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  • Writer's pictureCarsten Sprotte

L'Esprit Versailles

An attraction to things beyond compare and beyond price


Versailles evokes mixed feelings in most of us who have visited the château and its gardens. On the one hand, we cannot help but feel amazement and admiration, while at the same time reminding ourselves how the king’s extravagance was at the expense of his people. Several hundred years later, the domain would become a great asset to France. How ironic that even the mighty monarch was not able to deplete his country’s vital resources to any extent comparable to that of modern democracies.

Even with our misgivings, and regardless of whether or not we appreciate the aesthetics of that epoch, the grandeur and perfection of Versailles are inspiring. Rarely do we have a chance to witness anything comparable, because it belongs to the category of things exquisite: beyond compare, beyond price. The pursuit of these is a characteristic and remarkable trait of French culture. It is this same spirit that guided the construction and recent renovation of a magnificent Paris property located mid-way between the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides, and the Grand Palais.


Where millions have visited Versailles, you may be one of the very few to see this apartment inside. Whereas the Château seeks only to preserve what used to be, this prestigious Paris property expresses, beneath its towering 4,3 meter-hight ceilings, a deliberate fusion between the finest historical and contemporary aesthetics. It is a home, not a museum. ts most remarkable–and priceless–features are those of a glorious past that have been meticulously restored. Most notably, these include:

  • An exquisite dark-wood coffered ceiling from the Napoleon III stylistic period

  • Restored painted ceilings “ciel du jour “ in the style of Louis XV

  • 18k gold moldings throughout the main rooms

  • Large marble fireplaces, notably the “Vert des Alpes” fireplace in the dining room, from the Maurin green marble quarry.

  • Solid-oak chevron floors (pointe d’Hongrie) and also Versailles-style parquet in some rooms

  • The refined contemporary style and comforts are manifest in features such as the floor-to-ceiling Carrera marble in the bathrooms, the fully-equipped Gaggenau kitchen with travertine countertops,

  • Japanese toilets (way better than Versailles!), air conditioning, and underfloor heating.


Part of what was once a four-floor hôtel particulier, built in 1880 and then home to the Comte de Nervaux, the property that is now for sale comprises a first-floor street-side apartment (as displayed) with a tranquil 12m2 terrace on the courtyard. Across the courtyard (offering a private parking spot), are two separate entirely renovated apartments on the first floor and sub-level, previously the servant's quarters. The same meticulous attention to quality is reflected throughout.


Take a closer peek inside with this short teaser video (courtesy of Junot). An aristocratic address, the building remains home to the Princess of Arenberg and the Count de Nervaux's descendant, who also owns the Château de Courson.


This exquisite and confidential property remains off-market and is not priced “per square meter”. Please contact me at carsten@exquisitefrance.com if you are an interested and qualified buyer.


The spirit of the exquisite is by no means limited to the style of Versailles or any other particular styles, of which Paris boasts many. You have your own stylistic preference, so let me find the rare gem that's right for you, either as a turnkey property or a well-designed renovation. Paris has no MLS, so finding such properties requires a local network.

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