- Villa Les Cèdres, a 187-year-old, 18,000-square-foot, 14-bedroom mansion set on 35 acres looks and feels like the epitome of luxury.
- The villa which was once home to Belgium’s King Leopold II, is located in the exclusive town of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, near Nice.
Located on the South of France lies one of the most magnificent houses that is currently the most expensive house on earth.
Villa Les Cèdres, a 187-year-old, 18,000-square-foot, 14-bedroom mansion set on 35 acres looks and feels like the epitome of luxury and has been home to a revolving door of the superrich for the past century.
The gates of the villa open to a long, winding path, flanked by towering palms and the cedar trees (cèdres in French) that give the house its name.
A bronze statue of Athena, draped with a marble tunic, stands guard at the front entrance. Inside, the vibe is decadent and slightly weathered, consistent with the estate’s Belle Epoque heyday: grand sitting rooms, chandeliers, French doors, and floor-to-ceiling 19th century portraits in ornate frames.
A wood-paneled library holds 3,000 books on flora and naturalism, including a 1640 edition of a botanical codex worth several hundred thousand euros.
With one of the most beautiful gardens on the continent the stunning home has 35 acres of manicured lawns, 15,000 plants, and 20 greenhouses brimmed rare tropical flora.
The palatial home also features a stunning ballroom and stables for up to 30 horses.
Impressively, it also boasts an Olympic size swimming pool for a buyer who wishes to keep fit.
Les Cèdres was built in 1830 and bought in 1850 by the mayor of Villefranche-sur-Mer, when it operated as an olive tree farm.
The mayor’s descendants sold the property to the Belgian King Leopold II in 1904, who, using ill-gotten wealth looted from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a colony of Belgium then, expanded the gardens that still surround the home.
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, a blend of cognac and triple sec.
For 80 years the family cultivated the exotic plants that fill the manicured grounds.
The house is currently owned by Italian drinks company Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A.
The 18,000-square-foot Villa Les Cèdres perched on a hillside on France's Cote d'Azur hit the market in October but is yet to find a buyer.
The house is selling for £308million.