A house in the south of France is poised to become the most expensive house in the world after being given a €350m ($414m) price tag.
Built in 1830, the 18,000 square foot mansion, Villa Les Cedres, sits on 35 acres of land. It offers panoramic views of Villefranche-sur-Mer, the viaduct bridge near the town of Eze Village, and the Alps separating France and Italy.
Originally owned by the mayor of Villefranche-sur-Mer, it was later used as a holiday home for King Leopold II of Belgium, who took on the property in 1904.
The most expensive house in the world
Once he died the Marnier-Lapostolle family took ownership for several decade. This was before the mansion finally fell to its current owner. This is the Italian distiller Davide Campari-Milano SpA, who acquired it in 2016.
Previous estimates in the local press of a €1bn price tag are “absurd rumor and folly.” This is according to Fabio Di Fede, the managing director of SPML, speaking to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Meanwhile, the now €350m price tag reportedly comes “primarily from the amount of land and the size of the home relative to its location”.
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A-list celebrity neighbours push up the value of the villa — including Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. However its historically-imbued and luxurious furnishings also add huge value.
The sand-and-salmon exterior shows the influence of Sardinia. Its internal spaces are in a style more in lieu with the Belle-Epoch. This sees 19th century paintings, extravagant decorations and chandeliers.
The library’s collection includes a 1640 edition of a botanical codex, in itself valued at several hundred thousand euros.
The world-renowned garden is home to some 14,000 species of plants. A particular highlight are the 300 year old olive trees. Then it also hosts a man-made pond containing giant lily pads.
The villa has one of the best botanical gardens in the world. It is one of the few private properties in the world that boasts such an extensive flora collection.
The sale is being handled by a committee of five family members from Marnier and Di Fede. The latter will be acting as a Campari representative.