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If your 2020 bucket list includes buying a coastal home, a charming country estate with arable land, or a trophy property for investment, consider purchasing a castle.
Today, there are more than 400 beautiful castles on the global market. These properties vary greatly in terms of their sizes, architectural styles, locations, and prices. Nearly every buyer scanning the upscale real estate market can find an asset to suit personal tastes and habits.
The most expensive castle-style homes may come with price tags ranging from US$20 to 30 million, like this historic property in Lucca. But there are plenty of modestly priced castles.
According to JamesEdition data, the average price for a castle-style property may reach US$8,000,000 in Italy. But in France, this figure is much lower–around US$2,400,000–thanks to the number of affordable castles that can be found in a French province. For instance, a 15-bedroom stone manor in the Nièvre department, surrounded by forests and thermal baths can cost around US$540,000.
To help you navigate through the inventory of modern-day castles houses available on the market right now, we selected the best properties that would make a nice addition to anyone’s lifestyle.
Castles that may become modern-day coastal homes
It’s true that beachfront castles are rare finds. We’ve spotted only 5 stunning properties with sea views in France, Italy, and Spain, along with a one-of-a-kind estate nestled on the cliffs of South Africa and a contemporary castle in Turks and Caicos.
In Cabo the Gato (Almeria, Spain), we found an 18th-century castle with a rich history of battles, which has been converted into a chic, seaside estate; in the Ligurian town of Varazze, Italy, a beautifully designed, 1930s castle surrounded by 7,000 sq. m of park.
When it comes to coastal castle-style houses, architectural elements and ages often blend together creating an interesting mix.
There is a majestic, resort-style chateau in Nice situated in a fully renovated, 11th-century fortress, and a newly-built, luxury estate in Marbella (in the image below) paved with stones from an old Roman road.
The fascinating, modern castle-style house in South Africa, on the cliffs of Plettenberg Bay, perfectly echoes traditional European castles. While the edgy, ultra-modern mansion in Turks and Caicos looks like a concept created by a futuristic artist inspired by medieval sagas.
Modern and old-school castles to convert into resort-style country homes
Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque castles created up until the 17th century form the largest segment of the castle market.
These historic country estates can serve as perfect places for relaxed yet classy vacations, family gatherings, or cocktail parties. Most of them are located in Italy (Tuscany, Umbria, Piedmont) and France (Loire Valley, Burgundy, Aquitaine, Provence, or Normandy).
Italian castles frequently enjoy high elevations with breathtaking, panoramic views due to Italy’s history of feudal wars in times long past. They mostly have been renovated inside and out and boast such facilities as resort-style pools and outdoor dining spaces for social events.
You can also find gothic fortresses with picturesque corner turrets for sale in the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, and Slovakia. The UK is, of course, the best place to find manor homes built in the Tudor or Victorian architectural style and to enjoy perfect, Downton Abbey-like living on your own green acres.
Though medieval castles might often have dark, mystical interiors and exteriors, there are plenty of elegantly restored historic properties like this estate in Cuneo, Italy.
But if you’re into custom, contemporary home design, we recommend browsing through our collection of country castles in North America.
There is a mid-century, tiny, three-bedroom castle in Phoenix, one of three spiral concepts realized by Frank Lloyd Wright. The blueprint of this construction is considered a precursor to the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
From large manors in Washington and New-York to castle-like cottages in Colorado, North American homes are primarily inspired by English medieval architecture that is perfectly blended with modern-style details.
Stunning castles to replace modern-day farmhouses
Looking for a property with agrarian lands, hunting grounds, vineyards and olive groves? Consider buying a castle instead of a regular farmhouse. The price can range from approximately US$1 million in France to US$2-8 million in Portugal, Italy, and Spain.
Ancient cellars in these castles have long been waiting to preserve your wines, and their old-school, stone-walled tasting rooms create the ideal atmosphere for gastronomically delightful dinners made from your own, organic vegetables.
Enchanting castles for lakeside living
Lakeside estates perfectly balance charming, countryside relaxation with upscale sophistication.
As you might expect, our first choice estates are situated on Italian lakes. While Lakes Como and Stresa are well-known for their castle-style villas, we’ve also spotted an awesome, ancient castle on Lake Iseo in Lombardy.
Romantic, waterfront castles also can be found in the Czech Republic and in the Loir Valley, France.
Trophy castles for investment
Someone who’s ready to invest US$20-30 million, might be interested in our trophy estates with rich provenance located in southern Europe. Some of these homes are mentioned in Wikipedia and travel guides; others have a quieter history that can be narrated privately by a real estate agent.
An architectural gem that has been put up for sale in Cadaqués (Catalonia, Spain) is Casa Blaua. The residence is one of the most famous modernist properties in the region, along with such constructions as the Salvador Dali house and Gaudi buildings in Barcelona.
In Florence, you can purchase the villa (in the image below) where the woman painted by Da Vinci as Mona Lisa La Gioconda reportedly lived in the 15th century. And in Portugal, we found a regal mansion with a romantic story that is worth telling your guests after dinner.
Bonus for modern-day castle enthusiasts: extraordinary estates in Paris, Vienne, Lisbon, and Brisbane
We’re almost completed our castle market overview but can’t help mentioning a few more impressive properties.
If you’re looking for a quiet second home in proximity to the hustle and bustle of a big city, have a glance at these castles located near fancy European capitals — Paris, Lisbon and Vienne.
And here is a sandstone, 1900s masterpiece in Australia, situated in a small town not far from Brisbane. The large castle, now besieged by a residential neighborhood, was created in the same style (and by the same architect) as the famous Breakfast Creek Hotel in Brisbane.
That’s to say, the castle market never ceases to impress house hunters.
Some modern-day castle houses feature resort-style indoor and outdoor pools, spacious car garages and smart home systems. Others are surrounded by huge gardens designed 400 years ago. But their mystique lies in the type of fairytale existence promised to those who choose to live within the olden-day stone walls.
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