religious edifices for sale in france near comminges and auch

Vestiges of an old abbey, now a large, luxurious home, with a chapel
and 4 ha of parklands, just a stone’s throw from a Gascony town

Saint-Gaudens, HAUTE-GARONNE midi-pyrenees 31800 FR
Midi-Pyrénées

Location

In the Comminges region, where the borders of the French departments of Gers, Haute-Garonne and Hautes-Pyrénées meet, just five minutes from a bastide or fortified town which, over the centuries, has developed into a small town with all the amenities expected of modern-day life (shops, primary and secondary schools as well as doctors) and a pleasant weekly market.
Toulouse, with its international airport and TGV train station, is 70 minutes away by car, Auch is 50 minutes away and Tarbes is an hour away.
This property is in a little verdant valley, watered by a tributary of the Garonne, with a completely clear, north-facing view.

Description

This property is reached via a little lane, like a concealed door, that turns off one of the roads leading to the small town. As if hidden behind a curtain of poplar and miscellaneous other trees, this residence only comes into view once these verdant screens have been passed.
Visitors are greeted by an old fish breeding pool, fed by a spring on the property. Filling the space as if it were a Flemish or Dutch painting, a vast meadow, bordered on one side by several poplar trees, gives the property an almost Nordic appearance where everything seems muted and yet the southern light is a reminder of a very different reality. The contrast is characteristic of this part of Gascony, at the limit of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean influences. The impression of tranquillity is striking. In these lands the seasons are marked and provide nature with a contrasting luxuriance that is always pleasant to contemplate.
The remains of the old Cistercian abbey finally come into view. This impressive mass of the pink brick, made famous by the architecture of Toulouse, is topped with Roman roof tiles. The chapterhouse is the only building which was preserved following the French Revolution, the abbey church that adjoined it having been totally destroyed. In its place, a barn was constructed using pebble and brick in the traditional manner. At the other end, in a meadow near to a river, an old, harmoniously proportioned pigsty brings the rustic side of the abbey’s functions to mind.

The residence in the old abbey chapterhouse

This construction, once completely made of brick, currently reveals quarry stone blocks inserted in places where bricks were worn. However, these additions are already old and could date back to the post and even pre-revolutionary period. The house which has been laid out in the chapterhouse spans two levels: a ground floor, with relatively high ceilings, comprising reception rooms and two kitchens; an upstairs with five bedrooms, once the monks’ cells, and a bathroom. The facade surfaces harmoniously feature tall pilaster strips which soften the austerity of their appearance. A low hip roof demonstrates a large ground surface area, balancing the overall size. The effect exudes a certain stateliness.
A barn, constructed on the site of the monastery chapel, has a partially gable roof and otherwise stands at right angles to the residence.
A short while after the French Revolution, when the Cistercian chapel was destroyed, another, smaller chapel was set out in a section of the chapterhouse, next to what is now the main entrance to the house. (This new chapel remains consecrated.)


Ground floor
An entrance hall, paved with traditional brick, provides access, right, to an old kitchen and, at the end, to a vast room, currently in use as a lounge and dining room. The entrance hall also houses a stairway going upstairs. A kitchen, recently installed for ease of use, adjoins the lounge.
The old kitchen, under a cross-ribbed vault divided into equal quarters, still has its old stone sink under a window. The long, rectangular bricks, used for the floor, are laid just like parquet flooring in a randomly-matched pattern which is quite unusual in this region.
The large lounge has the only decorative architectural feature dating from the Louis XV era to be found in the current residence. It comprises a fireplace trumeau with stucco decoration. It contrasts with medieval vaults similar to those in the old kitchen. Marble columns, now niched, date from the abbey’s construction period, that is the late 1200’s. They originally separated two sections of a room, twice the size of today’s lounge, a partition having been erected between them. These columns are made particularly elegant by their plain waterleaf capital. The floor here is covered with recent terrazzo flooring.
The new chapel is also on this level but it can only be reached from the outside.

Second level
The actual stairwell is illuminated in quite an exceptional manner. A narrow opening, made in the rear vault in the thickness of the wall, lets light in, the wall itself being arched. The nesting effect of the arches thus amplifies the luminosity of the place in an efficient and remarkable way.
Faithful to its original use, this floor comprises five bedrooms which have replaced the monks’ cells. The openings are varied, some bedrooms including the old Cistercian openings as well as deep embrasures with real windows and even a French window. The floors in four of the five rooms are still covered with brick paving, dating from the Louis XIV or Louis XV era. The fifth room and the corridor have panelled cement flooring.
Most of the woodwork features (doors and cupboards) are old. Those that have been reconstituted have been done in a traditional manner and do not spoil the overall effect.
A bathroom has been installed in order to provide a level of comfort currently expected.

The chapel

A chapel, still consecrated, is laid out in what is left of the chapterhouse. It comprises some beautiful Cistercian vestiges such as marble columns with waterleaf capitals and a cross-ribbed vault divided into equal quarters. Its architectural soberness has not been lost with the refurbishing of this new place of worship, some seven hundred years after the construction of the first chapel.

The barn

Backing on to the residence on the west side, this barn spans a total floor surface area of 109 m². Its beams are 3.87 m high.

The pigsty

This pigsty spans a floor surface area of 26 m².

Our opinion

Living in an old Cistercian abbey would, perhaps, be like adding philosophical meditation to its aesthetic pleasure and its sense of history. A chapel has even taken over from the demolished church. The deep embrasures of the openings reveal the thickness of the venerable walls in which columns, with sober, waterleaf capitals, crown niched columns. With the sound of children echoing here, a new cycle would begin. The natural surroundings are particularly pleasant. This property has everything to please a family or passing guests.

Exclusive sale

410 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur


Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Barème d'honoraires
au 1er Avril 2017

Ventes d'immeubles

À Paris et en Ile-de-France
Prix de vente au-delà de 600 000 euros       5% TTC*
Prix de vente de 400 000 à 600 000 euros   6% TTC*
Prix de vente de 200 000 À 400 000 euros   7% TTC*
Prix de vente jusqu'à 200 000 euros             9% TTC*
Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

En Province
Prix de vente au-delà de 500 000 euros       6% TTC*
Prix de vente jusqu'à 500 000 euros   30 000 Euros TTC* (forfait)
Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

Expertise

Avis de valeur argumenté : 1 800 Euros TTC*
Expertise à partir de 2 400 Euros TTC*
Les tarifs des expertises sont communiqués sur devis personnalisé établi sur la base d’un taux horaire moyen de 120 Euros TTC*

   

*TTC : TVA incluse au taux de 20 %

Reference 433944

Land registry surface area 3 ha 65 a 19 ca
Main building surface area 253 m2

Regional representative
Gers

Philippe Fritsch       +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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