The event did not escape the press that followed it on Wednesday. On the move to Israel for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, French President Emmanuel Macron lost his temper against members of the Israeli security service. Their wrong? Venturing to the Church of Saint Anne, a French estate located in the east of the Holy City. Several journalists, including our reporter, have also captured the scene recalling the famous bloodshed of Jacques Chirac in 1996, in the same place. "It is as if Israeli police officers have entered the French embassy," explains Vincent Lemire, director of the French research center in Jerusalem.
VIDEO. Emmanuel Macron's anger against the Israeli security services
Four enclaves in Jerusalem
The church, built in the 12th century by the Crusaders, is indeed a French enclave. St. Anne of Jerusalem was given to France in 1856 by the Ottoman sultan, Abdülmecid I, in thanks for his involvement in the Crimean War against the Russian Empire.
Moreover, France also has the Abbey of Sainte-Marie de la Résurrection by Abu Gosh, the Tomb of the Kings, and the Church of the Pater Noster. Nothing exceptional for this "world city": "It is not much compared to the Greek land. His Church has in particular the Knesset hill ”, underlines Vincent Lemire.
Medici churches and villa in Rome
The French presence abroad is not limited to Jerusalem. In the Vatican, we find the Pious Establishments of France in Rome and in Lorette, a foundation placed under the supervision of the French embassy, which gathers six churches: the Trinity of the Mounts, Saint-Louis of the French, Saint-Nicolas-des -Lorrains, Saint-Yves-des-Bretons, Saint-Claude des Francs-Comtois de Bourgogne, the National Chapellenie of France in Lorette.
As the French Embassy at the Vatican recalls on its site, these monuments "are directed by the General Congregation, composed of 12 French people from Rome, half ecclesiastical, half lay, and chaired by the Ambassador of France". France also has the Medici villa in the Italian capital. The Academy of France in Rome has been there since 1803, after having been domiciled in the Mancini Palace.
Dispute over the Mundat forest
More surprisingly, the French state has a forest on German territory. Located east of Wissembourg, the Mundat forest covers 680 hectares, all administered by the National Office of Forests (ONF). At the heart of conflicts between Germany and France for decades, ownership of the forest was finally allotted to France after the signing of a bilateral agreement in 1984. "France is owner and manager, but it is Germany, which has sovereignty over this territory, ”recalls Frédéric Guérin, Grand-Est communications manager at the NFB.
The remains of Napoleon at Saint Helena
Although belonging to our British neighbors, this small island of 4,500 inhabitants, lost between Angola and Brazil, contains many properties of the French State. Indeed, Sainte-Hélène served as a land of exile for Napoleon 1st between 1815 and 1821, after the defeat of Waterloo and his abdication in Paris. The French emperor lived six years under house arrest at the Briars pavilion and then in Longwood's house before dying. Today, these two buildings, as well as the Tombeau Valley, belong to the French State under the name of the French Domains of Saint Helena.
Closer to home, on the island of Guernsey in Great Britain, the town hall of Paris - and not the French state - owns the house of Victor Hugo. The French writer had gone into exile off Great Britain in 1856, after his attacks on "Napoléon le petit". It was from this building that he wrote "Les Misérables", published in 1861.