A FRENCH CHATEAU IN DISGUISE – French architecture, especially anything built in the 14th to 16th century is simply breathtaking. Thousands of people each year travel to France to admire the grand Château’s of the bygone age and marvel in awe of the intricate carved marble fireplaces, their beautiful mural ceilings and the stunning stone masonry that makes up the façade of the buildings.
Looking at the pictures it is plausible that most people, who are familiar with French Architecture would think they are looking at the Château de Maisons-Laffitte, designed by François Mansart in 1651, which is a stunning example of French Baroque architecture, where in fact it’s a fake. The original Château sits, where it has always been, on the River Seine in the north-west suburbs of Paris.
While this is a copy there is no denying, when viewing the pictures below, that the detail afforded to this Château copy is quite remarkable. The question is where on earth could you find such a building, apart from France being the obvious?
The copy of the Château de Maisons-Laffitte is situated in the suburbs of Beijing, China. Yes, it’s almost impossible to believe but it was built as an exact replica of the Château de Maisons-Laffitte and is in fact a high-end hotel.
The Château was built by a Chinese multi millionaire at a cost of over $50 million and has been re-created in every minute detail and is call The Zhang Laffitte Chateau.
You might call building an exact replica of a Château a little eccentric, or on the other hand, good business sense, considering the Château is a commercial hotel. According to reports, Zhang Yuchen, who is a real estate developer in China, fell in love with the Château while visiting France and was so enhanced by its poise, beauty and grace that he had to build one. The Château was lovingly recreated stone by stone, with the details in all their splendor recreated, from over 10,000 photographs and copies of the original blue-prints.
Like most people who build there are always elements included in order to give it a personal stamp and in this case Zhang Yuchen added a couple of wings and some formal gardens in order to add that personal touch.
The Château is stunning, regardless of who or where it was built. Recreating a building of this stature takes a lot of dedication, especially the attention to detail, however it is a modern day building using modern construction methods and while it may look like the real thing it will always pale in comparison to the original Château de Maisons-Laffitte.