Villas and celebrities

A prosperous period

La Belle époque

Belle epoque

The first French and foreign aristocrats came to settle in Le Cannet around forty years after the discovery of Cannes, in 1834, by Lord Brouhgam. Drawn by the climate of the Midi, aristocrats from foreign lands moved into the town as from 1876, the English colony far outnumbering the others. The town then rapidly acquired a reputation as a winter resort. This foreign aristocratic mingled with the grande bourgeoisie come from large industrial towns, some of whom invested in building rental housing.

La Belle Epoque saw the peak of aristocratic tourism and vacations, and many architects set up in the town: Stoecklin, Warnery, Raisin... Families staying over for the winter bought large estates, often with a view of the sea and the Massif de Estérel, which they had converted into parkland. The most sought after sites were located in the Colle, Terrefial, Camp long neighbourhoods and in the Grande-Bretagne area. A few villas were built in the Prés neighbourhood, known today as Le Tivoli. It was once considered the most attractive part of Le Cannet, with the most beautiful orange trees of the region. Most façades were covered with coloured plasters and embellished with a decorative frieze.

Read more ...

Famous villas

Villa Printemps, Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

villa celebre roc tavel

La villa Printemps is a large white house overlooking boulevard Gambetta. It was commissioned in 1980 by Frumence Dumoulin, an estate owner based in Lyon, certainly as a real estate investment since it was used as a furnished guest house. It was designed to be a high standing house, with master and servant bedrooms and all the equipment necessary to ensure proper comfort. In the 30s, it was rented out with laundry and silverware. In the beginning of the 20th century, it lodged prominent figures from the fields of arts and science.

French painter August Renoir, who suffered from articular rheumatism, retired to the Midi towards the end of his life. He first moved to Grasse, before settling with his wife and children in Le Cannet's Villa Printemps in February 1902. He spent little time there, as he did not enjoy the worldly lifestyle of Cannes and Le Cannet. He preferred Cagnes sur Mer, and settled down there in his house "Les Collettes", in which he spent the rest of his life.

In 1905 Henri Beaunis became the new owner of Villa Printemps and moved in with his wife. The doctor was a leading expert in the field of psychology and created at the Sorbonne, in 1889, the first French laboratory of experimental psychology. Although not a native of Le Cannet, he took an active part in the village's social life and was considered a public figure. As such, his wife was much involved in the town's charity work. He died in his house in 1921.


Villa Roc Tavel, Auguste Tavel (1854-1930)

Painter Auguste Tavel decided to move to Le Cannet after visiting his brother, then the Director of the Cannes "Cie du Gaz" (Gas Company). He was immediately captivated by the brilliant light and the view from the Colle hills.

He commissioned the building of his villa, which he named Roc Tavel, in wooded parkland covering 4,000 m2. The house plans were drawn by Henri Stoecklin. The ground floor holds a large 54 m2 art studio, on the first floor are four master bedrooms. Louis Pastour painted the dining-room ceiling in simulated wood, while painter Baraize created decorative motifs on 3 sides of the room.

Read more ...

Other prominent figures

autre personnalite

Her Highness La Bégum Aga Khan III (1906 - 2000)

On the 1st of July 2000, the town of Le Cannet is in mourning. Her Highness La Bégum Aga Khan III has passed away at the age of 94 in her Villa Yakimour of avenue Victoria. She was born Yvette Blanche Labrousse in 1906, of a father who was a tramway driver and a town councillor for Le Cannet and a mother who was a seamstress. Nothing in her modest upbringing told anything of the glorious destiny that was to be hers. In 1930, she was elected Miss France. Eight years later, she met Sultan Mohammed Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, who was 29 years older than herself. She thus married, in 1944, the richest man in the world, converted to Islam and became Her Highness La Bégum, the Prince's fourth wife.

They settled in the avenue Victoria villa, for which planning permission applications had been submitted in 1937, and named it Yakimour: Y for Yvette, ak for Aga Khan, i for iman, mour for amour. Within this property surrounded by parkland, Her Higness La Bégum used to assemble the members of the Cannes film festival jury.

Read more ...