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Crumbling Euro Castles Await Deep-Pocketed Preservationists


With a sweeping view of the Atlantic, impressive architecture, and a storied past, its a wonder that this 16th-century mansion on the outskirts of Lisbon, Portugal has yet to find a buyer. That may have something to with the fact that the price for the 11-acre property has yet to be revealed and the restoration and renovation bills are sure to tally in the millions. Substantially expanded in the 1890s by its then owner, Count Joaquim Pinto de Magalhães, the sprawling structure now stretches over 16,000 square feet, housing 20 bedrooms and 18 bathrooms. The interiors are in surprisingly good shape compared to the ragged grounds, which have animal pens and some unsightly chain link fencing.


? Ever since Under the Tuscan Sun was published, Italy has been the proving ground for well-intentioned foreigners' forays into historic restoration. Far from Tuscany, in Montalto delle Marche on Italy's Adriatic coast, this crumbling stone manor is listed for $3.6M. Judging from the listing photos, that's a veritable bargain, but caveat emptor, those flashy modern interiors are merely renderings and the renovation work isn't included in the price. What is included is a 42,000-square-foot former granary, built in the 1800s for Cardinal Carlo Sacconi, with the requisite breathtaking architecture.


? A 30,000-square-foot hacienda dating to the 18th century, this ten-bedroom, ten-bath mansion in Seville, Spain is hardly decrepit, but renovating that much space won't come cheap. The price is only available upon request, but at least there are 123 acres of private land to play with. With that much interior space to cover, the only luxuries are "gas central heating, wooden carpentry on windows, terracotta flooring, exposed brick work and beautiful wooden beamed ceilings."


? The seller of this worse-for-wear château in Béarn, France is hoping that the breathtaking view of the Pyrenees and the low price will distract from some rather obvious condition issues. Priced at just $858K, this charming country manor—allegedly formerly owned by "the family of a musketeer"—betrays its sorry state within just five listing photos, one showing a water damaged tapestry. The deferred maintenance issues are to be expected in a house that dates, in its earliest form, to the 12th century.


? Back in Lisbon, one might expect that spending $23.77M on a property, however large and historic, would ensure that the property had been properly maintained. Sadly, this 15,000-square-foot manor, priced at just that amount, has listing photos that reveal a cracked marble column, some shoddily patched plaster, chipped paint, broken flooring, and neglected landscaping, nevermind the house's close proximity to an unsightly shopping center. So much for a "fantastic mansion house."

· Historic Property [Sotheby's International Realty]
· Historic Palazzo Sacconi [Sotheby's International Realty]
· Stunning hacienda [Christie's International Realty]
· In the Béarn, superb 12th & 17th historic château for sale [Emile Garcin]
· Fantastic mansion house [Sotheby's International Realty]