THE FEUDAL VILLAGE OF THE MANUFACTURE OF BAINS-LES-BAINS, VOSGES, LORRAINE, FRANCE
This property is
totally unique - nothing like it exists elsewhere. It may
be regarded as a gilt-edged investment, or merely as a
magical and exhilarating place in which to live and
breathe - particularly for those with a love of nature
The site was discovered and exploited by the Celts for the iron ore, the water, the abundance of timber for smelting, and its strategic position on the banks of the Coney. The Romans came later and indulged themselves in the natural healing spring waters and left behind them magnificent baths that remain today (Contrexeville and Vittel are close by). Bains-les-Bains (3kms.) was and is being used as a fashionable watering place for those with problems with heart and arteries. The Mayor and Commune are restoring the area with great taste and foresight, and are currently constructing a casino. There are several hotels and restaurants.
The history of the Manufacture is long, complicated and fascinating, passing as it has through its heyday as the source of the shoeing nails for Napoleon's horses, to its present use as an internationally known equestrian centre. It is a recognised Monument Historique, and has featured in several books.
The site is situated on the edge of (reputedly) France's largest natural forest. The terrain is gently undulating, rising to the summit of the Vosges Mountains, with the Rhine Valley and Black Forest beyond. There are wild boar, deer, lynx, eagles and creatures that normally only appear in books. Horse riding through the forests is actively encouraged, and this gentle form of tourism is the main income of the area.
It is difficult imagine anyone who is not a horse-lover being involved with the Manufacture as it is today; although the current owner has been using the chateau as an international antiques exhibition centre, and has encouraged buyers to come expressly from all over the world to the increasingly recognised auctions.
The site has an area of approximately 25 hectares, of which 2 hectares are given as a reserve for local animals such as wild boar. The arboretum with many rare trees is over 250 years old. The Canal de l'Est (connecting Northern Europe to the Mediterranean) forms one boundary, whilst the River Coney tumbles through to make the ensemble electrically independent.
The centre-piece is the ancient forge that has become stables (20 boxes) and an indoor manege.
Long-distance riders can stay in the auberge, and the parents of youngsters having riding lessons meet for a drink and a chat on the terrace. The more energetic among them may wish to use the indoor tennis court.
There are 18 buildings (other than outbuildings). Most of these are in exceptionally good condition, and have been lovingly Grant-restored under the supervision of a member of the original family. Twenty-one apartments have been created as highly desirable homes for local people. These vary in size, but are all based on renovations of houses that were originally built for the owner, manager, foremen and estate workers. The XVIII Century chateau with its own independent chapel dominates the site.
Epinal airport is close by at Mirecourt and gives direct twice-daily access to Paris. Main road and rail links (5kms.) connect the area with all Europe. There has been a noticeable increase in foreign investment in recent years, with a corresponding search for substantial properties by discerning buyers - lawyers, bankers, accountants and politicians.
The Manufacture with all its buildings and land, has been professionally valued at 12.5 million French francs. This figure is subject to negotiation. Email us if you are seriously interested.