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This 17th-Century Château in France Can Now Be Yours for $13.5 Million

It’s not every day that a 17th-century French château comes to market, and it’s even more rare when one as important as the Château de Fléchères in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region becomes available. Located in Fareins, about 25 miles north of Lyon, the nearly 13,000-square-foot residence is priced at $13.5 million. A total of ten bedrooms and bathrooms are featured within the gated estate, which was renovated by its current owners in the early 2000s. Gideon Lang-Laddie of The Agency holds the listing.

In 1606, the estate’s lordship was acquired by Jean Sève, a Calvinist who played an important role in the uprising that led to Lyon coming back under the authority of Henry IV in 1594. After becoming an alderman and then a provost of merchants between 1612 and 1613, he was ennobled, and the Château de Fléchères was created to establish Sève’s nobility. Its regal essence remains intact today.

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Château de Fléchères Grand Salon
A massive carved stone fireplace dominates the Grand Salon.

Architecture from the grand siècle, a time when France was under the control of Louis XIII and Louis XIV, complements the home’s unusual massing. Corner towers capped by domed roofs and a grand courtyard give it character, along with a moat, drawbridge, and fortified entrance that play up its medieval appeal.

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The outbuildings, including a caretaker’s lodge, offer an element of historic charm as well that continues indoors. Moving between the home’s five floors and ample reception rooms is facilitated by an open staircase and wide corridors. Throughout are massive, carved fireplaces and oversized windows with pretty views of the courtyard and the surrounding gardens.

One interior design detail, however, stands out from the rest. Frescoes by Italian artist Pietro Ricchi (1606–1675) flood the home with images of nobility, a somewhat unusual subject for murals at this time in France and unheard of in a secular building. Ricchi created the works upon his arrival in France from Tuscany in 1632. They have since undergone meticulous restoration and are what make Château de Fléchères a true one-of-a-kind.

Château de Fléchères bedroom
One of the lavish bedrooms features frescoes by the Italian artist Pietro Ricchi.

Other notable highlights include the blue room, featuring rococo-style paneling by carpenter Philibert Lonbois, and a 3,000-square-foot Calvinist temple on its third floor that’s decked out with silk-paneled walls, an alcove bedchamber, and marquetry parquet flooring that disappeared in the 1970s but has since been returned. The temple’s most unique feature, however, are three large dormer windows symbolizing the Holy Trinity.

The château’s 37 acres are no less attractive. A series of formal gardens and a potager give way to woodlands, paddocks, and an orchard. Adding to its appeal, plans exist for further development of the property, including converting farm buildings into apartments, entertainment spaces, or event venues.

And for off-site exploration, the château is a short drive to Lyon, revered for its gastronomy, as well as the Beaujolias, Burgundy, and Rhône Valley wine regions.

Click here for more images of the Château de Fléchères.

Château de Fléchères slide cover
Château de Fléchères slide cover

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