Exceptional chateau for sale in France. Completely renovated and comfortable 11th Century French Chateau-fort. On a hilltop surrounded by forest with a view of the Mediterranean in the sunniest part of France - The Eastern Pyrenees.
This part of the Languedoc (Roussillon) is noted for its music festivals, historic monuments, fruits, flowers and wines. As other parts of southern France become crowded (and polluted), the charm, quiet and better climate of the Pyrenees Orientals appeal to the more imaginative buyer.
This domain of twenty five acres has 360 degree protected panoramas - North and East over the river valley’s farms and villages, medieval ruins with a Charlemagne chapel to the south and snow capped peaks to the west. It is 36 kilometres from the Mediterranean coast and 75 kilometres from Pyrenees ski resorts.
Its history involves royal family events of the Kingdom of Aragon, feudal marriages, celebrations and passionate chronicles of past centuries.
Grand, though not overwhelming, this château with its Romanesque arched windows, leaded glass, wrought iron gates, heraldic carvings and 14th C. Well and other 14th C. Additions, would suit a couple, family, relais or conference centre.
The interior living space is over 7,000 square feet (650 sq.M.), not counting terraces, stairs and baths. There are eight bedrooms and eight and half baths. Two of the eight bedrooms with their two baths easily form a separate servant/guest or rental apartment.
For entertaining there are four rooms plus the three donjons, two studies, four terraces and the courtyard. At the garden/pool level there are four exterior entertaining areas.
From the castle entrance, there are miles of safe paths that lead into delightfully scented foothills of parasol pine, mimosa, cork and olive. One path leads to an ancient hermitage whose hermitess is a composer and instructor of music. Close to the castle gate is a 15th C. Chapel with its fabulous Baroque altar. At the disposal of the castle owner though maintained by the village, it has fine acoustics for concerts and seats 150.
Exquisite gardens with in-ground sprinklers, cascading fountain, green theatre, sunken Italian secret garden and a pergola around the ancient walls - all are dramatically lit at night by spotlights and in-ground projectors. A jade coloured oversized square heated pool (with exercise jet and automatic cover) is bordered by lemon trees and a Palladian “wall” of cypress with arched windows through which roses and distant mountains are seen. (There is ample space for a tennis court using the secondary parking lot.)
A handsome wrought iron gate with jolly black birds (merles) graces the main entrance into a flower-filled courtyard with its powder/mud room on one side and the guest apartment on the other.
(Its large kitchen can service receptions on that level.) The barrel vaulted entry hall is actually an 11th C. Donjon with two doorways. One leads down 6 stone steps past two ancient portals into the Salle d’Armes, now a cinema/conference/exercise space. The medieval horses ramp with corbelled ceiling forms part of this donjon. Then, solid wooden steps go down further to the Oubliette - the lowest donjon, once a place for storage of prisoners or food, now a service facility for the pool with kitchen/bar/grill and changing room/shower and bath. It becomes a ballroom with glass floor, fibre optic lights and Bose surround sound.
The other doorway from the entry donjon leads to a lavish marble circular stairway. As one starts up, there is a utility/laundry room and wine cellar on the left. Continuing upward, one arrives at the Salle Capitulaire - a 2 storey cathedral ceilinged dining room. At one end is a sunny breakfast terrace. From that same end one enters the guest wing passing first the Japanese Study then the “Harlequin” bedroom and the “White” bedroom.
Regaining the dining room, there is the beamed kitchen with its American appliances and collection of copper pots. Also from the dining room there is the music room, (with electronic piano/organ) from which a narrow staircase climbs to the “Princess” bedroom with its look-out into the dining room below
The sixth arched door of the dining room is linked by a short passage to the Grand Salon, the huge living room with its beamed ceiling, baronial fireplace and large window seat set into the 10 foot thick walls.
Both the two bedroom Master suite and the Map room/Study are accessed from the Grand Salon.
Returning to the circular marble stairway, one reached the top floor. To the left there is the Print/drawing/bedroom and full bath. Beyond one reaches the spacious library with fireplace, three exposures, window seats, stylish reading lights, year round climate control, walk-in storage closets and concealed sound system.
To the right at the top of the stairs is the Salon d’Ete - the summer dining room. This conveniently opens to a walled terrace with its round fountain. An exterior stone stairway leads to the vast, tiled roof top with its flagpoles and crenellations. All are lit at night to a magical effect.
There is space for elevator/dumb waiter and four additional bedrooms can be created with modest changes of masonry. Thus, it would be possible to sleep 24 persons. Likewise, plumbing can easily be installed for the additional baths. There is high security with internal motion detectors and external video surveillance cameras connected to an excellent 24 hour service. In-floor electric heating keeps the building delightfully warm without modern intrusions of radiators. The thick stone walls maintain a pleasant temperature in summer. Competent electricians, plumbers, masons, pool and catering services are close by.
There is no pollution and the hilltop position assures regular breezes. Extraordinarily quiet - no sound of road traffic, the air traffic corridor is far, far away, yet with so much sunshine and so little rain, there is still plentiful water from the melting mountain snow.
The prosperous village below has 420 inhabitants and is composed of farmers, retirees, musicians and small business owners. There is a butcher, grocer, post office, bus service, elementary school and a seasonal outdoor restaurant.
The nearest town is 10 minutes away and the city of Perpignan 20 minutes. Both are historic, prosperous and charming.
The castle is close to the international auto-route, rail and tgv stations and airport; within 1 hour hour from winter resorts in the Pyrénées and summer swimming at some of the best beaches along the Mediterranean. Nearby sports include hunting, cycling, riding and tennis. A large commercial/shopping centre is 15 minutes away. Under two hours by car from Barcelona, Toulouse, Nimes and Montpellier. There is soon to be high speed tgv rail service that will reach Barcelona in less than an hour and Paris in four hours.
Contact us for further information.