This castle that was once owned by French royals can be yours for $17 million

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The château looks like a medieval fortress.
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Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

A historic château in Aix en Provence is now up for sale – and if you have a spare $17 million, it can be yours.

The castle, which dates back nearly 1,000 years, was previously owned by the French royal family and is now on the market with Sotheby’s International Realty, Bloomberg reported.

The current owners, Ghislaine Pillivuyt and her husband, Bertrand, inherited the property in 2006 and have been running it as a family business – opening the house and garden to the public, using it as a wedding venue, and running a bed and breakfast there.

Take a look around:


Château de la Barben is nearly 1,000 years old.

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Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

Source: Sotheby’s


It’s located in Aix-En-Provence, one of the most picturesque areas in the South of France.

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Google Maps

The earliest records of the castle date back to 1064, when it was owned by monks. It subsequently changed hands several times and was at different points owned by a medieval lord and even the French royal family. In 1474 it was sold to the De Forbin family, who kept possession of it for 500 years.

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Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

Source: Bloomberg and Château de la Barben


In the 1960s, the house and land were bought by the father of the current owner, who lives there with her husband. It sold for between 1 and 2 million francs at the time.

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Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

Source: Bloomberg


It has about 60 different rooms.

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Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

They’re all extravagant in their own way.

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Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

Some rooms have frescoes painted on the walls or various styles of ornate wallpaper.

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Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

Other rooms have been renovated by the current owners, who inherited the property in 2006.

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Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

Source: Bloomberg


They run the castle as a family business and rent out some of the rooms as a bed and breakfast. Prices start at $150 a night.

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Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

Source: Château de la Barben


A suite with a salon attached costs $350 a night.

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Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

Source: Château de la Barben


The house and gardens are open to the public, and the family rents out the space for private events, including weddings and film shoots.

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Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

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The gardens, which were designed by the royal gardener to Louis XIV, are some of the most impressive parts of the property.

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Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

Source: Château de la Barben


There are seven flower beds surrounded by boxwood, which circle around an ornamental pond. According to the current owners, Napoleon I’s sister used to bathe in the pond.

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Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

Source: Château de la Barben


The property comes with 700 acres of land, some of which is prime deer-hunting territory.

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Sotheby’s International Realty

Source: Sotheby’s


The owners are now looking to move on to something smaller. “We want to relax,” Bertrand Pillivuyt told Bloomberg. “I’m sure we can adjust to a smaller house.”

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Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

Source: Bloomberg