This floating castle appears to be from an enchanted fable, but in actuality it is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle.
Carlyle House is a historic mansion in Alexandria, Virginia. Built by Scottish merchant John Carlyle in the mid-Georgian style, it is the only stone 18th-century Palladian Revival style residence in Alexandria.
Located in the city’s Old Town section, the Carlyle House sat between the Potomac River and the market square, an ideal location to conduct business. The Carlyles enjoyed a prosperous life in the house almost immediately, when John’s wife Sarah gave birth to their first son on the day they moved in.
As political tensions erupted during America’s early colonial days, the Carlyle house was at the center of it all. During the French and Indian War, the house served as the headquarters for Major-General Edward Braddock of the Colony of Virginia and his young assistant, George Washington.
From merchants to the military, the house hosted all walks of life, including enslaved peoples. Carlyle had many slaves who lived and worked on the grounds. Later, the Union Army used the house as a hospital after the Civil War Battle of Bull Run.
The House saw many owners and many uses through the decades. It was eventually acquired by John Green, who built the Mansion House Hotel on the property. In 1906, owner Earnest Wagar began the first major restoration on the house, and nearly 70 years later, the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority acquired the property.
The Carlyle House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the Carlyle House Historic Park. Opened in 1970, the Park includes the 18th-century mansion and its gardens.
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