In the 1980s, this stunning abandoned Italian castle used to host Europe’s most impressive illegal drug laboratory. However, it would be a shame if the castle would only be known for this. In this article I will share the interesting, but not so long, history of the castle with you and accompany it with photos of the beautiful interior. Italy has a large amount of abandoned castles. The castle of Sammezzano is another example and one of the most beautiful castles that I have visited.
The castle was built between 1909 and 1913. This makes it a relatively new castle. With over 150 rooms and built in a park that is 170.000 square meters (with caves, fountains and artificial dens), it would be an understatement to say the place is big. It’s huge and located in a small town that is dominated by this castle. The design of the castle is a Piedmontese-Lombard style of the late 15th century. It is inspired by the castle of Issogne.
The owner and financier of the castle found it important to have a grandiose and severe-looking dwelling, but which, as soon as he crossed the threshold of the entrance, had a courtyard with elegant painted arcades, decorations on the walls and windows decorated with terracotta. The castle was also decorated with unique artworks of famous painters like Andrea Giusto, Matteo da Gualco and Van Dyck. These paintings were later sold to the Savoy Gallery.
After the original owner was convicted for fraudulent bankruptcy in the 1930s, all of his properties were confiscated. This included the castle that he was living in for the past 20 years. After that, the castle went through various changes of ownership. Obviously, one of the most notable ownership was the international organization that turned the castle into an illegal drugs (heroin) laboratory. It was the biggest illegal drug laboratory ever discovered in Europe.
The castle was the main basis of the organization and had two workshops installed in one of the guesthouses and in one of the towers. When the police raided the castle, four chemists were found working on site behind armored doors. The chemists and the owner were arrested.
The castle was at one point sold to a wealthy financier. After his company had to file for bankruptcy almost a decade ago, the castle has been abandoned.
In the photo gallery below you can find more photos of the interior of this abandoned castle.