Amazing Abandoned Castle With 365 Rooms Left Derelict For 20 Years

To us, history is fascinating, so when we heard about this castle’s abandonment, we had to learn more. These pictures of the once-opulent structure are breathtaking.

Several derelict locations are visible from this section of the web. It’s possible to piece together the events that led to the abandonment of some of them. Yet this is a time to put your head in your hands.

It’s hard to describe just how impressive the Castle di Sammezzano is. Although this breathtakingly gorgeous Moorish castle has been sitting idle, neglected, and exposed to pillaging and the elements for over two decades, it was built in the Tuscan hills of Northern Italy a whopping 400+ years ago, in 1605.

Every day of the year is represented by one of the Castle di Sammazzano’s 365 rooms. The Moroccan-style palace is a maze of rooms, each with its own elaborate tiling design. Ximenes of Aragon, a Spanish prince, had the castle constructed in the 17th century, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that it was given its distinctively Arabian flair.

Marquis Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes, the heir to the dukedom, was an important but now-forgotten person in the cultural, social, and political life of Renaissance Florence, when the city served as Italy’s capital. After spending 40 years of his life designing, financing, and realizing what would become the country’s most important example of orientalist architecture, Ferdinando, who lived and died on the property, saw it abandoned by modern investors.

During the time after the Marquis’s death at the close of the nineteenth century, the property’s future is murky, and the available historical records are sketchy at best. The Germans came to loot the castle during the war, and they took most of what they wanted from the park outside, which had been known as the largest and most exotic in all of Tuscany. They removed a whole bridge and a grotto with a Venus statue in it. The castle was transformed into a five-star hotel, restaurant, and nightclub when the war ended.

There don’t seem to be any photos taken at the villa during this time period, and I wasn’t even able to find out the hotel’s name before it supposedly shut down in 1990. The Castle di Sammezzano was abandoned for several years before being bought at auction by a British corporation in 1999. There would be no signs of life in the castle, though.

Sammezzano was supposed to have an expansive sports complex with a clubhouse and a golf course with 18 challenging holes. The investing firm ran into “economic troubles,” however, and the castle was ignored, left to fall into decay. The external vandalism and weather damage is pretty noticeable. Many windows were shattered on the inside, as were railings, and expensive lighting fixtures like chandeliers and rosettes were taken.

A local non-profit committee was established in 2013 to assist bring attention to the rapidly deteriorating castle. They don’t actually own Sammezzano, but they do assist organize and publicize events there. Although the local group known as Comitato FPXA (named after Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes of Aragon) has been doing their part, Palmerston Hotel & Resorts, a major international hotel and resort chain, has surreptitiously purchased the land.

Among the many projects they plan to undertake around the world is the transformation of the Castle Sammezzano into a 5-star resort complete with a spa, golf course, tennis courts, and a boutique hotel. They claim they have the required planning clearances and that renovation will begin in 2014.

While the construction of yet another high-end hotel isn’t the happy ending we were hoping for, we can only hope that this Arabian castle will be returned to its former splendour, and that perhaps we’ll be invited over for mint tea beneath its surreal ceilings.

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