LA FAUCONNERIE DU ROY: the enchanted kingdom of the Falconers

During the reign of King Louis XIV, the falcon was used as a symbol of power. The position of “Falconer of France” was one of the three most prestigious and envied positions at court. The presentation of falcons usually takes place in the Hall of Mirrors at the Château de Versailles, on the occasion of the visit of ambassadors bringing the king their compliments for the New Year. Only the kings of the north and the grand falconer were allowed to place a falcon on the king's hand. The King of Denmark, by virtue of an ancient tradition, gave falcons to the King of France.
In 1688, the offices of grand falconer and falconer of the king's cabinet (the king's personal birds) were separated. The king favored cabinet flying “when he wished to amuse his children in the art of hunting with birds of prey” (Newton, Les chevaux et les chiens du roi à Versailles au XVIIIe siècle, 2015). The Fauconnerie du cabinet du Roy moved to Montainville. Nearby is the ru de Gally, which rises in Versailles. The land is marshy and teeming with game of all kinds.
Captain Forget takes charge of La Fauconnerie du cabinet du Roy. “Sieur Forget is entirely independent of the great falconer and receives orders only from the King” (Osmont, L'Etat de la France, 1702).

The estate comprises a total of 8 hectares of grounds: formal gardens and cultivated fields. There are 4 types of personnel in the King's cabinet: officers, five master falconers, 9 piqueurs (mounted hunting valets who lead a pack), a porte-duc, four garde-pêches and a garde épagneuls, falconers, cage-carriers and daily grooms” (AN, O/1, 70 fol. 153). The art of falconry was in the hands of the Flemish of Antwerp (in particular Arendonck and Valckenvers), who brought in birds from Scandinavia and Russia. Many of these Flemings, such as the Cornoedus, Vangorps and Coppens families, settled in Montainville and established themselves there. The staff of the King's Cabinet Falconry represented some sixty jobs, whose activity, in addition to creating a lively atmosphere in the surrounding area, provided the village with additional income to that generated by agriculture. Master falconers are a caste of small notables.

La Fauconnerie du Roy celebrates the memory of the Royal Art of Falconry of the Kings of France with its presence and proud allure. For over two decades, the OGER family has worked tirelessly to preserve this emblematic site, carefully guarding the precious heritage it bears and resolutely protecting the treasures it houses. Through their tireless commitment, they ensure that the secrets and memory of the Fauconnerie du Roy are passed on to future generations, weaving a bridge between past, present and future in this beautiful land of France.

As an LPO (Ligue de Protection des Oiseaux) refuge, LA FAUCONNERIE DU ROY takes part in actions to protect and reintegrate birds of prey, in collaboration with the local association ATENA 78 (see their website:
the park at LA FAUCONNERIE features nesting boxes for birds of prey (titmice, robins, nuthatches, black-tailed owls and tawny owls), enabling birdwatchers to observe the birds from a completely immersive vantage point.
In the evening, you'll be lulled to sleep by the songs of the tawny owls and little owls....


"The great charm of the village of Montainville lies not only in its privileged location overlooking the Mauldre valley, but also in the fact that it has remained largely unchanged over the centuries.
The privilege of finding such a strangely preserved site 35km from Paris has encouraged its inhabitants to perpetuate the style of its buildings.
Situated on the edge of the plateau, Montainville's charm differs depending on whether you come from the valley or the plateau. From the valley, you discover a village clinging to the hillside, nestled in trees and greenery.
From the plateau, it gradually emerges, seemingly floating on a sea of wheat. It has the charm of a village that has been 'forgotten' by progress and industrialization for a century..."

Jacques TRETON in Histoire de Montaiville en Pincerais - 1998

The tranquility and charm of Montainville have attracted many artists. BOURVIL lived here for many years and is buried in the village cemetery. Montainville has played host to numerous short and feature films, including Daniel BERNARD's 1978 French series “Un ours pas comme les autres”, Coline Serreau's 1992 “La Crise”, Michel BLANC's 1994 “Grosse fatigue”, and “la maison de Mall” (Marion Cotillard) in the 2010 film “Inception”.