on the edge of the Champagne and Lorraine regions
In a land abounding in historic memories, 1½ hours from Reims in the Champagne region, from Nancy in the Lorraine region and from Luxembourg.
The TGV train station, just 5 km away, provides links to the French capital taking less than an hour.
Along the “Voie Sacrée”, so-called because this historic way supplied the front in 1916, half-way between Bar-le-Duc and Verdun. Visitors have to plunge into the local countryside to reach the small village, which only has about 60 inhabitants.
She inspired Claude-Deruet to produce the 17th century’s biggest painting of a woman on horseback.
This property stands on a bend in a little road bordered by outbuildings. Enclosed by a wall on the village side, it opens in front of the chateau, via wrought iron gates flanked by stone pilasters, on to a vast area laid to lawn and divided by alleyways, bordered by lime trees.
A second gateway provides access to cars and their parking area near to an outbuilding.
Behind and on one side of the chateau are fenced parklands, beyond which extend the countryside, a meadow spanning approx. 8,000 m², a 55 m², heated swimming pool and a spa.
According to a painted canvas portraying it in its former state, this chateau had more buildings during the Renaissance period than it does today; said buildings forming perimeter walls with four towers.
All that is left of the primitive fortress, surrounded by its moat crossed by a drawbridge, is the dwelling, the rusticity of which was toned down in the 18th century. The defensive features disappeared, giving way to a main courtyard.
This chateau spans two levels, topped with an attic under a steep, hip, slate roof. It is constructed from quarry stone blocks, laid in rows and partially concealed by rendering.
The front facade owes the regularity of its layout, devoid of all decorative features, to the redesigning works carried out at this time.
The masonry is reinforced with quoins and exposed stone surrounds frame the slightly arched windows.
The stone surround framing the door is outstanding. Its lintel is topped with an arched cornice, supported on two moulded capitals, the jambs with their pilasters rest on two protruding blocks.
The solid oak wood entrance door (painted blue in homage to the feather in its heroine’s hat), is topped with a glazed, small-paned fanlight.
The rear facade has curiously not been modified and still has its mullioned windows and its two large, round, Renaissance-style towers with loopholes.
On the edge of the roof, as if at the junction of two eras, deformity meets refinement with the presence of spirited gargoyles which appear to be wanting to escape.
This level is accessed in the centre via a vestibule, paved with large, uneven flagstones that extend into a little lounge on the left-hand side. Devoid of ornamentation, only a large, white stone fireplace takes pride of place. It is followed by a dining room with a French window, opening on to the courtyard. Its rustic terracotta floor tiles blend beautifully with its wooden fireplace. A recess, a classical 18th century feature, houses a ceramic wood-burning stove.
A few steps lead to a fitted kitchen, laid out in a tower.
On the other side of the vestibule is a ladies’ sitting room, ideal for conversation. It too has a recess housing a wood-burning stove. It precedes a large lounge. This room, with a wooden fireplace, is laid with a thick carpet. Particularly luminous because of the windows on three of its sides, it opens into a tower, housing a little study.
Fully restored, all the windows are made of wood with double-glazing and indoor shutters.
The stairway, going up at the end of the vestibule, is made of concrete and awaits cladding. It leads to a landing which provides access to three bedrooms, spanning 25, 44 and 45 m², with fireplaces and stone trumeaux. Both towers have quite naturally been fitted with bathrooms and toilets.
This entire floor is steeped in charm, bathed in a beautiful light and enhanced by a wonderful view over the countryside, free of all visual and audible nuisances.
Cleverly laid out, these outbuildings include a vast garage, reached directly from the road, four horse loose boxes, a workshop, a woodshed and a boiler room, housing an air-to-water heat pump for the chateau and the swimming pool as well as an oil-fired boiler which can be used as back-up should it prove necessary.
This property, just 5 km from a TGV train station with 58-minute links to the French capital, could become home to a Parisian family seeking a countrified way of life.
In this authentic land, less spoilt than the neighbouring Champagne region, with a rural backdrop, a remote verdant area where poetry is revealed but to the initiated, this robust dwelling with its Romanesque past is a blend of elegance and comfort.
Just like the saintly heroine who was born and lived here, it appears even more beautiful for having been exposed to so much suffering, passion and genius.
|Land registry surface area||10964 m2|
|Main building surface area||542 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||612 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||3|
North & West Marne and East Aube department
Florence Fornara +33 1 42 84 80 85
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.