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Château de Fléchères: A Hint of Italy

Published on , by Sylvie Blin

In the heart of the Dombes in southeastern France, one of the region's finest chateaux, dating from the 17th century, boasts highly original architecture and remarkable interior decoration. Open to the public, it will soon be changing hands.

  Château de Fléchères: A Hint of Italy
 
Someone probably needs to be a little crazy (and such people are often called "heritage mad") to want to buy the Château de Fléchères in the Dombes (Ain): an imposing early 17 th -century building neglected for years after being shamelessly emptied and looted. Having remained in the same family until the early 1980s, Fléchères was then bought by a property developer with little feeling for heritage. The property seemed doomed to a bleak future until it was purchased in 1997 by Marc Simonet-Lenglart and Pierre Almendros. For many years these owners of the Château de Cormatin in Saône-et-Loire had wanted to save the château, where Philippe de Broca's 1969 film Le Diable par la queue  ( The Devil by the Tail ) starring Yves Montand was shot, restore and open it to the public as they had done in Burgundy. A Herculean task indeed: but fortune favoured the two brave men.   Pietro Ricchi, Chambre de la Parade, 1632 (detail). Jean Sève: a devout builder The history of Fléchères, from its construction to its rescue, is decidedly unusual. It was built "in one go" between 1606 and 1625. We do not know the name of the architect who designed it, but we do know who commissioned it: Jean Sève. One of a line…
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