Located at the heart of Avenue de Champagne in Épernay, Château Perrier is a majestic sight. This prestigious residence commissioned by Charles Perrier (1813-1878) quickly became known as a “château” because of its size, ostentatious style, decorative features and interiors. Though not spared the ravages of time, this splendid building, acquired by Épernay City Council in 1943, has recently been renovated in order to house the Museum of Champagne Wine and Regional Archaeology, opening in 2020.
Between 1852 and 1857, Charles Perrier, proprietor of the Perrier-Jouët Champagne House and mayor of Épernay from 1854 to 1870, commissioned the building of a luxurious private residence. Designed in Louis XIII style influenced by the late Romantic tradition, it is regarded as the first example of eclectic architecture in provincial France. A work of art in itself, the building was awarded historic monument status in 2013.
Épernay architect Pierre Eugène Cordier designed four different facades, drawing inspiration from famous buildings such as the Palais du Luxembourg, Tuileries Palace and Lescot Wing of the Louvre. The sculpted decorative features draw on the styles of centuries past, enhanced by a play of colours created by different materials: brick, stone, slate and glass.
The outstanding interiors, marquetry wooden floors and neo-18th century railings were created by skilled artisans who worked on the Louvre, Garnier Opera House and Paris City Hall.
In 1877, Charles Perrier commissioned the installation of one of the first private lifts in France, serving the smoking room created in the attics.
Converted into a museum in the 1950s, the building gradually fell victim to the ravages of time and finally closed in 1998. Now fully refurbished, it has become the Museum of Champagne Wine and Regional Archaeology, and houses a remarkable collection of Champagne artefacts. The museum is also one of 50 museums in France with a collection of over 100,000 artefacts.
Château Perrier, Museum of Champagne Wine and Regional Archaeology, 13 avenue de Champagne – 51200 Épernay
Tel.: +33 3 26 55 03 56.