House of the Week: Tennessee Castle With a Race Track

191 Degrassee Ln, Johnson City TN
For sale: $4.85 million

What happens when you love cars and racing, and have a penchant for history and Spanish castles? Combine the two into a one-of-a-kind estate.

Sitting at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains in Johnson City, TN, this home is a replica of Palacio de la Magdalena in Santander, Spain. While the Palacio was built in the early 20th century and its U.S. version was built in the latter part of that century, the resemblance is significant.

The castle isn’t the only replica on the property; the first owner also created a smaller version of Bristol Motor Speedway, a nearby half-mile short track that is among the most popular venues on the NASCAR circuit.

The race track is just the beginning of the property’s amenities. The home is close to 24,000 square feet with 9 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms on a 13-acre lot, says listing agent Miryana Eichelberger of Alliance Sotheby’s International Realty.

“There’s a movie theater; it has a bar, lounge area and ticket booth and actual theater seating,” Eichelberger said. “The whole bar is imported from England. Imagine this little pub from somewhere in England with carvings; it’s really quaint.”

And continuing in the car vein, there’s also a custom heated and cooled 4,000-square-foot garage that holds the current owner’s collection of sports cars — a car collector’s “dream,” Eichelberger says.

Why build a castle in Tennessee? The original owner told the Wall Street Journal that he always wanted to live in a castle.

It took 10 years to construct his dream home, and most of the work was done by craftsman from Italy and Greece, who worked on-site to complete the hand-carvings and other details found throughout the home.

The final result is a house that causes visitors to drop their jaws in awe, Eichelberger says.

“You walk in and the front doors are 22 feet high, and when those open up, you’re like wow,” she said. “You see the staircase and its grand appearance with all the marble and light fixtures. And the property sits on the lake, and they have this incredible outdoor living space. It’s just beautiful.”

The current owner has done several updates to the home to make it energy efficient and controllable via iPad. The lake provides irrigation to the property.

A monthly payment on the home would $16,973, as calculated with Zillow’s mortgage calculator.

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