It was destined to become a country pile of Russian owner Dmitry Stroskin but instead it became a pile of rubble. A picturesque French château near Bordeaux was accidentally razed to the ground after a contractor misunderstood the owner’s message.
Aptly named Château de Bellevue, was the centrepiece of an 18th century country estate near Yvrac, 12 kilometres east of Bordeaux, reports Nieuwsblad.be. It stood in 13,000 square metres of its own grounds nestling in the vineyards around Bordeaux.
According to The Connexion, a large scale renovation project was to be carried out at the Château de Bellevue on the instructions of its new owner, Russian businessman Dmitry Stroskin. As part of the renovation works, one small building in run down condition was to be demolished. Something appears to have been lost in translation, however, since all that now remains is that one small building in a poor state. The Château de Bellevue is no longer the pretty picture its name suggests.
Stroskin, who operates an import business in Poland, had found his ideal home, the château, after a lengthy property search. Although Château de Bellevue was in poor condition, he is reported to have immediately fallen in love with it. Speaking to Sud-Ouest, the nearest neighbour to what was Château de Bellevue said, “It started about three weeks ago. The château was right in front of our door, then, within a few days, it disappeared.”
Commented the mayor of Yvrac, Claude Carty, "A building permit for renovation was issued in June 2011. It simply authorized the demolition of a small part of the outbuildings. The complaint alleging non-compliance and violation of the Planning Code is now with the prosecution authorities.”
Chateau de Bellevue
Chateau de Bellevue as it looked before being demolished 'by mistake'
The owner, Dmitry Stroskin, could hardly believe the château was no more when he returned to the site this week where this architectural treasure had once stood. He was able to provide some re-assurance to local residents, "I did not know that the château was destroyed, I'm in shock," he said. "Even if the building was in very poor condition, I wanted to renovate it. I completely understand the concern amongst residents in the town and the case having been referred to the prosecutor, but I'm not going to be responsible for this error: the damage is done. “Stroskin continued, “I’m not some Russian oil or gas oligarch! I will rebuild Bellevue identical to the original. After years of searching for a house in France, this place is in my heart and I going to be working with a Paris architect (on a reconstruction)."
Sud-ouest reports that there are already plans for a main house, gardener’s house and guest house, although these have apparently been signed off by a by a firm of Polish architects and show a new Bellevue rising from the rubble. A contract for local masonry stone worth €1.5 million has already been signed, the newspaper reports. Re-construction works are anticipated to last two years.