They began as practical buildings meant to defend the property of landed families from invasions, and later entered the popular imagination as the sites of romantic tales of chivalric knights and courtly love. But castles aren’t just the atmospheric backdrops for fairy tales, period dramas, and Hollywood films: some of these historic fortresses have been converted into luxuriously appointed private homes. Lavish amenities like swimming pools, spas, and chef’s kitchens are designed to satisfy contemporary tastes, especially when they’re set among the medieval grandeur of a castle, alongside centuries-old mosaic floors, stone fireplaces, and stained-glass windows. Whether the castle of your dreams is gothic, baroque, or neoclassical, these magnificent residences are exemplars of master craftsmanship that inspire with their grand proportions and timeless charm.
Château Soligny has an idyllic setting on two acres of parkland in the Californie area of Cannes, directly facing the Lérins Islands and the bay of Cannes. The château was built in in 1872 and has been meticulously restored and luxuriously updated in recent years. The living spaces encompass 12,916 square feet across four levels, with nine bedrooms, including two master suites. The main level has an entrance hall, living room, large reception room, dining room and a modern kitchen, which open to a rear terrace with a sweeping vista of the bay. The 21st-century additions include a sophisticated home automation system, an elevator, cinema, wine cellar, an outdoor swimming pool, and a pavilion overlooking the sea.
This fortified castle in the heart of Chianti Classico region of Tuscany is surrounded by nearly five acres of land with a vineyard, olive grove, Italian formal gardens, a pool, and tennis court. The castle was built in the neo-Gothic style and restored over several years from the late 1980s to early 1990s. The magnificent architectural details remain intact and include beamed and coffered ceilings, terracotta floors, stone fireplaces, loggias, archways, and crenellated towers. The property is situated in the scenic village of Panzano, less than an hour from Florence and Siena, and within 1.5 hours of Pienza, Pisa, and Montepulciano.
County Meath, Ireland
Dardistown Castle in the heart of County Meath, Ireland, was built in 1465 by Irish judge Sir John Cornwalsh. The original castle is a four-story medieval fortress with a quadrangular turret at each corner. The first extension to the castle, which forms part of the main house, was completed in the late 16th century. The front hall, drawing room, and dining room were built in mid-18th century. The upper floors, which are adorned with wooden ceilings and fireplaces, were added in the 19th century. The castle courtyard is as impressive as the main residence and is flanked by numerous outbuildings with ornate stone façades. It is thought that the estate’s main lawn was the setting for the Battle of Julianstown, which was fought during the Irish Rebellion of 1641. Surrounding the castle and main house are 30 private acres composed of formal gardens, woodland, and lush pastures.
Begnins, Vaud, Switzerland
Cottens Castle in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland, dates from the 16th century. The magnificent structure that stands today was built in 1727 by Swiss nobleman Jean Stürler, Lord of Serraux. The property was purchased in 1936 and has been in the same family ever since. A majestic driveway leads up to the castle. The 7,416-square-foot interior is richly appointed with ornate 18th-century finishes, including wooden floors, fireplaces, and decorative moldings. Currently configured as five separate apartments and offices, the castle’s 29 rooms, which include 10 bedrooms, could easily be converted into a single-family residence. Castle Cottens is set within a scenic private park with centuries-old trees and a lake. The property has a highly sought-after location just 20 minutes from Geneva.
This 19th-century Renaissance-style castle near the historic city of Poitiers has been beautifully restored; its peaked turrets call to mind a timeless fairy tale, and the surrounding countryside is unspoiled and verdant. The inside is fully renovated and offers all the amenities of a modern luxury home, from a home theater and an air-conditioned wine cellar to a gourmet kitchen and a dazzling indoor swimming pool with a custom mosaic interior. There are five bedrooms, numerous spaces for entertaining, plus a tennis court, outdoor pool and summer kitchen, a greenhouse, and even period touches such as the restored 15th-century dovecote.Find a Castle to Call Home Lucy Carsen
Christie's International Real Estate