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“Chartres & La Maison Picassiette by train from Paris”

La Maison Picassiette
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Chartres Old Town and Cathedral Tour from Paris
Ranked #4 of 42 things to do in Chartres
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed October 12, 2013

A very interesting attraction and an amusing foil for the cathedral! We visited on a Saturday in late September - it was quite quiet. We took a train from Paris leaving at 11:06am arriving 1hr layer in Chartres. Trains leave from Gare Montparnasse with 2 or 3 services per hour. We did the cathedral first as La Maison Picassiette is closed for lunch until 2:00pm.

You need a miniumum of 30 minutes there but 60 minutes would not be unreasonable. There were professional photographers there when we were there and I was not confident that the public were able to take photos - and staff do keep an eye on you. Do an image search on Google, there are plenty there! There are excellent public toilets on the premises.

You catch a number 4 bus (E1.10 fare), direction "La Madeline" - don't do what we did and jumped on the first No 4 bus we saw which went in the opposite direction! You could walk but is is 2-3 kilometers along a busy road and would not be the most pleasant of experiences... We went back to the station to catch the bus, but there is a bus stop on the main road outside the cathedral which takes you in the right direction - i.e. out of town. Look out for the correct stop, it is called Picassiette - it is announced automatically on the bus and there is an electronic display as well. Cross the road when when you get off the bus - it is in a small suburban street, well signed, You walk up the street for about 100m it's on the right.

We got back to Paris around 5:00pm after a pleasant day trip!

7  Thank Ozzyjack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"broken crockery"
in 4 reviews
"glass pieces"
in 3 reviews
"small house"
in 2 reviews
"mosaic art"
in 2 reviews
"mosaic work"
in 2 reviews
"spent years"
in 2 reviews
"the kitchen"
in 2 reviews
in 4 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 7 reviews
in 17 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 8 reviews
in 17 reviews
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42 - 46 of 294 reviews

Reviewed August 19, 2013

You will need to take a bus or walk about 2.5 kilometers each way to visit this charming labor-of-love folk art destination. The entire house and surrounding yard was covered with mosaic made from broken dishes and bottles, sometimes in astounding detail. The art is simple, honest and generally well kept, although some of the painted murals are starting to fade badly. There was not bus service on Sundays or holidays and it could be difficult to find without GPS, but it’s not a bad walk on a sunny day.

3  Thank Norman H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

If you are looking for something unique to do off the beaten path without tourist crowds then this is it. Maison Picassiette is in a residential area away from the Chartres city center but well worth the detour in my opinion. You'll never have seen anything like it before.

Raymond Isidore (1900-1964) built this modest house in 1930 and then one day in 1938 found some broken dishes and glass while on a walk and brought them home. He started decorating the interior in mosaics and painting on every available surface, and afterwards he started work on the exterior, decorating a small chapel he built on the property, the garden and courtyard. He dedicated 30 years to his art works. The result is stunning and unlike anything I have ever seen. It is funky, unusual and beautiful. I adored it. When Isidore died, his widow stayed until 1979 until she went into a retirement home. Then the city of Chartres acquired the house in 1981 and it became a national historical monument in 1984.

Raymond Isidore was called Picassiette, which comes from the phrase “pique-assiette” and is a derogatory term meaning scrounger. He was taken as a real nut in his day and ridiculed. It seems there has always been a fine line between genius and insanity. I find his work brilliant.

They must have changed their policy on photos because we stayed at least an hour and I freely took photos all over. I would have been so disappointed to have come and not been able to take photos of this amazing little place. You just have to see it to believe it.

We didn’t buy the little guidebook but the man at the register kindly offered us a dog-eared copy (in French) to borrow that we took around with us so we could understand what we were seeing. I had only asked if they had a brochure or some explanation of the site. He didn’t even try to sell the guidebook, which is very nice but a bit expensive for what it is. There were only about three other people there when we visited.

In the past I have driven by and it was always closed, wrong time of the year. So be sure to check on dates and opening times before you go. No reservations needed. It is off the beaten tourist path, outside of the center of Chartres, but well worth the visit. There are very clean toilets on-site.

5  Thank MiaGlobetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

If you plan to spend some time to Chartres, go to the maison Picassiette.
It's a very small house with absolulty everything cover with piece of plates and dishes!
Kids love it, for you it's a curiosity and the oppotunity to make some funny pictures

2  Thank mc42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 3, 2013

If you have time, you should go here. It is astonishing. Buy the guide book to give you the detailed information you need to fully appreciate the place. Picassiette is probably unique, and almost defies description. Everything is decorated with pieces of crockery or glass or paintings or all three, even the kitchen stove, furniture, and the sewing machine.

Thank royvdbb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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