Years ago I stumbled upon an Instagram page called @chateaugudanes and was instantly hooked. I've always been drawn to historic buildings, especially in Europe, and the pictures of this Chateau were breathtaking. Standing proud near the river Les Torrents d'Aston in the Occitanie region of South France, this incredible estate has an interesting and turbulent past.
Seeing Chateau Gudanes for the first time conjured up mental images of what life was like in centuries past. Antique iron gates guard the entrance to the chateau, and its neoclassical style with symmetric, stately windows are awe-inspiring against a backdrop of mountains that light up with each season.
The site in the South of France was first built upon in the thirteenth century as a fortress, eventually becoming a palatial chateau in the eighteenth century. This site's history is marked through the centuries by various battles, acting as a place of shelter. Over the years, the estate changed hands multiple times, adding layers of attempted restorations and designs. Chateau Gudanes was declared a historic monument in France in 1994.
In 2013, a brave Australian couple purchased the chateau and took on the responsibility of bringing it back to life. Their Instagram page is full of all the wonders they've unearthed, and detailing what it's like living among history. This is what really piqued my interest. As a designer, history is by far the most important detail. It's exciting to create something new, but we must look toward the past and build upon it. The Waters family has done just that, and Chateau Gudanes is now open for tours and vacations. I can only imagine what it's like to walk the halls of the chateau, knowing that people were doing the same thing hundreds of years ago.
The Waters family documents their restoration process on Instagram, and it's so exciting following along as they unearth original frescoes, tiles, and antique furniture. Each piece tells a story that only the chateau knows. I've immensely enjoyed following along as different rooms of Chateau Gudanes are brought to light, and I hope one day to visit it in person! For now, I am enjoying their amazing book of it's history and charms.