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Want to Own a Medieval Castle? There’s One for Sale in France for $34 Million

Clare Fitzgerald
Photo Credit: JARRY / TRIPELON / Gamma-Rapho / Getty Images
Photo Credit: JARRY / TRIPELON / Gamma-Rapho / Getty Images

It’s a dream of many to purchase their own medieval castle, but very few are able to make it a reality. Outside of costs, the main reason for this is that not many come on the market, meaning it’s a rare treat for one to become available. As luck would have it, Montbrun Castle has come up for sale, meaning one lucky buyer could find themselves moving to the quaint French community of Dournazac.

Exterior of Montbrun Castle
Photo Credit: Rslr22 / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

Montbrun Castle – also known as the Château de Montbrun – was built between the 12th and 15th centuries, with Aymeric Bruni beginning work on the medieval structure following the Second Crusade (1147-49). He’d been ordered to build the fortress by Henry II, King of England, to defend the borders of the Duchy of Aquitaine. It didn’t take long for the site to become well-known, for it was where Richard the Lionheart was taken after being mortally wounded.

Under the Bruni family’s control until 1516, it was occupied by the English at the start of the Hundred Years’ War. The French did retake the castle in 1353, but it was captured again at the end of the 14th century, during which it suffered extensive damage. This would be the first of many times the structure became defaced, as it suffered a devastating fire in 1516 during the Wars of Religion and was pillaged and destroyed during the French Revolution.

Following a complete restoration, which became undone by yet another fire during World War I, Montbrun Castle underwent a second between 1964-66. Given the site’s history, it’s been dubbed a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.

Exterior of Montbrun Castle
Photo Credit: JARRY / TRIPELON / Gamma-Rapho / Getty Images

Montbrun Castle is situated on over 165 hectares of land in France‘s Haute-Vienne départment, within a deep valley. It features round towers and a rectangular exterior, both common sights among structures dating back to the 15th century. Unusual for the time, however, is its moat, square keep and high walls, making it a truly unique fortress.

Smaller buildings are also present along the property.

Those interested in the castle’s interior will be impressed to learn that it features 16 bedrooms, three dining rooms, a great hall capable of seating 200 people, a chapel, a billiard room, three kitchens, 10 bathrooms, a cinema, a meeting/presentation room and a two-story library.

While that’s enough to make someone stop in their tracks, the master bedroom is arguably the most spectacular location in the castle. It features not just a private dining room and access to a roof-top terrace, but also a dressing room, a sauna and a jacuzzi.

Montbrun Castle lit up at night
Photo Credit: Fonquebure / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

Writing in the official listing, SIFEX, Ltd. explains:

“The current owners have undertaken a truly remarkable renovation and restoration, breathtaking in its scope, scale & authenticity. Hundreds of master craftsmen working over a decade have painstakingly restored (and where necessary recreated) both the structure and interior using the highest quality traditional materials sourced from around the world.

“Together they have succeeded in retaining the essence of its majesty and heritage whilst adding the modern conveniences of underfloor central heating, up-to-date electronics, internet and telecoms technology, as well as modern bathroom facilities – there is even a lift to serve the guest suites in the seven-storey Grand Jacques tower.”

Exterior of Montbrun Castle
Photo Credit: Andia / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

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At present, Montbrun Castle is on the market for €30,000,000, which is equivalent to around $34,038,000 USD.