A few kilometres along the coast from Monte Carlo, the peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is dotted with the most beautiful grand estates.
Among these, Villa Les Cèdres is among the greatest and most beautiful of all. A 14-bedroom mansion set in 35 acres of land, comprising olive groves and rows of cedars (hence the name), it is now for sale at €350 million (US$410 million). If achieved, this price would make it the most expensive private residence in history.
Villa Les Cèdres was built in 1830 and once owned by the King of Belgium, Leopold II, who extended its gardens, which now host more than 14,000 plant species. Later it was home to the Marnier-Lapostolle family, makers of Grand Marnier liqueur.
The house has views to the Italian Alps and rooms full of exquisite furniture, also for sale, along with a 3,000-book library and huge 19th century portraits. Neighbours include composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
Despite its size and grandeur, the property cannot be seen from public roads. “It’s a unique property but not well known,” said Fabio Di Fede, who is handling the sale. “It’s impossible to imagine the beauty of the house and the ampleness of the land surrounding it.”