A 17th century chateau and its outbuildings,
in 6 ha of parklands and gardens, facing Sisteron citadel
Manosque, ALPES-DE-HAUTE-PROVENCE provence-cote-dazur 04100 FR

Location

This estate is set between the Alps, Provence and the Vaucluse, in the Durance Valley which crosses an Upper Jurassic rocky limestone ridge via a deep, narrow gorge. The geographic site separates in the southern Alps, the Middle Durance region and the southern, Dry Pre-Alps. This chateau stands on the north bank of the river Buëch, 15 minutes’ walk from the town of Sisteron. Aix-en-Provence is an hour away via the motorway, Gap is 50 km away and Manosque is 45 minutes away. The Méouge Gorges, classified as a Biological Reserve and Gem of the Upper Alps not to be missed, are 20 km away. On the outskirts of the town, the Soleilhet plateau rivals the beauty of its Valensole neighbour and takes on a mauve hue in the lavender season.

Description

This property is on land that borders the Durance Valley, to the north of the town of Sisteron and to the north-east of Buëch bridge. Once a hunting lodge belonging to the Captain of the Cazette, it was then remodelled and given its current appearance. This 17th century building stands at the end of a driveway, lined with plane trees. It comprises a central, rectangular building which spans three levels and is extended by two wings set at right angles. The main facade is bordered with a terrace, the view from which was outlined in William-Turner’s travel sketchbooks in 1830. The painting resulting from this draft is now displayed in the Tate Gallery: Baume Rock with, on its hillside, the outskirts of the town, the confluence of the rivers Durance and Buëch and the citadel standing on a rocky spur. A flight of stone steps goes from the terrace to an Italian-style garden which runs alongside the bank. It gives access to the old stables, to a succession of cellars and to a greenhouse. Parklands, planted with trees hundreds of years old, surround the estate, ensuring its privacy. Near to the chateau, a dovecote stands next to a listed, ornamental pool. An old goat shed adjoins the stables and a farm shed, a barn borders the river bank. A lake is lost from sight in the estate’s woods. Six springs are scattered throughout the property.

The chateau

The main building features facades facing east and west as well as two wings set at right angles. The south facade looks out over the rivers Durance and Buëch, with the Sisteron citadel on its rocky spur as a backdrop. The building, topped with a hip roof covered with Roman tiles, is edged with a quadruple overhanging cornice. The facades feature numerous openings, flanked by wooden shutters that enhance the warm orangey hues of the walls.


Garden level
A succession of vaulted, exposed stone rooms, facing south and looking out over the river bank as well as the citadel, are laid out around the chateau’s interior courtyard. These rooms, still exuding all of their original authenticity, could be enhanced and used for housing events or for providing additional storage space.
Ground floor
The main driveway, lined with plane trees, leads to the west wing featuring the main entrance. Heavy wooden doors, flanked with stone pilasters embellished with ornamentation and topped with a Tuscan cornice, open into a vestibule, home to a stairway going upstairs. The floor is laid with old tiles, enhanced with garnet-coloured inlaid decoration. A lounge, with a fireplace, is on one side. Opposite, a lounge is followed by a kitchen, with an eating area. A corridor leads to a second hall which opens, on the north side, into the garden and gives access to a professional kitchen. A corridor leads to a laundry room, a bedroom and a billiard room. Just like the rest of the chateau, this level still has all of its authentic features: old terracotta floor tiles as well as moulded walls and doors.
First floor
A stairway, with old terracotta tile steps, edged with wooden nosing and bordered by wrought iron railings, goes up from the ground floor vestibule to an intermediate landing. On one side is a suite with a toilet. One the other side, a lobby gives access to a small lounge, a bathroom and a bedroom. The stairway then continues up to a landing which opens into a library-study. It is followed by a corridor leading to a room in use as a laundry room. This precedes an anteroom, a bedroom, with a shower room. Set at right angles, a flat, a small lounge, a bedroom and a shower room. The walls and doors feature moulding, the floors are still laid with period terracotta tiles and the tall windows are fitted with indoor, wooden shutters.
Second floor
This level, once given over to the domestic staff, has been partially renovated (water and electric wiring laid on, heating installed). The landing houses an old toilet. On one side, a flat, with a lounge, two bedrooms, one of which is enhanced with an alcove, and a bathroom. A hall area leads to a third bedroom. A corridor, spanning approx. 23 m², is illuminated via south-facing windows and provides access to four bedrooms as well as three bathrooms. A back stairway goes down to the ground floor.

The caretaker’s accommodation

This small house, adjoining the chateau’s east facade, awaits renovation throughout.


Ground floor
This level comprises a kitchen, a living room, a bathroom, a toilet and a storage area.
First floor
A stairway, with old terracotta tile steps, goes upstairs to a corridor. The latter leads to three bedrooms, all with east-facing windows.

The large outbuilding

On the south facade, it houses a goat shed, enclosed by walls and sheltered by a single-sloped roof, covered with Roman tiles. The main section, topped with a gable roof, faces east and houses four horse loose boxes as well as a storage area for farming equipment and hay.

The barn

Laid out alongside the bank of the river Buëch, this old stone construction cannot be used in its current state. Once restored, it could be used for extending the estate’s living space by a ground surface area of approx. 160 m², over one or two levels. A henhouse adjoins its south side.

The dovecote

This construction, with its single-sloped roof, dates from the late 17th century. Awaiting renovation, it has a diameter of approx. 6 metres and stands on the north side of the property.

The parklands and the gardens

Visitors are greeted at the entrance to the chateau by a listed, ornamental pool, fed by a spring. A small ornamental pool is next to the dovecote on the north side of the property. A third ornamental pool is concealed along the pathway winding through the parklands. A lake, fitted with a drainage system and edged with riparian vegetation, is out of sight in the woods to the north. On the south side, the Italian-style garden, an orangery and a vegetable garden border the bank of the river Buëch. Parklands, planted with centuries-old trees, protect the estate. Some two hectares of totally-enclosed meadows are able to accommodate horses.

Our opinion

These private premises, where landscaped gardens meet those of Italian and French formal styles, are an invitation to take a walk and to daydream amongst the centuries-old trees, the murmuring fountains and the romantic ornamental pools fed by springs from the Solheilet plateau. The chateau, reflecting the warm hues of Provence, has housed a much-appreciated, bed & breakfast activity which could be continued. The plain, but elegant interior rooms have been decorated in such a way as to preserve the authenticity of the premises. The third level awaits its final touches to complete its new bedrooms. The building exudes Renaissance charm and provides a captivating pictorial composition on the banks of the river Durance, on the edge of Provence, where lavender meets edelweiss. Painter of Light, William Turner, fell in love with this landscape which he then immortalised.

Exclusive sale

2 500 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 948611

Land registry surface area 5 ha 41 a 16 ca
Main building surface area 870 m2
Number of bedrooms 18
Outbuilding surface area 470 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Consultant


Roger Pertuisot +33 1 42 84 80 85

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NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.

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