A nearly $12 million, Versailles-inspired mansion in Great Falls hit the market this week. Le Château de Lumière–named for the light that emanates from within the house–has eight bedrooms and 13 bathrooms, and exudes European opulence throughout its grand spaces.
The 24,000-square-foot home set the record for the most expensive residential sale in Great Falls when it was bought in February 2017. (An almost $18 million Great Falls property was listed in May of this year, but it has yet to sell.) The Washington Post reported that a newly registered LLC called Cutlass Properties was listed as the buyer, a common practice with high-profile luxury real estate purchases.
In 2018, Business Insider reported that the then-Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Khalid bin Salman Al Saud (brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud), was the actual buyer. The agent for the current sale, Piper Yerks with Washington Fine Properties, was unable to confirm or deny whether the former diplomat is the seller.
The grandiose estate was a work in progress for several years before its completion. Back in 2012, builder Mark Mafi was set to construct a slightly larger version of the palace in a different area of Great Falls. The would-be neighbors–former Gannett CEO Craig Dubow and his wife–filed a lawsuit, and the project was abandoned. Mafi set off to find another home for the home–without a buyer in mind–and settled on this 5.6-acre property off of Georgetown Pike.
While the property was modeled after French chateaux and Rhode Island estates, its interior design also pays homage to DC landmarks. The rotunda resembles the one in the Library of Congress’ Jefferson Building. Yerks also notes that the home’s ballroom is reminiscent of the Crystal Room in the historic Willard Hotel, with its own Round Robin-inspired bar.
Other highlights of Le Château de Lumière: a chef’s kitchen and a spice kitchen, an indoor basketball court, a spa with a massage table and sauna, a theater, a billiards room, and six garage spaces. The grand primary suite overlooks the estate’s gardens and Bellagio-style pool. The gated property backs up to picturesque horse farms and is situated within a mile of Great Falls Village and nearby the waterfalls, according to Yerks.
Take a look inside: