chateau restoration

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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From Fortresses to Palaces: The Varied Architecture of French Castles

France is a country known for its rich history, culture, and architecture, and one of the most captivating aspects of its heritage is its castles. Castles in France come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, from grandiose palaces to humble fortresses. Each castle is unique in its own way, and what sets them apart is the story behind them.

Castles in France have a fascinating history that spans centuries, and each castle has its own tale to tell. Some castles were built for the noble families to protect themselves during wars, while others were built for royalty as luxurious palaces. Some castles were later turned into prisons or hospitals, and others were abandoned for years, only to be rediscovered and restored centuries later. Each castle has its own unique story that adds to its charm and allure.

One of the most famous castles in France is the Palace of Versailles, which was built in the 17th century for King Louis XIV. This magnificent palace boasts stunning architecture, intricate designs, and expansive gardens that have become a symbol of the French royal family’s power and grandeur. The Palace of Versailles is not only a testament to French architecture and art, but it is also a reflection of the country’s rich history.

Another popular castle in France is the Château de Chambord, which is located in the Loire Valley. This castle was built during the 16th century for King Francis I and features a unique blend of French Renaissance and Gothic architecture. The castle’s design is said to have been influenced by Leonardo da Vinci, who worked for King Francis I during the time the castle was being built.

The Château de Chenonceau is another castle in the Loire Valley that is known for its rich history and unique architecture. The castle was built in the 16th century and has served as a royal residence, a hospital, and even a military headquarters during World War I. What makes this castle unique is its location, which spans across the River Cher, making it one of the few castles in the world built over a river.

Aside from these grandiose castles, there are also smaller, more modest ones that have a unique story to tell. For instance, the Château de Hautefort, which is located in the Périgord region of France, was originally built as a fortress during the Middle Ages. Over the centuries, it was transformed into a luxurious chateau with beautifully manicured gardens, which can be visited by tourists today.

In conclusion, French castles are a testament to the country’s rich history and architectural heritage. Each castle has a unique story to tell, whether it be about wars, royalty, art, or culture. Visiting a French castle is an experience that should not be missed, as it provides a glimpse into the country’s past and allows us to appreciate the beauty and splendor of its architecture. Whether you dream of owning a French castle or simply admire them from afar, there is no denying that these majestic structures hold a special place in the hearts of many.

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Inspiring Creativity: The Story of a French Art Dealer’s Castle Restoration Project

When he was young, Pierre-Alain Challier developed a fondness for a castle nearby his village in France. As an adult, Challier became a contemporary art dealer in Paris, but he never forgot about his childhood dream of living in a castle. About a decade ago, the owner of the estate passed away and left the property to his niece, who resided in Patagonia and had no plans of returning. Challier and his partner, Bertrand de Latour, made an offer on the castle and bought it without ever having seen the inside. Since then, they have been working on restoring the property, which had been abandoned and stripped of many of its original features. Challier hopes to set up a foundation for artists to stay on the property and create large-scale works. Recently, a young couple even got married on the castle’s grounds.

Challier’s restoration of the castle is a passion project that he hopes will last for generations to come. He plans to preserve the castle’s exterior while making changes to the interior to accommodate his vision for an artist residency program. While the castle’s restoration is a long-term project, Challier is excited about the progress he has made so far.

Despite the challenges of restoring such an enormous property, Challier remains dedicated to his goal. He wants to create a space where artists can create without fear of judgement or commercial pressure. By providing a serene and supportive environment, Challier hopes to inspire artists to push the boundaries of their creativity.

The restoration of the castle is not just a personal project for Challier, but a community one as well. His family and friends have all rallied behind him to support the restoration. With their help, Challier hopes to continue to make progress and create a space that will inspire generations of artists to come.

Challier’s story is a testament to the power of childhood dreams and the importance of pursuing them. Despite the obstacles that he faced, he never gave up on his dream of living in a castle. Now, he is not just living in one, but restoring it to its former glory and creating a space where others can pursue their own creative dreams.

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Inside Dominic West’s Castle Home

In this episode of ‘Open Door,’ Dominic West takes us on a tour of Glin Castle, the Irish ancestral home of his wife Catherine FitzGerald’s family. The castle maintains its various period aesthetics, but with all the accoutrement of modern life. From the 10,000 year old Irish elk skull and antlers to the resident spirits and ghosts, Dominic and Catherine show us everything.


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Arundel Castle reopens to visitors as restrictions ease

ARUNDEL Castle has welcomed visitors back through its historic gates amid the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The building, which had remained closed over winter to carry out essential restoration work, reopened its doors today for the first time this year. Dating back to the 11th century, many of the castle’s original features, including the Norman keep, medieval gatehouse and barbican, remain today.

Like other attractions around Sussex, the castle has been forced to adapt to accommodate social distancing measures.

There is now a modified route that includes the Barons’ Hall, the library and the grand staircase where a recently restored 18th century tapestry can be seen.

Castle manager Stephen Manion said the historic keep will open once the restrictions are fully lifted.

He said: “Arundel Castle is delighted to open its doors to visitors as part of the steps out of lockdown.

“The fabulous rooms, art and furniture are all beautifully displayed within the magnificent castle building, parts of which date back to the 11th century.

“Due to social distancing, there is a modified route which includes the great Barons’ Hall, the amazing library and the grand staircase on which hangs the recently restored 18th century Gobelin tapestry, leading to the bedrooms.

“The historic keep will open later, when the restrictions are lifted, but can be admired from outside.

“The exciting medieval event from 29 May to 31 May will have falconry, the clash of steel and cries of victory from fearsome sword fighting displays.

“Aromas of cooking and the sound of the blacksmith will be accompanied by the pipe and drum of our musicians.

“For the young and young at heart, have-a-go archery will test their skills.”

Over the winter, a helicopter was used to carry materials in and out of the grounds, over the castle’s imposing walls. One highlight currently open to visitors is the Regency library, which contains 10,000 books. The staff remove and clean them individually each year when the castle closes.

The library is 122ft long and entirely fitted in Honduras mahogany and the oldest printed book is the Augsburg Bible, 1477. The grand Barons’ Hall, a view of the grand staircase and the dining room and drawing room are all also open until November 1.

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Culdees Castle Estate Now Undergoing Renovations

A RUINED castle that was left in a state of disrepair for over 50 years is undergoing renovations that will transform it into a new luxury venue, giving future guests the chance to holiday, wine and dine.  

Culdees Castle Estate, designed and built in 1810 for Charles Drummond, whose clan was rewarded for fighting with Robert the Bruce, has not been lived in since 1968, the new owners said. After gaining extensive experience in renovating properties and stumbling across the castle on a family holiday, Tracey Horton and Rob Beaton bought Culdees in the summer of 2019 and are “determined to restore the site to its former glory”.  

Ms Horton has extensive experience in property development and events management, and the pair have a long-term plan of restoring the whole castle. 

Following the purchase, the venture accessed a suite of Business Gateway’s start-up support services including advice on their business plan, marketing, and funding.

A dedicated adviser also provided guidance through regular virtual meetings and was able to signpost the couple to a business loan, helping them secure enough funding to turn their vision of turning the castle into a fully functioning venue into a reality.

After receiving Business Gateway’s support, the first phase of renovations is “making significant progress, and the estate now boasts a luxury glamping site with three cosy cabins, each named after previous custodians of the castle”.

Visitors to the site can enjoy hot tubs, fire pits and BBQs with direct views of the backlit castle. The couple hope to continue renovating the main body of the castle next year, and future plans include revamping the commercial kitchen and chapel, as well as designing a cosy whisky bothy. Ms Horton also hopes to develop a luxury champagne bar where guests can enjoy afternoon teas.

Ms Horton, managing director, Culdees Castle Estate, said: “We knew renovating Culdees Castle would be a big project, but we really appreciated the beauty of the building and were determined to transform it into something special. Perthshire has a great reputation for tourism, so we really needed to make Culdees stand out from the crowd.

“I have no doubt that the castle will give people something to look forward to as restrictions ease further, and I’m confident the venue will make a beautiful backdrop for the weddings that have been booked for later this year. We will continue to support Tracey and Rob as they continue their renovations and I look forward to seeing what they do next.” 

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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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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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