The Château de la Napoule was constructed in the 14th century by the Countess of Villeneuve. Over the centuries it was rebuilt several times. In the 19th century it was turned into a glass factory. In 1918, it was purchased by Americans, Henry Clews Jr. and Marie Clews (1880-1959), who restored and moved into the castle. They added additional sections in their own personal style, with sculptures by Henry Clews Jr. The castle is owned by the La Napoule Art Foundation, which was founded in 1951 by Marie Clews, and serves as a cultural centre.

After Henry's death and during the Second World War, the castle was captured by German soldiers. Marie Clews served the soldiers by acting as the maid of the castle's staff so she could stay close to her home and the memory of her husband.

When the Clews acquired the castle, the park had cedar and eucalyptus trees, and had been abandoned for years. Marie Clews began the restoration of the gardens. The park of the castle today has elements of a garden à la française and of an English landscape garden, with a grand alley, basins, perspectives, and views of the sea. In addition, there are three smaller gardens in the Italian style: the Garden de la Mancha next to the Tower of La Mancha, under which the mausoleum of the Clews family is located; the terraces which overlook the Bay of Cannes, which are planted with cypress trees, hedges and rosemary; and the secret garden, in a corner of the walls with windows looking at the sea, with a Venetian well in the centre.

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Details

Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Valois Dynasty and Hundred Year's War (France)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alexandru Mircea (4 months ago)
A must see. Very nice place
Martin Caspary (4 months ago)
Google Maps advise that it was open. It was not, the website apparently advises that it closes from October to April ?
Eric MALAHIEUDE (6 months ago)
Must be visited for the place and the piece of art. Obviously, must be more beautiful under the sun, but i was not lucky this time.
Roger Pier (8 months ago)
Beautiful. Went here for an event and the venue was fantastic. The food was very good.
N Pham (2 years ago)
We arrived here rather late as the sun had already set. Very few visitors were still strolling along the base of the Château. We kept on and walked the entire path that took us to the nearby beach and eventually climbed up the steps to the main road and looped back to where we parked our car. Though the Château isn't opened the experience was a sudden reward because the views were gorgeous even after sunset. We're glad we pressed on the somewhat dark path instead of just turned around.
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