A 140 m² flat on the first floor
of the old royal bailiwick courthouse in Pontarlier
Pontarlier, DOUBS franche-comte 25300 FR


In the Doubs department, part of the Franche-Comté region, amidst the Jura mountains, at an altitude of 837 m, in the main street of Pontarlier, a town with all facilities and the dynamism of a very large urban area, in the vicinity of the surrounding mountains, forests and lakes. Ideally linked to the neighbouring Switzerland, just 26 km away, to Paris in a little over 3 hours and to Dijon in 1.5 hours.


Constructed in 1737 as a royal bailiwick courthouse and used as such up until the French Revolution, this classical building was the work of engineer and architect Jean-Querret. Here, in 1782, Mirabeau won his case to quash the trial brought against him by the Marquis de-Monnier for the abduction of his wife. The mansion house originally spanned two levels, but another two floors were added in 1904. The windows are arched and enhanced with keystones. The roof dormers are set directly above the windows on the lower floors. A balcony looks down on to the facade’s central window. Flanked with pilasters and topped with capitals and a large broken, arched pediment, it is adorned with branches on either side of a classical urn. The semi-circular lintel of the balcony, with its scrolled frieze, features a central panel bearing the initials CV, for Charles-Vandel. Master ironsmith, he purchased the courthouse by auction in 1867 and renamed it “Hôtel Vandel”. The courthouse door opens into a cross-ribbed porchway, under a basket-handle arched arcade. Under the porchway is a square vestibule, the left-hand stairway of which leads but to two flats, including the one currently for sale. Behind is an interior courtyard. The facade on this side is adorned with two turrets, reconstructed like-for-like to the original medieval ones in the late 19th century: one is built from limestone, the other from the so-called Vuillecin stone. On the first floor, a long balcony, paved with stone, is supported on closely-spaced corbels, whilst an alcove houses a Notre-Dame-des-Victoires statue.

The flat

The porchway vestibule opens into the hall of the old courthouse providing access upstairs to this flat as well as to another, the result of a division.

Ground floor
The vast hall of the old courthouse.
The floor tiles laid on the ground floor landing are inset with a mosaic medallion depicting the Vandel family’s coat-of-arms: a blue background with a yellow vane topped with three leaved and flowering, white lilies. Upstairs, the landing floor is laid with parquet flooring featuring mosaic motifs. This anteroom of the courthouse, with the monumental stairway and its steps hewn from a single block of stone, the wrought iron railings, the wainscoting and decorative paintings, bestow the place with its solemn character.

First floor
The landing opens into a large lounge, reflecting the Second Empire style. Said lounge is panelled and painted the “king’s white” with gilt moulding and decoration. “Raie d'orves” beading enhances a frieze, depicting young children and their pets. In the corners of the room, a large medallion represents a female allegory. In the centre, a white marble fireplace, topped with a mirror, framed with gilt leaf motifs. The floor is laid with parquet flooring featuring cubic motifs. An adjoining dining room has panelling enhanced with garlands and hunting motifs. A red veined marble fireplace, bearing the year 1749. A Vitruvian-scroll listel enhances a garland frieze in the 18th century style. The floor is covered with inlaid parquet flooring featuring Occitan cross motifs. A Renaissance-style piece of sacristy furniture, with twisted columns and angel’s heads, contains a secret section for the consecrated offerings used during the revolutionary period: it will remain in the room. The large lounge also opens into a small lounge, a more richly decorated room. Its trumeaux, works of painter Chapuis, from Besançon, are allegories of the four seasons. A grey-veined, white marble fireplace, herringbone pattern parquet flooring. Two large rooms with strip pattern parquet flooring: one of which features a superb bookshelf unit, carved with cabling. Throughout the flat, indoor, folding wooden shutters enhance the windows with their richly wrought casement bolts.

Our opinion

Ideally located in the town, itself just a stone’s throw from Switzerland, this flat exudes a noble feeling of neglect. A few discreet changes could easily be made without disturbing the preserved authenticity, making the flat easy to live in with all modern-day home comforts.

Exclusive sale

440 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense

See the fee rates

Reference 680515

Land registry surface area 142 m2
Reception area37.2 m2
Ceiling height3.8
Living space141.84 m2
Number of rooms 5
Number of bedrooms 3

French Energy Performance Diagnosis


Fanny Proffit +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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