Decorating & Design

March 18, 2013

Medieval Masterpiece In France

While I’m all for turning historic estates into museums (how else would I be able to turn my prying eyes to their interiors?), it also warms my heart to see older properties still being used as homes. So seeing this château near Uzès, France, which has been kept up for nearly 900 years, really tickled me. Let’s see how history has treated the old pile.

How, indeed? Here’s a clue: the listing gives the price as 5/5 houses, or over five million euros. But for your very own piece of the 12th century, that’s probably not such a huge price to pay. (And looking at some of the stonework, I’m guessing that it really is a piece of the 12th century, not just a reproduction.)

If I had a euro for every time I saw a plain, uninspiring house described by a real-estate broker as “fantastic,” “one-of-a-kind,” “a masterpiece,” or “stunning,” I could afford this castle. Which makes it all the more special that the listing is entirely justified in calling this a “sumptuous park.”

This little nook looks like it’s been a comfortable lounging spot for centuries. In the summer, you get the Provençal sunshine bouncing off the white walls; when the mistral blows through, well, that’s what the fireplace and heavy stonework are for.

In addition to this larger, barrel-vaulted living room, the main residence has a principal suite, guest suite, six additional bedrooms, a Gothic chapel and an artist’s studio. Before you scroll to the next photo, take a moment to sigh over the perfect aging of that black-and-white tile floor.

And here’s the original 12th-century pool! Joking, of course — it was probably added quite recently, when the current owner renovated. If you’d like to leave your own mark on this estate, there are plenty of outbuildings just waiting for a makeover.

For more inspiration from southern France, check out Hilary Smyth’s post on French Farmhouse Style.

Photo credits:
1-5. Emile Garcin Properties