Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A Glimpse into the Renaissance Past

La Maison du Centaure sits in the heart of historic Loches, at 10 rue du Chateau. It is shored up with heavy timbers, awaiting some solution to the financial problems of the owners who had hoped to fully restore it and convert it into apartments. Sadly, even with grants of nearly €100 000 and a total budget of nearly half a million, the place has proved to be a money pit and the funds completely inadequate for the job.

The chimneys, the carpentry, the crumbling leaning walls have all been discovered to have more problems than originally estimated. To make their money back they would have to sell the apartments for €4 000/m², nearly twice the advertised price. Only the essential structural and consolidation work has been done. The building is watertight and can safely sit for many years as it is. It is just a shame the building will be in limbo, empty.

If you happen to pass this summer and the courtyard door is open, make sure you take a peek. You will see this charming portrait above the door of the Renaissance couple who constructed the house. Normally the courtyard gate is closed and you don't get to see this rather special sculpture, although the scene of Hercules loosing an arrow at the centaur who has kidnapped his wife is fully visible from the street.

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