Amiral de Grasse

musée de la Marine
Hôtel Pontévès,
In 1957, Lieutenant Jean Gondet and the Navy veterans of Grasse founded the first 'Memorial Museum of Admiral de Grasse'. The museum has been enlarged, and currently is located in the heart of the great city in Provence, GRASSE. The museum's garden entrance, off the Boulevard du Jeu de Ballon, is shown to the right, above. The above bronze bust and the statues shown at the bottom of this webpage are by the modern sculptor Cyril de la Patellière.
Above is one of the museums display rooms, which includes 30 ship models, including some commanded by de Grasse during his long naval career. The case in the center, foreground displays the Ville de Paris, the admiral's flagship at Yorktown.
In 1981, there was the inauguration of a statue of François-Joseph, Paul Comte de Grasse (1722-1788), in the city of Grasse [above left], and at Bar-sur-Loup [above right]. The Bar-sur-Loup statue stands near the remains of the Château where de Grasse was born. The city of Grasse monument is located at the edge of a large plaza, near the large parfume museum and the Tourist Office. Cyril de la Petellière's statue dramatically depicts de Grasse's critical decision to go to the Chesapeake. The act warranted George Washington to later complement the French admiral as beingthe arbitrator of the war'.
The musée de la Marine is a very short walk, to the northeast, from the Grasse Tourist Office on the same street. Turn left exiting the Toruist office and cross the street. Look carefully; the museum's small entrance is down a few steps from the sidewalk. Unfortunately this excellent museum is not listed in many English language guide books. However, it is a 'must visit' for Americans. Each year in October, Grasse and Bar-sur-Loup celebrate the anniversary of the 1781 victory at Yorktown.
Mémorial Amiral de Grasse, musée de la Marine
Hôtel Pontévès,
2, Boulevard du Jeu de Ballon

Telephone: 33 (0)4 93 40 11 11

Among many interesting items in the museum's small shop is a color illustrated booklet: Admiral de Grasse, Hero of the American Independence. This 1996 publication is an English translation by Commander Craig M. Diffie, US Navy, Sixth Fleet Liaison Officer, of the original French work was published in 1965 by Plon, re-edited in 1991 by Editions Ouest-France. The booklet was produced by the Association of the Friends of the Admiral de Grasse Museum-Memorial, with the contribution of P.Ritz, B.Deydier de Pierrefeu, D. Morel, illustrations by P. Frossard, and in collaboration with Jean-.Jacques Antier, author of an extensive work: L'amiral de Grasse, héros de l'indépendance américanne by Jean-Jacques Antier. (Éditions Ouest, Rennes, 1991 – earlier editions began in 1965 under Plon).

OTHER COMMEMORATIONS IN FRANCE: In 1930, a monument was erected to his memory in front of the Trocadero in Paris. The following year, the mint of Paris created a medal with his likeness. The Sons of Cincinnati placed a plaque in the Saint-Roch church.

In 1946, the French Navy launched the cruiser De Grasse, of which the town of Grasse is the sponsor. In 1974, it was a frigate which was given the name. In 1947, the General transatlantic Company put in service the cruise ship De Grasse, flagship of the Le Havre - New York line. Later, a large cruise liner of the Antilles line bore the name also.
In 1972, the issue of a stamp with his likeness and a second medal.
In 1986, the Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac, inaugurated the Admiral de Grasse Square, at the Place of the United States.

IN THE UNITED STATES : Launching of an American destroyer Comte de Grasse in 1976, the only foreign personality having that honor. In 1981, Grasse was celebrated as the equal to Rochambeau and La Fayette, for the bicentennial of Yorktown. Two stamps were issued on the battle of the Chesapeake. He stands in a place of honor at the memorial of Yorktown.

IN PROVENCE : In 1913, a street of the town of Grasse was given his name. Erection of a monument at Bar-sur-Loup. The Fort Saint-Jean de Marseille took his name.

Return the paqe on the French Naval Leaders.

Page created 6 August 2004, revised 7 August 2004.