Juan-les-Pins, lust for life

1882, March 12th, Antibes gabe birth to a whole new neighborhood, bordered by fine sandy beaches and scattered with pine trees, named Juan-les-Pins.

The rise of the station really started after the First World War with the arrival of the Americans. From a winter resort, it became a seaside resort in the 20's: the promotor Edouard Baudoin bought back the Casino, wonderfully renovate it and launched the inauguration during spring 1924, in presence of the intellectual and artistic elite of the time. Among the guests, Franck Jay Gould, rich American heir, in holidays in the region. He fell in love with Juan-les-Pins, and decided to invest in the resort. It will be the birth of Le Provençal. At the same time, Gerald and Sara Murphy, American patrons, decided to stay for the summer at the Cap d'Antibes. Through their way of life, they will surround themselves with the trending artists and writers of their time (Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Scott Firtzgeral, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos...).


The summer season and the fame of Juan-les-Pins were dawning with them.
Among the artists seduced by the charms of Antibes and Juan-les-Pins, Sidney Bechet resided for a while in the commune, and planned her festive wedding in the streets of Antibes. With other musicians, she brought jazz music in the resort. It is in her honor that the Jazz festival was created in July 1960. Ever since, every summer, it takes place in the Pinède Gould, the musicians playing with the waves of the sea and the cicadas for background music, and the Mediterranean Sea for backdrop.

Plan de Juan-les-Pins

The story of Juan-les-Pins can be seen, today, in its architecture


What to see in Juan-les-Pins:

1 – On the outskirts of the Cap d'Antibes, visible from the entrance to the Port Gallice, on the hill (chemin du croûton), the castel of Juan-les-Pins. Built before the birth of the station, around 1860, it was the residence of the Queen Emilie of Saxe, before hosting Rudolf Valentino and his wife for a summer. The architecture was modified through the years, and it today is a residence split into appartements.

2 – Going back up to Juan-les-Pins, on your left, a small original, falsely medieval, Sienne's earth colored, castle, named Villa la Vigie, was also a property of Franck and Florence Jay Gould. Many artists and writers resided there, invited by the couple. Among them, Jean Cocteau, Estée Lauder, Charlie Chaplin and Pablo Picasso who, during a stay, painted the walls. Franck Jay Gould didn't like it and overlaid said walls.

3 – A bit further, the aesthetic hôtel Belles-Rives paying tribute to the writer Francis Scott Fitzgerald. First Villa St-Louisin the 20's, it hosted as a summer residence Francis Scott et Zelda Fitzgerald who lived there a few happy months. After their leave, a young russian, Boma Estène, bought the villa, expanded it and created a sea side hotel, the 1stof the Côte d'Azur. The actual owner, great-daughter of Boma, ensures that the spirit of the hotel never dies: she took out of storage the Art Déco furnitures, photos and artworks of her great-father to put them in the bar, the restaurant and on the deck.

4 – A few feets away from the hotel, the Pinède.
The Pinède park is composed of two parts. Up north is a playground for children, a carousel, a sculpture by Sosno, benches in the sunlight or in the shadow of the centennial pine trees.
Down south, the Pinède Gould(easily recognized by the metallic structure just before the beaches) transforms itself every summer in July, in an open sky performance hall. There, various concerts, and especially the Jazz à Juan festival since 1960, are performed. On the sidewalk that follows the Pinède Gould, you can see the handprints of the Jazzmen that were part of the History of the festival.

5 – Follow the Pinèdetoward the North, pass in front of the Juana, built in 1931 in the Art Déco style. A little bit further, you will see the Congress centre. Finalized in 2013, this ultra modern architecture signed by Jean-Jacques Ory, hosts all year long, many public events and private congresses. The reception desk of Tourism office is located at the 2nd floor..

6 – Get back to the shopping streets, at the end of the Edouard Baudoin boulevard starts the Promenade du Soleil (Sun Boardwalk).Cafes, restaurants and private beaches allow you to take a break and watch the sea. The Batherfountains bring a bit of freshness during summer. In July and August, a market is set every night from 6:30pm to 12:30am.

7 - At the end of the Promenade, take the Courbet avenue. At the cross with the Esterel avenue, 3 Art Déco buildings, including the Ombrelles hotel.

8 –In the Dr Fabre street, 2 buildings are worth the glance.The Biagini Palace, almost in front of the Post Office, doesn't lack originality with its structure mixing various style. A little bit of baroque, a little bit of Art Déco, this huge home used to host a Genoa family, fleeing fascism in the 20' s. A little bit down the street, the Auberge du Pin doré, built in 1926, just regains its colors and original friezes.

9 - As you leave the town to go to Cannes (around 3km away from thePinède), you will find a 5 hectares garden, the Exflora Park, which regroups around a big olive grove, the various expression of the mediterranean garden, from the Antique Rome to the exubérante Riviera of the 19th century..