Purple Travel

[October 27 2010]

Les Roches Noires, Trouville

Les Roches Noires is an old palace at the far end of the beach of Trouville, on the Normandy coast in France, which has been transformed into a private residence after its decline. This ship of stones and bricks was erected in 1866, and partly rebuilt by the architect Robert Mallet Stevens. With its grand mass, flanked by two parallel wings, and its windows opening onto the sea, it is one of Trouville’s secret spots. Proust frequented this hotel between 1880 and 1915, moreover he dedicated his text Les choses normandes to it. Monet has painted it, but it is especially the writer Marguerite Duras who is emblematic of this place. She took up residence in Les Roches Noires in 1963, wrote Le ravissement de Lol. V Stein in her room, and used the hotel as a decorum for her film Agatha et les lectures illimitées, with the French new wave star Bulle Ogier. That’s may be why Duras’ writings and films keep the spirit of this historic place afloat, as well as her love affair with Yann Andrea which started by a visit there. Although the Roches Noires has been classified as an historical monument, no public visit are allowed Photo Olivier Zahm and text Pierre-Alexandre Mateos


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