Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Two Chateaus of Ancemont

Two trips.  31 years apart.  The last time my wife and I had been to Belgium and northern France we were newlyweds.  We stayed in hostels.  This time I figured we could go a bit upscale.  So one night we booked into a B & B in a chateau.

The website made it look as if it were out in the country but in fact it was right in the little town of Ancemont.  It was a chateau built in 1720, but one which had fallen on hard times.  The last Count it seems had all daughters, there was no heir and things went badly after that.

Eventually it became a huge flop house with a bunch of ne'er do wells living there rent free for a couple of decades.  The lands, including the front and back lawns, had been sold off and built over.  It had become less than grand.

But the current owner has done a good job with the place and we had a good sleep and some very fine meals.  He mentioned that we should go for a walk and see the other chateau in town.

That would be this place.

Hmmm...a closer look at the sign.

Now, this being a rural community I am assuming that this has a bovine orientation.  But honestly, seeing the shuttered windows and the silent grounds behind the place I could imagine some sinister genetic experimentation going on behind the chateau walls.*

*In France and Belgium chateau is a rather flexible term.  It includes farms that have attained a degree of prosperity such that they need to set up some walls and towers to deter cattle thievery.

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