Come and visit the magnificent gardens at Villa Eilenroc, Cap d’Antibes
History of the garden
In the 1860s, a wealthy Dutchman named Hugh-Hope Loudon bought a piece of land at Cap d’Antibes, in order to build a luxurious mansion, which he called Eilenroc (anagram of Cornélie, the name of his wife). At the time, the garden was no more than garrigue, or wild scrubland. Six years later, in 1873, the property was sold to a certain James Wyllie, who commissioned famous names of the likes of Ringuisen to create what was to be a truly exceptional garden. Henceforward, people would begin to visit the now-renowned garden.
In 1927, the villa was acquired by an American couple, Mr and Mrs Beaumont. Mr Beaumont called in Jacques Greber, a famous landscape architect, to redesign the vast, 27-acre garden and restore its splendour. The planting included a remarkable variety of different species. The garden, with its lush vegetation, sits 30 metres above the sea, offering an unparalleled view of the whole bay.
Approximately 1650 sqm were set aside so that the family could enjoy the delights of freshly harvested vegetables, herbs and flowers. Mr and Mrs Beaumont were known for their glamorous parties, where everyone who was anyone on the French Riviera could be seen arriving in their luxury cars.
In 1982, Mrs Beaumont bequeathed the property to the town of Antibes Juan-les-Pins, one of the conditions being that the gardens would be open to the public. The town therefore undertook a vast programme of restoration work on the buildings, furniture and gardens.
A typical Antibes rose-garden
The town also took advantage of the renovations to create a rose-garden, in honour of the tradition and expertise that had made Antibes famous as “the rose capital of France”.
The rose-garden, itself surrounded by an impressive plant collection, offers the public the fabulous fragrance of hundreds of varieties of roses, most of which were created here in Antibes Juan-les-Pins.
The year 2000 marked by an olive-grove
50 olive trees for the children of the millennium. This was to be the first step in rebuilding the Villa Eilenroc’s olive-grove. Symbolising a bridge between past and future, the olive trees were planted in honour of children born during this first year of the 2nd millennium. Since they were planted, an initial production of olive oil has already been bottled.
The gardens are open every Wednesday and Saturday from 10.00am to 4.00pm (rate : 2€ / free under 16)