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PART OF A MEDIEVAL VILLAGE FORT
Outskirts of Village - Ain - Midi-Pyrenees
Château de Triniac
House for Sale
section of a medieval castle/fort in the foothills of the Pyrenees
30 minutes from Perpignan
The property - 6, Place d'Armes - general description
4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms - 1 en-suite, large kitchen and living room with original fireplace, massive beams throughout, large cellar with utility room, spacious tiled terrace, large enclosed yard with barbecue
Approximately 146 sq metres on three floors including the cellar and utility room with about 100 sq metres fully renovated living accommodation at present on the upper two floors. Possibility to convert the enormous cellar to provide more accommodation if required and to re-construct an additional long-demolished room over the lower part of the yard – some parts of the original roof and floor joists still remain.
Access to the property is through an archway leading to the castle courtyard and beyond via large solid wooden gates (recently renewed) into a private yard separated from the main courtyard by a tall, ancient stone wall.
The castle has its origins in the 11th century, but most of the present structure is from the 16th and 17th centuries. It stands at the highest point of the village, perched on a hill overlooking three valleys.
The village – Latour de France 66720
Originally called "Triniac" or "three views", Latour de France is situated by the original frontier between France and Catalonia and is rich in history. Its military significance ended with the Treaty of the Pyrenees peace between Louis XIV of France and Philip IV of Spain that ended the Franco-Spanish War of 1648–59 but is still evinced in street names such as place de l'hôpital and place d'Armes (the postal address of the property).
This thriving little village of approximately 1,000 inhabitants boasts its own Appellation Contrôlée associated with the forward-looking cave co-operative, a garage, grocery, bakers, tobacconist and blacksmith – the latter 4 within 2 minutes walk of the house. There are two tennis courts, a charming childrens' playground and of course several locations used by petanque enthusiasts. There is even a small, reasonably priced restaurant not far from the cave co-operative and the excellent primary school.
At its perimeter there is a mix of ancient and modern while the old central village is a labyrinth of charming, flowerpot-lined narrow streets. While the Mairie has assiduously maintained and developed its many hidden small squares the village has managed to remain unspoilt and authentic.
Approached through 4 Km of gently sloping vineyards from Estagel on the Perignan-Foix road the villages climbs to a sheer cliff on which the castle was strategically constructed. A small bedroom window at the rear overlooks the valley of the Agly.
30 years ago, in common with many villages, there were a fair number of derelict properties. These have virtually disappeared having been renovated for the most part by local families. There are few foreigners in Latour de France and, although changing family circumstances dictate the sale, the present owners (for 32 years) have always found a real welcome and look on it as a little piece of heaven. Madame is occasionally and good-naturedly referred to as "la Châtelaine". In contrast, should you feel the need for English there are some 40 families in nearby Rasiguères, which became popular following Edward Heath's musical soirées there in the late 1970's.
Latour de France is ideally situated between the Mediterranean and the mountains. Gorgeous sandy beaches are only 30 minutes drive while the ski slopes of Font Romeu and Pyrenées 2000 are just over one hour. The mountains provide a refuge from the heat as does the nearby reservoir lake at Caramany. The river Agly flows below the castle and, along its banks families tend their highly productive allotments and summer gardens while there is a communal barbecue site and family meeting place on the far side of the main bridge. If you get a licence there is also good coarse fishing.
There are many well-mapped walking and biking trails through the vineyards with points of interest such as derelict chapels, mines etc. – all surrounded by the most breathtaking views of the mountains.
The region – Pyrénées Orientales
A few minutes drive from the village takes one within sight of two of the many Cathar castles, Perpertus and Queyribus, which abound in the region and which retain their appeal and mystery today. Not far also is the mysterious church at Rennes le Château with the unsolved mystery of its priest's fortune.
On the coast the authentic fishing port of Port Vendres lies just beyond Collioure the well know centre of the anchovy trade and artist colony. The coast road winds into Spain to Cadaquès which Salvador Dali said was the most beautiful village in the world and Figurés with the famous Dali Museum and Gallery. The beautiful city of Barcelona is less than 2 hours drive.
On the French side of the Pyrenees, the lovely regional capital Perpignan with its historic lanes, citadel and the Palace of the Kings of Majorca is 30 minutes drive while the walled city of Carcassone is just over one hour away. Narbonne and Beziers are similar distances while Montpelliers is about 1 hour 45 minutes.
The region is famous for its wine and fruit and Catalan cuisine which is simple, healthy and delicious and when the delights of the table or the beach pall, the possibilities for a day out visiting are simply endless!
The property interior details
From the first-floor terrace where there is comfortable room for 8 persons to dine you enter the open-plan L-shaped kitchen and main living area with its modern kitchen and cooker with hob. It is fitted with an almost new Bosch dishwasher (very silent) and fridge. A rear double bedroom with en-suite shower room and wc overlooks the valley. There is a large walk-in cupboard for the hoover and everyday tools and other bits and pieces under the stairs.
The original terracotta tiles of the staircase have been retained and it leads onto a spacious landing. There is a forged iron balustrade to the stairs and landing which match the security grilles on the front door and windows. Not surprising as they were all made by the same blacksmith. Incidentally there is very little crime in the village and the house is left unmolested. One of our neighbours is an ex gendarme who keeps a weather eye on the property.
Upstairs there is a second modern shower room and wc, a large bedroom/office with ADSL broadband access and two further bedrooms. There are large, ancient beams in all the bedrooms.
The property was entirely rewired to modern standards about 8 years ago. There is a large circuit breaker panel with room for many more circuits. The roof was replaced entirely some 5 years ago and the interior is insulated to the highest standard. When it got up to 40°C for a week things got a bit warm upstairs but mainly the house, which has walls around a metre thick, is slow to heat up and slow to lose heat. Some of our French neighbours have actually succumbed to permanent air-conditioning but so far we find fans work just fine in the summer. The house is heated by a mixture of portable gas and modern electric radiators. The old hooded fireplace with iron hook for the cooking pot, still works fine but we find the need to heat the place, even in winter, to be pretty minimal.
On the ground floor there is a large open cellar built on the rock with a small internally constructed utility room housing the washing machine and a second fridge plus anything else you can stuff in. The cellar is home to an old motor cycle for visiting the vineyard tracks and a table tennis table among tons of other essentials such as inflatable boats for the beach and cots and high chairs for visiting babies etc., etc. there is no shortage of storage space!
Ryanair daily flights from Stansted
Several Air France flights from Paris
Flybe daily from Southampton during the summer
Perpignan is now on the TGV line from Paris to Barcelona
An easy 9 hour drive on the autoroute from St Malo
Cheap flights to Gerona and about 1 hour 30 minutes by road from there
2 hours from Toulouse
Ryanair to Carcassone and 1 hour 15 minutes by road from there
A unique chance to be part of history, in a village at the heart of the region, from the Cathars to the Treaty of the Pyrenees.
Number of Bedrooms:
A mixture of portable gas and modern electric radiators. The old hooded fireplace with iron hook for the cooking pot, still works fine but we find the need to heat the place, even in winter, to be pretty minimal.