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RachelBorn in Switzerland in 1821 of an Israelite family, Elisabeth Rachel Felix entered the conservatoire at a very young age. At only 17 years of age, she started to work with the Comédie Française. She was a great interpreter of Racine and her exceptional talent turned each performance into a triumph. But the comedian was hit by tuberculosis. Writer Mario Uchard then recommended that she spend some time in the south of France, in Le Cannet with his friend Jean-Jacques Sardou.

The latter, cousin to Victorien Sardou, came from a family of merchants. Extremely rich and considered eccentric, he had a house built just off boulevard Carnot. According to cadastral documentation, it was built in 1856-1857. At that time, Villa Sardou, also known as "lou castèu", was difficult to access, bordered by the Escarasses stream. It was reached by a narrow paved path starting off with a vaulted passage on the edge of the plot.

The house's baroque architecture made it an inevitable curiosity that was described in all the guide books of the time. It impressed all its visitors, with its bridge and two turrets, one of which contained an oratory. A. Czernicki, who saw the house at the time, said that it "then possessed an extraordinary charm that was both darkly poetic and mysterious", lost as it was amongst orange trees, with a courtyard decked with fountains and statues. The inside of the villa is just as surprising and strange. In the lounge, a marble chimney place is sculpted to represent a gigantic olive tree, with mirrors set in between the branches, one of which spreads up to the ceiling, itself decorated with planets and stars. The house's stained-glass windows were designed by Mr. Sardou himself.This barely finished "château" thus rapidly became famous with the arrival of tragedian Rachel. She left Paris on the 14th of September 1857. During her stay at Le Cannet, she received many visitors, including the Prince Napoleon. But her disease made rapid progress and she died in the arms of her sister in January 1858. A huge crowd assembled for her funeral which was held in Paris. The famous alabaster bed on which she died, with the statue of Polymnie, muse of lyrical poetry, at its foot, is a speaking example of the unusual, not to say eccentric taste of the owner of the house. Many postcards featuring the bed and the lounge were edited in 1909.

This barely finished "château" thus rapidly became famous with the arrival of tragedian Rachel. She left Paris on the 14th of September 1857. During her stay at Le Cannet, she received many visitors, including the Prince Napoleon. But her disease made rapid progress and she died in the arms of her sister in January 1858. A huge crowd assembled for her funeral which was held in Paris. The famous alabaster bed on which she died, with the statue of Polymnie, muse of lyrical poetry, at its foot, is a speaking example of the unusual, not to say eccentric taste of the owner of the house. Many postcards featuring the bed and the lounge were edited in 1909.