It’s a candy-pink piece of Monte Carlo’s glittering history. The house once owned by François Blanc, known as the “magician of Monte Carlo,” is on the market for $125 million.
Spanning more than 8,000 square feet, the property has six bedrooms, landscaped terraces, a wine cellar and a 72-foot swimming pool. It was renovated by its current owners, an anonymous Eastern European couple, in 2008, according to the Wall Street Journal. The property is one of the most expensive ever listed in Monaco, which is one of the priciest places in the world to buy residential real estate.
The pastel-pink mansion is known as the “Villa l’Echauguette,” meaning the “watchtower.” It sits on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean at Port Hercule, with views of Monte Carlo’s famous Formula One race. It’s one of only a handful of Monte Carlo’s remaining mansions that date back to the Belle Époque period. Many of the grand historic homes have since been subdivided or demolished.
The villa’s former owner, Blanc, was a French casino mogul who helped transform the tiny city-state into an international destination for the wealthy and well-dressed. After building a successful gambling business in Germany, Blanc came to Monte Carlo in the early 1860s. He invested heavily in building the local casino business.
By 1869, the economy was booming and Charles III, prince of Monaco, abolished taxes on local residents paving the way for Monte Carlo to become the international tax haven it is today.
Sotheby’s International Realty France-Monaco has the listing. [WSJ] – Decca Muldowney