Mandelieu-la-Napoule, French Riviera

Mandelieu-la-Napoule is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France, located on the French Riviera just to the southwest of Cannes and northeast of Théoule-sur-Mer.

Mandelieu-La Napoule is located in the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in the south-western boundary of the department Alpes-Maritimes, bordering the Bay of Cannes, between Théoule-sur-Mer in the south, Saint-Raphael, Fréjus and Tanneron (Var municipalities) to the west, Pégomas and La Roquette-sur-Siagne to the north and Cannes to the east. The town is part of the agglomeration community of Pays de Lérins, the arrondissement of Grasse, the eighth district of the Alpes-Maritimesand the canton of Mandelieu-Cannes-Ouest.

It is known for the Château de la Napoule, a fortified castle of the 14th century. In the 20th century, Henry Clews Jr (son of the wealthy New York banker Henry Clews) and his wife Marie Clews, entirely renovated the château which they then inhabited. Henry Clews Jr was a painter and sculptor whose work still fills the castle, which is now run as a non-profit arts foundation by his descendants. The château was once an ancient foundation, then a medieval fortress of the Counts of Villeneuve. Today the Roman Tower (4th century) and the Saracen Tower (11th century) are all that remain of the château that was destroyed during the French Revolution. The château designed by the Clews has cloister, terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Gothic dining room, and studio. In the basement of a tower at the château the remains of Henry (1876–1937) and Marie (1878–1959) are interred in two tombs that Henry designed and sculpted.

Laurent Gandolphe, mayor of Mandelieu from 1908 to 1939 and whose street today bears the name, develops the culture of mimosa which becomes one of the main activities of the town. He participated in the expansion of the cork industry by promoting the cork stopper and the development of tourism by obtaining in 1910 the extension of the tram line from Cannes to the racetrack. Théoule-sur-Mer becomes under its mandate an autonomous municipality.

Mandelieu was the point of origin for the first conceded and therefore paying section of motorway in France (Mandelieu-Fréjus section, put into service in 1960 by Escota). The company Escota (ASF subsidiary) maintains a portion of its headquarters in the town. In 1970, the town of Mandelieu took the name of Mandelieu-La-Napoule.

Places and monuments
The San Peyre, volcanic hill overlooking the Gulf of La Napoule.
The castle of Napoule, built in the xiv th century, renovated and rebuilt in xx th century by the Americans Henry and Marie Clews.
The Château d’Agecroft, a center for social tourism since it belongs to the Central Social Activities Fund (CE of EDF) and the RATP; formerly owned by Harry Leland of Lengley.

Château de la Napoule
The Château de la Napoule is a restored French castle, located in Mandelieu-la-Napoule in the Alpes-Maritimes Department of France, It has been classified as an historical landmark since 1993, and the gardens are listed by the French Ministry of Culture as among the Notable gardens of France. It was featured as one of the main locations in the 1999 movie Simon Sez.

The castle 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 Clewses 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.

Religious buildings
Parish Church of Saint-Pons, 1763, rue du Cimetière in Capitou.
Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, rue de la Plage xiv th century in La Napoule.
Notre-Dame-des-Mimosas chapel, rue Jean Monnet 1927
Church of Our Lady of Lebanon, avenue de Fréjus.
Saint-Jean chapel, avenue de Fréjus [destroyed and replaced by the Notre-Dame-du-Liban church] (Minelle).
Saint-Jean chapel in the cemetery, Trois Termes forest road.
Maure-Vieil chapel, Maure-Vieil road.
Ruins of the chapel San-Peyre xiii th century, departmental park of San Peyre.

Natural heritage
It is possible to access the Esterel departmental park from the town by going up the Rague valley. Below is the list of green spaces in the municipality, some of which are at least partially artificial.

Mont Turney – 50,000 m²
Mont San Peyre – 180,000 m²
Massif de l’Estérel – 320 km²
Grand Duke Forest – 90,000 m²
Robinson Park – 11,800 m²
The Parc des Oliviers – 11,000 m²
Berges de Siagne – 72,000 m²
Camille Park – 14,000 m²
Vernède Park – 26,600 m²
Emmanuelle de Marande Park – 13,000 m²
Massif du Tanneron – 2,000,000 m²

The Mimosa
The mimosas light up our winter from January to March. The month of February is an opportunity to discover the Côte d’Azur under a new aspect and allows unexpected escapades. The month of festivals and carnivals: the lemon festival in Menton, the Nice Carnival and the traditional Mimosa festival in Mandelieu-la Napoule.

Native to Australia, the mimosa was introduced to Europe in the 19th century by English winter visitors. During their travels, botanists and scientists brought back various species of trees and flowers from this still unexplored region, including the famous mimosa.

The nature of the soil and the climatic conditions allowed the mimosa to acclimatize wonderfully. Being very prolific, it will quickly invade our hills of Mandelieu, Tanneron and the Croix des Gardes. The first mimosas established in Capitou were created under the aegis of Gilbert Nabonnant, a famous botanist and researcher.

The local producers who, until now, cultivated the perfume plants for Grasse (rose, jasmine…) will convert to Mimosa and the first plantations will be born. Forcing will also see the light of day, with the forcing method which will revolutionize the cultivation of mimosa. The mimosists will multiply and at the beginning of the 20th century there were 80 operators, almost all in Capitou.

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Capitou is also renowned for basketry activity. The mimosists asked basket weavers to create cane and wicker baskets. The demand from producers becomes so strong that the basket makers decided to settle in Mandelieu, precisely in Capitou.


Mandelieu-La Napoule Golf Pass
Heir to a golfing tradition more than a century old, it was at Mandelieu-La Napoule that the first golf course on the Côte d’Azur was created: “the Old Course” was born in 1891.

With “the Riviera Golf de Barbossi” Came to join it a century later, four courses (two 18 holes and two 9 holes) are thus traced on the territory of the Municipality of Mandelieu-La Napoule.

With the numerous and high-quality tourist facilities located in the Commune and the other courses traced in the nearby Region, Mandelieu-La Napoule is truly a major destination for golf on the Côte d’Azur.

Cultural events and festivities
The ten-day mimosa festival has enlivened the streets of Mandelieu in February since 1931. Like many other cities, Mandelieu-la-Napoule aims to be the capital of mimosa. Since its importation into the xix th century, mimosa has continued to spread and invade natural sites neighbors, are four tonnes of this flower are used each year to fill the tanks parading in the city during the festival mimosa. Also held in Mandelieu-la-Napoule is the used boat show and the flavors and terroirs show in November.

The town is served by the A8 motorway and is 35 minutes from Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport. The Cannes-Mandelieu Airport is straddling the two municipalities. In addition, the departmental D 6007 (former national 7) crosses the town, connecting it to Cannes and Saint-Raphaël.

Its station is served by the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur TER on the Les Arcs – Draguignan line in Nice-Ville and the nearest TGV station is Cannes (20 minutes).

The Palm Bus network serves the city:

Palm Express A, operating between the Minelle Shopping Center and Cannes Station, with passages every twelve minutes during the week;
Line 17, connecting the Bus Station to the Cannes Hospital via Ranguin and Le Cannet;
Line 22, connecting Théoule-sur-Mer (from the town hall) and sometimes the Trayas to Cannes train station via the seaside;
Line 23, connecting the Siagne Business Park to many important places in the city;
Line 620, line providing transport between Théoule-sur-Mer (from the town hall) and sometimes to Trayas at the Bus Station via the Albert Camus College;
Palm Night N20 from 8:30 p.m. to 2:20 a.m., allowing overnight travel between downtown Mandelieu and Cannes Station via Boulevard du Midi.

School bus lines allow college students to go to Collège Albert Camus (R1 and R2) and Collège Les Mimosas (R1), while high school students going to Cannes (Lycées Bristol, Carnot, Jules Ferry, etc.) can take the R4. There is also Palm on Demand.

A line in the Sillages network, line 18, links Mandelieu-la-Napoule from the La Canardière stop to Pégomas.Lines of the Var departmental network, Varlib, also serve Mandelieu.

Two ports on the gulf, the port of La Rague with 520 berths and the port of Mandelieu-la-Napoule with 977 berths as well as a marina with 1,720 berths on the Siagne, Cannes Marina, welcome pleasure boats.

French Riviera
The French Riviera is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from Cassis, Toulon or Saint-Tropez on the west to Menton at the France–Italy border in the east, where the Italian Riviera joins. The coast is entirely within the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France. The Principality of Monaco is a semi-enclave within the region, surrounded on three sides by France and fronting the Mediterranean. Riviera is an Italian word that corresponds to the ancient Ligurian territory, wedged between the Var and Magra rivers.

The climate of the Côte d’Azur is temperate Mediterranean with mountain influences on the northern parts of the departments of Var and Alpes-Maritimes. It is characterized by dry summers and mild winters which help reduce the likelihood of freezing. The Côte d’Azur enjoys significant sunshine in mainland France for 300 days a year.

This coastline was one of the first modern resort areas. It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria, Tsar Alexander II and King Edward VII, when he was Prince of Wales. In the summer, it also played home to many members of the Rothschild family. In the first half of the 20th century, it was frequented by artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Francis Bacon,h Wharton, Somerset Maugham and Aldous Huxley, as well as wealthy Americans and Europeans. After World War II, it became a popular tourist destination and convention site. Many celebrities, such as Elton John and Brigitte Bardot, have homes in the region.

The eastern part (maralpine) of the Côte d’Azur has been largely transformed by the concreting of the coast linked to the tourist development of foreigners from North Europe and the French,. The Var part is better preserved from urbanization with the exception of the agglomeration of Fréjus-Saint-Raphaël affected by the demographic growth of the maralpin coast and the agglomeration of Toulon which has been marked by urban sprawl on its part West and by a spread of industrial and commercial areas (Grand Var).

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