Blundering builders mistakenly bulldozed an 18th-century chateau in the heart of France’s picturesque wine country – when they were only supposed to knock down an outhouse on its estate.
Chateau de Bellevue, 12km to the east of Bordeaux, once boasted 140,000-square-feet of grand reception rooms, ornate fireplaces, winding marble staircases and imposing granite balconies.
Then its new owner, a Russian millionaire businessman, employed a team of Polish builders to renovate the manor to its former baroque glory, including the removal of one small building.
But the workers apparently misunderstood the instructions and pulled down the castle instead, leaving the outhouse completely untouched.
No you see it: The Chateau de Bellevue was considered a local treasure boasting a grand hall that could host some 200 people, as well as a sweeping stone staircase
Now you don’t: Workers who were hired to renovate the grand 140,000-square-foot manor and raze a small building on the same estate in southwest France mixed them up
‘The Chateau de Bellevue was Yvrac’s pride and joy,’ said former owner Juliette Marmie. ‘The whole village is in shock. How can this construction firm make such a mistake?’
Local media reported that the construction company misunderstood the renovation plans of the current owner, Russian businessman Dmitry Stroskin, to clean up and renovate the manor.
Stroskin was away when the calamity occurred and returned home to discover his chateau, a local treasure whose grand hall could host some 200 people, was nothing but rubble.
‘We’re in shock’: The outhouse that the builders were supposed to destroy is now the only part of the once lavish property still standing
Piles of rubble: The Polish builders misunderstood the instructions to clean up the building and restore it to its former glory
Task ahead: The castle’s Russian millionaire owner Dmitry Stroskin has vowed to rebuild it stone by stone into an exact replica
Stroskin, who works in Warsaw, told the local paper Sud Ouest: ‘I didn’t know the chateau had been destroyed, I’m in shock. Even if it was in a very bad state, I had wanted to renovate it.’
He told them he plans to build an exact replica of lost manor on the site.