Listing of the Day
Location: Seine-et-Marne, France
Price: €18 million (about $19.94 million)
In a neighborhood of châteaux, the 18th-century Château d’Aunoy stands out as one of the first in France to adopt an English-style garden.
The owner at the time, Jean-Baptiste Chabert, had rebuilt the château after the earlier medieval building was ravaged by a fire in 1750, according to Jean-Louis Tapiau, the current owner. The new building adopted all of the modern techniques of the era, such as using stone—rather than wood—supports for the roof.
Mr. Chabert further embellished his mansion with modern grounds, bringing in a gardener from England to design sinuous paths, ponds and viewpoints over 47 acres of the property. An additional 128 acres was left wooded and wild. Nearly 2,000 acres of forest can be rented for hunting.
“The château is in the middle of a protected forest,” says Mr. Tapiau. “You won’t have construction coming in. It’s very rare to have so much space so near Paris.”
After the 1999 windstorms that damaged many trees around Paris, Mr. Tapiau worked with an architect to restore the park, planting 3,000 trees “so the gardens can go on for 80 or 100 more years, with the same character as in 1750,” he says.
The château itself has more than 8,600 square feet on three floors, with two large salons, a reading room, two dining rooms and a kitchen on the ground floor. Upstairs, there are 10 bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms.
The château is historically designated and Mr. Tapiau has invested millions of dollars in its restoration. “It’s authentic,” he says. “It hasn’t been massacred by multiple owners.”
The outer buildings offer an additional 8,600 square feet of living space. There’s an orangerie, a guesthouse, a hunting lodge and a caretaker’s house, as well as greenhouses and garages. Some of the outer buildings can be renovated to provide an additional 10 bedrooms.
The department of Seine et Marne on the outskirts of Paris counts about 60 châteaux, including Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, just down the road from Château d’Aunoy. Château de Fontainebleau, which has a neighboring golf course, is half an hour’s drive away. The nearest village is Champeaux, which is less than a mile away.
Paris is about 50 minutes away by car, and the airports of Roissy Charles de Gaulle and Orly are an hour and 50 minutes, respectively.
Château D’Aunoy has served as the backdrop for a number of music videos, films and photo shoots. German-Australian photographer Helmut Newton shot here. Celine Dion’s music video for “Goodbye’s (The Saddest Word),” and Laurent Voulzy’s video for “Jeanne” were also shot on the property. The 1973 TV series “Joseph Balsamo” was filmed on the estate as well.
The château has received such guests as violinist Mstislav Rostropovich, actress Sophia Loren and actor Jean Reno, Mr. Tapiau says. Ahmed Ben Bella visited there in 1961-62 before he became the first prime minister and president of Algeria.
Agent: Nicolas Hug of Philippe Menager Nicolas Hug, an affiliate of Knight Frank
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