When exploring the picturesque French Riviera, the natural surroundings alone will be enough to take your breath away, but you’ll find the man-made scenery every bit as beautiful; in fact, much of the French architecture found in this region has its origins in the Belle Époque – literally meaning the Beautiful Era. French architecture during the Belle Époque (in the late 19th Century) was typically characterised by an elaborate decorative style. The French Riviera also boasts a rich selection of 20th-Century Art Deco architecture, and among these stylised modern buildings you’ll find the remnants of buildings dating back to pre-historic times. These French ruins include Europe’s oldest fireplace, which is found in nice and believed to date all the way back to 400 000 BC.
If you’re looking to buy amazing property in the area, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a wealth of traditional French architecture to inspire any renovation ideas you might have. Below is a list of three beautiful examples of French architectural styles found in the south of France:
This luxurious pink-domed hotel overlooks the Bay of Angels in Nice, and is a stellar example of Belle Époque French architecture. The Negresco was first opened in 1913, attracting famous patrons and earning a reputation as one of the world’s leading luxury hotels. Today, it is classified as a historic French monument, and the traditional architectural elements like the Salon Royal and its famous pink dome have been painstakingly restored. The hotel is often used as a film location, and continues to attract world-renowned clientele.
Russian Orthodox Cathedral
It’s a little unusual to see a Russian-inspired building amidst so much classic and contemporary French architecture, but the Cathedrale Orthodoxe Russe St-Nicolas in Nice is greatly admired, and is also considered a national monument. The French cathedral was built in Nice in 1912, in memory of Russian noble Nicholas Alexandrovich, who died in Nice. The building serves as a beautiful example of how architecture from one culture can impact another, and it holds the title of Western Europe’s largest Orthodox cathedral.
Rothschild Ephrussi Villa
This exquisite French villa is found at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and is one of the most popular architectural attractions in the French Riviera. The luxury seaside home was built between 1905 and 1912, and was home to Baroness Beatrice de Rothschild. Today, the villa is open to the public, and is filled with antique furniture and artworks collected by the Baroness during her lifetime. If you’re looking for a change of scenery from your current household view, visit this beautiful French building with its famous pink facade to admire the architecture, take in the sun-kissed sea views or stroll in one of the property’s nine magnificent gardens.
Looking at these luxurious buildings, it’s little wonder why classic French architecture is so popular, and easy to see why it inspires architects around the world to this day.
Sarah Mancini is a writer with a keen interest in property and architecture. After travelling and looking at luxury property for sale in Cote d’Azur in France, she has written this article to highlight the differences between European houses and luxury property for sale in Knightsbridge and other parts of London.