This cottage is our first gite in the village of Chantelle, where we live ourselves. It is located in the oldest part of the village, at the bottom of a cul-de-sac, right on the river escarpment (the garden is surrounded by low stone walls). The views from the house are therefore unrestricted and all you can see are treetops and white Charolais cows on the other side of the river valley, with a sound-track of birdsong and the meandering river below. Incidentally, this part of the village is the starting point of many hiking trails along the river Bouble, suitable for all levels of fitness. However, the trails do not pass directly in front of the cottage which therefore remains peaceful and tranquil.
The house has been totally modernised in 2007 and is composed of 2 double bedrooms (one with views over the valley), a very stylish bathroom (with separate toilet), a large sunny kitchen over-looking the garden (with lovely herb garden at your disposal), a dining room and a living-room with a gothic fire-place. There are no stairs, so it is ideal accommodation for a family with small children.
Like all our other gites, the cottage has been restored with the aim of preserving as much of the original structures and details as possible, such as huge oak beams, whitewashed walls, red-tiled floors, and the old fashioned heavy oak doors.
The cottage was acquired from the “Soeurs Benedictines” who live in the nearby Abbaye de Chantelle (www.benedictines-chantelle.com) – where they manufacture and sell some lovely natural beauty products), hence our choice of the name. The Abbaye was constructed in the period 1100-1500 by the Duke of Bourbon, and was then part of what was widely considered one of the most beautiful castles in France.
When Charles, Duke of Bourbon the richest man in France and with the title of “Connetable” was accused of treason by the king, Francois 1er, he fled to Italy. The castle was partly torn down by the king’s army in 1523. More damage was done to it by Richelieu in 1635. After the revolution, what little there was left of the building was taken over by the Order of the Sisters of Benedict, and is now all that remains of the original chateau (a few building blocks can be found scattered along the river which runs at the bottom of the gorge). The nuns consequently also acquired several houses in the oldest quarter Chantelle, La Rue de Cul de Sac, which we took over some years ago. The Cottage is actually composed of several houses, which have been changed numerous times over the centuries. It is at least 500 years old, the “birth certificate” being the 2 small gothic windows at the front of the house, and the gothic fireplace. Several walls have been left untouched to show how houses were constructed back then.
If you wish to learn more about the village of Chantelle itself, please click here.