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Luxurious Mansions From Europe's Many Microstates

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Owing to hundreds, if not thousands, of years of political and cultural divisions, Europe has been left with several small countries. Many have carved out a place in recent years as tax havens, casino resorts, or, in the case of the island nation of Malta, as a sunny wintertime escape. The year-round sun and turquoise waters of the Mediterranean are enough of a draw, but Malta's history has left it with some stunning architecture as well. This 17th-century palazzo in the hilltop town of ?ebbu? has recently been renovated, with an updated kitchen and new windows, but its the 400-year-old features that really make this $2.4M mansion. Double-height round arches make a dramatic statement in the living and dining rooms and the rear courtyard, defined by ancient walls and dotted with trees, boasts a plunge pool, although it appears to be in need of some 21st-century upgrades.

? Monaco's status as one of the world's most famous tax shelters—along with its social cachet and Med weather—has grossly inflated the prices of homes in this tiny principality. Need proof? This rather pedestrian looking three-bedroom flat overlooking the harbor is listed for an eye-popping $23.2M. The 2,700-square-foot apartment comes with two parking spaces, storage in the basement, a communal swimming pool, and a 24-hour concierge, but the tax savings will have to be ample to justify the near $8,600-per-square-foot asking price.

? Nestled in the Pyrenees mountain range, between France and Spain, Andorra might not have Monaco's prestige or Malta's reliable weather, but it does boast plenty of ski slopes and some surprisingly well-priced real estate. This chalet, with covered garage and a whopping 10 bedrooms, is listed for $2.07M. The steep driveway might be a pain to negotiate in the winter, but once inside, the 3,800-square-foot house impresses with stonework and Swiss-style woodworking.

? At just under 1,000 square miles, Luxembourg is larger than many of the countries on this list, but it still has the culture of a small European nation: it's ruled by a grand duke and is famous as a tax shelter. As in Monaco, the savings on taxes have brought high property prices. This former farmhouse has been reworked as a luxury residence, with six bedrooms, two bathrooms, an indoor pool, and a $4.46M asking price.

? The tiny principality of Liechtenstein, sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria, is very protective of its citizenship and has made an effort to keep foreign speculators out of the real estate market. That means that buying property as a foreigner is difficult, but the financiers drawn to the country's robust banking sector need somewhere to rest their head, so luxe rentals are standard in this country of 36,300. Located in Schaan, the country's largest city, this 1,400-square-foot modern apartment is available for $4,130 per month. Walls of glass open to the bucolic countryside, while a wrap-around balcony provides private outdoor space.

· Palazzo [Frank Salt]
· Beautiful apartment [Sotheby's International Realty]
· Typical mountain home [Viviun]
· Farmhouse in Roeser [Immotop]
· Unsere Mietangebote [Immoland]