A triptych of charming castles where Nelson Mandela once stayed in Knysna, South Africa, have sold for ZAR28.5 million (US$2.16 million), the auctioneers announced on Friday.
The castles are located on Noetzie Beach, a quiet sandy stretch on the Indian Ocean lined in fortress-like stone buildings constructed beginning in the early 20th century and surrounded by steep, lush cliffs. The property went to auction in March and the sale to a German buyer has finally closed, according to the newly released details from the auctioneer, High Street Auctions.
Former South African president Mandela and his wife, Graça Machel, spent 10 days in 2008 at the castle, which along with its neighboring citadels are often rented out to well-heeled vacationers, according to the auction house.
They left a note telling their host that they enjoyed their stay “immensely.” “The warmth of the staff, the delicious food. We really touched our inner selves here,"it read, according to the auctioneers.
At roughly 650-square-meters (nearly 7,000 square feet), the main castle sits on a lush private garden, encompassing a heated swimming pool, that slopes down directly to the beach. The house also has a gym with panoramic views of the ocean and lush cliffside.
Traditional interiors include coffered ceilings, hardwood floors and French doors out to the large terraces, images of the house shows.
Two additional mini castles are built into the mountainside, including one to the east that High Street Auctions called "one of the most romantic hideaways in the world.”
A third castle is nestled behind the main house and includes an en-suite bedroom and open living room with a kitchenette.
The houses encompass five bedrooms in total and sold fully furnished.
The properties sold for significantly less than the original asking price in 2015, when they hit the market asking ZAR56 million (US$4.235 million). Unusual properties like the Noetzie castles make prime candidates for auction because they’re so difficult to assess and price, lead auctioneer and director Joff van Reenen in a statement.
The foreign buyer, who asked High Street Auctions not to publicize his or her identity, approached the brokers with an offer during the March auction, Mr. van Reenen said.
“After some vigorous negotiation the parties agreed on the sale price,” he said. “The necessary guarantees have now been met and the sale is through.”
The castles are about 15 minutes from Knysna, a popular resort town and retirement area due to its mild ocean climate. The area has top restaurants, artisanal bakeries and art galleries, said High Street director Rodney Beck in a statement.