TUSCANY, Italy — Anyone have enough money to buy a castle? I know of a pretty cool one that’s been on the market for more than 20 years!
Actually, maybe there’s a reason why people are afraid to take responsibility for it. One peek inside the Castello di Sammezzano should tell you that whoever owns the castle next has quite a lot of art to care for.
The original structure was built in 1605 by the Spanish nobleman Ximenes of Aragon. It gets its Moorish Revival look thanks to the work of Ferdinand Panciatichi Ximenes, who inherited the 365-room property and remodeled it between the years of 1853 and 1889. The castle became a luxury hotel after World War II but the hotel closed in the 1990s.
Not much has happened with this gem since, and the reports we’ve read are divided as to exactly what condition the castle is in. Great Big Story quotes volunteer caretakers for the castle who say it’s in danger of falling apart. The Daily Mail says it looks as fresh as it did when the younger Ximenes started covering the entire structure in tile.
The Daily Mail quoted Roman Robroek, a 29-year-old photographer from the Netherlands who visited the castle. His jaw-dropping pictures can be seen here. He describes a hike through the woods, then seeing the castle appear in front of him.
‘I’ve tried to capture the amazing architecture of the place in the photos, showing as much of the rooms as possible.
‘You can see the amazing hand crafted details here and there, especially in the lovely ceiling shot.
‘It’s just unbelievable a place like this exists and has been built thanks to the work of one man.
‘I simply couldn’t believe how beautiful it was and when I saw it in real life I sat inside on the floor for a couple of minutes just taking in what I was seeing.
‘A group of volunteers is now trying to save the castle from being auctioned to the highest bidder and, while the volunteers would like to see it open as a museum, they fear it will become a luxury spa hotel.’
So we’re putting it out to you, imagined obscenely rich reader of our web site: don’t let the castle become a luxury hotel. Buy it and let your buddies at CFile throw parties there. Ball’s in your court.
Bill Rodgers is the Managing Editor of cfile.daily.
Do you love or loathe this work of (not quite) contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.