residences for sale - alpes-maritimes - the “domaine des colombières”

The “Domaine des Colombières”, a historic villa
with 3 hectares of listed, botanical gardens in Menton

, ALPES-MARITIMES provence-cote-dazur FR
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur


So close to the Italian border, Menton already reflects Italy’s colours, flavours and art of living as well as its culture and architecture. This blend of influences bestows this town with a warmth and an originality, the reputation of which is renowned the world over. Dominating the bay and the port, just a few minutes from the lively town centre, the “Villa des Colombières” stands on the edge of 3 hectares of outstanding gardens. It is reached via a little winding road with an evocative name.


The “Villa des Colombières”, a sumptuous, neo-classical style building, spanning more than 800 m², with its Mediterranean gardens, is the result of two major series of rehabilitation works. It is only therefore possible to get an understanding of the estate by evoking some of its background as its design originates from a global work in the Wagnerian sense. Around 1920, sculptor-decorator Ferdinand-Bac was commissioned to fully renovate a building left in ruins by the turpitudes of the era. He firstly imagined landscaping the garden in accordance with his ideal of civilisation: a representation of the Mediterranean, blending miscellaneous eras and regions: Egyptian, Latin, Greek and, of course, Italian. The villa was converted and decorated along similar lines. In addition to numerous sculptures, he personally designed and painted coloured, fantasy frescoes that took up almost the entire first two floors of the building. At the end of the 1980’s, the current owners, great, knowledgeable art enthusiasts, added their own personal touches to the building by modernising the villa in order to turn it into a home with modern day comforts and, notably, adding a sumptuous tiled swimming pool. The outside walls of the villa are lime rendered, in a warm, matt red colour that is reminiscent of the original aspect of Greek temples, the garden was given back its splendour of yesterday and “Les Colombières” became a renowned meeting place for numerous international personalities from the cultural and artistic worlds. The seal was set on these extensive works when the property was classified as a French Historic Monument in 1991.

The Villa

This Villa comprises more than 20 rooms, including two self-contained flats, set out over 3 levels. It is entered via the first floor. The main facade is discreet such that the immensity of the interior only becomes apparent from the vestibule. Its elegant cement tile floor acts as an invitation to explore various, cleverly laid out, semi-open plan areas. The first of which, currently a dining room, has a large arched window revealing a panoramic view of the Bay of Menton. It dominates the port, the ochre-coloured town set on the hillside and the immensity of the sea. Having passed these areas on the east side, including a library with herringbone pattern parquet flooring and spanning approx. 100 m², visitors reach a patio from another time which, set out around an ornamental pool, filled with waterlilies, comprises covered sections supported on columns. On the west side, a “Venetian” bedroom with its outstanding inlaid stone work table is actually used by the current owners as a study. On the sea side is a brightly coloured kitchen. Throughout, visitors are “watched” by busts, drawn to fireplaces topped with mirrors or stained glass. The marble stairway leads up from the vestibule to the first floor. This comprises 5 elegant bedrooms with their private bathrooms, as well as the astonishing Parrots’ room, a sort of dressing room featuring coloured birds painted on the woodwork of the wall cupboards. The stairwell, housing an immense glass light, provides access down to the garden level. This comprises a further two bedrooms, a dining room and the large family kitchen which leads out to the swimming pool area. (This level, converted after the first series of restoration works, is not decorated by Ferdinand-Bac). On the opposite side of the house is a self-contained flat with its terrace and a small ornamental pool.

The Botanical Gardens

These Botanical Gardens, spanning 3 hectares of hillside, are laid out in a succession of vistas, some guiding the eye to other vistas and others to alleyways featuring old earthenware jars, an unusual bridge and countless sculptures and busts. Near to the house, visitors are intrigued by an odd stairway taken over by a tree, emerging from between the steps. Areas, occupied by 25 ornamental characters, set out in the gardens provide visitors with a variety of different stopping points for reading, meditating or simply conversing. All around these areas, alleyways and steps, between the semi-wild terracing and the mini-cliffs, are large wooded copses, groves with one hundred year old olive trees and numerous, exclusively Mediterranean species, cleverly dotted here and there. And then beds of decoratively trimmed boxwood, planted in a zigzag pattern, as well as a so-called gardener’s cottage, out-of-sight of onlookers. These verdant surroundings encourage visitors to unwind, to look out over the sea when it comes into view and to sit and contemplate the sculptures. The tour is bewitching, it is easy to lose track of time and place.

Our opinion

The “Domaine des Colombières” is undoubtedly an exceptional place not only because of the size of its parklands but also because of its artistic style resolutely marked by Ferdinand-Bac. But, make no mistake, apart from this decorative bias, this villa and its gardens form a high-class haven courtesy of their conviviality and their cleverly organised layout. The red villa can clearly be seen from the road which runs alongside the port that it majestically dominates, providing a unique and legendary view point over the historic town and the Bay of Menton. This property is, today, being put on the market in the hope of finding a worthy successor with the same love of Mediterranean art that has driven the renovators of this estate for more than 30 years.

8 750 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur

Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Barème d'honoraires
au 1er Avril 2017

Ventes d'immeubles

À Paris et en Ile-de-France
Prix de vente au-delà de 600 000 euros       5% TTC*
Prix de vente de 400 000 à 600 000 euros   6% TTC*
Prix de vente de 200 000 À 400 000 euros   7% TTC*
Prix de vente jusqu'à 200 000 euros             9% TTC*
Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

En Province
Prix de vente au-delà de 500 000 euros       6% TTC*
Prix de vente jusqu'à 500 000 euros   30 000 Euros TTC* (forfait)
Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur


Avis de valeur argumenté : 1 800 Euros TTC*
Expertise à partir de 2 400 Euros TTC*
Les tarifs des expertises sont communiqués sur devis personnalisé établi sur la base d’un taux horaire moyen de 120 Euros TTC*


*TTC : TVA incluse au taux de 20 %

Reference 886696

Land registry surface area 3 ha 16 a 77 ca
Main building surface area 800 m2
Outbuilding surface area 150 m2

Regional representative

Emmanuel Honold       +33 1 42 84 80 85


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NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.



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