Luxury Real Estate – Castles

By any one’s definition, owning your own castle must be considered the ultimate in luxury real estate. A few attempts have been made to build castles over the last few years, but the prohibitive costs are such that one tends to see over-sized villas or high-rises instead. So, this article deals with what I consider to be genuine castles. Most of them are extremely old and the running costs are such that they could only appeal to a genuinely wealthy individual. By genuinely wealthy, I mean bottomless pockets or you already own a country. (Or an oil company). :lol: Most of these are for sale, or available to rent, although some are just fascinating.

Eilean Donan, Scotland

This first one is Eilean Donan castle in Scotland, situated on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet, and surrounded by some pretty dramatic scenery, particularly in winter.

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

Available to rent on a by-the-day basis, although the owners suggest hiring it during the winter if you want to avoid crowds of tourists. Originally built in the 13th century, the castle has been demolished and rebuilt several times over the years and the current incarnation has starred in many films, including Highlander and James Bond – The World is not Enough. Larger versions of the photos here are available for download at the castle’s website.

Dracula’s Castle, Romania

The next castle is often referred to as Dracula’s castle, although the real name is Bran castle.

Bran Castle, Romania

Bran Castle, Romania

Perched on a cliff near Brasov in central Romania, it is a major tourist attraction, largely because of its ties to Prince Vlad the Impaler, the warlord who inspired Bram Stoker‘s 1897 novel, “Dracula.” Legend has it that Vlad spent one night at the castle in the 1400s. The castle was returned to it’s “rightful” owners, the Habsburg family after the fall of communism. Arch Duke Dominic Habsburg immediately offered the castle back to the Romanian government for $80 million but the offer was rejected. It then went on the open market, and I understand it is still available. Baytree Capital, the firm representing the family are of the opinion that the castle will eventually sell for $135 million, although I feel this is a little ambitious – especially with Romanian lawyers still fighting over the the decision to return it to the family in the first place. Time will tell.

Castello di Mazzè, Turin, Italy

This beautiful castle in Turin is available for hire to cater wedding parties at around 2,500-5,500 Euros a day and for sale at around 15 million Euros. (Negotiable). Notable visitors in the past include:  King Vittorio Emanuele II di Savoia, Count of Cavour, Zar Nicola II, Count Brunetta d’Usseaux, Francesco De Sanctis and Benito Mussolini. Originally constructed in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 15th, the founder of the Italian Olympic movement, Count Eugenio Brunetta d’Usseax also lived here.

Castello di Mazze, Torino

Castello di Mazze, Torino

Castle website with more details and photos.

Castello di Casole, Italy

This is another castle in Italy. Lovingly restored along with 30 farmhouses on the largest privately-owned piece of land in Italy. For sale as fractional ownerships, although I believe some of the farmhouses are available as complete sales.

Castello di Casole

Castello di Casole.

Bled Castle, Slovenia

Perched atop a cliff seems to be a popular position, and this next castle dates back to 1004, making it one of the oldest in Slovenia. The oldest part of the castle is the Romanesque tower, although additions have been made over the years. During the Middle Ages more towers were built and other buildings were added during  the Baroque period. The chapel in the upper courtyard was built in the 16th century, and renovated around 1700, when it was painted with illusionist frescoes. This one is not currently for sale or rent, but is a popular tourist destination.

Bled Castle viewed from Bled Lake

Bled Castle viewed from Bled Lake

For more superb photographs, visit – cut-bled.com

Biniés Castle, Huesca, Spain

This next one is interesting because currently being used as a residence and the owners have spent some considerable time and effort renovating. Originally constructed in the 11th century, Biniés Castle is perched above the village with spectacular views of the valley.

Biniés Castle, Huesca, Spain

Biniés Castle, Huesca, Spain

Walton Castle, Somerset, England

This castle was originally built for Lord Poulett, a Somerset member of Parliament, back in the days when only the landed gentry were allowed to run for office, although, as I think about it, things haven’t really changed in that regard :) – Now you need to have been to the right university and have friends with money behind you. Walton castle has been completely restored by the current owner and is for sale for £4.5 million, although I understand that the price is negotiable and if you want to “try it on for size” available for short-term rental. There are not many castles for sale in England at any given time – but this one is interesting if you have bottomless pockets.

Walton Castle, England

Walton Castle, England

Full details at the castle’s website – Walton castle

Nakatso-Jo Castle, Nakatsu, Oita Prefecture, Japan

Current Owner Masayuki Okudaira, placed the castle up for sale recently for the sum of $3 million. This seems like a bargain, but the horrendous cost of maintaining the building means that is not necessarily the case. The city of Nakatsu is deciding whether or not to buy the local tourist attraction, where visitors can also view heirlooms from local governing families of past eras exhibited inside. Originally constructed around 1587, the current five-tiered castle was rebuilt in 1964 after being destroyed by fire in the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion.

Nakatsu-Jo Castle, Oita Prefecture, Japan

Nakatsu-Jo Castle, Oita Prefecture, Japan

Photo courtesy 全国城郭管理者協議会加盟48城 The following photos are a random sample from their fantastic collection. Pay them a visit to see more.

Villa Castiglione, Capri, Italy

Now this is the sort of price I would expect to have to pay for genuine luxury real estate. The Villa Castiglione in Capri is for sale at $38 million. Now we’re talking – eight double bedrooms, five bathrooms with fittings of the finest Italian marble and gold taps, several rooms for entertaining and a rich history including a brief spell as a British naval base during the Napoleonic wars. And unlike its Scottish brethren, you won’t need a small forest of wood to keep the building heated during the winter.

Villa Castiglione, Capri, Italy

Villa Castiglione, Capri, Italy

Photos courtesy the agents, Capri Real Estate

Mock Castles

Not all castles are fortified, and during the Gothic Revival in architecture, many “castles” were built. These castles had no defensive capabilities, but used elements of earlier castles, such as castellation and towers for purely decorative purposes. These features were personified in the Scottish Baronial style and many of them were country houses. These “mock castles” were particularly common in the UK and Ireland, Belfast Castle and Castle Oliver being two such examples. Famous revival castles in other countries include Neuschwanstein in Germany, Miramare in Italy, and Castillo de Chapultepec in Mexico. The castle in the photograph below is Neuschwanstein in Germany and this photo was voted one of wikipedia’s finest images. Click on the image to see a large version. Beautiful subject and photography.

Castle Neuschwanstein at Schwangau, Bavaria, Germany

Castle Neuschwanstein at Schwangau, Bavaria, Germany

French Chateaux

I think it is fair to include French chateaux as mock castles, and there are a large number of them for sale, varying in size and quality. More importantly though is the condition. Many of the old French castles are in a horrible state of repair. These next few have all been renovated recently.

Aquitaine, France

Chateau Aquitaine

Chateau Aquitaine

According to the listing agents, “the castle is tucked away on a property of 25 hectares park with secular trees, rose bushes and shrubs. The outbuildings consist of a beautiful guardian house, guesthouses and conference rooms. Furthermore there are a swimming pool and a tennis court. This imposing property is ideal for a luxurious hotel or large family house.” Price on Application. Agent.

This next one is a 16th century stronghold house that was redesigned and added to in the 18th century. Described as “small,” it has a surface area of 1,722 square feet with a 600+ square foot conservatory. A bargain at 1.1 million Euros.

Castle for sale Ile de France

Castle for sale Ile de France

Agent’s website. Unlike most sites purporting to sell castles, this agent does not have a medieval website to go with the property, which is more than I can say for the last in this series.

Vichy, France

This next one is described by the selling agents as a “Four Star Castle-Hotel.” Currently fitted out as a hotel, it is 2400 square meters on 4 levels, sits in 15 hectares of land and there is a “natural mineral gas water production place,” included, which I feel may have been lost in translation. Price – $9 million. Agents site.

Castle/Hotel for sale in France

Castle/Hotel for sale in France

Modern Castles

Singer Castle (formerly Jorstadt Castle,) Chippewa Bay, St. Lawrence Thousand Island Seaway, New York

Jorstadt Island was designed at the turn of the century by famous Beaux-Arts architect Ernest Flagg as a summer residence and hunting lodge for the president of Singer Sewing Machine Co. and inspired by Sir Walter Scott’s Woodstock Castle. Set amid 7 acres of lush landscaped gardens and terraces, it stands just north of the St. Lawrence Seaway complete with dungeons, turrets, towers, secret passageways, and subterranean labyrinths.

The 28-room, 5-story granite masterpiece has a Chapel with Gothic windows on 3 sides, a paneled library, elegant drawing room loggia, sun room, wine cellar, private offices, 17 bedrooms and 10 baths. The Great Hall boasts massive arched stone pillars, spiral stone stairways with hand-carved balustrades, and one of the castle’s 10 magnificent fireplaces. It was recently renamed “Singer Castle,” and is for sale at $9.5 million.

Singer Castle, New York

Singer Castle, New York

Aerial view of Singer Castle

Aerial view of Singer Castle

Singer Castle website

I am not sure this last one counts as a “mock castle” because it was built recently and looks pretty defensible. I didn’t realise anyone built castles any more, but this company, Castle Magic, apparently still does. This particular castle is in Idaho and according to the builder’s website was “Built in 1999 as a snowy mountain retreat, the two foot thick stone castle walls were built by laying up double walls of split ashlar rock to create a permanent formwork for the hidden steel reinforced concrete core and layers of waterproof insulation. Hydronic floor heat hidden in the stone and hardwood floors throughout the castle keep the interior toasty warm in addition to two stone fireplaces. Stone arched handcrafted walnut windows, stained glass, torches, and hand forged light fixtures. Includes 4-car garage, indoor pool, 3 towers, and real stone & carved hardwoods. You can ski in & out to the chairlifts from the castle.” Luxury real estate indeed :) Price – $2,632,000.

Castle for sale, Idaho

Castle for sale, Idaho

If you have enjoyed this look at castles, you may also enjoy these articles:

Luxury real estate swimming pools

Luxury Real Estate - Swimming Pools

Luxury Real Estate – Swimming Pools

Most Expensive Luxury Interiors

Most Expensive Luxury Interiors

Most Expensive Luxury Interiors

Private Islands

Private Islands

Private Islands

Comments (29)

  1. Niiiiiice…

    LOL Mark, I am dripping saliva all over my keyboard :D

    They don’t even look that expensive when I look around on the paper sheds in my area that still go for a million bucks or so…

    I want one! Or may be two? ;)

    Regards, Misha

  2. The one in Japan is only $3 million. That is less than a half decent apartment in Manhattan :)

  3. This blog is FABULOUS! This is the place to turn to when I want to get lost in fantasies! The pictures are SUPERB!

    I tell you, if I was too old and settled to move, I’d snap up that Idaho castle in a heartbeat. Imagine, no cold floors!

    Thanks!

  4. Richard Principal says:

    WOW man some of your pictures take so l o n g to download, I am sure you can cut the size of them down without loosing any picture quality.

  5. Thanks Brennan. They will build one where you are :)

    Sorry Richard. :(

  6. It’s hard to believe that some of those go for so cheap. Living in Southern Cali, I see homes the size of these castles’ garages going for a few ‘mil. Neuschwanstein is by far my favorite. I can’t wait to go and check it out. Too bad it isn’t for sale. After all, who doesn’t have a few million laying around to buy the place, and then a few 10′s of thousands a year to maintain it? I wonder if they have to pay property taxes…ouch.

  7. :D

    It is fair to say that many of them appear cheap because of the ruinous costs of maintaining them. Especially the ones in colder climates. I think tens of thousands would be an underestimate of Neuschwanstein’s running costs.

  8. OMG!!!That’s very low price here,some villas are for sale for more than $2 millon and they are only 500 square metres in CHINA.

  9. Just amazing. I want to see pictures of the interior. One of these days I will have to get a castle style dwelling. It’s on my list of things to do …

  10. We have a very nice castle in Germany for sale. The castle is completely renovated and in perfect condition. It will not be publicly available on the Internet. To obtain more detailed documentation is a capital proof of 9900000 euros needed. It is a very good investment. It is currently rented out. The tenant and the related rentals can be accepted. The castle can also be as a private palace, beauty clinic or hotel used.

  11. Count Coustaville says:

    wow these castles are cheap mines is half the size of the mock castle and the moderan catle goes for about 9mill surely i should buy one of them there a nice better ask the misses before this will be her wedding gift wish me luck on make the 8th million of the year thanks

    Duke Coustaville

  12. I recommend you the Clontarf Castle in dublin. Is a 4 star hotel in Dublin. Is one of the classiest hotels of Dublin.
    last year I discover this hotel by this web site: http://www.theperfecthotels.com
    Just take a look, I’m sure you will love it!

  13. Castle plz

  14. Margarita says:

    A lot of wonderful castello in France, but how about taxes? Is it hi?

  15. benyamin fries says:

    my army is ten fold of yours…….. best forfeit then my ole foe..
    yours, benyamin.
    of… 5/14 broadway glenelg sth, sth australia, 5045.

    p.s. thankyou so very much for allowing me this moment to fall into reverie over the thought of residing as owner…..
    thankyou

  16. Great post! these castles are awesome!!

  17. I liked all the castles mentioned here but Idaho is one I like the most. I wonder how it feels to live in there.. Thanks for sharing such a great post. Great job! Keep it up dear :)

  18. Paul J Brass says:

    What a beautiful castle Chateau Aquitaine is…WOW…if I could have the elagance of the view at the Luxury Real Estate-Swiming pools along witha Private Iland pier, nothing could be more spectacular. What dreams! Lord let them be!

  19. soheli azad says:

    I would like to see more of the interior views of the castle,wondering how the owner felt living and sleeping in there,
    Thanks for sharing very interesting article.

  20. Looking on behalf of a private client for a unique property/castle to buy. Is The castle in Somerset still for sale?

    Kind regards
    Mike
    07525813593

  21. Rebecca says:

    I was looking up castles for sale on a whim…and there are some for only $200,000. and thats AFTER they have been restored.

  22. Virginia says:

    The idaho castle us the ultimate dream…

  23. Love the Villa Castiglione. Most likely the best buy. It was actually also owned by Roman Emperor Tiberius.

  24. it’s amazing how the property market at the top end has held up all the way through our double dip recession. My favourite is definitely Eilean Donan castle

  25. The most stunning castles I have ever seen are on the eyes wide shut parties of castleevents. Amazing guests having fun in the most exclusive 5 stars castles all over europe.

  26. Ola Northman says:

    Nice!

    Very nice, though I miss the Montbrun Castle.
    That’s an epic one, specially with the historical connection to Richard Lionheart.
    They don’t build any buildings these days, as they used to do. Once in time, buildings were meant to last.

  27. borut simič says:

    The Bled castle in Slovenija is acctualy for sale as Otočec castle and many others.

  28. Quite an amazing list and wonderful photos. I’m curious if you might do another post one of these days of like places for wedding receptions and luxury private events? Would love to get / hear your suggestions on those. – Sarah

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