Villa Kérylos, Beaulieu-Sur-Mer

Visit

Located on the rocky tip of the Baie des Fourmis in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, behind which stand the monumental cliffs of Eze, Villa Kérylos takes you on a fascinating journey and a tribute to Greek civilisation.

An original reconstruction of an ancient Greek dwelling, Villa Kérylos is the realisation of a dream – that of Théodore Reinach, an archaeologist and French statesman, fascinated by Greek civilisation. It is also the fruit of an exemplary collaboration with architect Emmanuel Pontremoli who was passionate about this project.

Designed and built between 1902 and 1908, based on the model of noble houses on the Island of Delos (2nd century BC.), Villa Kérylos is not a simple reproduction but a reinvention of ancient Greece.

Far from a pastiche, for Théodore Reinach and Emmanuel Pontremoli it was about creating an original piece of work while “thinking Greek”. The house subtly combines ancient luxury with the modern comfort of Belle Epoque villas.

Its construction uses the most precious materials: ancient stucco, Carrara marble and exotic wood for the furniture. The decoration is sumptuous: mosaics and frescoes inspired by famous scenes, illustrating the great legends of gods and classic heroes.

The villa is organised around a peristyle with a large inner courtyard surrounded by 12 columns in Carrara marble. On the ground floor are the state rooms, while the bedrooms and bathrooms are located upstairs.”Kérylos” means “sea swallow”, a poetic bird of mythology, which announced a good omen.

Like all the villas built during the Belle Epoque, the villa Kérylos was also a leisure home. Théodore Reinach spent his holidays there with his family. On his death in 1928, he bequeathed the villa to the Institut de France, of which he was a member. His children and grandchildren continued to live in the house until 1967 when it became listed as a historical monument.