• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Always wanted a house in France, how about a hamlet?

Always wanted a house in France, how about a hamlet?

Louise Nordström · 23 Mar 2016, 16:41

Published: 23 Mar 2016 16:41 GMT+01:00

The 2.2-hectare village of Baudin, located in the eastern commune of Toulouse-le-Château near the Swiss border, recently popped up in the "for sale" section on the French online auction website Agorastore as well as on classified ads website Le Bon Coin.

The potential sale has stirred up some emotion among locals, however, who want assurances that a new owner will work to protect the more than 220-year-old hamlet's history.

The property is crammed with remnants from France’s industrial past and comes complete with a presbytery, a fountain, a number of worker lodgings and shops - most of them built in the 19th century.  

"It's part of the Jura region's cultural, religious and artistic history," Albert Wolff, a Baudin museum guide and secretary of the association which has been in charge of taking care of the property in the past few years, told The Local.

Once a flourishing village known for its production of stoves and ovens, Baudin was largely abandoned after its last forging factory closed down in 1959.

"Two hundred people used to live here," Wolff said, "now there are only two."

Local authorities bought the village in 2013 in the hope of transforming it into a popular tourist spot, but the restoration costs and the region’s increasingly strained finances finally forced them to put Baudin back on the auction block this year.

But not everyone is happy about the upcoming auction, including Wolff himself.

"No one aside from the decision-makers was told that Baudin was being put up for sale, we found out via an ad posted on Le Bon Coin," he said, adding many are now worried that a new owner might decide to tear some of the historic buildings down.

Story continues below…

There seems to be few takers for Baudin at the moment though, with Le Parisien reporting that only a Belgian investor has shown interest so far.

Starting out at €150,000, the hamlet will be sold to the highest bidder at a five-day auction that starts on May 23.

There is just one catch attached to the small price tag, and it's not a small one: restoration costs are estimated at around €20 million and annual utility fees at about €250,000.

 

Louise Nordström (louise.nordstrom77@gmail.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French police 'force woman to remove burqini' on beach
A file photo of a woman in a burqini. Photo: AFP

Pictures have emerged showing armed police officers in southern France apparently forcing a woman to remove her burqini.

Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
President Hollande, who hasn't yet announced if he will run, and Nicolas Sarkozy, who is eyeing up the top job next year. Photo: AFP

France is yearning for political renewal, but looks set to be stuck with familiar faces in the presidential race.

France set for scorcher as heatwave continues
Photo: AFP

It's going to be a warm Wednesday, with temperatures forecast to soar across the whole country.

Frenchman 'kills Brit in stabbing rampage' in Australia
Photo: AFP

A Frenchman allegedly killed a British woman and stabbed three others in an Australian backpacker's hostel.

Top court set to probe France's burqini ban
Photo: AFP

Is the burqini ban legal? France will soon find out.

Heatwave warnings extended as France keeps sizzling
Photo: AFP

UPDATED: Summer is back, and Paris is among the areas hit the hardest.

200 street signs in France mysteriously 'blacked out'
Photo: thecrazyfilmgirl/Flickr

Town officials have come to a dead end.

Woman fined for wearing headscarf on Cannes beach
File photo: Loic Venance/AFP

Headscarves should not be included under the recent burqini ban, but one woman says she was fined and insulted for wearing the hijab.

Paris tourism has lost €750 million since terror attacks
Tourists outside the Louvre. Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP

A Paris tourist chief has called it "an industrial catastrophe".

Sudanese migrant killed in Calais clashes
Photo: AFP

A Sudanese man has died in Calais after a fight with other refugees.

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
'To boycott France is to surrender to terrorists'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
21 photos to make you want to come to France right now
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
This is how much the French are obsessed with cheese
National
French MP's call for Facebook ID cards blasted 'as idiotic'
Travel
Summer checklist: Fourteen great travel ideas for France
Travel
Here's why France is still world's top tourist destination
'Wealthy American tourists' snub France over terror fears
National
Where to go swimming in France (and where to avoid)
Society
23 subtle signs you'll never quite master French
2,734
jobs available