Like most of the world, I spent my holiday fantasizing about what very exciting goodies 2014 would have in store for my very ordinary life. Frankly, I’ve had enough of the standard resolutions: joining a gym, eating better, getting more sleep. This year, I’m aspiring higher! Hear me loud and clear: 2014 is the year of the CASTLE. Like many little girls, I used to dream about one day meeting my Prince Charming and moving into his magical fairyland. After combing through countless castles currently on the real estate market, I now have a restored hope in my childhood dream. To ring in the best, the brightest and the most gilded year to come, I’m offering my top seven favorite historical castles for sale across the globe! (Click on the top photo of each listing to be taken to the listing site).
Chateau of the Second Empire: Bordeaux, France
Price upon request (translation: expensive!)
What could be better than a 19th century castle located in one of the world’s premier wine regions? With its own vineyard, historic wine cellar, and built-in bread oven, I can’t think of anything better than wining and dining at this Bordeaux masterpiece (just as long as there will be PLENTY of cheese served with that wine and bread!).
Paszkowka Palace: Krakow, Poland
€3,950,000 EUR (approx. $5,397,172)
With over 40 bedrooms, this is a complex for someone with a very large extended family. Originally the residence of Polish noble families, Paszkowka Palace also boasts stone arches, medieval-style vaulting, and inset velvet paneling. It was completed in 1860, and today serves as a hotel and event space.
Il Castello Baronale: Rieti, Italy
€8,500,000 EUR (approx. $11,614,332)
Located outside of Rome, and dating from the 12th century with a fort that dates to the 10th century, Il Castello Baronale is a true piece of Italian history. One of its many past noble inhabitants was Cardinal Barberini, the nephew of Pope Urban VII, who purchased the castle in 1641. In 1988, the castle underwent a major restoration, combining historic architecture with modern amenities such as a heating swimming pool and tennis court.
Craigmuir Castle: Wenatchee, Washington, USA
England is undoubtedly one of the best-known castle countries, but here you can get that authentic Anglo-charm without even crossing the pond. Craigmuir Castle was built in Northern Washington in 1928 after being commissioned by the Scottish Muirhead family. Encompassing over 10,000 square feet, the property has masses of granite stone, sourced locally and cut on site, and the state’s second-oldest Ginko tree!
Tulira Castle: Ardrahan, Ireland
€6,500,000 EUR (approx. $8,883,999)
Tulira Castle in County Galway, Ireland made international headlines when it hit the market this past October. The stone building is comprised of a medieval tower and the Victorian Castle, which sit upon 250 acres. Complete with a medieval feasting hall, ornate Irish marble columns, and original stained glass panels it is said to be the only castle in Ireland to never have been attacked or invaded. Outside of the Gothic structure there are rolling green gardens, stables to hold up to 16 horses, and an ornamental lake.
English Embankment Palace: St. Petersburg, Russia
Price upon request
You know you’re in another league when your personal palace is chock full of gilded ornamentation, intricately carved moldings and tray ceilings, and fan vaults. This 18th century palace on the English Embankment in St. Petersburg first belonged to Duke Trubetskoy, one of Peter the Great’s closest friends. Fifteen of the rooms and facades were recently restored to their Gothic glory.
Château Mirwart: Luxembourg, Belgium
€3,750,000 EUR (approx. $5,123,695)
The oldest part of this castle is from the 7th century — how’s that for historic? Château Mirwart dates mainly to the 17th century, but lost much of its original fortification in the 18th century. The 45-room home is situated on a large rock, overlooking the beauty of the charming town around it.
AUTHOR DANA SCHULZ
Dana Schulz is a writer and lover of urban exploration, culinary history, and, most of all, old houses. Her dream home would have a wrap-around porch to host dinner parties featuring tasty treats prepared in her vintage kitchen, complete with a farmhouse sink, retro refrigerator, and collection of milk glass containers.