MEERBUSCH, Germany — The estate tucked into the countryside 20 minutes from downtown Düsseldorf is easy to miss. Visitors must drive along a rural road and then locate an unmarked, 330-yard tree-lined drive that leads to a main gate. Beyond the entrance lies the complex known as Schloss Pesch, thought to date to the 1300s.
In the 1980s, most of the estate’s buildings were restored and sold as separate living quarters. The 18th-century two-story palace, now divided into 15 luxury condominiums, looms large with its yellow exterior, beautifully framed and shuttered windows and gabled roof. To the right is a well-maintained farmhouse.
To the left stands the estate’s former administrative office, divided into two residences, with an exterior resembling a smaller version of the palace. It was here, on the right side, that Axel Pfeil and his family lived for 23 years before moving to Zurich in 2014. The 960-square-meter, or about 10,000-square-foot, home, with 16,700 square meters, or a little more than four acres, of land, is listed for 4.2 million euros, or $4.7 million, with Engel & Völkers Düsseldorf and one other agency.
The living area includes four bedrooms, four bathrooms, large living spaces and a spa area with an additional three bathrooms. An adjoining renovated chapel features a magnificent swimming pool and entertaining space.
Mr. Pfeil, a former Deutsche Bank executive and now an independent real estate and media investor, said the rural surroundings appealed to him and his wife, who works in fashion design. The couple raised three children there.
“I liked the idea that it was kind of in the middle of nowhere, but also close to Düsseldorf,” he said. “Especially when you have kids, it’s the best of both worlds.”
Mr. Pfeil readily acknowledges that the setting is not to every taste. For the noise-sensitive, highway traffic is audible. Also, the house doesn’t stand alone and sits near the palace, but that didn’t bother them.
“For us, it felt like a little village of our own, with great scenery,” he said.
Access to the house can be gained from the front through a shared entrance, through a door to the kitchen and via an underground parking garage connected to the basement.
The first floor includes a roomy kitchen with wooden counters and high-end appliances. The large adjoining dining room is lined with French doors that overlook the vast lawn and is big enough for dinner parties, but also cozy, with a fireplace and sitting area at one end.
One floor up, reached by a marble staircase, is a large living room, as well as office space and a bathroom. On the gabled level above are the four bedrooms and two bathrooms.
In 1998, one of the estate developers decided to sell the remaining building — a chapel near the palace and the family’s home. The round structure, dating from the early 1900s and obscured by trees and brush, wasn’t in good shape, but Mr. Pfeil was intrigued. “I thought it was a very unique piece to develop,” he said. “It was close to my heart.”
Making the option more enticing, the sale included about 12,000 square meters of private land with more lawn, woods and a pond.
He purchased the property and a few years later tackled the chapel, relying on his and his wife’s design aesthetic, while an expert dealt with construction issues.
They built out their own basement, connecting it to the chapel underground so they could stay indoors in unfavorable weather. The passageway includes a sauna, steam room and wine cellar. Off to the side is a skylight-lit bedroom, with a bathroom, small kitchen and patio — perfect for a guest or nanny.
Stairs lead up to the pool level, which is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass-paned doors that open onto the lawn. The pool shimmers with rows of Bisazza glass mosaic tiles.
“Every morning I would go in there for a swim and to have my newspaper and coffee, and every morning I would say wow,” he said.
Not surprisingly, parties there became legendary, including one for Mr. Pfeil’s 50th birthday, which coincided with the project’s completion in 2003. As for the couple’s children, “they always say they had the greatest childhood ever.”