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Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 03/29/2013

House of the Week | Virginia estate for $21 million

Fidelio is more than an estate. It is an artistic retreat.

The owners, Ursula and the late George Andreas, gave the sweeping property that is two miles from Middleburg in the Plains the name Fidelio after Beethoven’s only opera. Like the opera, the architecture and landscapes are a mixture of light and serious, arranged with a curator’s eye.

Before he died earlier this year, George Andreas, a businessman, artist and collector, amassed an extensive collection of 20th-century artists as well as his own works. The couple carefully hung the art throughout the home, creating intimate galleries in the rooms.

“The entire property is a work of art,” said Christie Weiss of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. She and Christopher D. Ritzert are the listing agents.

According to a book the couple wrote about the property and their art collection, they chose the name Fidelio because Beethoven’s opera was a work in progress. The German composer needed 10 years to complete the opera. The Andreases took nearly that long on the estate.

The couple bought the neo-classic Italiante-style villa two years after it was built in 2001 and transformed it into a masterpiece. The living room has a limestone fireplace mantel, reclaimed hardwood floors and a hand-painted coffered and cross-beamed ceiling.

The library features an eye-catching ceiling fresco painted by Patrick Shields. Built-in bookcases and lighted art niches surround the room.

The formal dining room has a 17th-century French fireplace mantel. Like the living room, it also has reclaimed hardwood floors and a hand-painted coffered and cross-beamed ceiling.

The salon’s 15th-century stone fireplace mantel also was brought back from France. The room was originally designed to be a guest suite and has a full bathroom attached. The bar area, which includes an icemaker and small refrigerator, could be turned into a walk-in closet.

The master suite boasts a sitting room with a gas fireplace, a hand-painted coffered ceiling, a chandelier and matching sconces, and his-and-her dressing rooms and bathrooms with custom built-in mahogany cabinetry. Two outdoor spaces — a covered veranda on the east and a sunset terrace on the west — flank the suite.

Also found in the 12,000-square-foot main house are a mahogany-paneled elevator, seven fireplaces and a wine cellar. Twelve sets of mahogany French doors open to a loggia and a courtyard.

Besides the villa, the property has a 5,000-square-foot estate office and studio, a stone cottage, and a guest house and spa. The estate office has a grand double staircase, Italian limestone and reclaimed hardwood floors that match the main house and a motor court for 10 vehicles.

The three-bedroom, two-bath stone cottage has a full kitchen on the upper level and a darkroom and studio on the lower level.

The one-bedroom guest house is connected to the spa by a wisteria-draped pergola that overlooks the outdoor pool. The spa and fitness center has a sauna and steam room. The U.S. Tennis Association regulation tennis court is lighted for nighttime matches.

Scattered among the 61 acres are a flowering cherry tree orchard, formal gardens and a babbling brook with waterfalls and stone bridges.

The property is on the market for $21 million.

Listing: The Plains, Va.

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By  |  05:30 AM ET, 03/29/2013

 
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