May 9, 2009

Villas on the Promenade. Number 113: the Palais de l'Agriculture

Inauguration of the renovated Palais de l'Agriculture

The Palais de l'Agriculture is the location for the headquarters of the 'Société d'Agriculture, d'Horticulture et d'Acclimatation de Nice et des Alpes-Maritimes' (S.C.A.H.). (Click on the picture to enlarge.)

The villa is built on the Promenade between its angle with the Boulevard de la Madeleine and Avenue de Bellet. These streets are in fact one broad Boulevard with the Palais de l'Agriculture in between which were built to cover the river 'Vallon de Magnan'.
This building, designed by Paul Martin, an engineer and General Secretary of the Society, was built in 1900 and shows the distinct neo-classical style so prevalent at the time. This yellow ochre building, decorated with pedimental windows, ornamental mouldings and friezes, consists of a central fronton flanked by two smaller wings. A wide marble staircase leads up to the main entrance.

The Palais de l’Agriculture was inaugurated on 8 April 1901 by Emile François Loubet, the French President. And thus the building has remained, surviving two world wars and escaping demolition or modernisation.

But now the façade is very recently completely restored in all its glamour and newly inaugurated by the mayor of Nice, Mr Christian Estrosi on the 6th of April 2009. See above the crowd that was present on the Promenade.

The Society was created in 1860 and counted amongst its members and benefactors the
Grande Duchesse Hélène of Russia, the Prince of Monaco, Charles III, Baron de Rothschild and the Mayor of Nice. Its primary aim was the study of plants and animals brought back from various expeditions around the world. By the 1920s their research had inspired many horticulturists to increase and diversify their production, thus ranking Nice second in the world for the production of cut flowers.

The Society continues to be very active today with outings, conferences and garden visits, as well as offering advice on the many different aspects of gardening on the French Riviera. See the website of S.C.A.H on

No comments:

Post a Comment