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Bulgarian countess’s party castle in the Virgin Islands seeks new owner

Sarah Paynter
Photo credit: Reiki Anduze Bell.

In the Virgin Islands, a Bulgarian movie star’s castle on a hill could be restored to its former glory, if it finds a buyer willing to drop $10 million.

Countess Nadia de Navarro-Farber designed the 9,500-square-foot palace in 1989 with her second husband Sid Farber, a prominent New York and New Jersey real estate developer. Surrounded by palm trees, the castle sits adjacent to the St. Croix Yacht Club on a sheltered lagoon, with a half-acre marina, a pier and a gatekeeper’s cottage.

Photo credit: Reiki Anduze Bell.

“This is a true castle, not a faux castle. A lot of homes are built to look like castle-y these days, but this is a real castle,” said property broker and agent Peter Briggs.

In its prime, the home was best known for its parties. The countess and Farber played host to St. Croix’s artistic socialites, including Victor Borge, the famous Danish “comedian of the keyboard,” who had a home nearby, according to Briggs.

Photo credit: Reiki Anduze Bell.

“The parties were famous there back in the day,” said Briggs.

The home sits on 102 acres, including 3 acres of beachfront and 90 acres of lush greenery in the valley and hillside leading up to the castle. The other 10 acres are an abandoned laboratory, once owned by Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.

Photo credit: Reiki Anduze Bell.

“The castle is so well done and so dramatic. It has very strong features and preserves all of the views, which are amazing. The land below is flat, but the ascent coming up to the castle is just steep enough where it feels like a real castle,” said Briggs.

Nadia got her “Countess” title from her first marriage to a Spanish Count and ambassador to the Vatican, according to her obituary. Her ties to Spain influenced the design of the six-bedroom, six-bathroom home with domes and alfresco areas, said Briggs.

Photo credit: Reiki Anduze Bell.

“The countess had a fascination with Moorish design from her time there,” said Briggs.

The countess split her time between the Virgin Islands and Port Washington, N.Y. until she died on Long Island in 2014. The property was renovated in 2017 but will likely need $1 million to $2 million in updates and repairs, in addition to the $9.95 million asking price on the property, said Briggs.

Photo credit: Reiki Anduze Bell.

Sarah Paynter is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @sarahapaynter

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