Culture & Gastronomy
Château de La Napoule
Some history: Built just on the edge of the sea in 1387 by the counts of Villeneuve, the old military fort de La Napoule testifies to an eventful history: invasions, looting, wars and other revolutions.
Half-ruined, bourgeois half-villa, it was bought by Henry Clews, an American billionaire, artist painter and sculptor in 1917. With his wife Mary, they rebuilt the mansion from the actual remains, including the two towers and transformed it by its gardens into a place of fantasy and imagination. The maxim engraved on the pediment of the portal «once upon a time» announced the entry into a fantasy world, where the art, the humour and the fantasy of its creators is still inscribed on the walls.
If Henry devoted himself to the architecture of the castle and its artistic works that can be discovered in the château museum, his wife was the architect of the château's gardens.
She applied such talent that even today, they have won the admiration of visitors and, moreover, have received the distinction of «Jardin remarquable» [outstanding garden]
The label "outstanding garden" has been put in place through the proposals of the national council of Parks and Gardens, new institution within the Ministry of Culture and Communication since May 2003. It reports to the general public gardens whose design, plants and maintenance are of a remarkable level, whether they private or public, protected or not as monuments or sites.
This national label is awarded for a period of 5 years on the proposal of the regional commissions formed under the aegis of the regional directorates of cultural affairs (D.R.A.C.)
The castle received confirmation of the renewal of the classification on 20 May 2010
Opening of the Château
- From February to November: Open every day from 10 am to 6 pm
Guided tours at 11.30 am, 2.30 pm, 3.30 pm and 4.30 pm
- From November to February: Open every day In the week from 2 pm to 5 pm
Guided tours at 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm
- On weekends, public holidays and school holidays: Open from 10 am to 5 pm
Guided tours at 11.30 am, 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm
Prices: €6 / person - €4 reduced rate -3.5 €
The tour of the gardens High cultural and welcome place ...
The Henry Clews art foundation now manages the château, thus respecting the will of the Clews. Young artists from around the world come to stay there throughout the year in the search for inspiration
Exhibitions, concerts and other events take place here regularly. Particularly worth pointing out «Nuits du château» [chateau nights], which alternate every summer between musical, theatrical and dance representations which have become increasingly popular over the years.