6th December, 2012 by Rupert Millar
An 18th century château in Bordeaux has been completely destroyed by its Russian owner, apparently in error.
Château Bellevue before its destruction
The 200-year-old Château de Bellevue in the commune of Yvrac east of Bordeaux was considered something of a local landmark.
Nestled among vines although not a wine property itself, the 140,000 square foot building was known for its twin outside staircase and enormous entrance hall.
However, it was in need of fairly extensive renovations and the Russian owner Dimistry Stroskin, who runs an import business in Warsaw, was granted planning permission and a renovation permit to restore the building.
The remit included the right to bulldoze some smaller outbuildings, however, the Polish firm assigned to the task took the wrecking ball to the historic property instead – leaving the condemned outhouse as the only building left standing.
Stroskin has said that he spent years searching for his “perfect” French château before “falling in love” with Bellevue.
He told local paper Sud-Ouest: “I had no idea the château had been destroyed, I am in shock.”
However, he has accepted the loss saying “the damage has been done” and vowed instead to build an identical château in its place.
A Polish architect has apparently drawn up plans and local masons have been given a €1.5 million contract.
Local residents on the other hand are furious, with one telling French television channel M6: “”This wasn’t a slip of a digger, it was done on purpose.”
The mayor has called for a halt to all further work until an investigation into why the château was bulldozed has taken place.
This is not the first instance of French residents expressing their dissatisfaction with foreign investors. Earlier this year there was an outcry when a Chinese investor outbid a local co-operative in Burgundy for possession of the mediaeval Château Gevrey-Chambertin.
The site afterwards