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Since Ettore Bugatti acquired it in 1928, Château Saint Jean has always inspired admiration. The Bugatti family, who never lived there, welcomed guests and customers of the brand, racing drivers and stylish personalities. Many traces of Ettore and his family still remain today. Today, only a few have the privilege of visiting the Château, but no visitor has ever had the opportunity to stay in this historic place… until now.

The walls of the Castle – built in 1857 by the Wangen de Geroldseck family – still echo the sounds of lavish dinners hosted there for the elite in the 20th century. Its main staircase also bears traces of the passage of Ettore’s guests who used the staircase to begin a visit they will never forget. Guided to the Château in Ettore Bugatti’s personal Type 41 Royale – the most prestigious car ever created – visitors arrive at the historic gate before passing through an arched doorway built on part of a 15th-century ruin, which reminiscent (inadvertently) of the horseshoe shape of the grilles of Bugatti cars. An unforgettable moment!

At the time, dinners were executed with the same precision that Ettore Bugatti applied to the engineering and design of his cars. On the property, he also built a new building, the Orangery, where he planted tropical plants and aromatic herbs, so that his guests could taste ingredients freshly grown on the premises. In the same vein, he himself created a pasta machine and built a chicken coop to enjoy fresh eggs every day. He even designed his own table arrangement with personalized cutlery, all engraved with his initials. For Ettore, time spent at the Château should be like a Bugatti car: perfect down to the smallest detail.

Today, the Château continues to live as before. It is now the headquarters of Bugatti Automobiles and a place with an almost magnetic aura for car enthusiasts. Steeped in history and surrounded by forests where herds of deer roam freely, it’s unlike any other car manufacturer site in the world. It is still an important part of Bugatti history today, in the same way as emblematic models like the Type 35, Type 41 or Type 57. It is the exclusive discovery of some special guests. Night at the Castle”.

Christophe Piochon, President of Bugatti Automobiles, said: “Château Saint Jean is as much a part of Bugatti history as any of our historic cars. It has become a Bugatti legend and remains a very special place for us and for our customers. Although we already offer our customers to experience what we call the “Molsheim Experience” during their daytime visit, “A Night at the Castle” gives them the opportunity to further immerse themselves in the past and currently. of the Bugatti brand by offering them what many of them are looking for: a stronger link to our history and our eponymous founder. As we continue to develop new experiences for our customers, the “A Night at the Castle” program could become a key element in the future for Bugatti. »

Set in the middle of a 23-hectare park, the Château is an oasis of tranquility. For this experience, the residence was designed in the spirit of Ettore himself, carefully studying every detail, from its location to its furniture. Ettore Bugatti always paid attention to design and decoration – his father Carlo Bugatti was a furniture designer and manufacturer. The transparent dome that hosts guests for the night provides ultimate warmth and comfort, allowing guests to relax while enjoying the surrounding nature. At nightfall, the sky lit up with thousands of shining stars offers a spectacular sight.

But the property is vast and visitors have plenty to explore before dark. The site – including the spectacular North Shed and South Shed turned stables after the Second World War – was fully restored in the early 2000s to its former glory. Ettore, himself a horse lover, even installed locks on the doors of his workshops that he designed to allow the animals to open them with a simple blow to their head, saving him from going down of his horse. . Ettore Bugatti’s vision still inspires Château Saint Jean today.

Behind the doors of the Remise Nord now hides a treasure trove of Bugatti history. A Type 41 Royale, a pioneer of ultra-luxury, was presented alongside a Type 35, the most successful racing car of all time. These cars, along with the all-electric Type 56, exemplify the pure genius of the brand. This is an opportunity for visitors to discover Bugatti’s first creations, just a stone’s throw from where they were made.

There is no better way to understand this unmistakable link between Bugatti’s past and present than to observe the evolution of the cars that bear the famous badge. During this exclusive experience, visitors climb aboard a Bugatti Type 51 whose cracked skin bears witness to an intense past life. After discovering the intense sensation of driving a modern hyper sports car with the Chiron Super Sport, they climbed aboard this authentic Grand Prix racing car to experience an even more raw and visceral sensation. Two cars separated by nearly a century but united by their avant-garde performance and technical excellence.

Visitors then take the path that runs in front of the Château to reach the South Shed. Equipped with Bugatti tools, this area welcomes customers for the first stages of the creation of their Bugatti hyper sports car: the personalization of the vehicle. Here customers can explore the choices of colors, finishes and custom options available to them. High-definition screens and Bugatti “Royale” TIDAL speakers, featuring diamond diaphragms, allow an almost life-size representation of their future Bugatti car. Down the hall, the revolutionary W16 engine is proudly displayed, displaying all its engineering beauty.

Leaving the South Shed, visitors pass through the Orangerie – now converted into a relaxation area – where it’s possible to indulge in a game of billiards on the Bugatti IXO table that sits well in the center of the room. Its blue-tinted carbon fiber finish mirrors the bodywork of modern Bugattis, the drawer sides are made from CNC, brushed and anodized aluminum. The pockets, at the four corners of the table, are made of stainless steel lined with leather. Another creation inspired by the visionary genius of Ettore Bugatti also took place here: a Bugatti Baby II, an electric reincarnation of the Type 35 at 75% scale. This car is a tribute to the original Bugatti Baby, a scaled-down Type 35 built for Ettore’s son, Roland, in 1926. This unique piece was so popular with customers at the time that it was mass-produced between 1927 and 1936.

Through the glass walls of the Orangerie, you can see a modern building with timeless style: the Atelier. Perfectly integrated into its natural surroundings, the Atelier is the birthplace of Bugatti’s modern hyper sports cars. The assembly of the cars, a process that requires calm and precision, takes place not far from where the cars are made under the direction of Ettore himself. Thus, visitors will discover, in exclusivity, the incredible knowledge disseminated by Bugatti.

But if the Château has always been associated with Bugatti cars, it is also known for its luxurious receptions. Today too, any “Nuit au Château” must offer a prestigious dinner. For a few privileged guests, this dinner – which took place on a mild summer night – began with an exclusive aperitif served in the park. To accompany the sunset and the orange and red sky, three special cuvées of Champagne Carbon – the ƎB.01, the ƎB.02 and the last cuvée ƎB.03, a Blanc de Blancs 2013.

As the last lights of the evening fade, the open air table gently illuminates its own candlelight, the glowing full moon and the lights of the Château. The only noise around: the sound of cutlery, the noise of the forest and the sweet talk of the guests.

For them, the “Night at the Castle” ends in the transparent dome, where they settle down for a night under the stars, surrounded by a forest of oak trees – some of which are more than 250 years old – inhabited by a herd of 14 fallow deer and animated. by the sounds of wildlife echoing through the peaceful night air. In the morning, they leave with a new vision of the magic that Château Saint Jean has to offer.

Photos: Bugatti

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