Good Tuesday morning! A former convent from the end of the 18th Century in the land of Jeanne-d’Arc – in Vaucouleurs, France!
This property has beautiful details inside, stunning original woodwork and tilework. The property is made up of a three bedroom main house with beautiful living areas and an old library, as well as two separate independent one-bedroom apartments that could be let for income. There are additionally some cellars that could be renovated and an outdoor summer kitchen and garage located in the beautiful courtyard garden.
3h30 from Paris, 2h from Luxembourg and the Belgian border, less than an hour from Nancy and Bar-le-Duc.
Vaucouleurs is a small town arranged in an amphitheater on a hill overlooking the left bank of the Meuse in the middle of fertile meadows. It was from this town that in February 1429, Joan of Arc left under escort to join Charles VII in Chinon in order to convince him to kick the English out of France. The local population, enthusiastic, had joined together to offer their men’s clothes to the future saint.
The property is located in the immediate vicinity of the city center. This is the former Tiercelins convent, founded on January 23, 1630 by François, Lord of Malpierre, governor of Vaucouleurs and Claude de Choiseul-Beaupré, lady of honor to Anne of Austria. Its architecture is subsequently modified from the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century.
A large courtyard enclosed by an old wrought iron gate places the house well back from the street. At the rear, a gate allowing access to vehicles opens onto a garden entirely enclosed by walls. It is planted with large trees which form an additional screen. A small single storey house used as a summer kitchen, as well as a very large garage, are also located in the garden.
Built in jointed rubble stone, the courtyard facade has two entrance doors, one for the main house, the second leading to the two independent apartments.
The windows, with stone lintels, straight on the ground floor, arched on the first floor, are double-glazed with roller shutters.
The roof, in mechanical tile, à la Mansart covered with slate is pierced with four stone dormers carved with volutes and diamond points.
The rear facade, more imposing than the previous one, is flanked by a pavilion in return of square which houses the apartments while the main building integrates the house and the old chartil.
The bays are, unlike the courtyard facade, arched on the ground floor and straight on the first floor. The door of the old chartil is surmounted by small basket-handle windows.
The projecting pavilion, slightly lower, features straight stone lintel windows and star-carved bull’s-eye.
The facades are lit by large lanterns.
A heavy oak door opens onto a through entrance which extends to the garden. Framed by support paneling with mosaic tiles on the ground, the doors are surmounted by neo-classical style medallions decorated in their center with a profile of a Greek Bacchante straight out of a Dionysian procession. On either side, two lounges overlooking the courtyard. One of them, the walls of which are hung with fabric under a simple cornice, has a marble fireplace on a slatted oak floor laid in the English style. It opens onto the dining room, paneled in dark wood and the oak floor on which sits a remarkable tiled stove. The second living room has its ceiling painted with fruit trees and flying birds, supporting woodwork and oak flooring. It communicates with the kitchen, where the appliances harmonize perfectly with the large cupboard, fortunately preserved, and the water stone. A door opens onto the old paved chartil with a workshop, laundry room and boiler room. This space also communicates with the library on the first floor by a rustic staircase.
The oak and wrought iron staircase begins in the central corridor and leads to a landing. A first bedroom, on the courtyard side, with a molded ceiling with an angled floral decoration and interior wooden shutters, opens onto a small room used as a wardrobe. On the other side of the corridor, on the garden side, a bathroom with a walk-in bath, shower and toilet. The stone fireplace has been preserved and, more functional, it houses a radiator. A second bedroom follows it while the third marks its singularity with an oriental decor. It has its own shower room framed by a finely chiseled old door from Morocco. The corridor then extends to a large library. An old spiral staircase leads down to the lower level to an office.
Their entrance is independent, from the courtyard, and is through a door identical to that of the main house. A long corridor paved with large stones leads to a first small apartment on the half floor, recently restored. It consists of a living room with kitchen and a bedroom with a shower room and toilet. The second is located on the first floor, larger than the previous one, with a living room, an integrated kitchen, a bedroom and a shower room with toilet.
These two apartments are free and have never been rented until now.
This building wing is built on cellars and an additional studio could be created in a created in a room located immediately at the entrance to the corridor.
The little house in the garden
On one level, under a mechanical tile roof, it is divided into two to form a large garage and a summer kitchen with a dining area under its covered terrace.
What we think
An apparently austere courtyard, an unpretentious facade, a pretty surprise was needed. It’s done, the interior of the house is comfortable, adorned with precious details and the garden, unsuspected, is another.
The two independent apartments could provide a source of income or accommodate several generations of the same family.