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Les Milandes, Joséphine Baker's village of the world

Josephine in the Milandes, 1961 | Nationaal Archief, Anefo / Nijs, Jac. de / CC-BY
Castle Josephine Baker Les Milandes castle

The most famous owner was, guess who... Josephine Baker, the music hall artist in the 30's, who lived here from 1947 with her 12 adoptive children…

You know her! The little American girl born in St-Louis (Missouri, US), the famous Parisian artist in the 30’s (with her bananas belt), an international artist but also a secret agent during World War II...

Josephine was very generous. She owned Les Milandes in 1947 and moved in, transforming the old castle into a village du monde (″village of the world″, her own words).

She lived there with her 12 adopted children and her husband Jo Bouillon, with whom she married in the castle’s chapel.

Her dream? To create in Les Milandes an "ideal of fraternity", with her "rainbow family".

She wanted to show that people could live together, whatever the skin colour, she wanted to create a little family full of love…

Les Milandes, a small heaven, oh, yes. But for 20 years only: penniless, Josephine was forced to sell Les Milandes in 1969, at the age of 63 years-old… her heart definitively broken in two.

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!