National sheepfold

The National Sheepfold of Rambouillet was created in 1784 by Louis XVI. It is located in the park of the château de Rambouillet. It occupies 250 ha of the area which has about 1,100. The National Sheepfold of Rambouillet aimed to improve wool production and agriculture in the country.

The establishment acquired its fame around the world thanks to its exceptional flock of Merino sheep imported from Spain at the request of the king in 1786. This flock had, in the XIXth century, an important role in the improvement of the wools of Many countries.

The loft remains one of the most imposing in Ile-de-France, it could accommodate more than 1000 pairs of pigeons. About twenty meters high, it is surmounted by a lead lantern on which stands a spike in the shape of a dove.

Over the centuries, the establishment has regularly returned to its primary vocation as a breeding farm for the experimentation and training of agricultural professionals. Its orientations varied according to the needs of the Nation. Today, the building includes an experimental farm which acts as a genetic conservatory for the Rambouillet Merino, a sheep of which it maintains the only herd existing in France. The National Sheepfold is since 1926 a school of shepherds then, in 1939, the seat of the National School of sheep breeding.

The sheepfold was listed as a historic monument in 1944.

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Location : 78120 Rambouillet / Ile-de-France / France