Sat. Oct 1st, 2022

Imagine if a 16th-century castle could be yours for a relatively reasonable price, complete with turrets, stables and historically listed gardens?

Well, the French government is selling a small but impressive piece of French history—the Château de Saint-Elix—to the highest bidder next month and the starting price is not that expensive.

The Château de Saint-Elix was built at an important strategic crossroads in the 16th century—by the tracks of a historic Roman road, that later turned into the “Royal Way” and that later became the current A64 (it is also called La Pyrénéenne and runs east west across France).

The stunning castle is situated southwest of the city of Toulouse, built at a time of great prosperity for the city. Its four turrets are just visible from the main road and its ideal location means that it is a thirty-minute drive from Toulouse’s Blagnac airport.

And it’s impressive, with 25 rooms, of which 14 are ensuite bedrooms, with lots of cellars and a sweeping reception room of more than 50 m². The total habitable surface is 1,353 m² with grounds of 29,555 m² (3 hectares).

In the past it was owned by the marquis de Montespan, whose wife the madame de Montespan was mistress to King Louis XIV and it was heavily destroyed in the French Revolution. During World War Two, it was taken over by the Air Force but a huge fire broke out in 1945 and for most of the 1950s and beyond, it was looted and left to decay.

It was totally renovated between 1980 and 1992 (complete with a new slate roof) and despite being put up for sale in 2014 and 2018, it never sold and still belongs to the French government. The château was listed as a Historic Monument in 1927 and its park, garden, orangery, enclosing walls, stables, basin and dovecote were also listed in 1994.

The starting price is €750,000 but potential buyers should be aware of the costs of buying such a home, not least the bills to heat it in the winter and to water the extensive and magnificent lawns in summer.

The online auction will last 24 hours and will take place between Tuesday, June 21, at 1pm and Wednesday, June 22, at 1pm. Interested parties can watch a drone video of the chateau and its impressive estate online and take a virtual tour of the insides.

Anyone tempted should investigate the plans and gallery of photos of the property on the French government website.

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