Canal du Midi
Château – estate with 3 gites
between Toulouse and Carcassonne
€1,475,000 * (ref 123)
The Canal du Midi – a 17th century engineering masterpiece – links Toulouse to the Mediterranean sea. It is now a tourist waterway with small boats, barges as well as cyclists and walkers using its water and towpath. There are practically no B&Bs or tourist accommodation near the Canal.
A former military fortress transformed into a Palladian-style chateau by an Italian architect, this property goes back a long way. Luckily the present owners have made great efforts to bring the chateau up to modern-day standards without compromising on the authenticity of the materials or décor. In other words, there is no IKEA furniture cluttering up early 18th century drawing rooms.
As befits a chateau of this standing, the property is completely surrounded by its 5.8 hectares of grounds with no near neighbours. A broad swathe of lawn drops down from the chateau to the Canal du Midi. This part of the canal is relatively quiet – between Castelnaudary and Villefranche-de-Lauragais – but there is a steady traffic of pleasure boats, a sprinkling of cyclists and some walkers in summer.
Château on the Canal du Midi
The chateau has three storeys covering roughly 420m² each. Ground floor comprises the vast entrance hall, large lounge, dining-room, kitchen, study, artist’s studio and diverse pantries and cloakrooms. The second floor has a billiard room (which could double as a ball-room), four bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, at least 3 servants’ bedrooms and a warren of corridors, secret passages and service stairs. The top floor is attic space with headroom for giants, split into about 6 very big spaces.
The grounds are a mix of woodland and lawn, French-style garden and horse paddocks. They include a 3 bedroomed cottage near the canal of around 120 m². The other two gites are in the west wing of the chateau. There’s also an old forge and a bakery (with a bread oven). In other words a selection of accommodation which could be used to generate a bit of income.
The local village has shops, café, restaurant and post office. Castelnaudary (with all services – even a hospital) is only 4 kms distant.
Our opinion: Since the Canal du Midi has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there has been a mini-boom in property prices along its banks. As the canal itself is owned by a Govt organ – the VNF – Voies Navigables Françaises – which does not allow any building or commerce within 6 metres either side of the canal, you can appreciate the value of this sort of property. We would rig it out as a luxury Guest House (using the existing 4 en-suite bedrooms) and offer a table d’hôte befitting the status of the place. The gites could be re-decorated and let at once. The cottage could serve as living quarters for the owners while the servants’ quarters were turned into a comfortable manager’s flat. The whole chateau could be let to groups or wedding parties. There is no limit to what could be done.
* agency fees included reference n°: 123
more information or to arrange a viewing – email
- Ref n°: 123
- Summary: It's very rare to find good properties for sale on the banks of the UNESCO World Heritage site that is the Canal du Midi. This 18th century château is set in a 5-hectare estate with 3 small houses scattered in the grounds. There is over 1200 square metres of living space in the chateau itself. Pool, outhouses etc.
- Address: Mas-Saintes-Puelles, Occitanie
- Price: €1,475,000
- Commission: 3% (included in asking price)
- Surface Area: 5 hectares
- Bedrooms: 9
- Bathrooms: 4
- Pools: 1
The département of the Aude, in the Languedoc, prides itself as being the home of the Cathar, a famed religious sect of the 12 and 13th century, who dared defy Rome with their brand of humble, scaled-down Christianity. They failed in the end, but their story of defiance, struggle and eventual extinction is etched into the landscape, villages and castles of the region.
Throughout the 12th century the Cathar faithful were slowly pushed out of the low-lying plains towards the hostile, mountainous uplands where they found refuge in fortified villages or in castles and keeps perched on the most inaccessible crags of the Corbières or the Pyrenean foothills. In the end the French State allied with Rome, sent Simon de Montfort to root out and kill the last 'heretics' in what was known as the 'Albigensian Crusade'.
In the western part of Languedoc the most notable feature is the Lac de St Ferréol, specially conceived by Riquet when building the Canal du Midi, and designed to supply water to the canal throughout the summer period. This it does by means of a mini-canal - 'le rigole' which carries water from the resevoir to the highest point of the canal on the watershed (between Atlantic and Mediterranean basins) near Avignonnet-Lauragais.
The Eastern part of the Aude département is wild and nearly uninhabited, a region of rough hills, maquis-clad outcrops and vines as far as the eye can see. This is the Corbières, renowned for its rough, strong red wines, olive groves and castles. The Corbières start just outside of Carcassonne where well-kept vineyards slowly give way to pine forest and more dramatic terrain.
- 1200m² living space in chateau alone
- 25 minutes Carcassonne airport
- 3 independent gites
- 4 B&B guest rooms (en-suite)
- 45 minutes Toulouse airport
- 60 minutes Mediterranean beaches
- A chateau with a past
- atelier/garage/artists studio
- horse paddocks
- in its own grounds
- no near neighbours
- on the Canal du Midi