Inspired by a residence of ancient Greece, Villa Kerylos is the realization of a dream, that of Théodore Reinach, fascinated by Greek civilization.
In the Baie des Fourmis
In the enchanting site of the Baie des Fourmis, Villa Kerylos is a real invitation to travel. Designed and built between 1902 and 1908, on the model of the noble houses of the island of Delos (2nd century BC), the villa Kérylos is not a simple reproduction but a reinvention of ancient Greece. Far from pastiche, it was for Théodore Reinach and Emmanuel Pontremoli to create an original work by « thinking Greek ». The residence subtly combines antique luxury and the modern comfort typical of Belle Epoque villas. Its construction uses the most precious materials: antique stucco, Carrara marble and exotic woods for the furniture. The decoration is sumptuous: mosaics and frescoes inspired by famous scenes, illustrating the great legends of the gods and classical heroes.
A poetic bird of mythology
The villa is organized around the peristyle, a vast interior courtyard surrounded by 12 Carrara marble columns. On the ground floor are the ceremonial rooms (living rooms, dining room, library, thermal baths) while the bedrooms and private bathrooms are located upstairs. Kerylos means « halcyon » or « sea swallow », poetic bird of mythology, which announced a happy omen. Like all villas built during the Belle Époque, Villa Kérylos was also a holiday home. Théodore Reinach comes to spend his holidays there with his family. On his death in 1928, he bequeathed the villa to the Institut de France, of which he was a member. His children and grandchildren continued to live in the villa until 1966, when it was classified as a historic monument. This remarkable achievement is also and above all the will of Théodore Reinach, who could have been a Renaissance man, as the facets of his knowledge are multiple and his curiosity limitless.
A passion for Greek antiquity
Born in 1860 into a family of bankers of German origin, Théodore Reinach showed, at a very young age, exceptional intellectual capacities, like his two brothers, Joseph and Salomon. In this sibling nicknamed the « I Know Everything » (from the initials of their first names), he holds a special place as his talents are numerous. He will be a lawyer, archaeologist, numismatist, historian, musicologist and mathematician. He also led a political career in Paris and Savoy, where he was elected deputy in 1906. His passion for Greek antiquity made him one of the most important Hellenists of the century. From his meeting with the architect Emmanuel Pontremoli was born a total work, an architectural whole, which plunges the visitor into a universe where the quintessence of Greek civilization integrates the modernity of the beginning of the 20th century which glorified technique. Théodore Reinach not only created a Greek house but he also restored its furniture, crockery, fabrics and decor. Villa Kérylos is the culmination of both artistic and intellectual research. Because, for him, democracy finds its roots in Greece and his work wishes to perpetuate it. Villa Kérylos is therefore not only a testimony to this art of living, but also a tribute to the invention of a civilization in which Man is at the center of the world.
Rue Gustave Eiffel, 06310 Beaulieu-sur-Mer
From 01/09/2021 to 30/04/2022 Full rate: €11.50 (Adult group rate (> 20 people): 8 euros per person; school group rate: 30 euros.). From 02/05 to 31/08/2022 Full rate: €11.50 (Adult group rate (> 20 people): 8 euros per person; school group rate: 30 euros.). Free for those under 18, accompanying guides, job seekers, students, people with reduced mobility, disabled people and their companions. Group rate from 20 people. Free on the 1st Sunday of the month between November and March. Free for 18-25 year olds from European Union countries and regular non-European residents on French territory. Season 2021 – Mandatory online reservation.