Emmanuel Macron moved to Fort de Brégançon, the summer residence of the Presidents of the Republic in the Var, on July 30. He took a summer break there, presented as “studious”. From General de Gaulle, who was the first to sleep there, to François Hollande, discover the Presidents’ Fort.
Located in the town of Bormes-les-Mimosas, this 17th century castle perched on a rocky outcrop linked to the coast by an artificial jetty, with a helipad and a small private beach, overlooks a superb turquoise sea.
Coming to preside over the ceremonies of the 20th anniversary of the Allied landing in Provence, the General de Gaulle was the first head of state to spend the night there, on August 25, 1964, but it was not until 4 years later that Fort Brégançon was permanently assigned to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs to serve as an official residence.
Pierre-Jean Guth, architect of the French Navy, transformed the military building into a pleasant residence while respecting what remained of the fortress, which remains quite austere.
Over the years, the presidents follow one another, with more or less regularity. Georges Pompidou and his wife stayed there several times, and his successor Valéry Giscard d’Estaing The same program runs every year: Brégançon is a week in summer, two days at Pentecost and a weekend in winter.
It was during one of these passages at the fort that the break with Jacques Chirac, then his Prime Minister, was sealed. François Mitterrand, he will only very rarely go to Brégançon, but he receives German Chancellor Helmut Kohl there in 1985 and spends the Easter weekend there 10 years later, a few days before the presidential election.
He then received a few journalists there, and sought to put an end to alarmist rumors about his state of health, while assuring that “naturally” he would vote for Lionel Jospin – finally beaten by Jacques Chirac.
Fairly simple building
Unlike his predecessor, and even if he confided in “getting bored” there, the latter will greatly contribute to the legend of the place, by making many stays there, by attending mass in Bormes-les-Mimosas … and thanks to a photo of him in the simplest device, binoculars around his neck, on a balcony of the Fort.
Made by one of the paparazzi sailing off the building during each presidential stay, it had never been published.
Jacques Chirac confided in “getting bored”
Barely elected, Nicolas sarkozy For his part, went to the fort on May 18, 2007 with his ex-wife Cécilia. He had prepared the first legal texts for his five-year term there but did not return until the end of August 2010, for a pre-school meeting, often preferring to spend his holidays a few kilometers away, in Cap-Nègre, in the villa of the family of his third wife, Carla Bruni.
François Hollande, finally, had spent his first presidential vacation there in the summer of 2012, but had the unfortunate surprise of being photographed in a swimsuit with his partner Valérie Trierweiler by paparazzi, and had never returned. The photos had won a lawsuit against the magazine VSD which had published them.
In 2014, the socialist president even made the fort accessible to the public, in summer, and only by reservation. Visitors will discover neither a swimming pool nor a tennis court, but a fairly simple building with narrow windows, decorated with 1970s furniture but tiled with Provençal terracotta tiles.
In the Middle Ages, the castle of Brégançon, then located on the continent, and not on the island where the fort is located today, and its territory belong to the viscounts of Marseille.
The fort will remain occupied by a garrison for centuries, Napoleon Bonaparte reinforcing the building which he equips with an imposing artillery, just like the French government after the war of 1870.
It will be decommissioned in 1919, after the First World War. The state then rents the fort to individuals until 1963.
What program for Emmanuel Macron summer 2021 version?
And if Emmanuel Macron’s program has not been revealed, nor the precise duration of his stay in the Var, he could participate as every year in the ceremony commemorating the Landing in Provence in mid-August in Bormes-les -Mimosas, where he had offered himself in previous years a walkabout with the inhabitants, in the company of his wife.
Last year, his vacation in south-eastern France was disrupted by the terrible explosion in the port of Beirut that killed more than 200 people on August 4, and his visit to the scene two days later. In addition to the uncertainties of the news, the Head of State, like the government, will also follow the evolution of the Covid-19 crisis, which will be the subject of one or two Defense Councils by videoconference, including the first is announced on August 11.