La Mauresque: an author’s oasis in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

La Mauresque: an author’s oasis in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

What is villa La Mauresque in Saint-Jean-Cap Ferrat?

Villa La Mauresque is a Moorish-style property situated on the prestigious Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera. Commissioned by Félix Charmettant circa 1900, following his acquisition of a 40,000m2 piece of land, the villa has since evolved into an integral part of Cap Ferrat’s history and significance. Over the years, it has emerged as a key destination for high society, celebrities, and artists alike.

What is the historical significance of villa La Mauresque in Cap Ferrat?

Villa La Mauresque served as a hub on the French Riviera for several influential writers, celebrities, and aristocrats during the time when English novelist Somerset Maugham owned the villa. It was a popular gathering spot for high society.

La Mauresque also bore witness to the devastating impact of the Second World War when Maugham fled to England to avoid persecution. During its vacancy, the illustrious villa fell victim to looting by Nazi troops. The wine cellars were emptied, cars were stolen, and over this period, the villa suffered extensive damage from bullets and shells.

Who was the original owner of villa La Mauresque in the South of France?

The original owner who commissioned the construction of villa La Mauresque was Félix Charmettant, a former Catholic missionary. He was the cousin of Frédéric Mistral and also served as the chaplain to Leopold II, King of the Belgians.

How much was villa La Mauresque purchased for in 2005?

Villa La Mauresque was purchased by David Brown and Robert Shelter-Jones for €50 million.

What architects were involved in the building and renovation of villa La Mauresque?

Villa La Mauresque underwent significant architectural transformations over the years, led by a group of notable architects. Writer Somerset Maugham, upon purchasing the property, enlisted Henri Delmotte, Marcel Guilgot, and the young American architect Barry Dierks to eliminate the villa’s original Moorish elements and introduce more modern and classic European features. A staircase was also added during this period.

In the aftermath of damages incurred during the Second World War, Somerset Maugham once again sought the expertise of renowned American architect Barry Dierks. Dierks was assigned the task of renovating the villa, aiming to restore it to its former glory. The collaborative efforts of these architects, spanning various phases, have left an enduring architectural legacy in the evolution of Villa La Mauresque.

How has the ownership of villa La Mauresque changed over the years?

La Mauresque has had a series of influential proprietors throughout its history. The original owner, Félix Charmettant (chaplain to King Leopold II), sold it to the British novelist Somerset Maugham in 1927. Following Somerset Maugham’s death, his partner Alan Searle inherited the villa. In 1967, socialite Lynn Wyatt purchased the property, and in 2005, David Brown and Robert Shelter-Jones acquired the villa for €50 million before it changed hands to Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian businessman with a controversial reputation.

Are there any celebrities connected to the history of villa La Mauresque in Cap Ferrat?

Yes, there are a number of notable writers, celebrities, and royalty connected to the history of villa La Mauresque in Cap Ferrat. The villa has played host to distinguished guests such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, and Winston Churchill, contributing to its legacy as a residence frequented by influential figures.

Are there any interesting anecdotes or stories associated with villa La Mauresque and its past occupants?

Yes, there are interesting anecdotes associated with Villa La Mauresque and its past occupants. Upon Somerset Maugham’s return to the villa in 1946, he discovered an unexploded bomb on his bedroom floor, adding a dramatic chapter to the rich history of this remarkable residence.

Is La Mauresque in Cap Ferrat currently a private residence?

Yes, La Mauresque in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is currently the private residence of Ukrainian businessman and billionaire Dmytro Firtash. He maintains a discreet presence, with high-security measures in and around villa La Mauresque.

For more information about villas for rent or sale in Cap Ferrat, contact the specialists of Cap Villas.

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