French property

Take a closer look at François Fillon’s manor in rural France

Take a closer look at François Fillon's manor in rural France
Photo: AFP
François Fillon may not yet be the president of France, but he is the king of his castle in rural France. Here's a closer look at the manor he calls home.
Fillon, who is the favourite to become France's next president in spring, doesn't have a big apartment in Paris like typical politicians. 
No, this Frenchman has his very own manor, known as the Manoir de Beaucé, a 14th century building in Solesmes, northwestern France (see map below).
Here are a few things to know about it, as noted in Le Figaro newspaper
Photo: Google Maps
It's valued at €650,000
The Fillons bought the home in 1984 for €440,000, and it has since been re-valued at €650,000 in 2013 in Fillon's declaration of assets.
While this may sound extravagant, it's not much compared to the property portfolio of Alain Juppé, who was his rival in Sunday's run-off primary, Juppé boasts a 90 square metre apartment in Paris valued at €750,000 and a home in Bordeaux valued at €550,000.
Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP
The manor is at least 500 years old
Fillon's manor was constructed in the 14th century or possibly the 15th century, and has had extensive renovations carried out in the centuries since. according to France's culture ministry's architecture files.
It noted that a chapel and an L wing were added to the building in the 19th century.
Photo: France's Ministry of Culture
The lavish lifestyle has seen the Fillons mocked
Fillon and his family were mocked by the public after letting the French press into their home in 2013. 
The Paris Match magazine ran a full page spread with a picture of the entire family in front of their countryside chateau with the caption: “To govern well, you need balance” (see below).
A columnist at Nouvel Obs wrote that the spread was like a guide in “how to ruin your image”.
“Is there anyone actually steering Francois Fillon's communication team,” the paper asked, noting that by parading his wealth he was “cutting himself off from a huge majority of France's population.”
Fillon told the French media afterwards that he had no intentions of hiding who he really was. 
“I am not like some people who own a villa on the Riviera but who never lets it be seen,”  he said. 
The Welsh woman who might become France's first ladyPhoto: AFP

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