The abandoned Château de Carnelle is a striking Castle designed for André Philippe Alfred Regnier, Duke of Massa, in October 1875 by renowned architect Hippolyte Destailleur inspired by François Mansart’s Château de Maison-Laffite in a Mansard style. located on the edge of the forest Carnelle on an area of 98 ha. This land was given to the monks of Saint-Denis by Charles V
The Duke of Massa, childless, donated his estate to the city of Paris. The castle was converted into a sanatorium and July 1, 1930 the first patient was admitted Over the years, new buildings were added to the castle, with a surgical facility to fully treat patients
The discovery of effective drugs against Mycobacterium tuberculosis marked a decrease in the number of admissions. Foreseeing this recession, Dr. Kerambrun, medical director, was exploring a conversion sanatorium, from 1966 the project came to fruition with the commissioning of 60 single rooms. This new service, dietary guidance, was opened on March 23 1970. The castle was finally closed in 1992.
I’ll preface this report by saying that I don’t normally go into this much detail about our entry etc but this trip kind of warrants it… We arrived late afternoon, the sun was low in the sky, as we pulled up just outside the front gates my Jaw dropped. Its not uncommon that I do little to no research before visiting some of these places… I’d heard there was a sanatorium here and a ‘house’ my expectations were low… The view from the main gates revealed this huge awesome Château! Jackpot, I thought as we quickly jumpped out of the car and grabbed our gear. We walked up the front of the building through the long grass snapping a few externals as we went. At this point I must admit, none of us thought we would get the opportunity to see the inside of the place but the externals appeared to be satisfying enough themselves.
As we circled the place still snapping away we spotted a couple of other lads just wondering around the grounds which were well kept and appear to still be used by people as a park area. We had just eyed up the sanatorium at the back as I made my way around the final side of the building where I spotted a door… The were obvious points for a padlock but no lock!!! I rushed over and to my utter shock the door was open, inside a long tunnel… we were in! I called over Andy and Scott and we made our way into the basement rooms.
First things we spotted, a new alarm keypad, new PIR’s flashing red but no sound… We made our way upstairs and almost immediately found the main entrance hall with the huge central staircase, another jaw dropping moment. With all the windows bricked up (this is very well concealed by the painted wood faux windows which are in situ on the outside) the place was void of any natural light. Sadly we were forced to restort to LED light banks for the ground floor but I did manage to capture a few natural light shots upstairs.
Clear signs of the rumoured new renovation works were present. The staircase was carefully covered in order to protect it as were several other floors and evidence of some works were clear on both the ground floor and first floor. The Castle is apparently for sale and the renovation works are taking place in hopes to increase the saleability of the building.
Ok then comes the fun part… after about an hour or so looking around the place we were on the first floor at the top of the main staircase when we heared 2 clear bangs… they were coming from downstairs… or the basement. We had 2 options, either hide and wait it out, or go and find whoever made the noise… Given that we had found the place wide open it was a strong possibility that we had just got lucky and caught it while a contractor had nipped out… When we got to the basement we found 2 things, first the door had been locked from the outside… secondly the alarm had been reset. Queue about 30 minutes of continuous loud sirens… Fortunately for us the 2 lads we had seen wondering around the grounds earlier had stuck around… It transpires that they had seen the door open and had also wanted to enter but had been unsure on what security measures may have been inside. Thankfully they had seen us go inside and then seen the caretaker return to lock up! After a quick chat through a gated basement window they left to go find the grounds keeper who came around 30-40 minutes later to let us out. It is an understatement to say he was angry but due to his lack of English not very much could be said, we apologised and headed for car grinning from ear to ear that we’d just dropped on! Enjoy the photos:
Enjoyed this report? Want to see more from this place? then check out Behind Closed Doors report here: Château de Carnelle
If you’ve made it this far… thanks for reading / checking out the pictures. Leave me a comment below or hit the like button to let me know you’ve enjoyed the shots and to encourage me to keep posting more 🙂
Limited Edition prints and Canvases, as well as regular prints, are available for all of the images above on request and visit the store for more prints and products.
Follow us on Social Media: