Inside the world’s most expensive house that's selling for £308MILLION, was once owned by a king and boasts its own ballroom, stables and Olympic swimming pool

Villa Les Cèdres is a 187-year-old, 18,000-square-foot, 14-bedroom mansion set in 35 acres.

It also boasts a swanky prime location on the coast of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the south of France.

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.

It is currently owned by Italian drinks company Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A.

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 – made stupendously rich by his colonisation of the Congo – expanded the gardens that still surround the home.

The gates of the villa open to a long, winding path, flanked by towering palms and the cedar trees (cèdres in French) which 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, with 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.

The furnishings can also be bought with 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.

According to chief gardener and conservationist Marc Teissier, it was in the orchards near the home that the family harvested bigarades, the bitter oranges used to flavor Grand Marnier.

Les Cèdres remained in the Marnier-Lapostolle family until 2016, when Campari acquired Société des Produits Marnier Lapostolle (SPML), Grand Marnier’s parent company.

Confronted with a piece of property that could be worth 20 percent of its gross 2016 sales, Campari almost immediately put the mansion on the market through the real estate agent Savills.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen owns a neighbouring villa, as does composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.


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