Château Taxidermist - France, February 2021

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B W T

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Château Taxidermist #01

There is a place where time is just not working anymore. Somewhere in France, we found an old house frozen for 100 years now, with the vintage furnishings still left inside. Today, the former home of a taxidermist resembles a cabinet of horror - with deceased animals everywhere that were turned into decorations ages ago. Everywhere in the rural areas of France, there are these derelict châteaux - small castle-like estates that were once homes of the wealthy. But wealth is only temporary, and this is what remains: A time capsule that allows us to see firsthand how people were living their lives 100 years ago.


Château Taxidermist #02

It seems like the former resident was a hunter and collector. Most likely none of these animals died from natural causes. They were specifically killed for decorations. In the past, taxidermy was quite common. Preserving, arranging, and displaying animal bodies or only parts of them was just another hobby. Today, it is not that widespread anymore but is still considered an art form. Apart from the dead birds it is pretty empty down here. The windows are barricaded and barely let any light in. A lot of the furniture was either stolen or saved by some caretaker.


Château Taxidermist #05

After a long time of being uninhabited, decay has really set it. The history of such rural homes is usually barely documented. All we could find out before our exploration is that this chateau was built in the 17th century by a newly-married aristocratic couple. It was the family's home for several decades until the French Revolution changed everything. Later, a wealthy man bought the estate. In the 19th century, his family renovated the house and converted it to the structure we explore today. Nowadays, it is protected as a historic monument and can only be altered under strict conditions. That would be very expensive, and this might also be the reason why it is just sitting there empty today. But what happened to the inhabitants?


Château Taxidermist #10

A while back but after this place became uninhabited, plenty of motion sensors were installed by a caretaker to keep all the valuables safe. In online articles, we read about thieves entering and trying to steal the vintage furnishings, but they were stopped by police. Today, however, it seems like nobody is really trying to protect this place anymore. The alarm system is not working anymore. It has become an abandoned property with a forgotten story. We were reading old letters (partly 100 years old) to find out the story of the former residents.


Château Taxidermist #19

We found the old passport from the former landlady. According to what we could find out here she was the last resident. She outlived her husband for many years and was living alone in this big empty house. The children were already gone and traveling the world. She then passed away decades ago with no one left around to deal with her belongings. That is when time stopped here.


Château Taxidermist #11

We know that families tended to be bigger back then with many more children than nowadays. But this is just ridiculous: In the chambers upstairs there is a bed in almost every room.


Château Taxidermist #04

Going through the old belongings equals a journey back in time. But you easily forget that there is a sad story connected to all of it. Houses do not just get abandoned like this. You do not leave all of your stuff behind and search for a new place to live. This chateau has a tragic story. After both parents passed away none of the children seemed to be interested in their heritage. And according to the number of beds in this building, there must have been many possible heirs. Why did they never deal with the place where they grew up? That is something we can't find out from reading the old documents, but maybe you have an idea?


Château Taxidermist #28

While the big estate is falling apart today, more and more looters break in to take what they can get. When the heirs are not interested in any of it this should actually end up in a museum rather than on eBay. Because you do not often find original artifacts from the World War One era. Instead, all of this is just rotting away. Time has no mercy.


Château Taxidermist #03

If you want to see more of this derelict château switch over to YouTube now where you can watch an exploration video:

 

B W T

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This is an old postcard we found inside that shows the exterior.

Château Taxidermist #36.jpg
 

Dirus_Strictus

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Do not equate the number of bedrooms with actual family members! Back in the heyday of this property, vast numbers of guests would have been entertained each weekend, that was the way of life. Death duties and vast repair bills are the reason the heirs walked away from this mill stone. Two World Wars also played their part and a number of the UK examples are all down to Death Duties after WW1
 

dlane1987

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Wow, I've got a base in Belgium and would love to go explore this. Anyway you'd post the address?
 
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