Did a Court-Ordered Demolition Increase the Allure of a French Château?

The unexpected appeal of Château Diter

Chateau Diter
Château Diter in 2019.
VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images

In 2019, The Guardian reported on a legal ruling that all but guaranteed the demolition of a luxury home due to its location in a protected region of France. The home in question is known as Château Diter — named for its owner, Patrick Diter — and the timing of the article and the 18 months Diter had been given to demolish the property certainly suggested that Château Diter would not still be standing in 2023.

And yet it is. And pointing to its continuing existence is only part of the story; as John von Sothen writes at Air Mail, Château Diter has been featured in a number of high-profile television series, as well as drawing renters willing to pay between $120,000 and $160,000 per week to stay there.

That is no small feat for a property that nominally should not exist. But one of the most interesting takeaways from von Sothen’s article is the idea that Château Diter’s notoriety is helping to draw more visitors to it. Von Sothen spoke with an agent about the home’s listing on Boutique Hotel Awards. “You may not be aware there’s an ongoing court battle with the property, so you probably want to see it before it gets knocked down,” they said.

It’s not hard to see the logic behind this — after all, what’s more rarefied than a luxury home that might not exist a month from now? (If you’re not hearing Anna Delvey’s voice — or a reasonable facsimile thereof — saying, “very VIP” here, you are far stronger than me.) As for the future of Château Diter, its current legal limbo seems like it could continue — in a very lucrative fashion.

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