Some of the world’s most expensive properties have been abandoned and left to languish, including royal residences, presidential vacation homes, and enormous manors. However, what caused their fall from grace? We explore the interiors of some of the world’s most opulent abandoned mansions and unearth the mystery behind their abandonment. Click or slide to view further…
Derelict palazzo, Żebbuġ, Malta
In the Maltese city of Zebbug, there is a hauntingly beautiful structure that has seen better days. According to Sotheby’s International Realty, who are currently attempting to sell the home for a cool $5.3 million (£3.8 million), this old palazzo has been neglected for many years, but it is still structurally sound.
The house is situated on a 0.74-acre site and features a beautiful walled garden with groomed flowerbeds, 300 orange trees, a regal pine tree, and nine wells. There are 5,382 square feet of living space within the structure that shows its remarkable past.
The property dates back to the 18th century, when Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc, a member of the wealthy and important Rohan family of France and the 70th Prince and Grand Master of the Order of St. John, commissioned its construction as a hunting lodge.
As soon as you enter the property, it is evident how much money Emmanuel invested in it. The palazzo’s opulent interior is still evident despite its dilapidated condition, so it is not difficult to imagine how dramatic and majestic this entrance hall was in its heyday.
From its beautifully carved columns to its gorgeous tiled floor, this abandoned home has lots to offer. There are 15 palatial rooms in the residence, six of which are bedrooms.
Many of the interior rooms include vaulted ceilings, ornate fireplaces, and arches, while others open to a naturally lit internal courtyard. There is a banquet hall with four 15-foot-tall statues representing the four seasons, along with old stone stairways, an antique living room, and a gorgeous cellar. We don’t know why the palazzo was abandoned, but we believe it should be brought back to life.
London’s Billionaires’ Row, UK
The Bishops Avenue, often known as Billionaires’ Row, is one of the wealthiest and most contentious streets in London. Approximately one-third of the mansions along the main avenue in Hampstead have been abandoned, with many falling into disrepair. These luxury residences, which are primarily owned by absentee foreign investors, are in a dismal state of disrepair.
Many of the 66 properties on Billionaires’ Row were constructed in the late 1970s, and large portions of them appear to have been abandoned despite being among the most expensive homes in Britain. In 2008, Toprak Mansion on The Bishops Avenue set a new record as the most expensive residence ever sold in the United Kingdom. The estate was sold for $69 million (£50 million).
This lonely corridor, captured by explorers from Beyond the Point, has a ceiling that has caved in, let in the elements. However, it is easy to observe remnants of the home’s past splendor, such as the gold banister and stained-glass windows, in this vast hallway.
As incredible as it may appear, some of the properties have been abandoned for more than 25 years. This conservatory appears to have been abandoned, with an ashtray still sitting on the rattan table and stacks of faded magazines. Developer Anil Varma, who owns property on this infamous street, has nicknamed The Bishops Avenue “one of the most costly wastelands in the world.”
Reportedly, Justin Bieber rented one of the street’s most opulent residences in 2016 for a stunning $150,000 (£108k) per month. What was once the most desirable area to live in London is now a complete street of wasted ruins and deteriorating structures estimated to be worth $485 million (£350 million).
Selma Mansion, Virginia, USA
This historic plantation mansion in Leesburg, Virginia dates back to the year 1700 and is situated on 212 acres. The estate was renovated in 1902 in the Colonial Revival style by its then-owner Elijah Broken borough White, who employed the most prestigious artisans he could locate to adorn the rooms with exquisite paneling.
The 20-room home had one of the first intercom systems in the United States. At the estate, White produced great racehorses and was affluent enough to keep the opulent neoclassical home to the letter. During its peak in the 1920s, the mansion held grand balls and dinner parties for local politicians and other prominent figures.
After White’s passing, his daughter Jane Elizabeth inherited the home. She passed away there in 1970. Selma Mansion was acquired by the Epperson family, who rented it out as a location for weddings. In 1999, Peter J ter Maaten, a Dutch businessman, became the new owner of the home.
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The property was abandoned by Maaten in the early 2000s. Selma Mansion began to deteriorate once it was exposed to the elements. The decaying home was gradually reclaimed by nature, while vandals targeted the interiors. As evidenced by these photographs from the time, period elements were broken or stolen, and portions of the roof collapsed.
By 2009, Selma Mansion has reached its end. Preservation Virginia has listed the house as one of the state’s most endangered historic sites due to its urgent need for restoration or basic remedial work to save the structure and save the leaking roof. For the next seven years, Selma Mansion languished on the endangered species list.
Sharon Virts noticed the house on the list in 2016 and promised to purchase and restore it. Virts and her husband Scott Miller convinced Maaten to sell and acquired the property for $1.2 million (£866k), much to the delight of conservationists. Selma Mansion has been rescued from ruin and is currently being restored to its former splendor.
America’s Thomas-Clay House in Georgia
This abandoned majestic estate in Augusta, Georgia, dates back to the 1890s and has a fascinating past. The expansive property, which has eight bedrooms and six bathrooms, may have lost some of its luster from its historic prime when it was the center of high society life, but its status is still clear.
The 27th President of the United States, William Howard Taft, is rumored to have resided in the abandoned American mansion on a frequent basis in the early 20th century. It’s not difficult to picture the mansion’s previous magnificence despite the dusty floors and gloomy woodwork. From the stunning leaded windows and intricate paneling to the Art Nouveau-inspired glass light fixtures, this reception area is nothing short of amazing.
Talk about making an entrance—the huge carved staircase in the center of the Queen Anne-style home commands attention. The building, which was built in the late 19th century and has been in the same family for more than a century, was commissioned by industrialist Landon Addison Thomas Jr. It is currently listed with Blanchard & Calhoun Real Estate for slightly under $1.5 million (£1.1 million).
The inside is covered in original hardwood floors, some of which, like this lovely parquet flooring, appear to be in very good shape. The Thomas-Clay House is brimming with gorgeous period details, and it wouldn’t take much to turn it back into a lovely, active family house.
The house has remarkable interior spaces and is surrounded by more than three acres of land. While slightly overgrown and faded, remnants of the once-maintained landscaping are still discernible and definitely still within reach of repair.
The Thomas-Clay House can be seen peeking out from behind the vegetation, its architectural attractiveness unaffected by the years. Who knows how much this abandoned beauty will be valued after it is restored, if this enormous mansion can command a price tag of a million dollars in its current neglected form.
Ukraine’s Novi Petrivtsi, Mezhyhirya Residence
The Mezhyhirya Residence in Ukraine, a monument to blatant corruption, served as the Soviet leadership’s official summer residence or dacha until it was transferred to the Ukrainian government in 1991, when the USSR was dissolved. After being elected as prime minister in 2002, Viktor Yanukovych moved into the house and later spent millions of dollars of illegal funds there.
After the Orange Revolution in 2005, Yanukovych’s home was demolished; however, in 2006, he returned as prime minister. The following year, the lawmaker ordered the privatization of the property. The estate’s Soviet-era structures were torn down, and construction on a five-story mansion made of stone and wood and designed by the Finnish firm Honka is said to have cost at least $10 million (£7.2 million) begun.
After winning the presidential election in 2010, Yanukovych lavished millions of dollars’ worth of tax dollars on the opulent interiors, allegedly ordering dozens of $100,000 (£72k) gilt and crystal chandeliers, $64,000 (£46k) doors, a $430,000 (£310k) staircase covered in fine marble, and other items.
The extravagant bathrooms were outfitted with the most pricey gold fixtures money could buy, demonstrating the no-holds-barred nature of the expenditure. Yanukovych spent $3 million (£2.2 million) on a golf course and erected an underground shooting range. Tennis courts and an expensive bowling alley were also built.
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