on a magical site in the midst of Troyes
Troyes is 160 km from Paris via the N19 or the A5 motorway. The train station, near to the town centre, provides 1½-hour links to the French capital. This medieval town, with its extremely rich past, still resounds from the time when the it was the capital of the county of Champagne. It is also a very attractive, university town. Dubbed the “Holy Town of Stained Glass” by specialists, the town has no less than ten churches, including Saint-Paul-Saint-Pierre Cathedral and Saint-Urbain Basilica, both embellished with fabulous stained-glass windows. The town could almost be jealous of a heritage abounding in numerous gems: the glazed roof of Saint-Nizier, the statuary of Saint-Panthaléon, the fine architecture of the Saint-Urbain Basilica, the twisted bell tower of Saint-Rémy as well as the choir-wall of Sainte-Madeleine.
The thirty or so parks and gardens are no less impressive. Few towns can boast so many green open spaces.
Three large lakes in Orient Forest, an exceptional regional nature park setting on the outskirts of Troyes, offer a multitude of water sports and outdoor activities.
All the buildings are laid out around a priest’ garden, enhanced with boxwood parterres, decoratively trimmed bushes and trees, trained along espaliers. A paved driveway goes around it. A majestic, covered porch, with two 17th century oak wood gates, is constructed from the local Champagne limestone. It links the large square and its cathedral to the inner garden of the residence via a paved driveway.
To the right of the entrance porch is the entrance to the 18th century house. The roofs are covered with local flat tiles. The house spans three levels, excluding the cellar. It is extended above the porch, then to its left and a little at right angles, on two levels, hence a lower roof. Following on from the house at right angles, an impressive Italian, half-timbered gallery is topped with an open loggia, the wooden railings of which date from the 19th century.
Facing the main house and set at right angles to the loggia are the old stables and their half-timbered facades, dating from the 16th century. These have been restored and converted into dwellings. The roofs, covered with flat tiles, have been redone. This building spans two levels.
Facing the loggia, a stone wall topped with flat tiles and a blind gable wall close the property, creating a walled courtyard.
This residence can be reached via a door, topped with a stained-glass awning. The lower section of the facade is constructed from limestone. One side of the house spans three levels whilst, the other, above the porch and set at right angles, spans but two levels. It should be noted that the left-hand side of the ground floor is independent (laundry room and a bedroom, with a shower room area) as is the ground floor set at right angles (study).
The entrance hall is housed in a 17th century section of the residence. The extraordinary stained glass, enhancing the windows, bears witness to the time Louis-Germain-Vincent-Larcher lived on these premises. The stone floor tiles feature inlaid decoration. A toilet has been installed near to the stairway. The walls of an 18th century dining room, with strip pattern, oak wood parquet flooring, are lined with oak wood wainscoting. A large lounge, also with strip pattern, oak wood parquet flooring, is embellished with a marble fireplace. Two large cupboards provide extensive storage space. Two windows, with casement bolts, open on to the garden. The painted ceiling beams and joists have been left exposed. A little, 19th century lounge has herringbone pattern, oak wood parquet flooring. A bright, spacious kitchen has three openings, two of which provide a privileged view of the cathedral. A finely and intricately wrought, iron door opens into the garden. The fitted kitchen also includes a central unit and a marble fireplace, making it a welcoming living room. An independent, tiled hall, on the other side of the porchway, provides access to a laundry room and a bedroom, laid with coconut matting, and its bathroom area. An independent study is set at right angles.
This level begins with a landing room, housing a small study. A first guest bedroom is named the “Vincent Larcher bedroom” because of its outstanding stained-glass windows. This through room is widely illuminated by four windows, two of which look out over the square, giving a magnificent view of the cathedral, whilst the other two, facing the garden, are beautifully decorated with stained glass. The floor is laid with strip pattern parquet flooring and the ceiling beams are exposed. A private bathroom, with a shower, a wash-hand basin and a toilet, communicates with the loggia. The parquet flooring is laid in a herringbone pattern. A corridor provides access to a small room, with a shower, used for housekeeping purposes. A guest suite is composed of a lounge and a bedroom, enhanced with a marble fireplace and two large cupboards. The floors are laid with strip pattern parquet flooring. This room is illuminated by two windows, looking out over the garden. The bathroom also has parquet flooring. The toilet is separate. Another suite opens into a cosy lounge, with a marble fireplace and cupboards. The bedroom is also enhanced with an English-style marble fireplace. Wainscoting makes the room even more welcoming. This suite has strip pattern, oak wood parquet flooring throughout. The bedroom is illuminated by two windows, overlooking the square. The view of the cathedral is stunning. A private shower room, with a walk-in shower, wash-hand basins and a toilet, completes this suite.
This level is only laid out on the right-hand side of the porch. It was once the workshop of master glassmaker, Vincent-Larcher. Dubbed “the workshop”, this sumptuous, main guest suite has sloping ceilings, going up to a 6 m high ridge and featuring a wonderful, exposed roofing framework. The former workshop is illuminated by two windows and two wide skylights. The floor is laid with coconut matting. This vast open space also includes a bathroom, with a shower and two wash-hand basins. The toilet is separate. A second, adjoining child’s bedroom or lounge also has a sloping ceiling.
The Italianate gallery, the loggia, the garage
This Italianate, half-timbered gallery is open on two levels. On the ground floor, the gallery is supported by regularly-spaced, oak wood columns. An open loggia featuring balusters, also made of oak wood, tops the gallery. A stairway links the two levels. A covered garage, following on from the gallery on the ground floor behind a half-timbered facade, can be reached via the entrance porchway.
The old stables
This 2-storey building (the oldest), with its half-timbered facades and its fully renovated roofs, has been admirably renovated for use as accommodation. It is divided into two sections:
- left-hand entrance: a 2-storey guest suite,
- right-hand entrance on the ground floor: a spare bedroom, with a bathroom and toilet (electric heating).
Guest suite side: an entrance hall, with coconut matting, provides access to a toilet and a child’s bedroom.
Known as “the old gardener’s bedroom”, this area forms the main bedroom of this wonderful guest suite. The room has a sloping ceiling, going up to a 3.50 m high ridge. The floor is covered with coconut matting. The shower room, with a walk-in shower and a wash-hand basin, opens into the bedroom.
A residence that is almost perfect. To those who think that stone has a soul, the answer is unequivocally yes. In addition to the harmony and the absolute tranquillity of these premises, not to mention the exquisite taste with which they have been decorated, converted and enhanced, all in keeping with their original integrity, guests are enveloped by something indescribable and poignant. The visitors’ book, kept by the current owners, bears witness to the magnificent aura exuded by these premises.
Pragmatically speaking, the five superbly designed, converted and decorated guest suites generate a significant turnover.
A further two bedrooms make it possible for the owners to live on site. Obviously, new owners could change the vocation of this property and turn it back into a family home.
|Land registry surface area||976 m2|
|Main building surface area||460 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||7|
Seine & Marne
Corinne Angeli +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.