Whether you are spending a few days in the Creusot-Montceau area or just passing by Saone-et-Loire, the majestic Villa Perrusson, jewel of architecture of the Ceramic Valley, is an absolute must-see.
Listed as a historical monument, the family home of the Perrusson and Desfontaines showcases the local expertise in ceramic work tiles, bricks and pottery ornaments during the golden age of ceramics in Burgundy in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Only a few kilometres away from le Creusot, the Villa Perrusson and its enchanting landscaped gardens are located in the quaint village of Ecuisse, one of France most important production centres of ceramic, set by the canal du Centre, formally used for the transportation of goods and coal.
Entering through the gates, you can catch a glimpse of the exuberant facades ornamented with colourful ceramic art. Get a closer look at the sumptuous facades of the two adjoining pavilions; admire the details of this unique concentration of ceramic pieces from all angles. Notice the colourful terracotta and polychrome ceramic decorations of the roofs, produced in partnership with the architect Tony Ferret and various artists from art schools in Lyon and Paris.
The magic of the garden of the Perrusson villa
Take some time to stroll in the peaceful English garden created by the talented landscape designer François Dubreuil. The lawns, the trees, the fine scents of flowers and plants reveal many colours and contrasts. This lush greenery is embellished by an orangery and a pond surrounded by water plants. Do you notice the mirror-effect reflecting the Villa at the surface of the pond? Do you feel this wow-effect now?
A life-size catalogue
This wow-effect is precisely the purpose of the Villa Perrusson. Built between 1869 and 1895 near the railway tracks to offer a breath-taking view of the Villa to train passengers, the residence Perrusson-Desfontaines was designed to seduce and impress all visitors. A symbol of the family’s wealth and success, it provided above all a real catalogue of the company’s products for potential buyers to appreciate the quality of the ceramics before placing an order. A smart and innovative marketing strategy for the beginning of the 20th century!
An exceptional testimony of the local industrial past
The story of the Perrusson family began in 1860 with Jean-Marie Perrusson, the son of a bargee from the Canal du Centre. With the abundance of local clay extracted on site, he developed the production of ceramic pieces, founded a brick factory in 1860, a tile factory in 1862 and a ceramic factory, playing a huge role in the industrial development of the "Ceramic Valley". The growth was immediate and the company employed up to 750 workers.
The Perrusson tiles, ceramics and statues became nationally renowned and the company had the privilege of exhibiting at the Paris World Fair in 1889. The Villa Perrusson illustrates perfectly the success, the business and communication skills of this family of entrepreneurs who influenced so much the architecture of the whole area of Creusot-Montceau.
The Ecomuseum Creusot Montceau
Villa Perrusson is today the last remarkable heritage of the Perrusson-Desfontaines family. Listed historic monument in 2001, the urban community council of Creusot-Montceau undertook a vast restoration program of almost 2 million euros to allow the public to enjoy the site safely and for it to become part of the Ecomuseum Creusot- Montceau.
Beside the guided tours, Villa Perrusson hosts a huge cultural program of outdoor concerts, exhibitions and live shows in the summer months. A perfect opportunity to enjoy entertainment in such an elegant, stunning setting!