March 20, 2011

Starter Castles!

The New York Times Magazine had a piece today about starter castles in Europe. Due to the current economic conditions, you can pick someone’s left-over castle for a song… This are just cheap little things, beginning at about $1 million! 

Killahara Castle, County Tipperary, Ireland 
Original asking price: $1.53 million. Current asking price: $1.25 million.Killahara Castle, County Tipperary, IrelandThe Irish writer Tom O’Neill and his restoration-specialist friend Noel Ryan bought this 16th-century Irish castle in 2006 and undertook a thorough conservation effort — renovating the building to a comfortable standard while doing the minimum amount of structural change. Including the restoration, O’Neill and Ryan spent more than $1.25 million on the castle; at its current asking price, they would not quite break even.

Medieval chateau, Lot-et-Garonne, France
Original asking price: $4 million. Current asking price: $2.8 million.
Lot-et-Garonne FranceThe medieval chateau was bought as a second home in 2002 by a financier and his interior-decorator wife. It has seven bedrooms and is an hour and a half from Bordeaux and Toulouse. Lot-et-Garonne France2 It has been fully renovated and contains old and new touches: exposed-beam ceilings, chunky oak doors, high-end bathrooms with heated towel rails, even secret staircases.

Castle Altdöbern, Brandenburg, Germany
Asking price:
Castle Altdöbern, Brandenburg, GermanyOnce the home of a Jewish cigarette manufacturer who fled the Nazis, this ornate castle with more than 50 rooms dates to the early 1700s and sits in a wooded area about 80 miles south of Berlin.

Castle Altdöbern, Brandenburg, Germany2After the end of the Second World War, it served as a retirement home and kindergarten before falling into disuse. The efforts of a number of investors to transform the castle into an upscale hotel or a tourist attraction have failed over several decades.

Castle Altdöbern, Brandenburg, Germany3The building is now owned by a castles’ association, which is extensively renovating the interior with the hope of readying it for a potential occupant.

To see several of the other ‘starter castles’, please click here.


  1. Wouldn't it be fun to work on teh restoration of one of these? Tough times everywhere.

  2. Maybe I could just have that gorgeous window in shot #3?

  3. Love them all but how unique and interesting is #1 in Ireland. Would love to see the inside and what they have done. Always love your castle posts!

  4. Beautiful castles! Love the windows in that French one! I can only imagine what the heating bills are like, bargain or not. Thanks for sharing the dream.

  5. Maybe I could just buy a quarter of a castle? Thanks, Mary

  6. That's what I need - MY OWN CASTLE. Beautiful - now what did I do with that extra million????

  7. If only I had a few more dollars laying around! I've been dreaming more and more of finding a great place to do up and running my own little bed and breakfast.

  8. I'd love to see the interior of the first one. I imagine the views would be stunning.

    It's shame to see the last one in such need of care. I hope someone can restore it to its former glory.

    Fun to think about living in one of these but can you imagine the upkeep? Just the thought of routine maintenance and repairs on my 2 bedder makes me cringe (literally... I ruptured two discs working on my house). If one has a castle one should also have groundskeepers and hired help!

    More and more I think there's something to be said for renting. Sigh.

  9. Oh what I would give to assist on the restoration of one of these. The painting and artwork are gorgeous!

  10. Oh, that last one---preservation is such a problem---

  11. Castlel Altdobern, Brandenburg, made me gasp. Of all the castles shown, this was certainly one that didn't get handed down through the family nor do I suppose any family members of the "Jewish cigarette manufacturer who fled the Nazis . ." received any compensation after the war, if they survived. It is a beautiful building. Is that a second and older castle in the background?

  12. that last picture. omg. those paintings. that room could be so gorgeous!


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