Illiers-Combray celebrates the return of Aunt Léonie’s house, an emblematic place of Marcel Proust’s childhood

A New Chapter for a Place Steeped in History

Imagine walking in the footsteps of Marcel Proust, this giant of French literature, exploring the rooms and gardens where he spent so many formative moments. The famous Aunt Léonie’s house in Illiers-Combray, recently renovated after two years of closure, has just reopened its doors to the public. This residence, essential to understanding Proust’s universe, served as a model for Aunt Léonie’s home in her masterful work, “In Search of Lost Time”.

The investment of four million euros made it possible to restore the former splendor of this house, while adding a modern and welcoming museum space. The reopening of this site promises to boost local tourism and revive interest in the life and work of Proust.

Diving into the Proustian Universe

Upon crossing the threshold of the house, visitors are transported into the world of the early 20th century, a time when Marcel Proust drew his inspiration here. The writer’s mother’s bedroom, for example, has been meticulously restored to reflect the atmosphere and lifestyle of the time, with period furniture and personal items that belonged to the Proust family.

The museum is not limited to being a simple replica of a bourgeois house from the Belle Époque. It also offers a multimedia immersion, with interactive installations that narrate the life of Proust, his writings, and the significant impact of his works on world literature.

A Project of Passion and Dedication

The renovation project was guided by a deep passion for preserving history while making it accessible to all. Élodie Massouline, head of the conservation department at the Eure-et-Loir departmental council, emphasizes that the objective was to make Marcel Proust and his world accessible without oversimplifying his complex work.

“Let no one say to themselves: ‘It’s not for me,'” she recalled, insisting on the fact that the house is open to everyone, from scholars to the simply curious.

A Beating Heart for Proustian Tourism

Aunt Léonie’s house is more than a museum; it is a meeting point for Proust admirers from all over the world. Illiers-Combray, transformed into Combray in the work of Proust, now welcomes its visitors with an enriched offer which promises to enhance the cultural and historical experience.

In addition to visiting the house, tourists can explore the village, its alleys which inspired some of the most famous passages of French literature, and immerse themselves in the unique atmosphere which influenced one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. century.

This reopening is not just a victory for cultural preservation, but a vibrant tribute to the universality of the themes explored by Proust, and an invitation to rediscover his genius, where it all began.