Meet the Most Expensive House in the World

The most expensive house in the world has been for sale for more than a year now and no one has been able to present a decent offer so far. The Villa Les Cèdres is a dazzling mansion located along the coast of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, between Nice and Monaco, in the South of France, with a whopping price of €350 million ($410 million) that surely will be hard to obtain, due to its heavy cost and its tough competition in the amazing French region.

 

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Villa Les Cèdres was built in 1830, 187 years ago, and bought in 1850 by the mayor of Villefranche-sur-Mer, when it operated as an olive tree farm. Today, there are still olive trees with more than 300 years on its grounds. Cedar trees are also planted along the path from the villa gates to the main building itself, giving the house its name (cèdres in French). In 1904, the mayor’s descendants sold the property to the Belgian King Leopold II, who expanded the gardens that still surround the house.

 

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In 1924, 15 years after Leopold’s death, Villa Les Cèdres was acquired by the Marnier-Lapostolle family, industrialists best known for producing Grand Marnier liqueur. Les Cèdres remained in the Marnier-Lapostolle family until 2016, when Campari acquired Société des Produits Marnier Lapostolle (SPML), Grand Marnier’s parent company. Confronted with a piece of property that could be worth 20 percent of its gross 2016 sales, Campari almost immediately put the mansion on the market.

 

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The mansion sits on 35 acres that hold over 5,000 plants and rare tropical vegetation. Surely one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe, it was designed by Gabriel Davioud, the same architect who was involved in the design of Jardins du Trocadéro (Eiffel Tower’s gardens) and the Jardin des Champs-Élysées. The gates of the villa open to a long, winding path, that lead to a bronze statue of Athena, draped with a marble tunic, standing guard at the front entrance.

Inside, the vibe is full of history and luxury, but also decadent and slightly weathered, consistent with the estate’s Belle Epoque heydey: grand sitting rooms, chandeliers, French doors, and floor-to-ceiling 19th-century portraits in ornate frames. A wooden-panelled library holds 3,000 books on flora and naturalism, including a 1640 edition of a botanical codex worth several hundred thousand euros. The property has ten bedrooms, a ballroom and even a chapel, and the furnishing can also be up for sale.

 

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Outdoors, Villa Les Cèdres has a beautiful winter garden, stables for 30 horses, an Olympic-sized swimming pool built into the rocks, 25 heated greenhouses and amazing views of the elite coastal town of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. The area ranks the fifth most expensive street in the world and is frequently described as a billionaire playground, home to many world’s richest people, such as the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen.

 

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Source: House Beautiful, Time, Bloomberg, Luxify

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