December 17, 2015

Replica Of Louis XIV's Versailles Is The World’s Most Expensive Home - $416 million


Louis XIV is possibly the best known king in European history, along with Henry V111 and the legendary King Arthur.

His magnificent palace was built to impress as many people as possible.

Like Henry V111 and Arthur many books and movies have been written and made about him.

Like many books and movies some are a little loose with the truth. 

Some are even comedies.

Alexandre Dumas, for example, wrote "The Man In The Iron Mask" as part of his "Musketeer" trilogy.

The biopic "Vatel" is very good, "A Little Chaos" is only accurate  inasmuch  as Louis XIV and Le Notre were real people.

For a comedy there is Mel Brooks' "History Of The World Part 1".
(I am still waiting for part 2!)

Then there are books and movies about what The Sun King's eventually legacy was: 
The French Revolution.




Yes, the peasants were revolting as the cliché goes, due to Louis' excessive spending.

Think of "A Tale of TwoCities", "Start The Revolution Without Me","Marie Antoinette",
"The Affair Of The Necklace" and many more.

Given the spectacle of Versailles, and the fact that it is still used today, it is hardly surprising that anyone, with enough resources, would want to emulate Louis' palace!


A new mansion modelled on Versailles, complete with gilded statues and fountains, has sold for £200 million ($416 million), making it the world’s most expensive house. 

The Chateau Louis XIV, built a few miles from the palace by Emad Khashoggi, a Saudi property developer, was sold to a buyer from the Middle East, insiders said.


The previous record price for a home was £140 million, paid in 2010 for a penthouse at London’s One Hyde Park building.

Mr Khashoggi and his firm, Cogemad, set out to build the mansion in 2008 after buying 23 acres at Louveciennes, 10 miles west of Paris. It includes replicas of the architectural detail of Versailles and other 17th century chateaux and encloses 50,000 sq ft of living space.

A statue of Louis XIV peers down the long path in a garden of clipped box hedges and colour-co-ordinated gravel inspired by Andre Le Notre, who designed the Versailles park.

The pond in front contains a two-thirds-size replica of the Apollo fountain at Versailles, its rampant horses smothered in gold leaf.

Mr Khashoggi’s firm has used the mansion as a show home for potential customers for two years. It has a leisure complex that occupies a whole floor, with two mosaic-lined pools and a gym. The cinema has a multiplex-sized screen.

Kim Kardashian, the reality television star, and Kanye West, the rapper, looked at it as a possible venue for their wedding 18 months ago but decided to marry in Italy instead.

“To tell the truth, I’m glad it didn’t happen,” Mr Khashoggi said last year.

By Charles Bremner

With many thanks to The Australian

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