French Castles

Discover the Beautiful Medieval Castles of Alsace

The Alsatian chateaux are an architectural and cultural marvel that can be accessed by a 450 km hiking trail. All you need is your energy, some water, and all the time in the world!

Discover Alsace, France where wine flows like water and half-timbered houses line the streets. This region located on a hilly territory between two rivers is home to many castles that offer incredible views of an architectural heritage dating back 800 years ago. From north to south, discover why so many people have called this place home for centuries with 2000+ miles (3200 kilometers) worth of hiking trail just waiting in wait for you!

The Land of wines, half-timbered houses, storks and delicious food that are Alsace has one of the most generous European regions in terms of medieval fortified castles. The architecture heritage is a fantastic mix from 80 buildings to be explored on foot with an exceptional architectural heritage waiting for you.

The Association Châteaux forts d’Alsace and the Club Vosgien are proud to present their topo-guide Chemin des châteaux forts d’Alsace. The 450 km of this walking circuit allow you to discover France’s most beautiful castles, such as Bouillon (the birthplace of King Henri IV), Haut Koenigsbourg Castle or Neufmaisons Castle near Strasbourg.
The new book Walks around Castles in Alsance is also available at Visitor Centers throughout the Circuit Touristique du Patrimoine et de l’Environnement Duchéen: it enables visitors who prefer a half day walk with more leisurely pace from one castle to another.

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Owning a French castle – From a Dream To Reality

The castles of France are unlike any other. They range from fancy, to small and simple; but they all have one thing in common: every castle has a story behind it that makes it so special!

Some people dream since they were kids about owning their own personal French castle with cobblestone streets leading up to the gates. For others, inheriting property is just an expectation-a family tradition passed down through generations for centuries. And then there’s those who buy these majestic structures because of the beauty or history within them, no matter how old or new…all kinds come together under this banner called “French Castles.”

Check out our latest projects that you can be a part of.

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Inside a French Château During a Painstaking Restoration

Contemporary art dealer Pierre-Alain Challier fell in love with a romantic castle as a boy and finally fulfilled his dream of one day ruling the roost.

When asking children what they would like to be when they grow up, the answers are often about being a firefighter, a movie star, or living in a castle. In the case of French contemporary art dealer Pierre-Alain Challier, living in a castle was his boyhood aspiration and today he is not too far off the mark. “I grew up in a little village next to the Château de Lascours, about 435 miles south of Paris,” says Challier. “It was always the magical, rundown castle next door, like the one in Sleeping Beauty.” He and his friends would play on the estate’s grounds, even though they were forbidden from doing so. When he was 12, Challier wrote to the owner of the property, a prince, and asked if he could buy the smaller château in the woods. He never answered. “I then went to see him,” he recalls, “and he told me his family would never sell anything.”

Time marched on and Challier continued to fantasize about this romantic castle. He moved to Paris, opened his art gallery, but never forgot about this childhood dream. About 10 years ago, the estate’s owner died and bequeathed the huge property to a niece, who lived in Patagonia—and she had no plans of moving back. So in 2012, Challier and his partner, Bertrand de Latour, made an offer on the château and purchased the property, without ever having even been inside.

The first project was to replace all of the roofs—approximately 16,400 feet of it—just to keep the entire place from completely falling apart. Then work began on the expansive park and gardens. The property had been abandoned for many years, and as is often the case with such properties, had been stripped of all its mantles and anything that could be carted off and sold or repurposed. “Maybe this in a way would give me the chance to do something new,” Challier comments. “I want to respect the exterior and the way it was, but be a bit more flexible with the interiors.”

Challier’s family still lives one village away and all of them have enthusiastically embraced the renovation project. “This is the project of a lifetime, which will take just as long,” he says. “This place is magical, and I want to think about it for the next generation.” His hope is to set up a foundation for artists to stay on the property and create. “Not a gallery, but for exhibitions and for large-scale monumental works.” This is a long-term plan and a few artists have already come to visit, wander around the property, and imagine. Meantime, Challier was approached recently by a young man from a nearby village who told him he had also dreamed about this abandoned château his entire life, asking if he could be married there. Not one to shy away from a celebration, Challier agreed and the young couple said their vows on the grounds this summer. Another dream come true.

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This Chateau Has 10,000 Owners

La Mothe-Chandeniers is a romantic French château straight out of a storybook. Dating back to the 13th century, it now lies abandoned — and its turrets and towers have begun to crumble. But the chateau has seen an unexpected change of fortune — more than 10,000 people around the world have clubbed together to save the castle from decline. And the number’s continuing to grow. Each modern-day “knight in shining armor” has donated at least 50 euros ($58) toward salvaging the château.
And in return, each of those donors have been crowned co-owner of the castle. They won’t all be living there, but they will get a say in the castle’s regeneration — and be the first through the doors following its new lease of life.
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Welcome to Saving Castles

Saving Castles is a revolutionary platform that empowers collective funding for foundations, associations, individuals or government agencies who need help in financing their projects. Saving Castles connects directly with project holders to engage them collaboratively and financially on preserving European heritage.

With Saving Castles you can easily find other project holders willing to contribute funds all while connecting with like-minded people in the process.

The Saving Castles team has been working for years to preserve our cultural heritage. With the help of crowdfunding, they can work with project developers and patrons so that these projects get off the ground. They take care of all financial exchanges in order to ensure success for all parties involved!

The people at Saving Castles want you – yes YOU-to be a part of preserving your culture’s history through their platform which helps promote successful transactions between fundraisers and donors or borrowers/investors who are interested in supporting them financially.

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How to Buy and Renovate your own French Castle

They say an Englishman’s home is his castle – but for many Brits, Americans and others, the real dream is to buy a piece of history in the form of a French chateau.

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Advice for U.S, Citizens Buying Real Estate in France

In any ’normal’ year, France receives over 100,000 foreign nationals from all nationalities who wish to settle in this sought after European country.  This represents approximatively 10% of all property sales in the metropole.

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