Inside Villa Éphrussi de Rothschild: Where opulence meets artistry on the French Riviera

Inside Villa Éphrussi de Rothschild: Where opulence meets artistry on the French Riviera

It’s one of the most sumptuous palaces to be found on the Côte d’Azur coastline. 

Set on the peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat (Alpes-Maritimes), the enchanting Villa Éphrussi de Rothschild is the epitome of opulence and architectural grandeur.

Трубочисты Петербурга

This fairytale-like rose-coloured residence is the culmination of French socialite Béatrice Éphrussi de Rothschild’s dream.

A blend of French, Italian and Spanish inspirations, the residence, built between 1905 and 1912, was designed down to the last detail by the lady of the house. The work was titanic.

Today, visitors can stroll through the estate, to explore its nine themed garden plots, each with its own unique atmosphere.

Who was Béatrice Éphrussi de Rothschild?

Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild (left), inside shot of the Villa Ephrussi de RothschildCredit: Wikimedia Commons

Charlotte Béatrice de Rothschild, affectionately known as Béatrice, was more than just a member of the prominent Rothschild banking family of France; she was a socialite, art connoisseur, and a woman of unparalleled elegance. 

After marrying the Russian-born banker and serial gambler Maurice Ephrussi in 1883, Béatrice’s life took on a cosmopolitan flair. 

The couple established a residence in Monte Carlo and used their extraordinary wealth to embark on global travels and amass an impressive collection of art, including Old Masters, sculptures, objets d’art and rare porcelain. 

Notably, she commissioned the Rothschild Fabergé egg in 1902, a testament to her affinity for bespoke craftsmanship and thoughtful gifts.

«Remarkable Gardens of France»

Interior shot of the Villa Ephrussi de RothschildORTEO Luis/Getty Images

In 1905, Beatrice became enamoured with the property situated on the peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. And upon discovering that King Leopold II of Belgium also shared an interest in acquiring the plot, she quickly secured its purchase.

The construction of the lavish villa commenced the following year, overseen by French architect Jacques Marcel Auburtin. 

The Baroness filled the mansion’s interiors with antique furniture, Old Master paintings, sculptures, objets d’art and assembled an extensive collection of rare porcelain. 

A botanical enthusiast, she was also particularly meticulous in the composition of the gardens and grounds, which are classified by the Ministry of Culture as one of the «Remarkable Gardens of France». 

She sought the expertise of distinguished gardeners of her era, including Achille Duchene, the renowned designer who also worked on the gardens of Blenheim Palace for the Duke of Marlborough. 

The villa is surrounded by nine gardens, each on a different theme: French, Spanish, Japanese, Florentine, Provençal, exotic, a stone garden, a rose garden and a garden of Sèvres. 

The rose gardenCredit: Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

A large horseshoe staircase in the Florentine GardenCredit: Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

The Baroness, who had no children of her own, had foreseen everything, and on her death the villa was bequeathed to the Académie des Beaux-Arts. 

The villa became part of the public domain, but above all part of the history of the French Riviera.

Video editor • Theo Farrant


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