The world’s most expensive home is now on the market for $410 million, and it makes whatever mere mansion Oprah, the Queen of England or Diddy live in look like a hobo’s crash pad.
The 187-year-old “Villa Les Cèdres,” which boasts 18,000 square feet and 14 bedrooms, sits on 35 acres of lush real estate, overlooking the dazzling coast of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat in the South of France. The lands are adorned with olive trees and gardens dating back to the early 1900s.
The interiors look like something you’d see in an old-timey castle packed with tourists, not somewhere you could actually live. But if you can fork over $410 million, you can call the ornate French doors, floor-to-ceiling 19th-century portraits and chandeliers that’d make nobility jealous yours.
A sitting room on the ground floor provides a reminder of the home’s former owners, especially King Leopold II, whose blue-and-gold sigil is mounted on one of the silk-covered walls. Portraits of his infamous mistress, Blanche Delacroix, a former cabaret dancer he later ennobled, hang here as well. The floors support immense fireplaces of wood and marble, as well as one almost 12 feet tall and made of stone. An inscription at the top bears the initials M.L., for the Marnier-Lapostolle family. Beyond the open doors toward the back is an equally grand dining room.
The price tag includes plenty of history. The Villa Les Cèdres was built in 1830 as an olive tree farm but then was sold to Belgian King Leopold II in 1904, who overhauled the place with all the wealth he acquired grossly exploiting mineral resources and rubber trees in the Congo (yep, blood money).
“Les Cèdres” has been put on the market by Gruppo Campari, which includes Campari and SKYY Vodka in its portfolio.
Among the features unique to the 35-acre property are the 14,000 plant species in its gardens. Teissier, the chief gardener, estimates that a third of them are scattered in the open garden; the other two-thirds are housed in the estate’s 25 greenhouses.
A grand sitting room befits the estate’s Belle Epoque heyday.
The grounds are considered among the top 10 botanical gardens worldwide, but unlike others, these are private, competing with those owned by towns and universities.
Amazonian lily pads in the villa’s vast, man-made pond.
Hopefully, they left the bar stocked ’cause you could throw some killer parties in this place.
Also published on Medium.