Château de Carnelle, France
Chateau de Carnelle is an ornate mansion in France, set in the extensive grounds of a disused hospital complex. Beautiful on the outside and being restored inside.
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Chateau de Carnelle is located within the grounds of a large hospital complex, now completely disused. The Hospital Carnelle is located within an area of forest; the land was donated by the monks of Saint-Denis by Charles V. The land changed hands many times over the centuries. The last land owner was the Duke of Massa who rebuilt the castle in 1880. The castle design is a copy of Château de Maison-Laffite in the Mansard style. Along with the castle, the buildings also included a chapel, a theatre, an orangery, a rotunda and a common. The park also includes several greenhouses, and is home to over 100 different species of trees, many of which are rare.
The Duke donated his estate to the city of Paris and the castle was converted into a sanatorium and the first patients were admitted in 1930. New buildings were added over the years including a surgery and a ward comprising over 500 beds. The discovery of drugs to treat tuberculosis led to a dramatic decline in the number of admissions to the hospital.
Foreseeing this recession, in 1966 the medical director Dr. Kerambrun undertook a project to convert the sanatorium into a dietary and guidance service. Opening in 1970 the facility had 60 individual rooms and was operational until 1992. 1
A renovation project is currently taking place to restore the building and put it back into use.
Our Visit (aka the lock-in!)
As we approached the building I had no idea what to expect, other than Darbians telling us we would be impressed. I’m not entirely sure either Proj3ct M4yh3m or I believed him, so we were not expecting too much. That is, until the moment we pulled up in front of the castle’s gates! We were in awe of the stunning mansion in front of us.
Making our way towards this building we grabbed a good number of external shots. It was a gorgeous day, so being out in the sunshine was lovely, however our real aim was to go inside. We had heard many had tried and failed so we didn’t hold out much hope. Luck, it would seem, was on our side that day. For a while…
After circling the building we tried a few doors and to our surprise we found one was unlocked. There were PIR’s flashing away behind the door, but no alarm blaring and no sign of anyone around. We cautiously make our way in. We quickly find the main staircase and start taking some shots.
Unfortunately the place is in complete darkness inside, so artificial light sources were used to take the shots. It was clear to see that a renovation was taking place inside, the staircase had been wrapped in protection and building materials were strewn around.
After a while, grabbing shots of the darkened interior, we hear something. BANG! We glance around at each other, was that the door? BANG! We were being locked in! We rush back to the door but it’s too late. The alarms have been set, the door has been locked and whoever locks up was on their way home. Trapped!
Luckily, a couple of French guys had heard the alarms and noticed us. They came over and through the window, above the wailing siren we explained we’d been locked in. They went to get help and after a while a rather disgruntled caretaker came back to release us!
Big thanks to the two guys that hung around and got help, if you ever read this :)
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