900 YEARS OF HISTORY SET IN A KNIGHTS TEMPLAR CHATEAU
3 reception rooms
9 bedrooms 6 bathrooms
Separate staff quarters
Easy to manage grounds
Why you will love this cheateau
Just forty five minutes from the Mediterranean, in a pretty lively village, set close in the Corbieres wine region is the ancient castle, “Chateau de Douzens”. This stunning castle has been renovated by the current owner for his own family. In other words, the renovation is of the highest standard. It is sympathetic to the history of the castle while giving you a comfortable modern living home. This is a building where future work and maintenance will be to a minimum. The chateau has four turrets and the walls create your own hidden garden and pool area. It is a very private residence.
The castle is concealed in the oldest part of the village. It is a delightful surprise to pass through narrow streets and find yourself in the square dominated by its imposing wrought iron gates. A flowing staircase leads you from the spacious courtyard to the imposing wooden door. You step into the light and airy stately hallway. This long room has windows with 180° views of the Minervois vineyards and the commanding black mountains beyond. As with many castles this space is also used for parties and events. The castle dates back to the the 12th century and is one of the oldest to be in such magnificent condition. It has a long and exciting history – something to entertain your guests with over drinks in the salon overlooking the garden. The nine bedrooms have been individually designed and most have ensuite bathrooms. A gymnasium to keep fit, a jacuzzi to relax, a bar to play, magnificent dining room to impress, garaging for the car collection, plus ample space to develop.
The village and surrounding areas The village is thriving and vibrant. When you buy the castle, you will become the Chatelain and a Commander. (The closest to this in the UK would be The Lord of the Manor). This means that the mayor and villagers will invite you to all the major events. The weekly summer events, dinners and celebrations friendly and fun and the present owner has enjoyed VIP status in the local community.
The village has many shops: bar/restaurant, bakers, convenience store, post office, doctors and numerous wine caves. These are all within a short walking distance of Chateau de Douzens. With supermarkets and major shops all within an easy drive Douzens is a unique village in the Aude department of the Languedoc, lies on the edge of the arresting Corbieres hills with a back drop of the Pyrenees behind. To the north the hills and mountains of the Black mountains rise to meet the densely wooded Parc National Haut Languedoc; to the east the open garrigue descends to the vine-covered plains around Narbonne (25 mins), with the Mediterranean a further 10 minutes from Narbonne
The area is renowned for its wildlife, birds, innumerable varieties of butterflies and of course, fishing in the local rivers just 5 minutes away. The village itself is surrounded by beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers. Your neighbours in the village are mostly French and are very friendly. Douzens is lovely for cycling and walking and driving to the top of a valley that gives panoramic views over the Minervois and the Corbieres to the Pyrenees beyond.
• Bird Watching, Cycling, Drawing and painting, Golf, Gourmet dining, Hiking, Mountain biking, Rambling, Rock climbing, Sightseeing, Swimming, Walking, Wine tasting, Wine touring.
• Minerve and Lagrasse - a few miles away and a major tourist attraction with its history of the burning of the Cathars and the siege by Simon de Montforte.
• Beaches - 10 minutes from Narbonne is Gruissan, with three beaches and the scene of the film ' Betty Blue'.
• Etangs - along the coast there are lakes that are a sanctuary for birds and boating enthusiasts. Look for the pink flamingoes.
• Restaurants - abound in the area.
• Walkers/Hikers - stunning views of the hills as well as the Pyrenees from the top of the hills. .
• Shopping - Carcassonne, Narbonne, Toulouse, Montpelier, Perpignan are all within easy reach.
• Carrefour shopping complex in Narbonne and Carcassonne and markets everywhere in the local villages - one for every day of the week.
• Wine and Olive Tasting - everywhere!!!
• Tourist Trains – try the open topped little yellow train up to the Pyrenees - a good day out without the car.
• Cathar Castles - the Cathars were the locals who rebelled against the ethics of the Rome and the Pope. The Pope sent out Simon de Montforte on his Crusades against the Cathars who built many Castles to protect themselves. Minerve was the scene of burning of the Cathars during a major seige. You are in Cathar Country.
• Canal du Midi – Paul Riquet's wonderful construction running from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic.
• Le Somail - here you can hire boats, cycle or walk the tree-lined Canal. Travel
• Douzens is ideally situated near 4 French airports: Carcassonne, Montpellier, Toulouse, and Perpignan and is only 15 minutes from Carcassonne and 25 to Narbonne, 45 mins from Beziers and the coast.
• Motorail access to Narbonne
• Motorway all the way from Channel ports TGV available to Narbonne
Ground floor: A beautiful monumental staircase leads to a large solid entrance door. - Prestigious Entrance hall 57m² with beautiful mosaic floor with original stone staircase opposite leading to the first floor, - fully fitted Kitchen 34m² with oak parquet floor and a beautiful marble fireplace, larder 8m² in the East tower, a french doors leading to the South facing garden with terrace and swimming pool - Dining room 39m² with wood panelling, oak parquet floor and a marble fireplace, 2 French doors leading to the garden, a walk in cupboard 5m² - Sitting room 23m² with wood panelling, oak parquet floor an oak fireplace, french doors leading to the garden, access to the West tower Jacuzzi room - Den 30m², french doors to the outside - Cloak room - Wine cave 30m² below the bar area
1st floor: Landing 11m² leading to the corridor 26m² - Bedroom 23m² with fireplace and en-suite Bathroom 7m² - Bedroom 17m² - Master suite with bedroom 23m² with fireplace, Dressing room 19m², shower room 8m² - Bedroom 17m² with en-suite shower room 3.4m² - Bedroom 12.5m² with en-suite shower room 6m2 - Study/bedroom 10.3m² - separate wc 6m² - access to terrace 60m2
2nd floor: Landing 13m² leading to the corridor 26m² - Bedroom 26m² with fireplace and en-suite shower room 5.6m² in the tower, dressing 2m² - Bedroom 18.8m² - Bathroom 13.6m² - Bedroom/office 14m² - room 10m² with tower 8m² - Bedroom 13.8m² - 2 rooms to restore 12m² and 18.6m² with tower 3m² - large tower 8m² Heated Swimming pool 8m x 4m with sun terrace
Independent Apartment This ground floor apartment offers about 85m² of living space. lounge 24m², fully fitted kitchen 7m², corridor, bedroom 12.5m², bedroom 19.6m², bathroom 7.75m², laundry room, terrace / courtyard 41m²
Outbuildings Stables 240m²: 120m² with still some boxes, another 120m² on the 1st floor Garage 280m²: 140m² on the ground floor and another 140m² above cave 80m²: storage below the independent apartment.
The total size of the land is 1451m² with various outside spaces. A courtyard of about 240m² at the entrance provides access and parking to the chateau, the apartment and the outbuildings. There is terrace on the north side of about 120m² offering stunning countryside views. The lovely South facing garden, overlooking the village, with bushes and flowers, a terrace and swimming pool, is approx 360m². And the terrace of 60m² on the first floor adds to the outside space. Except for a very few rooms, the Castle has been restored over the past 10 years and is in excellent condition.
New matching wooden double glazed windows and french doors throughout, heating mainly by reversible air-conditioning and a few electric radiators in some bedrooms, mains water and sewage, a well is situated in the courtyard.
Summary A change in family circumstances has created a genuine reason for the sale. A wonderfully restored property, with beautiful old features in excellent condition. Ideal, extremely comfortable residence, business venture or investment. Low running cost – the occasional rental (€6000 a week is obtainable) would be enough to cover maintenance costs and the cost of staff.