Jean de La Fontaine, the most famous of the fabulists, was born in Château-Thierry in July 1621. His birthplace, in which he spent his entire childhood and part of his adult life, is still there and has been transformed into a museum. It offers visitors the opportunity to discover the man behind the poet.
His father, Charles de La Fontaine, being master of the town’s waters and forests, young Jean de La Fontaine spent his childhood in the heart of the nature surrounding Château-Thierry. This closeness to nature and its inhabitants certainly forged the imagination and bestiary of his fables that are so famous today.
We can easily imagine the young de La Fontaine wandering through the forests of the area and the vineyard landscapes. In fact, he says it himself in one of his fables, “I am a man of Champagne.”
Back to his roots.
Despite his success in Paris, he kept returning to his Champagne region, to Château-Thierry, where he fulfilled the office he had inherited from his father, took a rest, and cultivated his tales through the rumors and gossip that were told in Château-Thierry’s Town Hall Square.
As for his wife, Marie Héricart, and his son, Charles, they remain in Château-Thierry.
All along your stroll through Château-Thierry, you may see tributes to Jean de La Fontaine. Paintings, quotations, statues, everything here reminds us of the presence of Jean de La Fontaine, his fables and his imprint on French literature.