First published: Summer 2002
The countryside of Bresse in Burgundy is not the usual place to find a Spanish-style castle, an El Dorado in miniature, complete with Castilian campaniles, arches, and Spanish occupants, constructed lovingly out of concrete. Built by Roger Mercier, this architectural environment reflects the owner's loves, enthusiasms and a lifetime of world travels.
Mercier was just fourteen years old when he heeded the call of the sea, left his native land-locked Bresse, and set sail as a ship's boy.
From these early beginnings his life was one of endless circumnavigation. He traveled from Patagonia to Indochina, from the Caribbean to the Pacific, until he finally retired, returning to France and to Burgundy.
'Then I said to myself: "Since Nature provided me with sculptures I shall become an architect and a mason (besides who isn’t a bit of a mason?). While tramping I thought of Napoleon who said the word ‘impossible’ does not or should not exist. Since then I agree with him. The word impossible no longer exists."'