If you’re sick of seeing people of the human type (I understand you, it’s like that every Monday morning for me), we can only advise you to take a little tour of the most beautiful abandoned palaces in the world. or abandoned water parks. If you are not in a comfortable club med, you will have peace. In France too, we have abandoned places that are not too disgusting to enjoy a silent and nudist retreat, like the nice castles below. Well in real life, avoid going there if you are not an expert in Urbex, you risk injuring yourself and it would make me feel sorry for you.
PS: to keep the location of these places a secret, some castles have names invented by Urbex fans, so don’t be surprised if this isn’t the real name.
1. The Castle of Solitude
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This abandoned castle is certainly one of the best known in France. Located in Plessis-Robinson, right in the middle of the Bois de la Solitude, this building was built in 1903 by Marie-Philiberte Marquis, heiress of a Parisian chocolatier. On the death of Madame Marquis, the castle served as a private nursing home (René Viviani, President of the Council, also visited it), a convent for the Carmelites and a college for young single mothers. It was abandoned after being ravaged by several fires. Today, it is securely accessible to the public, so you can go with both ears.
2. La Poupelière Castle (or Goldfinger Castle)
This castle, abandoned for more than 10 years, is frequently visited (and looted, let it be said), since its former owner left the premises. It was the criminal John Palmer, receiver of gold bars and murdered by bullets in England in 2015. At the end of 2021, the mayor of the city where the castle is located announced that it would soon be sold, because the heirs do not gave no sign of life.
3. The Prosecutor’s Castle (or Biche Castle)
This castle was built around the 1820s, on the foundations of an old 17th century manor. According to local rumors (because I have a lot of sources around the world, you see), its last use was during the German occupation. This castle owes its nickname to the stuffed animal head found in one of the rooms. Yeah, it’s not pretty pretty.
4. Peter Suttcliff Castle
I’m not going to lie to you, there is really zero info on this beautiful ruined castle. And it’s clearly done on purpose so that no tourist comes to ransack it all with his big shoes. Good luck if you want to visit it.
5. Haut-Brignon Castle (or Edward Gein Castle)
This abandoned castle, in neo-classical style, in the middle of the Bordeaux vineyards, was built in the 18th century. If the interior of the castle is in poor condition, you can still see the swimming pool in the gardens (there are some who don’t care).
6. The Great Dragon Castle (New Aquitaine)
This castle is another well-known abandoned spot. Located in Gironde, it was built in 1862 and was used by the Germans during the Second World War before serving as a retirement home. If you can still see stables and a dovecote, the remains of the place are not very visitable, because the castle was the victim of numerous fires and vandalism after its disaffection. And it’s a shame because he looked rather handsome.
7. The Mennechet Castle
Another fairly well-known place since we told you about it in the most beautiful abandoned places in France. This castle, built in the Oise at the end of the 19th century, was never completed, because its sponsor died before the end of the work. It was then 90% destroyed due to the two world wars and was only recently redeemed. If major cleaning work was done after its registration as a historical monument, the castle is still a (beautiful) ruin.
8. Thomas Rung Castle
This castle, located in Occitania, has nothing to do with the German serial killer: giving names of criminal cases is a common practice in Urbex to protect the location of the places. Apart from a small piano and a billiard table without balls, the interior is not well furnished, but the exterior nevertheless pleases the pupils.
9. Dennis Rader Castle
Again, this place has nothing to do with the criminal whose name it bears. But legend has it that Nicolas Sarkozy was seen there spinning a joint around a campfire in honor of Carla Bruni’s new album.
10. Sequoia Castle (or Pierre Chanal Castle)
Located in Brittany, this ultra bg castle was built in the 15th century. It is particular by its L-shape. Unfortunately, this castle is not in great shape, because a whole wing has already collapsed on itself.
11. Robert Hansen Castle
This castle in the Alpes-Maritimes comes straight from the 19th century and was built by Ferdinand Dervieu, former mayor of the town of Vallauris. According to the locals, it would have belonged to Pablo Picasso (but hey, between us, I doubt the reliability of this info). In 2017, this castle was ravaged by a fire.
12. Grand Fond Castle (or Gendarmettes Castle)
This old castle was built in the 15th century in the region of Saumur. During the Second World War, it served as a police academy for women, then as a center for summer camps. It was also bought to build a luxury hotel that never saw the light of day. If the owners never wanted to renovate the castle, they announced that they wanted to put in place some renovations to prevent the curious from visiting this property.
13. Thaix Castle (or Ladder Castle)
This 19th century building was built by the Marquis Armand de Pomereu d’Aligre. But its construction was often postponed because of the death of the marquis and the war. Victim of a fire in 1936, it was partially destroyed. Its nickname of Ladder Castle comes from the fact that its architect, to choose the most beautiful point of view, had a ladder moved throughout the park. Smart guy.
14. Château Billard (or Château Simone Cambou)
This castle dating from the 19th century was abandoned following the death of its owner. It was the victim of two fires, in 2015 and 2019, which ravaged part of the building. Despite being auctioned off in 2019, the castle is still derelict. Its nickname comes from the billiard table visible on the top floor of the castle.
15. The castle of Saint-Blancard
Located in the Gers, this castle was erected between the 14th and 19th centuries by the Gontaut Biron family. After being sold in 1959, it served for several years as a hospital. It was finally bought by an Englishman in the 90s, who left the castle abandoned. Frankly, if it was to do that, it was not worth it.
16. The castle of Saulxures (or castle of the Marquise de Brinvilliers)
Another magnificent building left in ruins. This Lorraine castle was built during the Second Empire by Élisabeth Géhin, widow of the city’s first great industrialist. For the record, Adolphe Thiers, second President of the French Republic, stayed there and the castle served as a refuge for the population of the village during the Second World War. Since 1972, the castle has been abandoned (needed to say, I would have restored all that to you in two two).
17. Samsonova Castle (or Mercedes Castle)
This extremely charismatic chateau comes from Normandy. It owes its nickname to the Mercedes that remained there (don’t look, it is clearly not in working order).
18. Valgros Castle
The history of this castle is quite sad, so do not hesitate to take tissues. Built in 1870, it belonged to two families before being sold to a Dutch company that wanted to turn it into luxury apartments (with golf and all the fuss). Over the years, real estate companies have succeeded and in 2005, an arson attack broke out (and some culprits were sentenced to years in prison). Then in 2020, another fire ravaged the castle. If you still aren’t crying, you don’t have a soul.
19. Bagnac Castle
Yes, contrary to what one might think, there are many such abandoned marvels in France (and it’s heartbreaking). This castle was built on the ruins of an old 15th century castle (destroyed by the wars) by the Marquis and Marquise of Saint-Martin de Bagnac. The site, which was to be only a reconstruction, lasted 25 years and caused the agents to lose huge sums. Passed from hand to hand, it almost welcomed the Count of Chambord, pretender to the throne of France. Today, he belongs to a family of French nobility who apparently don’t care.
20. Château Latour (or Château de Fruminet)
And to end this quality top in style, we now discover this incredible castle in Picardy. Built by a great industrialist in 1865, this castle was quickly taken over by the French Army for the artillery regiments. In particular, it served as a prison during the two world wars. Located next to two penitentiary centers, it also served as canteens for the guards and was abandoned in 2004. In 2010, the building was badly affected by a fire and even if it was bought by the town hall following this incident, the castle is still abandoned today.