February 2, 2009

Villas on the Promenade. Number 65: Villa Guiglia

The villa was designed by the notable Niçois architect, Roger Séassal, and was once the residence of Charles Frédérik Spang, a rather rich industrialist in the steel business, who sold his business to the Carnegie Empire and then retired to Nice. It was later the property of Vincent Guiglia (1789-1878)(brother of Count Louis Guiglia, president of the senate of Nice) who gave it its name and also bequeathed it to the city of Nice.

Much like the stunning Palais de la Méditerranée, only the façade and entrance have been preserved. The municipality first used the building as a training college for the hotel trade until it became the C.U.M: Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen in December 1933, when Paul Valéry was appointed its Director. It is designed as an intellectual centre.
In that time they built one of the most beautiful amphitheatres of France inside the building. Also classical concerts and many conferences are given here, which are mostly free to visit, which attract more than 80.000 visitors each year. See more about this white - light rose villa on the website.

Later Jean Médecin also took care of the creation of the university of Nice which was founded on 1965, the year of his death, see more information here.
Jean Médecin (1890-1965) was Mayor of Nice from 1928 to 1943 and from 1947 to 1965, and the father of Jacques Médecin, whom succeeded him as mayor until 1990. Nowadays the University has 8 faculties, located in several beautiful ancient buildings and is attached to Sophia Antipolis, that is a large technology park in the inland of Nice (in Valbonne), which you can consider as the Silicon Valley of Europe.

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