CHATEAU DES LIVRES

CHATEAU DES LIVRES

This “chateau” is not the most famous landmark in the area. A few hundred yards away there is a well-known and extensively documented medieval water castle, but on the background of this building I could not find any information. It is not really a “chateau”, but rather a country house. It seems that it is a former farm house that has been converted into a holiday residence. The most eye-catching space in the building is a lounge / library that was painted strikingly sky-blue. It is because of this space that many name it “Chateau Bleu”. Personally I found the massive presence of books much more notable. There is no room in the building that does not contain a multitude of books. Books on the most diverse subjects, from classical literature, to arts and science, to more technical books. I therefore prefer the name “Chateau des Livres”. Although the chateau seems to look reasonably intact at first sight, the decline has already started. It is clear that nobody has been here for years, except of course for the many urban explorers… Unfortunately vandals and thieves appear to have found their way in too.


CHATEAU DES LIVRES

CHATEAU DES LIVRES

This “chateau” is not the most famous landmark in the area. A few hundred yards away there is a well-known and extensively documented medieval water castle, but on the background of this building I could not find any information. It is not really a “chateau”, but rather a country house. It seems that it is a former farm house that has been converted into a holiday residence. The most eye-catching space in the building is a lounge / library that was painted strikingly sky-blue. It is because of this space that many name it “Chateau Bleu”. Personally I found the massive presence of books much more notable. There is no room in the building that does not contain a multitude of books. Books on the most diverse subjects, from classical literature, to arts and science, to more technical books. I therefore prefer the name “Chateau des Livres”. Although the chateau seems to look reasonably intact at first sight, the decline has already started. It is clear that nobody has been here for years, except of course for the many urban explorers… Unfortunately vandals and thieves appear to have found their way in too.


MANOIR DU COLIMACON BLANC

MANOIR DU COLIMACON BLANC

In the towns archives, this chateau was first mentioned in 1897, when a Parisian wine merchant ordered for a "second home" to be built on the estate. The renovation and extension to the current chateau would only take place in the 1920s by the new owner, who had bought the domain in 1913. He assigned architect Marcel Oudin to remodel the house into a chateau in Art Nouveau style, the style for which this architect was famous. The construction consists mainly of concrete and brick. In the 1970s the estate with the castle was bought by an Iranian businessman, who had the interior restored. He only lived in the chateau for three years before moving to the United States. Contacts between the mayor and the owner of the property in 1999 revealed that the latter did not intend to inhabit the property again, nor to sell it. The chateau soon began to dilapidate, even more so once it fell prey to thieves and vandals. Outside the characteristic white spiral staircase (colimaçon blanc), which was in fact the staff staircase, there remains very little to be photographed today.


MANOIR DU COLIMACON BLANC

MANOIR DU COLIMACON BLANC

In the towns archives, this chateau was first mentioned in 1897, when a Parisian wine merchant ordered for a "second home" to be built on the estate. The renovation and extension to the current chateau would only take place in the 1920s by the new owner, who had bought the domain in 1913. He assigned architect Marcel Oudin to remodel the house into a chateau in Art Nouveau style, the style for which this architect was famous. The construction consists mainly of concrete and brick. In the 1970s the estate with the castle was bought by an Iranian businessman, who had the interior restored. He only lived in the chateau for three years before moving to the United States. Contacts between the mayor and the owner of the property in 1999 revealed that the latter did not intend to inhabit the property again, nor to sell it. The chateau soon began to dilapidate, even more so once it fell prey to thieves and vandals. Outside the characteristic white spiral staircase (colimaçon blanc), which was in fact the staff staircase, there remains very little to be photographed today.


MANOIR SAINT-GEORGE

MANOIR SAINT-GEORGE

On our way from one location to the next, we made a quick stop at a local supermarket in some or other sleepy French town. From the parking lot we suddenly caught a glimpse of this adorable little manor. It didn’t take us too long to find a way in. Even though the house turned out to be as good as completely empty, I was pleasantly surprised by beautiful natural decay in there with virtually no vandalism. A coincidental find like this has the downside that we don’t know anything about the history of the property. There was no clue as to why the previous occupants would have packed everything up and left… Whatever the reason was, it obviously happened many years ago, judging by the state of the house… 


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