A 16th century house comprising several flats
in a peaceful, rural Provencal village
Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, VAR provence-cote-dazur 83470 FR


In a small Knights’ Templar village, nestling between the small valleys and hills in the hinterland of the French department of Var and constituting a stopover for pilgrims following the Way-of-St-James, 45 minutes from the sea or Verdon, 15 minutes from the A8 motorway, Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume and Barjols, 50 minutes from Aix-Marseille-Provence airport.


“La Soulari” or “La Solaire” is one of the oldest middle-class houses in the village. Spanning 3 levels with a view of the church bell-tower, it is slightly set back and dominates the small square nearby. A narrow street on one side leads to the old castle ruins and the hiking trail that goes off towards the hill.
This old house still has the sculpted framing around its entrance door that dates from the middle of the 17th century, its mullioned windows dating from the Renaissance period and its old sundial that still gives the time.

The house

Standing higher than its neighbours, this building resembles a tower. The old stone framing the mullioned windows and the entrance door blends with the soft hue of the pink walls. The old sundial’s gnomon continues to project its shadow on one of said walls. A small paved area is home to a bench by the door leading from the cellars. The heavy wrought wooden door, opening on to the narrow street, is widely framed by sculpted stone.

Ground floor
The wide, solid wood door with its ironwork under its stone arcade opens into a long, wide, orange-coloured corridor which is lightened by the white of the floor, the doors, the ceiling and the monumental stairway at the end.
On either side of this opening are recently renovated and comfortably converted flats with double-glazed windows. On the left-hand side is a studio flat featuring a mezzanine floor.
After the stairway is a flat with a lounge featuring an open-plan kitchen, a bedroom, a shower room and a toilet. There is also a cloakroom and a door leading to the two basement cellars.

A door under the stairway on the ground floor provides access to two large vaulted cellars.
A few steps lead to a first vast cellar featuring superb exposed stone walls and its original tiled floor. An inscription engraved in the wall gives the date as 1638. A passageway leads to the second, equally spacious cellar which houses a shower room as well as a toilet. Old exposed floorboards act as a ceiling. A few steps provide access out into the village street on to the small paved terrace with its bench.

First floor
The monumental stairway, with solid wooden steps following the first stone steps, leads up to a landing that provides access to two flats. One has a living room with an open-plan, fitted kitchen as well as a bedroom and a shower room with a fossilised marble wash-hand basin. On the other side is a 2-storey flat that can be accessed via the inside stairway by going up a floor. It includes a first bedroom with a mezzanine floor. A shower room can be reached from the 45 m² lounge, with an open-plan kitchen area, which takes up the centre of the flat. The oak wood parquet flooring and the suspended ceiling beams create a warm balance and an original look. The inside stairway, with its steel and stainless steel wire railings, participates in the flat’s luminosity. It continues up to the bedrooms on the top floor.
Second floor
This integral section of the 2-storey flat comprises a bedroom, with a sloping ceiling and a skylight, on a half-floor. A large room which was used as a billiards and music room but which could also become a vast bedroom, takes up the very top of the building. The unobstructed view from this room takes in the surrounding countryside, the village dovecote and the streams that merge by the waterfall.

Our opinion

This tall building forms a superb character house where the patina of bygone times blends with a perfectly modern interior. It could be used for a multitude of investment projects: a large family home, rental flats, a hotel or a bed & breakfast activity, etc. The two cellars, with an exit on to the paved section of the street, could be turned into a small shop or workshop. The site is part of a lively Provencal village that remains authentic in its verdant surroundings. The highest room in the house is not only vast but also provides a vista taking in all of the surrounding countryside and the waterfall side of the village, where there is a listed dovecote.

335 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense

See the fee rates

Reference 920494

Land registry surface area 234 m2
Number of bedrooms 6
Main building surface area 300 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Regional representative

Denis Béraud +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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