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The Donjon of Vez: a medieval residence for contemporary artists

A Donjon (keep) in a small village in Picardy has survived barbarian invasions and the Hundred Years War. Today it enjoys a second life as a contemporary art museum, home to Daniel Buren’s colored windows, installations by Jean-Pierre Raynaud and gardens landscaped by Pascal Cribier.

Francis and Caroline Briest were looking for a second home in 1987. They had pictured themselves in Southern France, in a house nestled in the hills with vast bay windows opening out onto the sea. But while in Picardy for the weekend, the couple found a brochure advertising a medieval chateau for sale in a neighboring village.

The chateau of Vez stands in the eponymous village (pronounced “Vey”), which is home to 314 people halfway between Reims and Paris. Originally a Gallo-Roman stronghold erected to withstand barbarian invasions, Vez became the fief of the royal hou [...]

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