Past and present are entwined in the urban core of Caen in northwestern France.
Known as the hometown of William the Conqueror, the history-rich port sits along the Orne river in the heart of the Normandy region. Stone houses from the Middle Ages share the city with modern 21st century dwellings.
This turreted stone home, built in 1880, is topped by a steep roof revealing dormer windows. Each of the four floors has about 80 square meters or 861 square feet of living space.
Among the rooms are three living areas, an updated kitchen and a chandelier-topped dining chamber.
The main living room centers on an elegant fireplace. High ceilings, moldings and wall panels create a refined atmosphere in the richly detailed room.
Herringbone-patterned wood floors and decorative moldings continue into the dining room, which has a marble fireplace and opens directly to the contemporary kitchen.
In design terms, more than a century separates the two spaces. Flush kitchen cabinetry, a center island with a second sink and a subdued palette of white, black and grey reinforce the modern vibe.
A central staircase and a four-person elevator connect the 320 square meters or 3,444 square feet of living space.
Among bedroom details are wood floors, crown moldings and a fireplace. The modernized bathrooms feature floating-style sinks, marble walls and an oversized glass-walled shower.
The sound-proofed top floor is set up as a media/game room for entertaining with a long bar along one side. The angled walls bring light in through the dormer windows.
A 500-square-meter garden, about 5,382 square feet, is enclosed by vintage stone walls. Stone terraces and lawn fill the space.
The five-bedroom, three-bathroom residence is about 10 minutes from a train station and five minutes from the city center.
Caen is about 235 kilometers, or 146 miles, from Paris. The international Caen– Carpiquet Airport is about 6 kilometers, or 4 miles, away.
Groupe Mercure is a founding member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.