CHATEAU LUMIERE

CHATEAU LUMIERE

Chateau Lumière was built between 1900 and 1903 by the Burrus family, who had made their fortune in the tobacco industry. The Burrus family distinguished themselves in many areas, including charitable works for the benefit of the community in which they lived, such as the construction of a football stadium, a swimming pool and homes for the elderly. The employees of the tobacco factory received much more “benefits” than the law imposed at the time, such as insurance and retirement.

The chateau was designed by Strasbourg architects Gottfried Julius Berninger and Gustave Henri Krafft in the neo-baroque style, which became popular in France at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The neo-baroque, just like the baroque, is characterized by the rich and opulent use of materials, the symmetry and the frequent use of decorations and complex patterns, which are visible in the wrought iron railings around the domain and the wrought iron banisters.

Shortly after completing the chateau, the Burrus dies and his son Maurice Burrus moves into the building. During the First World War, Maurice Burrus refused to supply the German troops with tobacco and had to flee to Switzerland. The chateau was confiscated to accommodate German officers. After the war, Maurice, by now decorated as a war hero, took over the management of the tobacco factory and became an influential figure on an industrial, financial and political level. He had to flee again during the Second World War, this time to his property in the Pyrenees. This time too, his chateau was confiscated by the German army and transformed into a training center for wounded German officers. After WWII he retired to Geneva. Chateau Lumière was initially sold to a religious order, but was later sold to a private owner. In 1993 the chateau was protected as a monument, but since it was uninhabited, it quickly became the object of vandalism. Nowadays, there is very little left of the once so beautiful chateau…


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