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Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Ephrussi: behind this singular-sounding name hides a garden, but not only. Ephrussi is also the name of a woman - Béatrice Ephrussi, daughter of Baron Alphonse de Rothschild - and finally that of the astonishing villa which she had built at Cap Ferrat at the beginning of the last century. At the time, the land was only an arid rock crossed by a mule track, but whose beauty was immediately perceived by Beatrice who hastened to acquire it and build one of its architectural "follies". "Madness" is also found in the design of the garden. Great means had to be used - dynamite to flatten the rocky promontory and large quantities of soil to fertilize it - so that it could see the light of day. In the space of 7 years and after titanic earthworks, nearly 4 hectares of landscaped gardens stretch around the villa.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild


Culturespaces Nine gardens of different inspirations - Spanish garden, exotic garden, Japanese garden ... - adorn the villa. The most important, designed directly in its extension like the deck of a boat, is the French garden. It was Beatrice herself who designed it and adapted the plans of her landscape architects. To find the right location for each component, she organized a "living garden", inviting her employees to disguise one as a cypress, such as another in a pool or flower beds. Thus, by making them move, she could adjust all aspects of the decor to the desired configuration.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild


C. Recoura This French garden is made up of lawns decorated with flower pots and musical water games. At the end, representing the bow of the ship, is the temple of love.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild


C. Recoura Overlooking the Spanish garden. Under the pergola, runs a channel filled with aquatic plants.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild


C. Recoura The baroness compared her domain to the deck of a liner. Indeed, we see the sea on either side of this narrow strip of land belonging to the peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild


Thomas Dupaigne The charm of the Provencal garden lies in its paths which wind through the vegetation typical of the Mediterranean: pines bent by the wind, olive trees, lavender and aromatic herbs. A garden that smells of scrubland…

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild


C. Recoura Adjoining the Provençal garden, the exotic garden also offers a route along winding paths that wind between cacti and succulents, some of which have acquired an impressive scale over the years.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild


C. Recoura This so-called "horseshoe" staircase is located in the Florentine garden. It is extended by an avenue of cypresses.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild


C. Recoura This staircase conceals a wet cave in the center of which takes place a marble statue.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild


C. Recoura The Japanese garden was restored in 2003. It is called "Cho-Seki-Tei", that is to say "garden where you can quietly listen to the pleasant sound of the waves at dusk". With its wooden pavilion, its bridge, its lanterns, its basins, this garden incorporates all the codes of a millennial tradition.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild


C. Recoura Passionate about art and collector emeritus, Beatrice bought many works of art for her vacation. Objects so numerous that some could not find a place inside. This is the case with the ornaments - arches, bas-reliefs, fountains, capitals and gargoyles - which decorate the lapidary garden. All eras coexist in the middle of an atmosphere that evokes that of the undergrowth.