Chateau de Gudanes is more than just a moment in time...Part 2
With the garden information collected and recorded I can relax and enjoy the remaining time at the Chateau. Ever so thankful to my hosts Karina and her daughter Jasmine for the opportunity to hang out with them. I look forward to returning next Spring if they are open to my implementing the garden vision.
This is how life should be....
To better understand the vision this family has for bringing back to life the heart of the Chateau go here: http://www.chateaugudanes.com/the-project/. .
Exploring the heart of the Chateau.....
The grand stairway is simply magnificent. Once overgrown with weeds and dirt after years of neglect, the full beauty is becoming apparent.
The stain glass in the windows in the stairway are original. Not all were spared but was is beautiful. Where possible, original materials stay even if not in perfect condition.
A lot of hard work has gone into the Chateau restoration with much more to come.
Not all of the 94 rooms within the 5 floors of this 43,000 square foot Chateau have been brought to form. Much still stands as it has for many years, waiting their turn. It takes time in France to do projects such as these due to the government control over historical renovations, shortage of help and of course financial costs of such a huge undertaking.
It truly is a work of love and the passion must remain strong while continuing the process of restoration and their vision come to life.
Wherever possible the owners are restoring rooms without replacing the existing design. They would rather it tell a story of how time and chance has had their way with the chateau and how the results have led to they condition found it. I love the concept of leaving things imperfect, showing wear and neglect, while at the same time working to save what they can in whatever way possible rather than replacing with new or reproductions.
Below you see opposite ends of what was the music room. I can hear the notes in my head as I stand in amazement of such a room.
Can you imagine having dinner here now?
Renovation sign on the main road just outside the entrance to the Chateau property.
Another room now used when large groups gather for whatever festivities Karina has going. The long tables you are seeing in different room photos come from an old tree that had fallen on the property. Karin had the foresight to have it milled into large boards and had a local builder create the tables.
Note the heart shape in the corner detail of the marble fireplace in this room. The design on the wall were found when the chateau had major water damage. The water washed away the outer layers of paint (still visible) to reveal the beauty underneath.
The ceiling strips are hand painted to represent the original strips. Many of these are actually the original wood, cleaned & touched up then replaced. A long an arduous project, but well worth the effort and time wouldn't you say?
The large room in the photo below has a window overlooking the entrance to the Chateau. This is where Karina enjoys spending time on writing. How could you not be inspired to write with this view.
Look for her book to become available soon- "A True Love Story Never Ends..." I can hardly wait to read it.
Below photos of a few sleeping rooms for those coming for work-stay events that the Chateau puts on during the summer months. Each is unique with its own charm and even with their ongoing restoration they maintain a certain amount of grandeur. I lost count of the number of rooms I saw and would get lost in my imagination as I walked through each one. I could stay for days just wandering.
One of my favorite areas of the Chateau is the original kitchen. It is built into the rocks at the very back of the Chateau and sits at the edge of a cliff overlooking the river below. The old bread oven in the picture to your right was blocked shut at some point in time, for reasons unknown. Karina would love to open it back to how it was. If anyone reading this knows a way to do this, please let me know and I will pass it on to her. They have tried chipping away at it, but that tedious attempt was not productive.
Last but not least a few random pictures in different areas inside and outside the Chateau. I hope you are able to imagine how it was to walk through this beautiful place in southern France.
The Chateau has its own small chapel with beautiful stain glass window and a starry ceiling.
The most beautiful stairway I have ever seen.... magical to descend treading lightly as I go.
Until next time I visit the Chateau, I leave you to imagine this magical place.
If you like any of my post about the Chateau and would like to learn more or follow along their journey - http://www.chateaugudanes.com