She Dreamed of Living in an Ancient Tower—and It Came True

In France, artist Eva Claessens transforms a crumbling ruin into an ethereal home and studio.

Eva Claessens’s decision to buy and restore a dilapidated 10th-century building in a tiny French village started with a dream. In the spring of 2020, the Belgian-born artist woke up with a vivid image of a home in Provence and took it as a fait accompli. "I bought all my houses because I saw them in a dream, as clearly as a photo," she says matter-of-factly. "I always take dreams very seriously. They are so important." Eva was in South America at the time, in the rural plains of Garzón in eastern Uruguay, which has been her main home for the last 15 years. Although the pandemic was still raging, she found a way to make it back to Europe.

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