The Legendary Castle of La Croix des Gardes, Cannes
Castle of La Croix des Gardes | Presented by Peter Illovsky • Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty | Selected by Finest Residences
A legendary property on the French Riviera, the Castle of la Croix des Gardes is the largest estate in the area and unequivocally the most outstanding.
“La Croix des Gardes” is positioned just a few minutes from the port of Cannes and the “Palais des Festivals”. It proudly stands overlooking the historic region that resonates with the glorious 19th Century heritage of the French Riviera.
A Glorious History
In 1835, Lord Henry Brougham erected the first historic dwelling of the area: Villa Eléanore-Louise. The property was named after the daughter of the famous British writer and politician. Two years later, the British General, John Taylor, initiated the construction of the Castle Saint-Georges just a few steps away. Thus – along with a multitude of outstanding villas. Among them, the Villa Rothschild, the Castle Vallombrosa and the Villa Romée. The Quartier des Anglais was born.
In 1919, a Swiss gentleman, Paul Girod, purchased the top of the hill. He forged there a magnificent Florentine style property at the heart of 10.2 hectares of authentic hanging gardens. The property would come to be known as the “Castle of la Croix des Gardes”.
Six years later, Mr Goldman, the owner of Burma jewelry, purchased the unique property. He would not sell it until 1960 and to no other than the man who would turn water into gold, the owner of Perrier.
Extension & Redesign
The new owner asked the English architect, Alan Gore to extend and redesign the sumptuous property in a neo-Palladian style that echoes the ‘Wrotham Castle’. Now measuring roughly 1200 sqm, it offers a guest house, staff accommodation and outbuildings.
In 1927, William Crot, the chief gardener, replaced the Paul Girod lawn tennis court with an oriental-style garden. The sublime grounds somewhat recall Harold Peto’s English creations as well as Achille Duchêne’s design for the Roman garden of the ‘Castle Lou Seuil’ in Eze.
Later, in 1970, the owner restored the garden and replanted an orangery in the eastern pavilion, together with a winter garden and a Turkish lodge. Complimenting further the grounds, a 33 meters long swimming pool designed by Alan Gore under the guidance of the renowned architect André Svetchine. Indeed, today, the garden continues to grow and reflect the creative skills of its initial designers.
An Extraordinary Location
Sitting at 213 meters above sea-level, the castle offers unsurpassed panoramic views of both the Mediterranean Sea and the snowy mountains. The castle is breathtaking. Essentially, it has become a true fantasy that embodies the legend of Cannes itself.
The Castle, A Movie Star
One thought that the famous International Film Festival would host the castle’s opening legendary event. In fact, it was with Alfred Hitchcock’s famous film, ‘To Catch a Thief’, that the castle first served as an unforgettable backdrop. In 1995, the production of the film proudly welcomed Grace Kelly. One said that the iconic actress have immediately fallen under the spell of the mythical Chateau.
Then, in 1961, Alain Resnais, too, fell in love with the Castle of La Croix des Gardes. He employed it as the setting for his film “Last Year in Marienbad”.
Today, the chateau is the only remaining castle to overlook the Bay of Cannes from sunrise to sunset. It enjoys the modern benefits of an uncontestable location and the splendors of immaculate surroundings. Undoubtedly, the Castle of La Croix des Gardes will transport its future owners back to the glorious hay-days of the French Riviera.