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  5. Article in Mansion Global on the Château de la Barben- 2017, July, 17th

Article in Mansion Global on the Château de la Barben- 2017, July, 17th

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Article in Mansion Global on the Château de la Barben- 2017, July, 17th
A 1,000-year old French castle with a prominent history is on the market for €15 million, (US$17 million).
“It’s almost like a historic theme park,” said Nick Johansen, of Sotheby’s International Realty, the listing agent for the property.


The 60-room, 50,000-square-foot Château de la Barben is 20 minutes from Aix-en-Provence, in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, a southern French region known for its picturesque landscapes, rosé wine and elite residents, like Angelina Jolie, Baroness Michelle Mone, Brad Pitt and Rod Stewart.
The medieval fortress has an incredible history. It was first mentioned in Abbaye de Saint Victor in Marseille in 1064, according to the listing, and was occupied by  various royal families until 1474. That year, La Barben was sold by King Rene to the de Forbin family. Jean II de Forbin was one of the key figures in bringing Provence back into the kingdom of Louis XI, according to the property’s site.

The gardens were designed by one of Louis XIV’s most famous gardeners and landscape architects, Andre Le Nôtre, the man behind the park of Palace de Versailles. La Barben is also the site of the love affair between Princess Pauline Borghese, the sister of Napoleon I, and Auguste de Forbin. It is said that the princess used to bathe in the ornamental pond of the gardens, the listing stated.
Fast forward 500 years: André Pons, an agricultural engineer, bought the estate from Marquis de Forbin family in 1963. It was Mr. Pons who invested in the property’s repairs and modernization. He opened up half of the castle to the public to generate revenue for maintenance and started holding events to bring life into the estate, according to Mr. Johansen. La Barben was restored by Mr. Pons to a livable state, throughout his family’s residence there.
Current seller Bertrand Pillivuyt, owner of the Pillivuyt porcelain company, inherited the property from his wife’s father, André Pons, in 2006.“They’ve put so much work into it and I think they just want to move on,”  Mr. Johansen said.

Bloomberg first broke the story with an interview with Mr.  Pillivuyt, who could not be immediately reached for a comment.
The interiors are maintained to be authentically medieval and retain the property’s history.
Each of the home’s 60 rooms has unique architectural elements and design styles with tapestry, fireplaces and subterranean passages, which give a glimpse into the antique world.
Château de la Barben has maintained its medieval past with arrow slits, watchtowers, vaults and dungeons.
One of the main attractions of the 760-acre castle is how accessible it is. The property is very close to the airport, and the main town. Castles of this size are often tucked away in the hilltops and aren’t as easily to reach, Mr. Johansen said.

 
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