Ivy walls, gilded sofas and a diva plaque: Inside Tina Turner’s ‘cartoon palace’ in Switzerland

Though Tina Turner was born in Brownsville, Tennessee, she spent the last years of her life living in Switzerland, a country she adored.

The “Proud Mary” singer and one of the greatest rock’n ’roll singers of all time died “peacefully” at her home in Kusnacht near Zurich on Wednesday (24 May), after a long illness caused by intestinal cancer, her publicist said in a statement.

Turner lived with her German music executive husband and longtime partner Erwin Bach in Chateau Algonquin, a magnificent estate overlooking Lake Zürich that the couple were reportedly renting in Switzerland.

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In 2019, New York Times journalist Amanda Hess went inside the luxurious home and described it as a “cartoon palace”.

Hess noted that there was: “Ivy snaking up the walls, gardeners manicuring the shrubs, a life-size two-legged horse sculpture suspended from a domed ceiling, a framed rendering of Turner as an Egyptian queen, a room stuffed with gilded Louis XIV style sofas and, sprawled on one of them, Tina Turner herself”.

The journalist wrote that the gate to her home has a metal plate that reads: “Do not even think about bothering Tina Turner before noon.”

Bach, who Turner married in 2013, told a Swiss newspaper in 2022 that he and Turner had decided to buy more property in the European country after gaining their Swiss citizenship.

Less than two years ago the pair purchased a $76 million (£61 million) waterfront estate in Switzerland as a weekend retreat, keeping the chateau as their main residence.

A mourner lays flowers outside the estate of late singer Tina Turner in Kusnacht (AFP via Getty Images)
A mourner lays flowers outside the estate of late singer Tina Turner in Kusnacht (AFP via Getty Images)

The 260,000-square foot property, comprised of 10 buildings, has water features including a private pond, stream, swimming pool and boat deck.

Turner moved to Switzerland in 1995 with Bach. In 2013, three months after marrying Bach and receiving her Swiss passport, Turner relinquished her US citizenship.

On several occasions, Turner said that she found that Europe had been very “supportive” of her music, which drove her decision to move. In an interview with CNN’s Larry King in 1997, Turner said that European audiences had been “hugely” more receptive to her music than American audiences.

Tina Turner with her Erwin Bach in 2015 (REUTERS)
Tina Turner with her Erwin Bach in 2015 (REUTERS)

“I have left America because my success was in another country and my boyfriend was in another country,” she explained.

Turner compared her success in Europe, specifically England, to being “big as The Rolling Stones” but in America, she thought her music was not received on the same scale.

The What’s Love Got To Do With It singer told Swiss newspaper Blick a decade ago that she was “very happy in Switzerland” and that she felt “at home here...I cannot imagine a better place to live”.

Turner and Bach lived alone, with the rest of Turner’s family – her two surviving sons Ike Jr and Michael – still residing in the US.

A month before her death, Turner also gave a final interview in which she offered her thoughts on her greatest fears, along with how she wanted to be remembered.