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8 Real-Life French Castles That Could Inspire Fairy Tales

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By Colleen Egan for Architectural Digest.

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(photo: Pascal Chevallier)

The early-1700s north façade of Château de Digoine--the restored Burgundy home of French collector and television producer Jean-Louis Remilleux--is framed by an English-style landscape.

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(Jaime Ardiles-Arce)

In the volcanic Auvergne region of central France, Château du Sailhant looms over 100-foot perpendicular cliffs. Architect Joseph Pell Lombardi, a preservation specialist for the past 40 years, restored the 12,500-square-foot château fort, which had not been modified for 100 years and whose earliest construction dates to the tenth century.

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(Marina Faust)

Château du Grand-Lucé, which is Los Angeles-based interior designer Timothy Corrigan's residence in the Loire Valley of France, was built as a summer palace in the 1760s. It features 26 acres of formal gardens.

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(Marina Faust)

Designer Timothy Corrigan renovated Château de Gallerande, a 15th-century estate in the Loire Valley that featured a 12th-century octagonal tower.

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(Derry Moore)

Designer Anthony Ingrao was commissioned to turn a medieval priory in France's Lubéron region into a personal retreat. In the structure's entrance courtyard, centuries of development were peeled back.

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(Tim Beddow)

In France's La Beauce region, 70 miles from Paris, the 16th-century Château de Fontenay was decorated by the design firm Mlinaric, Henry & Zervudachi.

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(Marina Faust)

Corridor Pin, Blue, 1999, one of the famous collaborative sculptures by Coosje van Bruggen and her husband, Claes Oldenburg, stands on the grounds of their Loire Valley château. The various structures on the verdant estate date from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

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(Marina Faust)

In the medieval hill town of Ménerbes, France, a fortified château dating from the 11th century was sensitively renovated at the hands of an American couple. Here, a balustrade encloses the principal building, constructed in the 17th century.

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