Château de Gudanes: the three-hundred-year-old castle which “passed away” lifestyle
Carried out by the Waters family, this three-hundred-year-old castle in the French Pyrenees starts a new life by being reconverted into a luxury boutique hotel.
After more than six years of arduous refurbishment, this old ruin from the 18th century receives visitors in search of historical vestiges and much needed tranquility among its frescoes, wooden beams and Venetian.
Craig and Karina Waters hardly knew any French when they became owners of Château de Gudanes. A castle ruin from the eighteenth Century built on an old 13th century fortress which led them to cross two continents and start a new life far from their native country: Australia. Enticed by this French Pyrenees region, the Waters turned Château de Gudanes into their vital project. After more than six years of refurbishment, initiated in November 2013, the rubble of this property and the more than 12 hectares of land are reborn as a luxury boutique hotel. Its cultural and leisure offer makes it possible to explore every single château in the area, to take part in multiple activities, such as yoga or cooking workshops; and reconnect with oneself through the tranquility and history of this enclave. The Waters also offer visitors the possibility to contribute to the restoration, whose process is in continuous evolution.
Craig and Karina Waters could only visit 4 of the 94 rooms from Château Gudanes when they got the property. Uninhabited since its deterioration by religious wars in 1850, the building was in a bad way, with collapsed roofs and vegetation growing inside.
Preserving the atmosphere and authenticity of the castle was one of the maxims of this Australian couple when undertaking the restoration work. It will be a “refurbished” building, they say on their website, but “its rawness, wear and tear and history will not be erased, but integrated instead”. Listed as a historical monument, this castle designed by the architect, Ange-Jacques Gabriel, designer of the Petit Trianon and the Parisian Place de la Concorde, has been showcasing its great heritage value, with ceramic objects, frescoes from 1700 and Venetian glassware on show, which used to remain hidden.
Following a conservative and minimalist style, the walls have been kept stripped, and antique furniture fuses among the “stories told” by the original structure itself. Craig and Karina Waters explain in their book “Château de Gudanes” how they have raised the building with their very own hands. Sleeping beauty has awoken.
Château de Gudanes
Ariège, 09310, France
Fuente portada: Instagram @chateaugudanes
Secret corners22·08·2019After eight years in the creative team of designer, Pierre Cardin, Pierre Yovanovitch decided to create his very own studio in 2001 in order to devote all his time to his real passion: interior design.With the American designers of the 40s and 60s and the Scandinavian style of Axel Einar Hjorth as a source of inspiration, Yovanovitch creates refined but unpretentious atmospheres in which modern elements go hand in hand with vintage art pieces.The designer's greatest work is his own studio, La Maison, a living reflection of his signature seal: Made in France.