in an unspoilt fortified town on one of the Gers’ hills
In the “Golden Triangle”, 10 minutes from Lectoure, 40 minutes from Agen (a TGV train station with 190-minute links to Paris and an airport with flights to Paris and Great Britain).
The village, once a fortified town, sits on the top of a hill, dominating the surrounding countryside. Its location in a no-through road guarantees unusual tranquillity in the landscape of an already quiet countryside. The lie of the land is such that the usual layout of a Roman castrum, a rectangle with parallel streets cutting one another at right angles with a central square, could not be followed. On the contrary, a maze of narrow lanes cross the village, giving it a distinctly Italian air (one that was actually inspired by the Greeks!), and marking once again the links established between Gascony and Italy as of the Middle-Ages.
The current owners, given the dilapidated state of the premises at the time of purchase, decided to renovate the property and, even, to almost completely reconstruct one of the houses. This resulted in their creating not only a pleasant place to live but also an additional place where they could formally receive visitors and holidaymakers in search of relaxation and extremely comfortable surroundings. (A large indoor garage and a lift were integrated into the buildings.) A spa bath was also installed at this time, together with a professional kitchen, the mistress of house having taken to offering dinner as well as the holiday rental accommodation. This region is ideal for this kind of activity courtesy of the quality of the produce on offer and its great seasonal variation.
Works were carried out by the best of craftsmen on the carcasses, roofs, electric wiring, plumbing and so on such that there is nothing outstanding. Everything is in pristine condition and in line with current day standards enabling newcomers to move in straightaway.
The two houses are connected via two small courtyards and a walkway on an upper level. This is an interesting architectural feature as one might expect the small courtyards to be level with the parallel streets whereas the slope of the latter does in actual fact mean that they are positioned above what is currently a garage, thus putting them all on a level. Instead of stone or brick, they both have rot-resistant slatted wood flooring. The walls are built of rendered quarry stone blocks, thus, guaranteeing excellent natural insulation. Both houses are topped with a traditional wooden roofing framework covered with Roman tiles. One of them is flanked by an old tower overlooking the little courtyards and housing the main stairway. A double and a single overhanging cornice as well as some Italian style grey-painted framing around the doors and windows constitute the most striking of external aesthetics. One of the interior facades features arched openings, a classical touch in a rural setting. The offset layout of the two houses, in relation to one another, is interesting in itself as it leads to continually changing shadows, thus enhancing all the rooms.
The garden level is entered via a porch way, a sort of lobby between the street and the actual entrance. This level is the first which is completely above the level of the parallel streets. It is used, in accordance with local architectural tradition, for reception purposes and also comprises lounges and a dining room. The porch way provides access to a room that could possibly be used as a dressing room which opens into a lounge where a bar, worthy of a large hotel, takes pride of place.
The bar opens, on one side, on to one of the small courtyards, from where it is possible to see a vast dining room through the openings. The other side of the bar leads to a hall area which provides access to a large lounge. Set between the lounge-bar and the large lounge is an indoor swimming pool. A wall fountain is reminiscent of Italy.
In a short corridor are two bedrooms, facing one another all on a level; this is an unusual feature on the reception floor of a Gascony house. Both bedrooms have their own bathroom.
As with all Gascony houses, the upper level comprises the bedrooms and, nowadays, they are accompanied by bath or shower rooms.
In this instance, there are four bedrooms. Two of them have a bathroom with a toilet; another has a toilet separate from the bathroom; the fourth is a suite with a bathroom and a lounge. On exiting the bedrooms, visitors are continually amazed by the views, one opening on to a small terrace overlooking a small interior courtyard and the roofs of the neighbouring houses, another taking in the surrounding countryside. Privacy and access to the outside are harmoniously combined when passing from one point to another, from terrace to walkway. Copious amounts of controlled light illuminate throughout. Everything is well balanced with no opportunities for onlookers.
This property exudes the French art of living in a landscape that brings Italy to mind. Silence reigns in the narrow sloping streets where heavy traffic is quite out of place. The eye stretches as far as the yellow of the cereal crops in the fields and the green of the copses on the surrounding hillsides. It is a property that is perfectly suited to the lie of the land and which has used that to enhance its originality and its charm with houses that lacked neither right from the start. The layout and organisation of the rooms are admirable and nothing has been forgotten when it comes to the modern-day home comforts much sought-after by guests who know all about the pleasant things in life and much appreciated on a daily basis by a family.
|Land registry surface area||612 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||6|
|Main building surface area||635 m2|
Philippe Fritsch +33 1 42 84 80 85
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.