Château du Docteur Markus - France, February 2021

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Jul 25, 2017
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Château du Docteur Markus #01

by Broken Window Theory

Where we go, time works differently. Here, the age of castles has never really ended. But listen, this is not a fairy tale! Residents of this French château have celebrated lavish feasts but also mourned blows of fate and plotted insidious intrigues. Buzzing rumors claim this was also a mental asylum for a while, where coldhearted doctors conducted experiments on helpless patients - remnants of what can still be found... Yet, a fact is that the castle is only a skeleton, mostly emptied out and in danger of collapsing. But its history is well-preserved.

Château du Docteur Markus #17

by Broken Window Theory

It is a cold winter morning. We are approaching through the neglected castle grounds, then suddenly, the glamorous estate reveals itself on top of the hill. We just entered a magical world! Or did we...? Sorry for the disenchantment, but the castle's courtyard is now a parking lot. Yet, they chased us away when we were trying to park our car here - because it is still private property. Already decades ago, the adjacent buildings were repurposed. It was all turned into a vocational school. Only the main building remains frozen in time - so to say, it is an enchanted place after all.

Château du Docteur Markus #02

by Broken Window Theory

What looks like it would come straight out of a fairy tale is a feudal castle from the 15th Century - once built by someone from the top one percent of the top one percent. Its towers and fortifications are just symbolic though. This structure was never made to withstand a siege. No, this was the residence of aristocrats. Yet, the style of this château is hard to describe. The present appearance is the result of numerous changes of ownership and equally numerous renovations and reconstructions. A curious mixture of extravagant Gothic and Renaissance styles gives the façade of the estate a glamorous and unique look.

Château du Docteur Markus #03

by Broken Window Theory

From floor to ceiling, it feels like every square inch was made use of. Ornaments set in stone, carved woodwork, fancy tiles, and intact fireplaces - it is a feast for the eyes! But it comes with a price. Maintaining something like this costs a fortune. And who could afford this if not the top one percent of the top one percent?

Château du Docteur Markus #05

by Broken Window Theory

When the castle was built back in the 15th Century, it was constructed on a spring where the water was said to have unique healing powers. As a remnant, we discovered an ornate fountain in the Gothic hallway, from which that special water once gushed.

Château du Docteur Markus #07

by Broken Window Theory

This site was built by the House of Savoy, a thousand-year-old royal dynasty. They owned and ruled half of Europe, some of them were Freemasons, you name it. The castle was gifted to the local lord for his service to the House of Savoy. Many different owners followed in the upcoming centuries.

Château du Docteur Markus #13

by Broken Window Theory

The last owner was an association that focused on the professional and social integration of disabled people. That is also the company that runs all the adjacent buildings. So, they repurposed the castle as well. But you know how it is: It is just too expensive, and they had to let it go. For the past few decades, this historical site was left to rot. That is a shame, and probably not at all the happy ending you were rooting for... But wait, we did not say the story is over yet!

Château du Docteur Markus #11

by Broken Window Theory

Shortly after our visit, rehabilitation work began. Yes, for real! And by now, they must have really picked up the pace. This castle is more than 500 years old. Numerous stories have taken place here, whether they be big events or sad tragedies. All of it is preserved in these walls. In our footage, the depopulated body spreads the atmosphere of a monument that had outlived its creators. But on the long axis of time, this is just a short period - between the past and the future.

Château du Docteur Markus #26

by Broken Window Theory

If you want to see more of this fairy tale castle you can do so in this exploration video on YouTube:


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