Prangins is a Swiss municipality in the canton of Vaud, located in the district of Nyon. Prangins is located on the shores of Lake Geneva between Lausanne and Geneva. The village is separated in two by a railway axis. The Municipality has an area of 609 ha, staggered between 372.20 and 432 meters above sea level. Surrounded by the municipalities of Nyon, Duillier, Coinsins, Vich and Gland.
In Prangins, history is present in several places. Many traces of its past are to be discovered, especially in the center of the village, and at the Château, the French-speaking branch of the Swiss National Museum. Prangins also offers some interesting tourist points such as the edge of the lake at Promenthoux, where you can find the pretty beach of Promenthoux, the site of Abériaux which hosts a marina, or the aerodrome, relay of the aviators for the Coast.
Prangins is first mentioned around 1135-85 as Prengins. Following the fall of the Second French Empire, Prince Napoléon Bonaparte and his wife, Princess Maria Clotilde of Savoy, resided in exile at Château de Prangins, where Charles I of Austria and his family would later take residence briefly, beginning 20 May 1919.
As of 2010, Prangins had an unemployment rate of 5%. As of 2008, there were 36 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 11 businesses involved in this sector. 746 people were employed in the secondary sector and there were 17 businesses in this sector. 550 people were employed in the tertiary sector, with 85 businesses in this sector. There were 1,629 residents of the municipality who were employed in some capacity, of which females made up 44.9% of the workforce.
In 2008 the total number of full-time equivalent jobs was 1,227. The number of jobs in the primary sector was 25, of which 23 were in agriculture and 2 were in forestry or lumber production. The number of jobs in the secondary sector was 717 of which 628 or (87.6%) were in manufacturing and 89 (12.4%) were in construction. The number of jobs in the tertiary sector was 485. In the tertiary sector; 41 or 8.5% were in wholesale or retail sales or the repair of motor vehicles, 14 or 2.9% were in the movement and storage of goods, 41 or 8.5% were in a hotel or restaurant, 7 or 1.4% were in the information industry, 8 or 1.6% were the insurance or financial industry, 24 or 4.9% were technical professionals or scientists, 23 or 4.7% were in education and 134 or 27.6% were in health care.
In 2000, there were 1,017 workers who commuted into the municipality and 1,312 workers who commuted away. The municipality is a net exporter of workers, with about 1.3 workers leaving the municipality for every one entering. About 7.3% of the workforce coming into Prangins are coming from outside Switzerland, while 0.1% of the locals commute out of Switzerland for work. Of the working population, 18.4% used public transportation to get to work, and 65.8% used a private car.
From the 2000 census, 1,092 or 34.9% were Roman Catholic, while 1,085 or 34.6% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. Of the rest of the population, there were 26 members of an Orthodox church (or about 0.83% of the population), there were 4 individuals (or about 0.13% of the population) who belonged to the Christian Catholic Church, and there were 141 individuals (or about 4.50% of the population) who belonged to another Christian church. There were 9 individuals (or about 0.29% of the population) who were Jewish, and 54 (or about 1.72% of the population) who were Islamic. There were 2 individuals who were Buddhist, 8 individuals who were Hindu and 7 individuals who belonged to another church. 542 (or about 17.30% of the population) belonged to no church, are agnostic or atheist, and 213 individuals (or about 6.80% of the population) did not answer the question.
In Prangins about 1,073 or (34.2%) of the population have completed non-mandatory upper secondary education, and 744 or (23.7%) have completed additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule). Of the 744 who completed tertiary schooling, 42.2% were Swiss men, 27.3% were Swiss women, 16.9% were non-Swiss men and 13.6% were non-Swiss women.
In the 2009/2010 school year there were a total of 443 students in the Prangins school district. In the Vaud cantonal school system, two years of non-obligatory pre-school are provided by the political districts. During the school year, the political district provided pre-school care for a total of 1,249 children of which 563 children (45.1%) received subsidized pre-school care. The canton’s primary school program requires students to attend for four years. There were 243 students in the municipal primary school program. The obligatory lower secondary school program lasts for six years and there were 196 students in those schools. There were also 4 students who were home schooled or attended another non-traditional school.
Prangins is home to 1 museum, the Musée national suisse – Château de Prangins. In 2009 it was visited by 54,703 visitors (the average in previous years was 53,583).
As of 2000, there were 18 students in Prangins who came from another municipality, while 293 residents attended schools outside the municipality.
The castle of Prangins dates from the first half of the 18th century. It has housed the French-speaking section of the Swiss National Museum since 1998. Like the Villa les Bleuets, it is listed as a Swiss cultural property of national importance. The temple of Prangins (1757-1761) replaces an old Romanesque church, which became a parish again in 1671, but which was no more than an old small building opposite the castle, on the south side. The new temple is located opposite the main courtyard of the castle, beyond the large French-style garden very deep in it. The architect was the Genevan Jean-Louis Bovet I, the father (1699-1766). Bell tower rebuilt in 1860 by architect Louis Wenger. On the territory of the municipality is also the transmitter HBG as well as a monument of the Vaudois (August 16, 1689) commemorating the return to Piedmont. The Aerodrome La Côte (ICAO:LSGP) is situated between Prangins and Gland which hosted a fly-in in 2009.
The Château de Prangins is located on the edge of the Vaudois village of Prangins, in Switzerland. The castle is the site of Swiss national museums. He completed a large vegetable garden where are cultivated varieties of plants of the 18th century. Prangins Castle with the National Museum and the Villa Les Bleuets are listed as Swiss heritage site of national significance. The entire village of Prangins is part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites.
Prangins Castle has been a seat of power for centuries. The first record of the domain is from 1096. The current building dates from 1732, and has been extensively restored and furnished in the original style. The gardens are particularly unusual as they include an extensive sunken kitchen garden which has been replanted to match its original 18th century organisation.
An earlier building on the site was destroyed in 1293 by the Dukes of Savoy. It was rebuilt and changed hands repeatedly over the coming centuries. Nicholas de Diesbach enlarged the property in 1613. His family ceded the property to Emilie de Nassau in 1627. The demesne was sold in 1656.
It was sold again in 1719, this time to Jean Rieu, a Genevan citizen and a Paris banker. Four years later, in 1723, he passed it on to another Paris banker, Louis Guiguer. Guiger, who was originally from the canton of St Gallen, built the palace you see today. The building on the site was probably close to a ruin.
Voltaire and Napoleon
The castle was inherited by Guiger’s nephew, Jean-George. He gave Voltaire, who was then exiled from France, the use of the property. In 1755 Jean-George Guiguer came to live at Prangins. He commissioned the temple and improved the gardens. After his death, Prangins passed to his son, Louis-François Guiguer de Prangins. Starting in 1771, Louis-François kept a journal detailing the daily life of the region. Over the following 15 years, he filled 7 volumes. His writings form a key part of the current museum offering.
His son and heir, Charles-Jules, became a general in the Swiss army. In 1814, he sold the castle to Joseph Bonaparte, the elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte.
From 1873 to 1920, the castle was used as a school by the Frères Moraves, a Protestant monastic order.
From home to museum
In 1920, Horace de Pourtalès, then working at the League of Nations in Geneva. In 1929, Josephine Dexter bought Prangins for her daughter, Katharine McCormick. In 1962, the castle was passed to the government of the USA. It was intended to be the residence of their ambassador to the United Nations. Instead, in 1970, it was sold to Bernard Cornfeld, administrator of IOS (Investment Overseas Services).
At around this time, the Swiss National Museum wanted to transfer part of its collection to a suitable location in the French-speaking region of Switzerland. Prangins Castle seemed ideal. The Swiss federal government balked at the sale price, then CHF 2.5 million. The property was purchased by the cantonal governments of Vaud and Geneva on 19 July 1974. A year later, it was given to the federal government to become a Swiss National Museum. A great deal of renovation work was required, and the museum opened in 1998.
A staged construction
After the acquisition of the estate in 1723, Louis Guiguer undertook extensive works. He first developed the farm and the vast vegetable garden, installed in an old ditch, which would provide food for the many workers active on the site. The structural work began in earnest in 1732 on the site of the old medieval fortress with the construction of the north wing, devoted to utilitarian and administrative functions, since it housed the presses, the chamber of justice and the prison.
Then work resumed in 1738 and 1739, with the expansion of the two terraces to the east and to the west, and finally the construction of the south wing and the central main building, which accommodates the owners’ apartments. The question of the architect who created these buildings is not resolved. Several hypotheses have been put forward. On the one hand, there are good reasons to think of the great French architect Jean-François Blondel (1683-1756), but archival sources also invite us to imagine a more local master, such as the Genevan Antoine Gibot (circa 1685- 1763) who participated in several major Geneva projects in the 1720s and could have joined forces, for the occasion, with another local architect, such as Jean-Michel Billon (1705-1778) or Jean-Louis I Bovet(1699-1776), who later built the temple of Prangins.
In 1756, Jean-Georges Guiguer, nephew of Louis, made arrangements with the town to be able to dispose of the southern valley, where the old church, very dilapidated, and a cemetery were then located. In exchange, he offers the municipality land to the west of the vegetable garden so that it can build a temple there, opposite the castle, and he contributes a third to the construction costs. Having demolished the old church, Guiguer fills the ditch and undertakes major earthworks, creating two platforms (one decorated with a “green room” planted with a quincunx of lime trees) as well as an avenue at right angles to that which connects the castle to the village.