Built in the mid 1700's, Chateau de Gudanes still stands proudly in the south of France in the small village of Chateau-Verdun.
The Class 1 Historic Monument was designed by Parisian architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel, famous for his neoclassical, architectural symmetry, including the Le Petit Trianon and Place de la Concorde.
In 2013 it was purchased by an Australian family who have taken on the responsibility to awaken this sleeping beauty after years of neglect.
Chateau de Gudanes was built in the mid eighteenth century on behalf of Louis Gaspard de Sales, Marquis de Gudanes. Gaspard, also known as the "King of the Pyrénées", was an influential member of the Toulouse Parliament, and ironmaster of the Ariége.
Located on a ledge overlooking the Midi- Pyrénées, en route to Plateau de Baille, Chateau de Gudanes was constructed on the site of an earlier fortress, dating back to the 13th century. However, the previous castle was largely degraded in 1580, during the religious wars.
Over time, just like its predecessor, Chateau de Gudanes also suffered tremendous neglect and fell into disrepair - the roof collapsed in four places resulting in extensive water damage, mould and destruction. The majority of the interior became rubble and was completely inaccessible, bar three rooms, due to the result of ceiling, wall and floor collapse.
After four years on the real estate market, and two years of negotiation after their son found it on the internet, the Chateau was purchased by an Australian family, who began restorations in November 2013.
After the consolidation phase began it was as if the Chateau had reawakened, and the energy, and optimism it brings, now seems boundless. After undergoing a break from the past the Chateau has regained her strength and identity, which we now hope to share with you.
Our plans for the future keep changing and evolving, and they are only in their infancy, but we hope to welcome you as soon as possible. In the summer of 2016 we are planning to open for 'The Weekend' stay.
Our aim is to tread lightly and gently - to preserve the atmosphere and authenticity of the Chateau and region as much as possible. She will be renovated but her rawness, wear and history will not be erased, but instead integrated. In keeping with this, we also plan to use energy efficient principles and sustainable refurbishment. This means up cycling and recycling as much as possible, including building materials, design features and decor.
The Chateau won’t be a pretentious museum piece, but rather, a place to visit, reconnect with the earth and people, and restore the senses, just like she herself has been restored. It won’t be about overcrowding the walls with paintings or overflowing the floors with furnishings, but will be relatively minimalistic - a place to simply rest, breathe and enjoy the calm.
Our page shares the story of the past, present and future of Chateau de Gudanes. Here you can follow the progress of events: planning, official permission and the consolidation and restoration phases, which started in November 2013.
The past - clear and defined, the present - expect chaos...... and the future - a surprise!