Demolition of illegal Château de Saint-Jeannet development has begun

More than 10 years after the first court order demanded their destruction, demolition has begun on a number of illegally built outbuildings erected at the Château de Saint-Jeannet, a historic site turned wedding venue to the north of Nice.  

The iconic property was purchased by the Macedonian-British film director Jon Ascevski in the early 2000s. He soon set to work transforming the site, adding some 900m2 of new real estate. All would have been well and good had Ascevski filed for the necessary building permits – and received permission – before work began, but he didn’t.  

In 2011, the law caught up with the director and he was handed a heavy fine – in the hundreds of thousands of euros – for violating the local town planning code.  

It was also ordered that the outbuildings, including a 200m2 house, two pergolas, a 65m2 terrace and a 100m2 workers’ zone, be demolished.  

But this demolition order was ignored until 20th February 2024, when the authorities took matters in hand and started pulling down the offending structures themselves. The job is expected to take several weeks to complete.  

Some 900m2 of outbuildings were illegally built at the Château de Saint-Jeannet while it was owned by film director Jon Ascevski. Photo source: Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes

Confirming the move on social media, the Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes announced, “Following the failure to comply with a court decision ordering the demolition of non-regulatory buildings on the Château de Saint-Jeannet site, the State proceeded with the start of the demolition.” 

The property, which is rumoured to have once been a Templar fortress, is a local landmark located roughly 10km northwest of Nice. Also known as the Château de la Gaude, it is now a popular venue for high-end parties and weddings.  


Join the Monaco Life community – sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on Threads, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Tik Tok.  


Photo source: Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes