Chateau de Savigny-Les-Beaune
Upon first glance, this home looks much like the other grand historic homes in France. This medieval castle belongs to an eccentric man named Michael Pont. Since he bought the property in the ’80s. When he purchased the home, the 12 hectares around the house were made up of shrubs and wastelands. He says that after he bought the property, he needed to come up with a way to make the investment worth it. Fortunately, he had a plan. Before we get to that, let’s look at the history of the property.
The Property’s History
The house is located in France’s Burgundy region. The four-pointed turrets make you think of a castle in a fairy tale. The house was built in 1340 for the Duke of Eudes. In 1478, the original chateau was torn down after King Louis XI of France invaded the region after his fight with Marie of Burgundy. After, the castle lay dismantled until the Bouhier family bought the ruins in the early 17th century, and they brought it back to being the grand home that it once was. In 1689, the property was acquired by the Migieu family. Through marriage, General Count of La Loyere ended up owning the property, and it got passed down from generation to generation until 1972.
Museum Of Curiosities
Michael, an ex-race car driver, spent the first several years turning the estate into a vast museum of curiosities. He searched the world for rare artifacts that he could put in the castle and on the grounds. It took years, but Michael was able to create a tourist attraction like nobody had ever seen.
Michael, being a former motorhead, loves anything with an engine, so he made sure to bring plenty of motorized objects to his estate. He managed to acquire many cars, motorbikes, trucks, and even aircraft. From the outside, you would think that Michael was living in an airport, but it is just the airplanes that Michael has acquired. His extensive moto-museum contains plenty of incredible things that people of all ages will enjoy.
A Wide Variety
Michael managed to collect a full shed of old fire trucks that had been out of commission for years. He also had 200 vintage motorbikes on display and 36 collectible racing cars. He even has some very rare prototypes in his collection. One of his prized possessions is the Fiat Abarth car.
Slower Vehicles and Aircrafts
While Micheal has some fast cars and cool fire engines, it isn’t just speed he is looking for. On the slower scale, he has over two dozen high-clearance tractors. He had to scour most of France and the rest of the world to create his collection. Michael also had a passion for planes, and he puts them on display in the back lawn of the castle. Back there, he has a 1970s hovercraft and a Soviet helicopter. These are great finds; however, Michael’s pride and joy is a jet that once held part of France’s atomic arsenal during the presidency of General Charles de Gaulle. He also has a Russian MiG aircraft and four jets that once belonged to the precision aerobatic wing of the French Air Force. He is also the proud owner of one of the oldest planes in the world.
Guinness Book Of World Records
Between his collection of World War II fighter jets and other fighter crafts that he owns, Michael is currently the most prominent private collector of fighter crafts on the plant. His passion for collecting has landed him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Micheal is ex-military from the Air Force, which gave him a chance to meet the pilots and see all of the planes that were flown back then. This is where he caught the bug and started buying planes from all over France. Soon, he was scouring the world for rare finds. After acquiring the first few planes, he realized that his property was large enough for an outdoor museum dedicated to aircraft.
Unfit For Service
In military bases, when aircraft are deemed unfit for service, the military sells them. This is where Michael has been getting his planes for the last 30 years. Since all military bases are closed to the public, Michael’s home is the only place that people can go to see such a wide variety of fighter jets.
A Casual Guy
Despite Michael’s wealth and the fact that he lives in a castle, he is still a casual guy. He dresses in clothes that cause people to confuse him with a groundsman from time to time. His primary focus isn’t his appearance; it is actually buying old planes and other vehicles. He says that his purchase of the aircraft hasn’t always been easy. When he was buying a plane from Germany, and it went through customs, he was almost arrested for trafficking planes of war. Fortunately, customs was able to confirm that Michael was collecting planes for his museum, and they let him go. He didn’t let this stop him from acquiring different vehicles and planes for his incredible collection. In the shadows of this historic French castle lie the remains of hundreds of rare relics, and Michael has them on display for all.