The Alexandra David-Neel House, a testimony of a whole life

Alexandra David-Neel is a renowned explorer of the early 20th century. At the same time a singer at the beginning, feminist, anarchist, theosophist, writer and journalist... she wrote 27 books, including travelogues, novels, essays on Buddhism...

She also exchanged a very rich correspondence with her husband and many personalities like Mistral, Reclus, Massenet and others...

The correspondence with her husband Philippe Néel was published by Marie-Madeleine Peyronnet, her last secretary, at Plon.

Upon her death, Alexandra David-Neel made the city of Digne-les-Bains her universal legatee.

The Alexandra David-Neel House, known as "Samten Dzong", has been listed as a historical monument since 1996. It is also one of the 110 "Illustrious French Houses" since 2011, awarding the homes of personalities who have distinguished themselves in political, social and cultural history. Samten Dzong is part of the Federation of Writers' Houses and Literary Heritage since 2007.

 

A renaissance...

On the occasion of the double anniversary of Alexandra David-Neel's birth and death, respectively a century and a half and half a century ago, important work has been carried out in 2019 on the site where this famous and little-known woman lived.

Indeed, as early as 2016 the city of Digne-les-Bains, principal heir, had committed to paying tribute to Alexandra David-Neel and to making this heritage shine in three stages:

- by restoring her house as it was during her lifetime, integrating her everyday objects, her motley furniture,

- by restoring the garden to which she was particularly attached,

- by dedicating to her a museum conceived as a journey through her life as a feminist and libertarian traveler.

After crossing the garden, the public can go to the museum, and visit 4 exhibition rooms retracing the major stages of her life and travels. A last space is dedicated to temporary exhibitions.

The tour ends with a visit to the heritage house, dedicated to her writing and personal life: friends, husband, adopted son are presented in a house whose original atmosphere is reconstituted. Visitors begin the guided tour through the original entrance where they can discover hanging grimacing masks, golden Buddhas illuminated by the colored light of the bay windows, large panels of Chinese calligraphy, and the eulogy of the owner of the house. Thanks to a stratigraphic study carried out in March 2018, the very varied color palette chosen by Alexandra David Neel is restored. Given the small size of the rooms and their heritage value, the guided tour is "done in groups of 8 people maximum. "

 

Alexandra David-Néel House

27, avenue du maréchal Juin

04000 Digne-les-Bains

Tel: 04 92 31 32 38

maison.adn@dignelesbains.fr

 

http://www.alexandra-david-neel.fr/

 

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

(free version)

 

 


To go further....

Maison Alexandra David-Neel

Alexandra David-Neel, au terme d'une existence nomade, a finalement éprouvé le besoin d'un port d'attache. A l'écart de la petite cité de Digne, en marge des grandes villes et de leurs cercles mondains, Samten Dzong a représenté cette indispensable centralité où elle écrira jusqu'à sa mort.
Maison Alexandra David-Néel. Digne-les-Bains. Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

Voyages et aventures de l'esprit

Voici des textes inédits d'Alexandra David Neel, retrouvés par Marie-Madeleine Peyronnet et Marc de Smedt dans sa maison de Digne où elle termina ses jours en 1969. Ce recueil est d'autant plus intéressant qu'il couvre tout le champ de son existence aventureuse, de la Belgique à la Tunisie, de la Corée au Japon, du Sikkim à l'Indochine, de l'Inde au Tibet. Toute sa philosophie se trouve exposée ici, ainsi que sa réflexion spirituelle alimentée par la rencontre de grands maîtres et ermites en Orient et par les textes sacrés qu'elle traduisait ellemême.
A la suite de ces vingt-deux écrits essentiels, on lira le vibrant hommage posthume qu'adressa l'actuel Dalaï-Lama en 1982 à cette grande dame de l'esprit.
Le lumineux destin d'Alexandra David-Néel

"Dans L e lumineux destin d'Alexandra David-Néel, j'ai voulu surtout respecter le rythme de ce destin galopant. C'est d'ailleurs l'un des secrets de cette vitalité alexandrine qui tient du prodige : Mme David-Néel ne s'est jamais arrêtée. Comment en aurait-elle eu le temps ? Elle s'incarna, en une seule existence, en tant de personnages,: anarchiste, bourgeois, bouddhiste, cantatrice orientaliste, exploratrice (elle fut la première parisienne à pénétrer à Lhassa en 1924), journaliste, écrivain... Comment aurait-elle pu perdre un instant alors que sa vie, sa vraie vie selon ses plus profonds désirs, ne commença qu'à 43 ans? Quelle leçon de patience et d'endurance ! Bondissant sans cesse en avant, sans cesse en mouvement, même quand on la croit imobilisée à sa table de travail, celle qui, centenaire, faisait, à l'étonnement de son entourage, renouveler son passeport, n'a consenti à se reposer qu'en consentant à mourir, en 1969. Et encore, rien ne prouve que la mort, pour Alexandra, soit un repos éternel !"

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