Retaining wall of Château Conti in L’Isle-Adam under construction

Retaining wall of Château Conti in L’Isle-Adam under construction

Photos before and during work at Château Conti, in L’Isle-Adam (Val-d’Oise). The wall is 5 to 6 meters high. (© The Val-d’Oise Gazette)

After the collapse of the retaining wall of the Château de Conti in L’Isle-Adam (Val-d’Oise) it was necessary to start work.

The Castle of Conti, located on the island of La Cohue, is an element that characterizes the city as bourgeois, as well as its pavilions and small castles that were built during the golden age of the agglomeration.

“We are concerned about preserving the heritage. The city has a rich history that we want to defend,” says Morgan Touboul, ward councilor (Lr) and deputy mayor of L’Isle-Adam.

Inevitable renovations

The latest surveys have pointed to many problems. Historical analysis and a health report were able to highlight the extent of the restorations carried out in the 19th centuryE and XXE century, especially with the restoration of retaining wall segments and the installation of some balustrades.

“At that time the stones were reused. We notice it in their form, explains the chosen one. With the passage of time and bad weather, work became a necessity. It’s a public place. The stone retaining walls gradually separated from their supports with the risk of collapsing, a serious hazard. »

139 stone blocks

The work, which began in July, will take place in several phases.

“They relate to both structural reinforcements and restitution approaches aimed at providing a coherent reading of the entire site,” reveals Morgan Touboul.

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Due to the sanitary condition of the walls, it was therefore decided to prioritize the restoration of the wall masonry, the restoration of all the high balustrades of the facade facing the Oise, the west wall perpendicular to the tunnels and the entrance to the underground tunnels.

It comes from the mid-18th centuryE century, “the retaining wall is contemporary with the old castle and will be completely rebuilt,” adds the department councilor. 139 removed stone blocks will be reinstalled. The largest weighs a ton. The work is massive and subtle as you have to work each stone without breaking it. The work is taking place on the edge of the banks, it is a sensitive place. »

cut stone

In order to make the building as safe as possible, the project consists of clearing the entire area and its surroundings to access the places, rehabilitating them by laying stones obtained on site, sealing with mortar and ensuring the installation of a balustrade.

“The first wall was partially dismantled because it was collapsing, which threatened the foundations of the castle. In places, the spacing of the stones was measured between 30 and 40 centimeters. The wall was badly damaged, especially by the vegetation growing between the stones,” the deputy mayor points out.

The loosening of the elevations, the poor condition of the stones and the ubiquity of climbing plants are symptoms of the influence of time and adverse weather as well as previous restoration works.

Neither the castle nor the wall are classified as historical monuments. No subsidy was provided to the city for these works. She saved money to finance them.

The amount is approximately EUR 700,000, which is a significant amount for a municipality that has had to budget for several years. Other, less urgent work will be done in time.

Elodie PICARD

The mysteries of Château Conti

The currently rebuilt wall is later than the construction of the others. “It is not listed in the archives and is therefore not datable. It does not appear on any plan and we do not know why it was built, says Morgan Touboul. There are many mysteries hidden in this castle and in the city. Underground galleries are present all over the island. Inside were kitchens, storerooms and even hay for the horses. Urban legend says that you can find treasures there. »

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