mansion houses for sale in france near manosque and sisteron

A 14th & 17th century mansion house in a dominant position
in a village in the heart of Provence near to Manosque and Sisteron
Forcalquier, ALPES-DE-HAUTE-PROVENCE provence-cote-dazur 04300 FR


This large, luxurious home, near to Manosque, stands on a listed, historic site, built on the ramparts of a medieval village dating from the 13th century. With its swimming pool, it dominates the plain, providing a panoramic view for as far as the eye can see of endless lavender fields and forests, stretching from Lubéron to the Lure mountain with the Italian Alps in the distance.
All shops are to be found, less than 55 m further down, in a more recent village, together with restaurants and health facilities which include a care home.
The building, looking down on the village, is isolated from any audible nuisances courtesy of its position.
Equidistant from Aix-en-Provence and Avignon, the village is near to the opera and theatre festivals that take place in these towns every summer.


This residence resembles an eagle’s nest, perched on an impressive rocky spur. The full height of the building dominates an unspoilt, typical Provencal village. The house is flanked on its south and east sides by a crest of adjoining, Renaissance style residences forming a harmonious group which, in bygone days, could only be reached via a now listed postern bearing coats-of arms, with a redoubt and machicolation.
A narrow street forms a chicane, its L-shape once intended to thwart any horse-riding invaders. It continues along the rear facades of the aristocratic residences, before coming to an end at the foot of the high church.
This impregnable stronghold has retained all of its authenticity and its charm of yesteryear.
Since the end of the invasions, a road going around this crest provides access to the stately residences via the north facade. This property, set in the middle of the crest, is the only one to possess a tower.
The sole external concession to modernity is a swimming pool which is completely out of sight of onlookers.

The Renaissance-style mansion house

Constructed on the rock with the support of a structurally essential terrace, this mansion house spans two levels under attic space which, given the low roof, cannot be converted. The construction of the terrace itself was reinforced with a relieving arch, each square metre of which is important. The quarry stone block walls are covered with very old sand and lime rendering which is in a good state of preservation. The roof is covered with Roman tiles and a triple overhanging cornice goes all around the building. The facade features dove-grey coloured, external shutters.

Ground floor
The wrought entrance door immediately sets the tone. The size of its original lock and key is impressive.
A vestibule provides direct access to the noble floor which, in this case, is the ground floor. Facing the entrance, a dining room looks out over the sheer cliff, providing a 180° view of the landscape, featuring lavender fields and mountains. The room is enhanced by two large corner cabinets made of fruit wood, a marble fireplace with a trumeau, old terracotta floor tiles and a French ceiling.
A lounge, adjoining the dining room and exuding an air of the Age of Reason, shares the view. A white marble fireplace, with a neo-classical trumeau, determines the general style of the room. The fluting on the trumeau’s two pilasters is picked out in sky blue and the same principle was used on the ceiling cornice: two parallel lines in the same colour defining the size of the cornice and a yellow listel running between the blue lines emphasising the effect. A gold-leaf-framed mirror hangs on the wall between two windows.
The main bedroom has wallpaper on the walls and old terracotta tiles on the floor. A bathroom on this level is laid out inside the tower, which is horse-shoe-shaped as it is adjoined to the facade. It also comprises a wardrobe.
A barely modernised kitchen has an old fireplace, complete with its roasting spit.
A toilet, with a wash-hand basin, completes this level.
An old stairway with terracotta tile steps goes upstairs.

First floor
A corridor leads from the landing to five bedrooms, one of which is enhanced by a fireplace. A library is laid out in the tower. There are also a bathroom and a shower room.
Second floor
The same stairway goes up to the second floor which includes the bedrooms, with sloping ceilings, that once housed the domestic staff. These rooms have been completely renovated and now comprise a large lounge, two bedrooms, with modern parquet flooring as well as painted walls and sloping ceilings. These two bedrooms share a shower room. Three small period attics complete this level.
This floor is steeped in natural light via Velux windows.
The roofing framework has been concealed by the roof insulation which was renovated fairly recently.

Garden level
A stairway goes from the ground floor to rooms used during the summer months.
A vaulted dining room, with a large modern fireplace, opens on to a first terrace.
A small room in the tower has been converted into a kitchen and the floor is covered with terracotta tiles dating from the 19th century.
The dining room precedes a vaulted cellar which has been transformed into a living room, dubbed “theatre” by the owners of the premises in reference to the four stepped tiers hewn in the rocky spur, forming indoor terracing.
The floor is covered with modern floor tiles, whilst the walls and vault are painted.
This room also opens on to the terrace.
Beyond the terracing, a door opens into a workshop, also used as a boiler room, and into a vaulted, cool and humid wine cellar which will appeal to enlightened enthusiasts of vintage wines.

Outside the vaulted rooms, the building is adjoined by a large rectangular terrace which runs the full width of the building. This robust work of masonry set directly on the rock is enhanced with oleander bushes on a lower level and hollyhocks climbing upwards from the terrace, which is tiled and features metal railings.
The bottom of the tower houses a toilet.

A second terrace, below the first one, has a swimming pool, with a counter-current feature, as well as a grassy area enhanced with two trellis, shrubs and flower beds.
Housed in the support wall of the first terrace are two small vaulted cellars used for storage purposes and for the pool machinery. A semi-underground rainwater recuperation tank is concealed there. A second tank is housed in the support wall of a neighbouring property.
A little door in the south-east corner of this terrace opens on to the narrow street that runs along the foot of the support wall of this same terrace.

Our opinion

In this wild landscape with its strong relief, this village and the residence appear each time like a goal to be reached: the diamond that visitors attempt to observe in its setting from a distance. The effect on the premises is clearly a feeling of domination. Here however, and contrary to what is often the case, there is no continuity between the outside and the inside. The impression provided by the natural surroundings stops at the door. The awe-inspiring aspect enveloping the village suddenly changes inside the residence into a peaceful, convivial air, one of good taste steeped in simplicity. An extremely sober contrast worthy of the Baroque era.

850 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur

Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Reference 393046

Land registry surface area 875 m2
Main building surface area 400 m2
Outbuilding surface area 50 m2

Regional representative

Roger Pertuisot       +33 1 42 84 80 85



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NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.

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