The Million Dollar Cave Man

From the Lascaux caves to the Palace of Versailles, France is home to some of the most unique and cherished one-of-a-kind dwellings in the world.  But for the past 25 years, Ra Paulette (sounds French) has been carving out man-made caves from the sandstone hills of New Mexico, USA. Driven by passion, not profit he sculpts these spaces into works of art he calls wilderness shrines. In one case he only charged a client 12 dollars and hour for his labor. Yet 2 of his caves along with the 200 acres around them are selling for close to a million dollars .

Vive l’amour!

 

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The Rotting Rothschild Mansion Of Paris

The Rothschilds are legendary as one of the greatest European banking families ever. They own grand estates and Chateaus throught the world that are well-known for anything but squalor, ruin or decay. However just outside of Paris, walking distance from Metro Jean Jaurès Line 10, standing quietly behind a thick wall of shrubbery and overgrowth is the haunting, ghostly figure of the Chateau Rothschild.

The neo-Louis XIV estate house has been abandoned since the World War II when the Rothschild family fled to England. Germans would inhabit and plunder the house during the four-year Nazi occupation of Paris. After the city’s liberation, the U.S. army were the next tenants at the Chateau Rothschild. The Rothschilds never returned to their home which has been left to rot, crumble and deteriorate.

This once palatial estate was built to reflect the Rothschild wealth and fortune. It boasted a regal English garden with picturesque waterfalls and beautiful indoor frescoes by Eugène Lami. For over eight years James Rothschild and his wife Betty, hosted the most lavish parties of the time within these walls.

Their guests and party goers would include great artists of the day like Rossini, Chopin, Balzac, and Delacroix as well as, a who’s who of the financial and political world.

Chopin even dedicated his Valse Op. 64, N° 2 in C sharp minor to their daughter Charlotte.

As the champagne flowed while the laughter and music rang through the halls, it would have been impossible to imagine that the this great estate house, the Chateau de Rothschild would be doomed to become a playground for vermin, graffiti artists and vandals.

Sources:

http://www.messynessychic.com

http://www.urban-exploration.com

https://www.wikipedia.org/

Vacationing family decides to restore abandoned French chateau


They’ve unearthed mysterious medieval tunnels, uncovered ancient artifacts that hint to what daily life was like , and uncovered a beautiful fresco in a salon on the first floor. (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.) It sounds romantic, but the process of buying and restoring a property of such size and significance has been an arduous labor of love.

Join this Australian family who had been on the hunt for a vacation home in France and then stumbled on a property in need of some major TLC that captured their hearts.

“We had never planned on a chateau. Our French friends warned us about those,” says Karina Waters,  “But after driving down the snow-capped mountains and seeing the chateau’s grounds from the village, we were sold.”

Click here to visit their website and see how things are going.

Haussmann In Under 3 Minutes

 

Rue Monge, Paris. Example of haussmannian arch...

Rue Monge, Paris. Example of haussmannian architecture. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is difficult to grasp the true enormity of Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s renovation of Paris. This massive undertaking was begun and much of it was accomplished before the age of electricity. And although it was commissioned by Emperor Napoléon III, Haussmann’s work was met with fierce opposition, and as a result he was finally dismissed by Napoleon III in 1870.

This development project involved the demolition of entire medieval neighborhoods that were over crowded and plagued with disease. In their place wide avenues, parks and squares, were built along with the construction of new sewers, fountains, aqueducts, bridges, churches, theaters, hospitals, city halls and even public toilets. The street plan and distinctive style of Paris ‘centre ville’ we all know today is largely due to the result of Haussmann’s renovation.

Here is a video we put together. We’re trying to give the viewer a feel of the scope of this grand construction project with a run time of under 3 minutes.

 

Eiffel Tower Renovation

Once condemned as ‘pointless’ and ‘monstrous’ by notable writers such as Maupassant and Zola, 125 years after its completion the La Grande Dame de Paris is finally getting a face lift. The Eiffel Tower has been under a 30 million euro construction project over the past few years and recently unveiled the result. Long overdue repairs to elevators were made that sometimes left visitors waiting in line up to 3 and 4 hours. Solar panels were installed but the most impressive feature is the new glass floor that hovers a jaw dropping 57 meters (167 feet) above the ground.

The Eiffel Tower, Paris. View from below.

Click here for an interesting article that talks about the economics behind the renovation. In 2003 the Eiffel Tower topped out at about 7 million visitors per year. So the purpose of the glass floor is to get people to spend more time in the shops before heading to the top. Talk about a rénovation intérieur au Paris!