Generation after generation of one household from the village of Orléat in central France has been walking the same terrain for about 400 years.
This sand-colored stone castle in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region has been passed down within the family since its construction in the 17th century. Over the years, the owners’ events have attracted a collection of esteemed guests, including writer and politician François-René de Chateaubriand, political theorist Madame de Staël, and mathematician and inventor Blaise Pascal, to name a few.
But the property has another striking feature. The centerpiece of the 13,000-square-foot castle is a two-story library filled with shelves containing a collection of 60,000 books. A spiral staircase connects the two levels in a corner of the wood-clad room. A book-lined gallery has inlaid wooden floors and French doors.
A mansard roof and conical turrets above the two-storey dwelling. The elegant reception rooms have high ceilings, elaborate moldings and ornate arched windows. Many of the 10 bedrooms are on the first floor.
A grand staircase leads to a landing before splitting in opposite directions to access the second floor.
There is extra space in the attic, where dormer windows let in daylight, and the basement.
Tucked away at the end of a path in the wooded grounds is a Romanesque Revival chapel referred to as a Historic Monument, a national heritage.
Various outbuildings provide more living space and storage.
The estate includes 50 hectares (about 125 acres) of woodland and gardens overlooking a valley. The view also includes the Chaîne des Puys. The now dormant volcanic area contains cinder and lava domes, as well as craters.
Sophie van Cayzeele of Groupe Mercure is the listing agent for the estate, with a price of EUR 1.7 million (US $2 million).
The property is about 20 minutes from the university town of Clermont-Ferrand, where you can see sights such as a Gothic cathedral made of black lava stone and the Place de Jaude, a wide public square centered on a statue of a war hero from the Gallic Wars. The city also has a renowned rugby team.
Regional delicacies include local cheeses, wines and aperitifs.
The castle is about 10 minutes from a motorway and 70 minutes from Lyon and the international Lyon Saint Exupery Airport. Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne Airport is the nearest airport.
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