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French Mansion Opens as Museum After 100-Year Lockdown

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Though I’d be lying if I claimed to be an avid history buff, I am absolutely enamored with exploring old structures, browsing through authentic, antique/ancient artifacts, and feeling as though I'm traveling to another time, even if for just a few moments. And now, thanks to the efforts of the local authorities in the town of Moulins—about 190 miles south of Paris—I now feel compelled to travel to central France for just such an opportunity.

After about 100 years of sitting locked up, untouched by the outside world, a townhouse built in the late 1800s is open to the public, after a $4.7 million dollar restoration.

Having no wife or children, the home’s former owner, Louis Mantin, left it—along with all of his possessions—to the town of Moulins when he died in 1905. The one condition? That after a period of 100 years, it be opened to the public as a museum.

At first the funds were unavailable, and the house's fate was dangling, but local authorities rallied to raise the money and restore the mansion to its original state, complete with electricity, working plumbing, and Mantin’s personal art collection, which is certainly befitting a museum. We're talking stuffed birds, imported tapestries, animal skulls, paintings, and more.

For a fascinating video, and even more details on this amazing story, check out this BBC article, where it was first reported.

2010-hs-josh-pramis.jpgJoshua Pramis is an online associate editor and resident tech guru at Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuapramis.

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