château de Mont­brun

Dour­nazac, Haute-Vi­enne, France

The National - News - Luxury - - HOT PROPERTY -

Lo­cated in the Limousin re­gion of France, this 12th-cen­tury cas­tle, which passed from roy­alty to clergy to min­is­ters of court un­til the last Lord of Mont­brun was given the choice to lose his head or his home dur­ing the French Rev­o­lu­tion, is an es­tate steeped in his­tory

Two thou­sand years ago, high-end homes came with sprawl­ing grounds and ban­quet halls to seat a hun­dred. In the 2000s, we have satel­lite tele­vi­sion, home cine­mas and cen­trally heated floor­ing. Mont­brun Cas­tle has been through as many restora­tions as it has his­tor­i­cal bat­tles, and it was most re­cently re­vamped in the 90s, which means that the 16-room es­tate main­tains its me­dieval château feel but the floors have never been warmer nor the ameni­ties more tech­no­log­i­cally sound.

Built in 1179 on the or­ders of King Henry II of Eng­land, the cas­tle grounds are the burial place of Richard the Li­on­heart’s in­testines. There’s even a res­i­dent ghost – al­though that didn’t de­ter Madame Pom­padour, Pres­i­dent de Gaulle, and, more re­cently, Brad Pitt and An­gelina Jolie from vis­it­ing. The Jolie-Pitts were think­ing about buy­ing, but Jolie opted for a man­sion in Provence, a fact that Pitt has pub­licly lamented.

In­cluded in the ask­ing price of €20.5 mil­lion are 500 acres of land, four lakes, sta­bles and a tav­ern on the “pub­lic” part of the es­tate. The oak and chest­nut forests are ideal for horse rid­ing and hunt­ing with fal­cons.

The liv­ing space ex­tends to 35,000 square feet, di­vided among four tow­ers that sur­round a court­yard lead­ing to that 100-seater hall. There are 15 en-suite guest rooms, one colos­sal mas­ter bed­room, a li­brary, ser­vants’ quar­ters, three kitchens and a cin­ema in a vaulted tower.

The cur­rent owner, the Dutch busi­ness­man Maarten Lamers, has clear­ances from the Mon­u­ments de France her­itage com­mit­tee for the con­struc­tion of pools, ten­nis courts, a golf­ing green, in-roads for owner ac­cess and even a pri­vate he­li­port. It’s lit­tle won­der, then, that Pitt said: “I wanted to buy this beau­ti­ful cas­tle, but An­gelina wanted to be closer to the sea ... un­for­tu­nately!” By Panna Mun­yal

Ask­ing price: Dh100 mil­lion, ne­go­tiable

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