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The Hermitage
 
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[The Hermitage] [Once upon a time... The Hermitage] [The Hermitage at the time of the series] [Role of the Hermitage] [Important events that happened there]
 
 

The Hermitage
 
The Hermitage: a remote and lonely place! It's a retreat where one can devote themself to their work or peacefully meditate!

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By extension, it also denotes a hermit's house or a sort of remote sanctuary for monks and other religious people.
In France, «Ermitage» is a name given to many rustic homes. In the US, the name takes an H and it refers to two other famous buildings: The first one is a museum house built on a ground with a terrace that looks like the one from the series; the second is the house of the president Andrew Jackson...

A name that's intriguing at the very least, used for the house of a simple science teacher... But Franz Hopper isn't just a simple science teacher!
The Hermitage (which, technically speaking, doesn't look like a real hermitage), was the residence of Franz Hopper where the scientist lived, at first with his family, then, after the hypothetical death of his wife, as a hideaway from the Men in Black. It was, in a way, a retreat to finish his great project: Lyoko!

Today, it is only a shadow of its former state... But first, we have to guess how it happened...
 

Once upon a time... The Hermitage
 
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We can't claim for certain that Franz always lived in the Hermitage! In Aelita's flashback (Episode 52 “The Key”), we see the family reunited in a Swiss chalet, noticeably at the mountain.

We see it again when Aelita is a little bit older, in the Hermitage this time, for Christmas! We also see her mother comfortably settled in an armchair and Franz Hopper at the piano.

At this time, the Hermitage seems to be a radiant house like we all would like to live in as children in our parent's home. The outside of the place is eloquent! Large stairs, visibly made of marble, and quite a vast garden. Furthermore, the place is remote off in the woods in the middle of the Parisian suburbs. We're not going to evaluate the cost of the house, however it seems that Hopper had some money on him...

Inside, a warming atmosphere with a very well decorated interior. Carpet, trinkets, pretty furniture, sofa, lamp, also a bookcase and Hopper's piano as the final touch. The light floods in through the large windows reinforcing even more the glory of this building.
Besides the hall and the living room, we only see Aelita's bedroom! Entirely decorated in pink, we especially notice a fireplace of decorations, plushes and posters.

As for the rooms, the Hermitage contains two floors, so we can't surmise all the things within. The living room and the hall seem to take up the major part of the ground floor! Upstairs is surely where, in addition to Aelita's bedroom, Franz Hopper's bedroom can be found. According to the number of doors, we can deduce that the house contains other rooms, like a guest room, or perhaps even a little DIY workshop for Franz?

From the hall, we also reach some stairs which lead to an lower level. Regarding this, there is only a few information, just two facts about it that we know to tell the truth. The first fact is that we can find a door there which leads up to the garden. The second is that there's a heating room with an unknown purpose...

In the garden of the Hermitage, we find faucets still connected to the water as well as some pits, but above all, a door which leads to the sewers and from there to the factory, the laboratory of Franz Hopper!

It's through this path that Hopper runs away with Aelita, leaving the Hermitage without an owner.
 

The Hermitage at the time of the series
 
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Ten long years without an owner has transformed the Hermitage!
We can, of course, chalk up most of the worn damages to time: The layers of dust which cover the furniture, the wallpapers and the carpets tarnished and probably moth-eaten by the potential parasites...

Yet, the smashed closet doors, the knocked down furniture, the papers thrown all over the place, there's no doubt: the Hermitage may have been frisked and we're not surprised by the identity of the investigators: the men of Project Carthage!
The frisk doesn't really seem to have been too thorough though: many books are still in their place on the bookcase. Even Mister Puck hasn't been discovered in the hole on the wall behind the poster.

After all these years of emptiness, the hypothesis that the Hermitage may have been settled in for a time stays plausible. It also is curious that the world left this house to its own ruin without caring about what happened to the former occupiers. Wouldn't the State intercede? The heroes had only heard of a mortgage contract of the flat.
 

Role of the Hermitage
 
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The Hermitage is, since the first episode of season 2, a key element of the plot. Indeed, just from the point of view of the series, it's the third place which has an importance to the evolution of the story after Kadic and the Factory! In season 1, if other places were linked to the action, it was only because XANA attacked there. To see this old building appear suddenly in the cartoon generates some questions.

Then comes Aelita's visions! If the young girl gets them during all of season 2, these ones appear most of the time in the Hermitage and with her visions, a new key figure suddenly appears: Franz Hopper!
During season 2, the building in ruins is used as a “tool” to the evolution of the plot about Franz Hopper and Aelita's past. The viewer senses it, and his interest is maintained in this place which continues to make some appearances throughout the course of the episodes, like in episode 31 “Mister Puck” where the plush is found or episode 90 “Wrong Exposure” where a photo containing some notes by Franz Hopper is discovered.
When Aelita sees her memories when they are returned to her by Franz Hopper, the final mysteries are solved! We know that Aelita lived there with Franz Hopper before running away and being virtualized on Lyoko! The Hermitage slightly its interest after that point, unless of course some kind of revelation about the men in black takes place later on!

We are all the same only brought to see the Hermitage on a rare occasion: At first because Aelita, even before returning her memory, felt that something linked her to this house, a strong link which survived the years! It's for that reason that the young girl still goes in the ruins of her ancient house when she is deeply sad and needs some solitude.
The heroes also know that it's a sure retreat when they need to sum up the situation. Thus, it's to the Hermitage the heroes will go after William destroyed Lyoko, and there that they will receive a single message!

We still do not know the future of the Hermitage given that Franz Hopper is dead... Maybe Jeremy will tamper with the papers to get the rights to the house?
 

Important events that happened there
 
- June 6th 1994: Franz Hopper is found by the men in black who come to his home! He is forced to run away to Lyoko posthaste with his daughter, only leaving a plush behind, containing a key to a locker... (Flashback of the episode 52 “The Key”).

- Episode 27 “New Order”: Scared from her visions, Aelita arrives to the Hermitage. The heroes discover the house and are attacked there by XANA. The furniture thrown at them while Yumi and Ulrich were nearly cooked in the heating room of the basement! The heroes discover the way linking the Hermitage to the factory.

- Episode 28 “Unchartered Territory”: The heroes explore the Hermitage! They discover in particular the history book about the Punic Wars, which help Jeremy to insert the code Scipio for the first time!

- Episode 31 “Mister Puck”: The heroes go back to the Hermitage and guided by her visions, Aelita finds Mister Puck behind a poster in what was her bedroom.

- Episode 43 “XANA's Kiss”: After a fall out with Jeremy, Aelita takes refuge in the Hermitage! A polymorphic clone joins her and tries to drag her to Lyoko! Then an altercation follows within the group and a fight between Odd and the aforesaid clone.

- Episode 46 “Deja Vu”: XANA harasses Aelita with visions and wild imaginations. She goes to the Hermitage to find answers but only finds more hallucinations! It encourages her to go to Sector 5...

- "Episode 51 “Revelation”: Odd is trapped in a pit which fills up with water, because of a polymorphic clone. He is saved from drowning by Yumi.

- Episode 65 “Final Round”: The heroes meet up in the Hermitage after seeing the destruction of Lyoko. There, they receive a message coming from the network from Franz Hopper!

- Episode 70 “Skidbladnir”: The heroes christen the Skidbladnir.

- Episode 90 “Wrong Exposure”: The heroes find a photo of Franz Hopper and Aelita, containing notes that will permit Jeremy to create a new program.
 

 
 Discover the layout of the Hermitage in an image thanks to scans from the DS game from Aquatikelfik!