Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Spending some holidays in Thonon (France) one day when the weather was not so good, we visited the
Ripaille castle, which is located between Thonon and Evian on the banks of Lake Geneva. It is one of the most notable places of history, nature and beauty in the Haute-Savoie.

This former residence of the Dukes of Savoie, also a Carthusian monastery in the Middle-Ages, was in ruins when, in 1892, it was bought by an industrialist and art lover, Frédéric Engel-Gros. He restored the domain, including the historic buildings, the gardens and the large park.

Today, Ripaille is mainly a private domain producing a famous AOC wine. (Controlled designation of origin)

The most interesting parts of the domain are open to visitors and lots of events are organized.

You can read all about the castle here

The castle looked quiet impressive and in order to show you the whole domain I included an air view.

In the middle of the court yard was a well, now closed with a grid, probably because of uneducated tourist who throw their garbage in it.

There also were a few outbuildings.

A very beautiful staircase led to the upper rooms. The view of the whole domain was painted on the wall.

Then we arrived in a reception room, with a huge open fire, a real art work ceiling and twisted columns which is rather seldom.

Napoleon who follows me everywhere had been on a visit in this castle too.

The bathroom was very modern if you consider that it dated from the end of 1800. There even was running water which was collected in a basin under the  sink.

The kitchen was just amazing. You almost could use it still today.  There were cupboards all around, a big stove and taps in copper.

In one room all kind of things were stored which once had decorated the rooms or used for work, like the sewing machine, the spinning wheel, and a butter maker.

There also were quiet a lot of stuffed animals. They looked so real. I loved the smile of the crocodile.

The ceilings were of outstanding beauty.

We then visited the wine cellar. I admired the rag for empty bottles. What a good idea. The wine barrels were so huge that a human could easily stand in them. The whole basement were full of these barrels.

Although nobody lives in the castle there were mail boxes. We went out through this big, heavy door and had really loved our visit.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful building. Those ceilings are lovely!

Linens and Royals said...

I love castles, wish we had some here but I love seeing yours.

Cezar and Léia said...

wow girl, what a fabulous place! I'm taking my notes here, thanks for all hints and for these wonderful pictures. The staircase is beautiful!This place has so many special details, difficult to choose one, I like them all!
Excellent article, well done!

Anonymous said...

Beware the smile of a crocodile. You have to say that out loud. No-one lives there? I think I could if the owner is looking for a non paying tenant. I am sure I could get the stove with the impressive range hood going to boil some water for coffee.

Sylvia K said...

What an incredibly beautiful place, Gattina! Really superb captures -- they are the next best thing to being there!! Thanks for sharing! Hope your week is going well!!

Cynthia said...

Fantastic photos of a beautiful place! Loved seeing all the details, especially that ceiling.

A Lady's Life said...

Amazing place. So lovely all around.

Fun60 said...

Such an intricate ceiling and look at that wine cellar - wow.

Loree said...

What a nice place. I love old castles.

Loree said...

What a nice place. I love old castles.

diane b said...

A great place to visit. It is good that these places still exist.The croc has a friendly look but they're not at all.

Indrani said...

A grand virtual tour!

Little Wandering Wren said...

Like a trip down memory lane to be back in Europe visiting a wonderful chateau, great photos. your Napoleon sure did get around!!
I'm with Andrew, not sure I'm liking the smile of the crocodile but love everything else on your post.

Pearl said...

and did you come back with some wine?

Gattina said...

To "Wandering Wren" I am sorry I can't make any comment on your beautiful park, because I would have to be a member of Google+ and I don't like to be forced into something. I see no sense of being member of Google+


About Me

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I love writing, traveling and photography. . I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.


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