Set in the ‘billionaires’ playground’ between Nice and Monaco, the most expensive house in the world is now up for sale for $1.1 billion.
Formerly owned by Leopold II, king of Belgium between 1865 and 1909, the opulent mansion called Villa Les Cèdres—The Cedars on the French Côte d’Azur boasts 10 bedrooms, a ballroom, concierge, a chapel, 50-meter swimming pool dug into the rocks, a winter garden and stables for 30 horses. However, the most valuable aspect of the property is its botanical park, considered one of the most beautiful private gardens in Europe.
The park covers over 35 acres with 20 greenhouses, is overseen by 15 full-time gardeners, and features some 15,000 rare tropical species, also reportedly Europe’s largest collection of tropical plants. The house is located in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat which has the most expensive price per square meter, more than €200,000 at the top end—in the world.
“No real estate transaction has ever reached such heights, even at world level where the last record is the sale of a ranch of 210,000 hectares in Texas that was offered for $725 million,” wrote Bursier.com.
According to le-gotha.com, “More than 50 of the most beautiful villas of the 600 on the presqu’île are worth their weight in gold. It’s true that there’s very little for sale because the biggest owners in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat are very attached to their sumptuous dwellings, even if they come only some weeks of the year.”
The list of those who have vacationed at the house on offer include Winston Churchill, who loved painting the gardens, Charlie Chaplin, David Niven, Elizabeth Taylor Richard Burton, and Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Current neighbors include British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and tech tycoon and Microsoft MSFT co-founder Paul Allen. Other rich families like the Ferreros (Nutella) of Italy, the Mondadoris from the publishing firm, French couturier Hubert de Givenchy, advertising titan Lord Maurice Saatchi, and assorted Russian oligarchs own houses in Cap Ferrat.