Love Nest By A Maritime Captain
Belle Magazine Australia|December - January 2021
Sparkling in its maritime setting this palatial home, built as a love nest by a captain of industry for his mistress, has been restored to its former glory.
Pascale De La Cochetière

Standing on a rocky promontory near Pornichet on the Atlantic coast in western France, this neo-medieval manor house looks out over a popular surfing beach and faces the tidal island of Noirmoutier in Brittany.

Accessed via large parklands where the tall maritime pines established themselves over a century before, the property abruptly ends at a cliff overlooking the ocean. The nearby transatlantic departure point of Saint-Nazaire, birthplace to such cruising icons as the Queen Mary 2, regularly pushes out these graceful floating cities, a quiet and meditative passing spectacle this grand old dame has witnessed for over a century. If these walls could talk!

Built at the end of the 19th century by Nantes architect Claude Devorsine for a captain of industry as a residence for his mistress, the manor house and its extensive parklike gardens is a discrete jewel of the local coast. A landmark when viewed from the ocean, Géorama is otherwise hidden in an almost secret cove not far from the Brittany resort town of La Baule-Escoublac.

The word géorama was originally coined to signify a giant globe, a representation of the earth, complete with continents and crude depictions of the exotic ‘otherness’ of foreign cultures. These were popularised as tourist attractions in the 1820s in the world’s biggest cities, such as Paris and London. Visitors could climb scaffolded stairs and ‘discover’ the world as it was understood back then. It was that epoch’s version of a virtual world tour.

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