A house, with a belvedere and a garden, in a setting
classified by Unesco in Saint-Martin-de-Ré port on the Ile-de-Ré


25 minutes from La-Rochelle TGV train station, La-Rochelle-Ile-de-Ré airport is 20 minutes away. The A10 motorway is 40 minutes away. Paris will be but 140 minutes away when the new fast train line is commissioned in July 2017. Facing the port of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, in the fortified perimeter of the town designed by Vauban at the end of the 17th century, not far from the citadel. In an area where architecture has been preserved, in the immediate proximity of the Hôtel-de-Clerjotte, built in the 15th and 16th centuries and currently housing the Ernest-Cognacq Museum.


This residence, built in 1850 on behalf of a large family, well-known to the locals, includes an old 18th century wine storehouse out the back, facing the garden. Highly representative of “modern houses” when it was built, it was fitted with certain home comforts: running water, bathrooms, toilets, a back stairway, etc. This residence has four entrance doors off of the avenue via a few steps. The first, going from left to right, opens into the current kitchen, the second is the tradesmen’s entrance, the third forms the main entrance and the fourth, on the little side, provides direct access to the large study. The property stands out courtesy of its belvedere, a proud projection rising up from the roof and providing a dominating 360° view of the sea, the port and the entire island from the bridge as far as the lighthouse, dubbed “Phare des Baleines”. The numerous reception rooms are vast and most are adjoining as was the fashion in the 18th century.

The house

This L-shaped residence, spanning approx. 650 m² of living space, stands around an inner, completely walled garden. The profile and contour of the building along the avenue is sober, the openings, getting smaller as the floors get higher, add a superb harmony. But it is the belvedere, protruding from the Roman tile, hip roof, which makes its architecture unique on the island.

Ground floor
Double entrance doors open into the large vestibule where visitors’ eyes are immediately drawn to the horseshoe-shaped stairway and the upper gallery to which it leads. At the end, the room opens into a lounge with its view over the garden. On the right-hand side, double doors provide access to a large study which, in turn, communicates with a small study on the garden side. The back entrance corridor leads, left, to a large kitchen and its old courtyard, covered with an atrium window, and then, right, to a small hall area leading to the end of the vestibule. And lastly, before reaching the glazed door to the garden, it provides access on the right-hand side to a lounge and, on the left-hand side, to a small hall area leading into the 18th century wing, laid out all on a level. A pantry extends the hall area. A back stairway goes upstairs from the kitchen. There is a toilet under the stairs. The rooms in the wing, spanning a length of approx. 24 m and overlooking the garden, all lead one into another. The dining room, with a fireplace and pitch-pine wainscoting, precedes a little state lounge, followed by a billiards’ room, with its monumental fireplace, and a library. A stairway leads from said library to the cellar and to the dwelling laid out in the outbuilding.
First floor
The main stairway provides access to a vast gallery leading to four large bedrooms, each with its own bath or shower room. At the ends of the gallery are two stairways, one the back stairway on the kitchen side, the other leading to the second floor. Each bedroom has its own fireplace.
Second floor
A traditional local wooden stairway leads to the second floor landing which provides access to six bedrooms on either side of a large corridor: three overlooking the avenue and three overlooking the garden. The back stairway also comes up to this level. The belvedere is reached via a delightful, narrow stairway leading up from the landing.
This pavilion, set on the roof, was the height of chic at the time and makes this residence unique on the Ile-de-Ré. It provides a 360° panoramic view of the village, the church, Saint-Martin museum, the port, the sea and inland on the island. After having climbed the narrow stairway and crossed a sort of mezzanine, residents reach a small room, reminiscent of a cabin on a boat or for square-net fishing, with its white wooden benches screwed to the sides, acting as a shelter in the event of an unexpected downpour and opening on to the balcony corridor going around the four sides of the belvedere.

The dwelling in the outbuilding

At the end of the property, opening on to a small courtyard, is a self-contained, 2-storey dwelling. The ground floor comprises a large room with an old bread oven. A stairway leads upstairs to a bedroom and a large bathroom. The small courtyard contains a little outbuilding used for laundry and storage purposes.

Ground floor
This superb bright room combines a kitchen area with a living room. A straight stairway leads upstairs.
First floor
This level has an large bedroom with a shower room.

The garden

The garden is of a respectable size for a townhouse. It is out of sight of onlookers and can be reached from each of the ground floor rooms.

Our opinion

The belvedere is the ideal place from which to observe the comings and goings of the port whilst putting the world to rights with friends around a bottle of the local Pineau or a good Cognac. Its very warm architecture gives a seaside touch to the residence which reflects the growing interest of citizens from Paris or Bordeaux for the sea at the time of its construction. It is one of the island’s emblematic buildings, not only because of its architecture but also because of its setting. The opportunity to purchase a genuine family home, exuding its original ambiance, is rare here. With the size of the building, its layout on the land and its internal architecture, we can but think that this is also a wonderful opportunity for a professional activity.

Exclusive sale

2 950 000 €
Our fees are included in the stated sale price.

Reference 562201

Land registry surface area 770 m2
Main building surface area 598 m2
Outbuilding surface area 66.0 m2

Regional representative

Charles Rofort       +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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