An 18th century chartreuse chateau has been razed to the ground in error. Chateau Bellevue in Yvrac, only 12 km from Bordeaux has been demolished by mistake without the consent of its new owner.
Despite being in the heart of Bordeaux Superieur vineyards I can find no record of the chateau producing wine however it was considered to be an architectural gem and one of five flagship properties in the area.
The 13 000 m² property had been purchased by Russian Dmitry Stroskin. It was in poor condition and his plan was to renovate it. The property is now a heap of ruins but once could accommodate up to 200 people.
The Mayor of Yvrac, Claude Carty, said that a building permit for renovation was issued in June 2011 and that it simply authorized the destruction of a small part of the building. Since the destruction of the chateau the Mayor has stopped all work on the site and a finding of non-compliance and violation of the Planning Code have been lodged with the prosecutor’s office.
The chateau is located at 53 Avenue de la Chapelle and previous to Stroskin’s purchase it had been used as a holiday rental and also offered weddings in its 2 hectares of parkland. Neighbours were stunned at the chateau’s disappearance and Stroskin is said to be in shock.
The Russian businessman runs is a logistics company in Warsaw and was absent at the time of the destruction. The demolition work is said to have been carried out by workmen whose vehicles all had Polish number plates. Stroskin has said that he is not responsible for the mistake and that he will rebuild the chateau in an identical image of what it once was.
Although Stroskin stated he wanted to work with a Parisian architect on the rebuild, the plans have been drawn up and are signed by Architekci, a major Polish agency. Rebuilding will apparently take 2 years.
As you can imagine there is uproar in Yvrac and awkward questions have been raised across the board as to whether the demolition was accidental or not . . . and whether it is cheaper to rebuild a chateau than to renovate one . . .
The story has not ended and it will be interesting to see what the Prosecutor’s Office do with the case. Chateau Bellevue’s demise does raise alarm bells and there have been some comments from French readers in various newspapers and on forums that express concerns over foreigners buying up French heritage.