An extraordinary story

The DuPeyrou Palace

The Hôtel DuPeyrou was built in the 18th century, from 1765 to 1770-71. It bears the name of its creator, an independent spirit who was linked in particular with Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

It was he who, after the writer's death, published in Geneva in 1788 the first complete edition of his works. In 1790, he again published the second part of the “Confessions” in Neuchâtel.

French of origin, Pierre-Alexandre DuPeyrou was born in 1729 in Suriname (Dutch Guiana), where his father was an advisor to the Court of Justice.

When the latter died, his mother married for the second time a Neuchâtel resident, M. de Chambrier. When the latter and his wife decided to return to Europe, the young Du Peyrou followed them and came to live in Neuchâtel, where he was received as a bourgeois in 1748.

At that time, this sumptuous building was located in the middle of the vineyards and its gardens extended to the lake, which then bathed the current lake suburb. Terraces were arranged behind the house.

Alexandre Du Peyrou left no children. His hotel was sold to Mr. Frédéric de Pourtalès in 1799. Then as the Napoleonic period began, this residence was acquired by the State for the new sovereign of the country, Marshal Berthier.

When Frederick William III, King of Prussia once again became Prince of Neuchâtel, he informed the Council of State that he could not retain responsibility for this hotel. The government then sold it to Mr. Denys de Rougemont: it was in 1816.

Finally, the city of Neuchâtel acquired this property in 1858 and had its salons restored.