An 18th century, listed mansion house, between courtyard and garden, in the midst of the God Mithra's Ardèche town.
This mansion house is a retreat standing in the centre of the old market town in the south of the Ardèche department, on the borders of those of Gard and Drôme, where the bishops of the Vivarais region came to spend their summers.
This property is midway, or less than 30 minutes away, from Chauvet Cave, the oldest masterpiece of humanity protected by Unesco, and the main, modern, communication routes providing access to it: motorways, train stations, ports and cycle paths. The proximity of the Ardèche gorges, the area around Provence and the river Rhône also offers a setting for numerous sports and cultural activities: hiking, performing arts, a water sports centre, potholing, vineyards, Unesco sites and archaeological museums.
This east-west-facing property, laid out in an H-shape, is a typical example of those mid-18th century mansion houses, set between a courtyard and a garden. However, various features bear witness to the existence of an earlier building, possibly dating back to the 15th century. Only one wing is missing, that on the north side of the verdant square, where the vestiges of a dovecote remain. Furthermore, the destruction of part of the south wing by the last owners has created a second garden as well as a small patio in the centre of the main house.
Several streets provide access either to the main courtyard, or to the garden, giving each section a certain autonomy in connection with the history and the current layout of the premises. Virtually out of sight of the street, only the main facade on the east side, is almost perfectly symmetrical, with its eight, semi-blind windows, the appearance of which is reminiscent of Parisian mansion houses. Various profiles and contours embellish and enhance the east facades: mascarons, pilasters and wrought quoins featuring rustic masonry and moulding. Only the coats-of-arms above the entrance door have been partially hammered. Typical of southern homes, this mansion is topped with Roman tiles.
Rare documents, the books of account (preserved in the National Archives), reveal the stylistic influence of the French capital and the regional expertise (craftsmen and an architect from the city-state of Avignon) as well as the quality of the works (use of noble and distant materials: stone from Barbentane and from Saint-Restitut).
After having belonged to illustrious, aristocratic and merchant families, this property took on a new vocation for more than forty years, that of providing accommodation for groups of people (families and youngsters) as part of a predominantly spiritual retreat. It was consequently converted into several flats, all in keeping with the original layout.
The wings and the attic spaceThe two south wings, spanning two levels facing the courtyard and the garden, house four flats, comprising two to five rooms, and three studio flats. A large dormitory awaits completion of its conversion upstairs in the northern section, overlooking the main courtyard. Similarly, a communal kitchen as well as bathroom and toilet facilities take up the southern section and that facing the courtyard in order to be able to host specific events. Three back stairways, two to the north and one to the south, are concealed from the eyes of visitors and provide access to each level up to the attic space, which is not currently used for any specific purpose.
On the ground floor of the courtyard side, a convivial area, taking up the old stables to the south, faces a storage area to the north, the threshold of which still features signs of the passing of horse-drawn carriages.
The main buildingPreserved, the main building still has all of its rooms laid out over two ...
Price 416,000 €
Seller pays the agency fees.
Price / sq metre: €/m² 520.00
Professional property listing
Agency: Agence Patrice Besse
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