Château Doré is without doubt one of the largest historic residences currently available for sale in France. Although the exact date of construction - in the mid-17th century - remains unknown, specialists estimate that it is one of the three oldest (and perhaps even the oldest!) of the 112 ‘malouinières’ officially inventoried.
The malouinières are one of the cornerstones of Breton history. These country homes were built between 1650 and 1730 around Saint-Malo by ship owners who had made a fortune in the maritime trade. The idea for these wealthy Malouins was to be able to own a country retreat that afforded greater luminosity and fresh air than their townhouses within Saint-Malo itself. Their only constraint was that they had to be able to reach the town in less than two hours on horse, thus restricting them to a range of approximately fifteen kilometres maximum. Some historians believe that these
rural properties also had a less respectable function as they enabled ship owners to evade the royal tax authorities by making some of their cargo disappear before it reached the port of Saint-Malo...
Designed to be truly autonomous estates, the malouinières had orchards, vegetable gardens, cowsheds and barns, as well as formal gardens and planted mazes, as was the fashion at the time.
It is amazing to see that the configuration of Château Doré is very similar today to how it would have been in the 17th century, explains Erwan Thiboumery, expert on Northern Brittany at BARNES Propriétés & Châteaux.
Its architecture has been preserved over generations, along with its vegetable garden, its greenhouse, its gardens and its rose garden. The façades, roof and magnificent internal staircase are even listed on the French Supplementary Historic Monument List.
The staircase was one of the key features of a malouinière. Designed as a work of art, it provided a medium for boat-builders to demonstrate their talents. The staircase at Château Doré is particularly remarkable for its double flight and the open tread that illuminates the lower steps.
Wood is omnipresent throughout the house, adds Erwan Thiboumery.
The parquet flooring, the ceilings, the furniture and the doors... the layout of the different rooms draws heavily on maritime tradition.
In addition to the 7 bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, and an annexe with 3 additional bedrooms, this historic malouinière also comes with a tennis court and a vast swimming pool, making it the perfect family home. Its 4.2 hectare enclosed parkland is a true delight, just 10 minutes from the centre of Saint-Malo and the beaches. The property is listed for sale by BARNES Propriétés & Châteaux at €4.2 million.