Australian couple Bought a decaying Neoclassical French Chateau and started blogging the restoration process …


Isn’t it the perfect dream to restore a dilapidated French château of the Neoclassic style? The idea of touring a once-opulent, now-spooky palace where French nobility once lived and where every cranny has a fascinating story to tell gives me the chills.

Therefore, the 94-room Chateau de Gudanes is the Mount Everest of reconstructions, returning a massive, dilapidated mansion to its former splendor. Thus, in 2011, when the Australian couple Karina and Craig Waters discovered the deserted beauty palace in the Midi-Pyrénées up for sale online, they made the decision to “climb the top,” that is, to restore the ruin dating back to the 18th century.

Chateau de Gudanes

In Perth, Western Australia, Karina Waters, a former corporate and tax accountant, resided with her spouse Craig, a surgeon, and their two kids. In 2011, the couple had planned to purchase a home in France, but they were on the verge of giving up when Ben, their 16-year-old son, came onto the abandoned property online.

After driving 700 kilometers to Paris to view the enchanted house, the Australian couple realized they had found their calling: “to bring this dying beauty to life.”

Chateau de Gudanes

She claims, “It was love at first sight.” As we approached the village, we were able to view the chateau, and we both looked at one another as though we were at the alter! We pulled up to the front of the property, and there it was, looking so proud,” Karina describes seeing the Chateau de Gudanes in the town of Château-Verdun, in the Ariège region.

A foreign syndicate has been the owner of the Chateau de Gudanes, which is situated at the foot of the Plateau de Beille, for the past four years. When the chateau’s former owners bought it in the 1990s, they planned to turn the stately home into 17 tastefully appointed apartments.

Luckily, this scheme was thwarted by the French Historic Monuments organization. Thus, the neoclassical house was left to the whims of nature and later on, other owners who valued art more came to occupy it.


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