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Thousand-year-old castle, Midi-Pyrénées, France: £556,700 ($720k)

With a history stretching back 1,000 years, this hilltop castle was no doubt once an important defence system for the surrounding region. Positioned on almost an acre of land above France’s Olt Valley, the property stretches 6,243 square feet and comes equipped with endless rooms that are waiting to be rescued – all for a mere €650,000. That’s just £556,700 ($720k).

For sale via Patrice Besse, the palatial palace is truly the stuff of fairytales. Sitting at an altitude of 2,296 feet, on a volcanic outcrop, the castle rises high above the hamlet below, which was built around the castle. Dating back to the 11th century, the fortress stands in a strategic position, which has the added benefit of allowing for incredible views of the Causses and Aubrac mountains.

The property has been altered several times over the centuries, but its current layout is the result of a 17th century remodel. It was later saved from ruin by a remarkable reconstruction in the early 1970s, which was awarded the “Chefs-d’oeuvre en péril” (Masterpieces in Danger) prize. Today, the property is in need of another renovation, to bring it up to modern standards. With its rustic stone walls, exposed beams and pretty mullioned windows that frame unbelievable scenery, we’re sure the challenge would be well worthwhile.

As for rooms, there’s a a cross-vaulted room that once served as a kitchen, a former scullery with a domed ceiling, five bedrooms and numerous living rooms that are waiting to be transformed. Key period elements include its fluted pilasters, botanical motifs, slender columns, oversized fireplaces, pointed-arch openings and flagstone floors. The estate also boasts an abandoned church. Formed from sandstone, the chapel boats an apse with finely crafted modillions.


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