean Monnet died in his house on 16 March 1979.
The site has been owned by the European Parliament since 1982. Monnet’s daughter, Marianne, and his closest aides dreamed of seeing his family home opened up to the public, particularly young people, and in keeping with their wishes the European Parliament converted it into a museum. This transformation has made it an ideal place to learn about the history of European integration and about the life and work of one of the architects of today’s Europe.
The permanent exhibition, which was entirely renovated in 2019, showcases the life and work of Jean Monnet. It is here that visitors can immerse themselves in the place where the idea of a united Europe took its first steps towards reality.