20 Years From Now...

"20 YEARS FROM NOW," Mark Twain said, “you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did.”THIS online journal is dedicated to our next 20 years!

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Villa Kerylos

Villa Kerylos is perched above the Mediterranean in Beaulieu-sur-Mer. Its design is based on a traditional Greek-style home and built in the early 1900s by French archaeologist Theodore Reinach when a hunger for all things Greek was the rage. 

The journey from Nice to the Villa Kerylos bus stop is easy via the #81 bus. The 20-minute trip is also easy on the pocket book. Regular return fare costs 3 euros per person or drops to 2 euros if using the 10-trip multi card. 

Theodore Reinach
The villa is located on Rue Gustave Eiffel, named after Rienach's neighbour whose claim to fame is of course the Eiffel Tower. Capturing a photo of the entire house is next to impossible while on site, but the entrance is visible in this pic.

One step inside the entrance hall and one gets a sense of the stateliness of this elegant home. 

The floor mosaic of a cockerel, hen and chicks symbolize the family.

Ceiling detail
Directly to the left of this grand entrance is the equally grand bathing room. It pays homage to the ritual and social importance of baths in ancient Greece.

Courtesy of Villa Kerylos website

Next stop is the peristyle or centre courtyard that is one of the mainstays of ancient Greek homes. 

This space offers a perfect place to embrace the mild Mediterranean climate as well as the six wall frescoes.

The impressive private library overlooks the Med and is one of my favourite rooms. Take note of the desk positioned between the two floor to ceiling windows. Used by Theodore Reinach in the manner customary of ancient Greece, one would stand while working.

Ceiling detail
Ceiling Close up

The dining room is also typical Greek in that one reclines on plaited leather beds that are the same height as the tables. 

Plaited leather bed

Every aspect of Villa Kerylos is authentic and based on ancient Greece including plates and bowls made specifically for the Reinach family.

The Greek equivalent of the men's lounge with Italian marble walls is an impressive place to entertain guests.

Wall detail
Ceiling detail
Mosaic floor
Just off of the men's lounge is the Oikos - a smaller lounge dedicated to the arts. A stucco frieze depicts musical instruments and masks that were such an important component of theatre in ancient Greece.

On the upper floor are the bedrooms. Madame Reinach's bedroom, decorated with peacocks and swans is called 'the bird room'.

The adjoining shower room is also a replica used by elite ancient Greeks. It includes three jets. 

Next door to the shower is Madame Reinach's bathroom. It includes a marble tub, chests, dressing table and two basins on stands.

Situated between Madame and Monseiur Reninach's private bathrooms is a 'relaxation room'.

Ceiling detail

Theodore's bathroom is next door.

His bedroom just off of his bathroom leaves nothing to chance or whim. Like every other room each detail is based on ancient Greece. The walls, painted a deep red, are reminiscent of the palace of Knossos in Crete. The bed is based on an original found in Pompeii, while the floor mosaic depicts an episode of the legendary of Dionysus. 

The hallway from his bedroom to the staircase down to the first level is also used as a storage place.

There were so many aspects of this home that inspired, awed and made one think being an ancient (albeit wealthy) Greek would have been amazing. 

Lattice work on staircase

The gardens and property around the villa magically transform one from ancient Greek to modern Cote d'Azur. 

Villa Kerylos felt welcoming and inviting and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit back to ancient Greece. It made us realize that 2000 years in the grand scheme of things is little more than a blip in human history.

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