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Labassa Historic House

Home > Melbourne > Historic Houses | Gardens
Published May 30th 2011

Hidden in South-East Melbourne is an ostentatious French Renaissance mansion, Labassa. Designed by acclaimed architect J.A.B. Koch, the property is protected by the National Trust and listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

Built in 1873, the double-story North Caulfield mansion is still in residential use. However, on the third Sunday of each month, the owners allow the public to visit between the hours of 10:30am – 4:00pm. Refreshments are served in the Servants' Hall, and informative historical tours are available. Guided tours are available for the inside of the house at 1:00pm and 2:45pm, and for the exterior at 1:00pm. For large groups, special arrangements for other times can be made. Labassa can also be hired as an opulent wedding venue.

The principal rooms of the house are decorated with lavish antiquity. Rich mahogany furniture complements long cream curtains and extravagant interior columns. The French Rococo Drawing Room, which is available for functions, is decorated lavishly with 22 carat gold leaf; while the Music Room boasts stunning stained glass windows and embossed wallpaper.

Not content with just being a colossal Victorian mansion, Labassa is also a Hollywood star. The 2002 film Queen of the Damned, which was released amongst much publicity shortly after the death of lead actress Aaliyah, was partly filmed in the historic mansion. Labassa also enjoyed a chillingly beautiful portrayal in CocoRosie's Lemonade music video (below).

Labassa is located close to stop 43 of the number 3 and 69 trams, or street parking is available nearby on Orrong Road.
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Why? For an insight into Melbourne's architectural history.
When: Third Sunday of the month, 10:30am - 4:00pm
Where: 2 Manor Grove, Caulfield North
Cost: $8 adult/ $5.50 concession
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