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Tour-des-DanysProsper Mérimée was born into a family of bourgeois artists settled near the Pantheon. He first studied law before showing an interest in literature and publishing texts in 1825, including short stories such as "Carmen" and "La Vénus d'Ille" that earned him fame and led to his being elected to the Académie Française in 1844.

In 1831 he started working in the Ministers' Offices and became Inspector General of Historic Monuments. He then travelled throughout France. A close ally of the Empress Eugenie, he was made Senator in 1853 and began to dedicate more time to his work as a historian and archaeologist. "I like history only for its anecdotes", used to say Mérimée.

And there is no anecdote more appropriate than the following. During one of his stays in Le Cannet, he asked an old woman the name of the Danys Tower. The woman, who only spoke Provençal, answered: « Ah Moussu ! Es habitado per aqueu brigand d'Agnelin s'enebrio chasque jou » (Ah Monsieur ! That's the house of that rogue Agnelin, who gets drunk every day). Prosper Mérimée dared not asked her to repeat her answer. But as he thought he had heard a word resembling brigand, he named the tower "Tour des brigands", as it is sometimes still known today.