Legal Informations & CGU
Property owners’ take the floor
Why did you settle in this region, in this place and not elsewhere ?
After twenty-five years in Nancy, Marseille, Antibes and Paris, we wanted to return to the city my husband grew up in and change our way of life. We bought this 17th century fortified house in 2004. It took ten years of renovations to bring this historic site to life and provide all the elements of modernity and comfort that this new bed and breakfast would need.
What can you offer people staying with you ?
I offer my guests an intimate and preserved place of relaxation. It is a unique setting where the original and restored architectural features mingle with designer elements and contemporary comforts. This stronghold surrounded by moats, a landscaped garden and a vegetable garden offers great calm and serenity. Breakfast is served under the century-old weeping beech in summer and in the main house by the fire in winter. The products we serve are mostly local, organic or grown in the garden - everything is home made.
What specific architectural features does your building have ?
Originally, the fortress was a closed quadrilateral of buildings surrounded by a moat of running water and a courtyard which was accessed by a drawbridge protected by two towers. The drawbridge has now been replaced by a foot bridge which gives the ensemble a more spacious feel. The main building is still at the end of the courtyard, preceded by a low building beneath the two original towers. The moat has become a grassy area and the park, dramatised by "The Garden Feather" and its Impressionist approach, leads to espalier fruit trees and a beautifully laid out kitchen garden.
Places you would personally recommend
The the upper part of the town of Bar-le-Duc is one of the most remarkable urban Renaissance ensembles in France. An art like no other has been practised in Bar-le-Duc for centuries - the de-seeding of red currants using goose feathers This tradition is used to produce an exquisite jam called "Bar caviar" which is exported throughout the world and whose recipe has never been revealed. Also in Bar-le-Duc is the tour of the Bergère de France factory where you can see the various workshops used for the arrival of the material, the packing into balls and the process for preparing the parcels. The churches of Mognéville and Couvonges are also a must-see. From one river bank to another, you can cross the bridges of Rupt-aux-Nonains, Haironville or Bazincourt-sur-Saulx which date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The Ligier Richier road is also worth a visit, it pays tribute to the many works of the Lorraine region's greatest Renaissance artists. As for restaurants, the Bistrot Saint-Jean in Bar-le-Duc (awarded best young talent by Gault et Millau in 2009) offers classic cuisine with a modern twist. Le Carré Gourmand, a small local restaurant just a two-minute walk away, offers simple, homemade cuisine.
What is its history ?
The fortress has had many owners. Jean Lietaut de Revigny was the lord of the property around 1270. Duke Robert of Bar owned it at the end of the 14th century. The fortress was the victim of several attacks in the 15th century, it was notably taken around 1424 by the Gascon Étienne de Vignolles, he was captain of Vitry and nicknamed "la Hire". He was not yet the faithful companion of Joan of Arc at this time, he joined her later and this led to his fame. He seized the fortress and then burnt the Barrois to the ground. The fortress was freed by Georges de Nettancourt in 1427, restored for the King of France in 1559 and partly destroyed by Louis XIII in 1636 when he was at war with Duke Charles IV. The latter then gave it to "Sieur Saurin", lieutenant of the chevau-légers. Another attack came in the 17th century during the Thirty Years' War. In 1749 the property was given to Bernard II of Marne, adviser to the bailiwick of Bar, and then to the heirs of the princess of Epinois.
Appearances can be deceiving. The sobriety of the architecture, which hints at the property's original defensive vocation, echoes the taut lines of the decor. The interiors are nonetheless playful and warm with shimmering colours, raw and transparent materials, and modern furniture that enhances the volumes and spaces. The house has been skilfully merged into the 21st century without betraying its origins that go back to those distant times when the Duchy of Bar was often coveted and assaulted. On the edge of Champagne, the Maison Forte is now a beautiful gateway to Lorraine.
A QUESTION ? A RESERVATION ?
Contact the owner No booking fees
On the right-hand side of the pavilion are three bedrooms with a shower room, a corian sink, a toilet and a living room with an integrated kitchen for breakfast. In the left-hand pavilion tower (which is symmetrical to the first) is a bedroom with a bathroom and toilet, and a small private room with a tiled floor on the ground floor. In the main building of the same pavilion is a second room with the same bathroom set up as the previous one. Last but not least, we have a small cottage with a kitchen.
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