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Report - La Maison de Marbre - Beziers, south of France - March 2014

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by The_Raw, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    I spent a week visiting my brother in a town called Béziers in the south of France and decided to see if there were any spots to explore. My research didn't come up with much so I just showed up hoping I might spot something worthwhile. It turns out one in every four buildings in Béziers is abandoned so it didn't take me long to find some stuff.

    Here is some history about the place....

    This beautiful old house in the centre of Béziers was originally a hotel called Hotel Chappaz. It was Joseph Chappaz, a wine merchant who specialized in vermouths such as Noilly-Prat who had the building built in 1868 for his wife Augustine. He commissioned Jean Antoine Injalbert (1845-1933), a famous sculpter from Béziers to execute the statues on the front of the building. The building is now much neglected but Injalbert's sculptures are still intact and are arguably some of his best work, hopefully the Béziers authorities will make sure that Injalbert's work survives.
    I am told it has since belonged to a wealthy family and was last lived in by the mother who passed away five or six years ago. Her son tried to sell the property but to no avail, it was due for demolition last year although there is now a possibility of it being restored and used as lawyer's offices for the court house due to be built next door. There is evidence of squatters having lived inside at some point but not for quite some time. Although it is pretty much stripped and in poor condition it still retains some stunning features, the ground floor is almost entirely made from marble and the ornate sculptures by Injalbert are amazing.

    Access was a bit of a nightmare but I managed it on my third attempt, then five minutes later I heard a certain something being dragged away by a street cleaner which sent my exit strategy out the window (no pun intended). Due to this I was a bit concerned that someone may be alerted to my presence so I didn't hang around too long inside. Still, I managed to find an easier way out than I'd originally planned so it worked out quite nicely in the end :D


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    Full flickr set here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/74870643@N02/sets/72157642237352965/

    Thanks for looking :thumb
     
    #1 The_Raw, Mar 12, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
    Alessio1st likes this.

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  2. Leeds(Ex)plorer

    Leeds(Ex)plorer 28DL Regular User
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    fucking hell, top drawer is that, some belting features still in place, nice work :thumb
     
  3. Baff

    Baff 28DL Full Member
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    Joli! The only downside is that it's slap bang in the middle of a social housing lot .. might be why he has struggled to sell.
     
  4. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Stunning that mate :thumb
     
  5. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks guys :thumb

    Yeah it's pretty gnarly behind there....do you know the place?
     
  6. Seffy

    Seffy Bally up lads!
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    Not bad at all that! Shame that the last time I was in Beziers, I wasn't old enough to go anywhere by myself, let alone a derelict building :D
     
  7. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Haha well I've been a few times in the past few years when i didn't have any interest in such a thing so there's been many a missed opportunity for me! Managed to hit 4 places on this trip though :D
     
  8. PopPunkJamie

    PopPunkJamie Irregular User
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    Stunning mate, that staircase is a beaut
     
  9. sentinel

    sentinel 28DL Regular User
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    Great work mate. Photo's are spot on
     
  10. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Cheers guys. News coming in from my brother in Beziers, apparently the statues were sculpted by Jean Antoine Injalbert, a famous sculptor from Beziers. This has helped me to find much more information, it seems that the building was once a hotel called Hotel Chappaz which was built in 1868....

    "This building in Béziers is now much neglected but Injalbert's sculptures are still intact and are arguably some of his best work. It was Joseph Chappaz, a wine merchant who specialized in vermouths such as Noilly-Prat who had the building built in 1868 for his wife Augustine and he commissioned Injalbert to execute the caryatides on the front of the building. The building is no longer occupied and has fallen into disrepair but hopefully the Béziers authorities will make sure that Injalbert's work survives."

    Listing of the work of Jean Antoine Injalbert-French sculptor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    File:Hotel Chappaz frontage. Beziers.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
     
  11. smallbunt

    smallbunt 28DL Full Member
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    i visited Bezier some 30 years ago but I think my thoughts were not about looking at beautiful old buildings ( wine women and s... come to mind ) lovelly old building though
     
  12. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Thought this was from Sheffield till i saw the Palm Tree mate :)

    Didn"t expect it too be so nice, going off your texts. Well impressed and no dodgey characters or Gurka"s either :)

    You certainly made the most of your time there mate, i think we spent longer looking for that Chateau though :banghead
     
  13. Baff

    Baff 28DL Full Member
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    Not at all, but having lived in France for 13 years, I recognise the type of building lol
    (I'm near Paris... far from Béziers).
     
  14. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Ah well spotted in that case. It looked pretty rough round there, on my first visit there were 2 cop cars dealing with a gang of about 10 guys up to no good and the ground floor flats mostly had barbed wire protecting their balconies....nice for the kids looking out the windows!
     
  15. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Oh yeah, that turned out to be the opposite end of the country....

    Got a couple more places worth reporting from Beziers but I think this was the nicest :thumb
     
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