France has more than 30,000 castles in its territory. These castles and their secrets are witness to the country’s history. In the collective imagination, they belong to a distant world, the inaccessible world of chatelain’s life.
But is this chatelain’s life as inaccessible as it is reputed to be? Nothing is less certain. In reality, these monuments of the past, with their always fascinating, sometimes unusual stories are often much more affordable than one might have imagined.
Has life in a castle always inspired your dreams? Or perhaps you wonder whether it is really possible to buy a chateau in France? So, follow us! For you, we selected 9 surprisingly affordable castles, 9 beautiful stories that will transport you to the mythical world of French fortresses.
Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers – $78
What an incredible story the Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers has to tell! Built in the 13th century in Anjou for the local nobility, the castle fell into the hands of the Rochechouart house in 1448. Sold due to bankruptcy, it then had several owners, including those who renovated it to give it the moat and the neo-gothic style that it kept thereafter. Ravaged by a fire in 1932, the castle eventually fell into disrepair despite the many restoration attempts that were undertaken. It was finally covered by vegetation and acquired the romantic appearance that we know today.
In 2017, the Dartagnans and Adopte un château associations (the name of the association refers to the dating application, Adoptunmec.com) launched the crazy project of buying the castle by creating a crowdfunding. Result? 25,000 co-chatelains coming from 115 countries and having all bought a part of the castle at 50 euros. Today they are the proud owners of the chateau.
Private mansion in Saint Céré – $216 000
If you dream of castle life but the idea of having to share an accommodation with 25,000 people puts you off, rest assured, there are many castles in France that their owners are willing to sell for a small fee. This is the case for this mansion in Saint Céré.
Manor in Bozouls – $336 755
Located in the heart of a small typical village near Bozouls, this old fortified house was built at the beginning of the 19th century. With its medieval tower dating from the 14th century, this former presbytery is the central square of the village. From the top of it you can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding valley. A true relic of the religious history of the French countryside, the building was on sale at a price of 216,000 euros.
Manor in l’Indre – $648 566
This manor house, built on the foundations of an ancient priory, will lead you into the secret order of the Benedictines. Erected in 1880, it is attached to a 13th century abbey church in perfect condition. Located at the entrance of a charming village in the Limousin countryside, the manor extends over a large estate with numerous outbuildings. Having been the subject of successive inheritances, the last owners decided to sell it for the sum of 416,000 euros.
Chateau in Anjou – $916 723
In the Anjou region, next to a bustling little town, stands this magnificent 19th century castle. Once inside you can admire its receptions with sumptuous mouldings characteristic of this architectural style. The property also consists of outbuildings and a wooded and enclosed park of approximately 4.5 hectares crossed by a small stream. The whole gives the chateau an appreciable intimacy described as being the perfect setting for a large family.
La Boissière – $1 000 912
A monument of Breton history, La Boissière is now abandoned. However, there was no sign of such a fate when the writer and polemicist Jean-Edern Hallier moved there in 1955. At that time, the writer even transformed this elegant 13th century castle into a social venue renowned for the receptions held there. After the writer’s death, the property remained unoccupied for many years before being sold to a businessman who intended to turn it into a place dedicated to art. However, years later nothing was done and the castle is once again for sale at the surprising price of 642,000 euros.
Château de la comterie – $1 559 037
In Saint-Georges-sur-Loire (Maine-et-Loire), the château de la comterie is for sale on leboncoin.com (online classified ad site, French equivalent of Gumtree). Does this surprise you? And yet it is nothing exceptional, more and more castles are currently being put up for sale in this way. The majestic castle was for sale at 999,990 euros.
Chateau in Cholet – $2 494 484
This superb 17th century chateau is located in Vendée. Near the famous Puy du Fou, the property covers 11 hectares. Completely renovated in 1994, the building has retained all of its particularity with its rectangular shape, and its fortified bases with four towers.
Château de Verteuil – $4 357 400
This is undoubtedly one of the most surprising sales in our selection. The Château de Verteuil, a historic monument of France, property of the famous Rochefoucauld family for nearly a millennium, was sold for the sum of 2.8 million euros in 2020. Patrick Besse, in charge of the sale, describes it as a work of art that has never been on the market since its construction in the 11th century. A true witness to the history of France, the castle was modified and embellished many times over the course of history without ever changing ownership. A page turns, the story unfolds.
With this selection, we saw that the French market is both competitive and affordable. There are actually many disparities depending on the territory. In the most affordable areas such as the Vosges, the many châteaux for sale attract international buyers who can thus make their dreams come true. However, this decision needs to be carefully considered. Buying a castle in France has very concrete implications.
Indeed, to acquire a castle in France is to have the status of the keeper of French history. This means becoming responsible for the upkeep of the property for its transmission to future generations. And this is not a consideration to be taken lightly. Although they can be the subject of state subsidies in some cases, the renovation and maintenance of a castle can indeed represent a considerable budget. This is why the purchase of a chateau could be carried out under the guidance of a qualified estate agent and a notary in order to secure the transaction.
But these responsibilities also make it a unique and extraordinary experience. This is undoubtedly one of the reasons why buyers with ambition and imagination continue to bring French history to life while opting for an exceptional lifestyle.