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Despite the modesty of the building itself, this property is a stunning example of just how elegant 17th century architecture can be. The carefully executed renovation has turned it into a miniature version of the chateau that stands behind. Today, it is hard to imagine that this was once a modest guard's lodge surrounded by the tall walls of the property. Although it is only one hour from Paris, the change of scenery is striking.
Along the road from Courances to Fontainebleau is the magnificent area of Fleury-en-Bière which is protected by wide brick and stone walls. As if from nowhere, a small house overlooking the imposing dark wood vaulted door that leads to the château de Fleury appears. This house, known as "La Poterne", is the only place where you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the chateau. It was originally the home of the guard who, from this spot, could easily monitor the comings and goings. We were enchanted by this old 17th century watch tower which has been transformed into an amazing "perched house". It is reached by a small staircase that begins under the porch.
La Poterne has been occupied since the construction of the Château de Fleury and dates back to the middle of the 16th century. It suffered greatly from a fire in August 2013. We bought the building in 2016 and spent six months restoring it - we relied on the expertise of three craftsmen. After the fire, there was nothing left that could be reused on the site except the rustic 17th century staircase, the terracotta tiles and the fireplace. The biggest challenge in the renovation was creating three rooms in one (kitchen, living room, dining room) on the first level while preserving the volume and aesthetics of the original space. Although la Poterne was once the modest residence of the guard, it definitely exudes the spirit of chateau life.
The story begins in 1550, when Como Clausse build "a symmetrical frame of outbuildings around a wide forecourt, as well as part of the chateau which consisted of a dwelling grafted onto a medieval tower and a main wing on the right." The chateau remained unfinished for nearly two hundred years. It is said that one evening in 1626, a dinner was to be held at the Château de Fleury - most of the conspirators against Louis XIII were invited, he was still a very young king at the time. This scheme was nipped in the bud when Monsieur the king's brother confessed (though he was a conspirator himself) and revealed all of the names to the king. The dinner never happened and the keeper of la Poterne waited a long time for the coaches that never arrived. Expansion work was carried out in 1770. Collector Martine de Behague bought the Fleury estate in 1910, she decided to restore the building and give it a new lease of life by rescuing the authentic elements.
With an incredible balcony overlooking a slice of France's history, the Poterne is a place of absolute comfort where our guests can admire the architectural splendours of the chateau and enjoy a unique experience. Spread over three levels, la Poterne is a place like no other. In the main room, the huge window and its oculus provide an unobstructed view of the chateau. As for the decor, every detail encourages rest and relaxation. The property is adorned with soft colours and unique, country furniture in the early 18th century style. The flecked Drouot dresser and the pheasant attached to the staircase are particular favourites. To make the stay even more pleasant, we offer a range of services ranging from room service (breakfast and meals delivered to your door) to well-being (massages, pilates, reflexology, naturopathic).
Our guests have VIP access to the château de Courances gardens, they are an exceptional place to explore. We recommend stopping by the village of Barbizon which saw a great number of visiting artists for nearly fifty years between 1825 and 1875. The influence of these artists can still be seen throughout the village, especially in the galleries and workshops of today. The Bistrot du Bas-Bréau has been established in the former hall of the Auberge de l'Exposition where painters liked to meet and savour small dishes.
1480 € - 2133 € per week
480 € - 920 € per week-end
La Poterne has three floors. The main room includes a living room, a dining room table and a kitchen. On each floor, there is a double bedroom with a retro boudoir-style en suite equipped with an cast iron bathtub.