Located in the village of Areguá in the lowlands of western Paraguay, Castillo Carlota Palmerola was the brainchild of the unconventional Palmerola Ayala family. Built in 1897, the mansion incorporated an odd mix of medieval styles and looks dramatically out of place in its tropical surroundings.
This eccentricity was intentional. After building their unusual estate, the Palmerola Ayala family quickly opened the castle for public balls and parties, which helped cement their social status and reputation. In 1956, the family donated the estate to the Catholic Church and the complex was transformed into a convent. Nuns replaced well-dressed revellers and a chapel was added to the gardens.
Today, visitors can roam the well-manicured grounds and wander rooms filled with early 19th-century furniture, art, and oddities, including a grotesque display of taxidermized pets.
Know Before You Go
The Castillo Carlota Palmerola is only open to the public on Sundays and the hours vary seasonally. Check the official website for opening hours.It is located in Aregua, a village about 45 minutes from the capital city, Asunción.