A Brick Chateau With A Moat Asks $3.5 Million In Northern France

The 18th-century chateau near the Belgium border in Valenciennes previously underwent a five-year renovation.

To enjoy the genteel life in bucolic northern France, it’s hard to beat a chateau with a moat.

This 18th-century example sits near the city of Valenciennes, close to the border with Belgium. While known for the making of lace and as a cultural center that produced noted artists and architects, the region has the war-torn history of being a battleground. Much of the town was destroyed during both World Wars and since rebuilt.

So too, this castle-like residence underwent its own rebirth with a massive five-year renovation completed in 2013. The result is a restored 1700s exterior enclosing contemporary interiors.

brick chateau with moat 59300 Valenciennes, Nord Pas de Calais, France

The beautiful brick chateau is set on 2.5 acres of lawn and mature trees. The site adjoins 86 acres of forest. (Groupe Mercure)

Set on 2.5 acres of lawn and mature trees, and adjoining 86 acres of forest, the red brick chateau is accessed by a driveway and walkways that span the moat. Keystones top the arched windows, while stone window frames continue the ornamentation.

Quoin stones adorn most of the structure’s corners, including the raised tower above the drive. Corbelled corner turrets are topped with conical roofs on one face of the house. Dormer windows bring light into the top story.

Beyond the double-height foyer is open-plan space that weds a sleek living area to the white-walled dining room. Off that is the kitchen with an island.

contemporary living room inside chateau 59300 Valenciennes, Nord Pas de Calais, France

The interior living spaces now sport a contemporary sheen thanks to a five-year restoration and enhancement. (Groupe Mercure)

Tiered seating and dark walls give the home theater a modern vibe.

Perhaps the most surprising interior feature is the indoor lap pool. A wooden deck with lounge seating softens one end of the room. Large windows flood the space with natural light.

Also unexpected is the extensive wine cellar with stone walls, floor and ceiling.

Other living areas include a cloakroom, a snooker room, a home gym, a playroom, a study and a library.

wine vault french chateau Valenciennes, Nord Pas de Calais, France

For wine lovers, the property features an extensive wine vault. (Groupe Mercure)

An elevator shaft, complete with ready-to-install equipment, will serve the four levels of the 12,916 square feet of living space. Some 3,230 square feet on the second floor remain to be updated. There are four bedrooms and four bathrooms.

Among high-end amenities are an integrated sound system and a four-person spa.

Sophie van Cayzeele of Groupe Mercure is the listing agent for the mansion, priced at about $3.515 million.

Attractions in Valenciennes include the Musée Des Beaux-Arts, the stylish Centre Place d’Armes shopping mall and historic churches such as the 12th-century Église Saint-Géry, which is designated as a French national monument.

The city is served by the modern Tramway de Valenciennes. Lille Lesquin International Airport is about 24 miles away.

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During four decades of covering luxury and celebrity housing, I’ve looked into people’s homes, lives and property records through many lenses. I was the Los Angeles Times Real Estate section editor for eight years, the Hot Property columnist for six and did stints as a newspaper reporter, copy editor and page designer. My work for The Times Business, Home and Real Estate sections has garnered in-house and national awards for blogging, editing and feature writing.

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