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Completely renovated and comfortable 11th Century French Château-fort in sunny Languedoc

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  • 11th Century Castle Totally Renovated
  • Listed Historic Monument ISMH
  • Remarkable Dominating Outlook
  • Mediterranean Sea 36km, Skiing 75km
  • Superb Architectural Elements and Donjon
  • Peaceful Setting with 360 ° View

A completely renovated and comfortable 11th Century French 'Châteaufort' - fortified stronghold converted to residential use. Legend says the owner can use the title of Baron.

Grand, though not overwhelming, this castle would make a fairy-tale family home as well as a unique boutique hotel/retreat.

Situated on a hilltop surrounded by forest with a view of the Mediterranean. In the sunniest part of France – The Eastern Pyrénées! This part of the Languedoc (Roussillon) is noted for its music festivals, historic monuments, fruits, flowers and wines. Here there is no pollution and the hilltop position assures regular breezes. Extraordinarily quiet guaranteed – no sound of road traffic and the air traffic corridor is far, far away.

The prosperous village below has 420 inhabitants. There is a butcher, grocer, post office, bus service, elementary school and a seasonal outdoor restaurant. The nearest town is 10 minutes away and the city of Perpignan 20 minutes. Both are historic, prosperous and charming. The castle is close to the international auto-route, rail and TGV stations and airport. It is within 1 hour hour from winter resorts in the Pyrénées and summer swimming at some of the best beaches along the Mediterranean. A large commercial/shopping centre is 15 minutes away. Under two hours by car from Barcelona, Toulouse, Nimes and Montpellier. High speed rail service to Barcelona 80mins and Paris about 5 hours.

The domain of about 17 acres has 360 degree protected panoramas over river valleys, farms and villages, medieval ruins and snow capped peaks. The location is just 36 kilometres from the Mediterranean coast and 75 kilometres from Pyrenees ski resorts.

The interior living space is over 650m2, not counting terraces, stairs and baths. There are eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms. Two of the eight bedrooms with their bathrooms could easily form a separate apartment. For entertaining there are four majestic rooms plus the three donjons, two studies, four terraces and the courtyard. At the garden/pool level there are four exterior entertaining areas.

From the castle entrance, there are miles of safe paths that lead into delightfully scented foothills of parasol pine, mimosa, cork and olive. The exquisite gardens are equipped with in-ground sprinklers and include a cascading fountain, green theatre, sunken Italian secret garden and a pergola around the ancient walls – all are dramatically lit at night by spotlights and in-ground projectors. The heated swimming pool with exercise jet and automatic cover is bordered by lemon trees and a Palladian “wall” of cypress with arched windows through which roses and distant mountains are seen. There is ample space for a tennis court.

A handsome wrought iron gate with jolly black birds (merles) graces the main entrance into a flower-filled courtyard with its powder/mud room on one side and the guest apartment on the other. The barrel vaulted entry hall is actually an 11th C. donjon with two doorways. One leads down 6 stone steps past two ancient portals into the Salle d’Armes, now a cinema/conference/exercise space. Then, solid wooden steps go down further to the Oubliette – the lowest donjon, once a place for storage of prisoners or food, now a service facility for the pool with kitchen/bar/grill and changing room/shower and bath. It becomes a ballroom with glass floor, fibre optic lights and Bose surround sound.

The other doorway from the entry donjon leads to a lavish marble circular stairway to the Salle Capitulaire – a 2 storey cathedral ceilinged dining room. At one end is a sunny breakfast terrace. From that same end one enters the guest wing passing first the Japanese Study then the “Harlequin” bedroom and the “White” bedroom.

Regaining the dining room, there is the beamed kitchen with its American appliances and collection of copper pots. Also from the dining room there is the music room, (with electronic piano/organ) from which a narrow staircase climbs to the “Princess” bedroom with its look-out into the dining room below. The sixth arched door of the dining room is linked by a short passage to the Grand Salon, the huge living room with its beamed ceiling, baronial fireplace and large window seat set into the 10 foot thick walls. Both the two bedroom Master suite and the Map room/Study are accessed from the Grand Salon.

Returning to the circular marble stairway, one reaches the top floor. To the left there is the print/drawing/bedroom and full bath. Beyond one reaches the spacious library with fireplace, three exposures, window seats, stylish reading lights, year round climate control, walk-in storage closets and concealed sound system. To the right at the top of the stairs is the Salon d’Ete – the summer dining room. This conveniently opens to a walled terrace with its round fountain. An exterior stone stairway leads to the vast, tiled roof top with its flagpoles and crenulations. All are lit at night to a magical effect. There is space for elevator/dumb waiter and four additional bedrooms could be created with some modest structural alterations.

There is high security with internal motion detectors and external video surveillance cameras connected to an excellent 24 hour service. In-floor electric heating keeps the building delightfully warm without modern intrusions of radiators. The thick stone walls maintain a pleasant temperature in summer.

PLEASE NOTE: this exceptional property has been given to us by a well-regarded, independent local French estate agent with who we have a special relationship. Agency fees will be payable by the seller and are included in the asking price.

Ref: 11025
Ille-sur-Tet 66130
County: Pyrenees-Orientales
Sale Type: For Sale
Ref #: 11025
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