Pictures of Beausoleil, a town of the "Belle Epoque" in France
At the beginning of the 20th Century, the French Riviera expanded rapidly thanks to the opening of a railway.
The town of Beausoleil became a very attractive place for many travellers appreciating the nice weather of the French Riviera.
A prestigious hotel, the "Riviera Palace" very close to the Principality of Monaco used to be an agreeable palace for the international elite using the "Blue Train".
History of Beausoleil
Before becoming a town, Beausoleil, located just above the Principality of Monaco, used to be named
In 1898, Camille Blanc, President of the "Société des Bains de Mer" (SBM), who would become later mayor of Beausoleil founded the "Société Immobilière de Monte-Carlo Supérieur" (a real estate agency) to manage the exploitation of the hotels, restaurants and casinos located in the sea and health resorts of the French Riviera.
A view of the Principality of Monaco from Beausoleil
On the picture above, we can see the Casino of Monte-Carlo, the "Hôtel de Paris" palace with the "Louis XV" restaurant, the Opera of Monaco, designed by the French architect Charles Garnier, inaugurated in 1879 and owned by the SBM (Société des Bains de Mer de Monaco) company and the well-known "Place du Casino". Part of the track of the "Place du Casino" is used each year by the Formula One single-seaters taking part to the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Monaco, whose coverage is one of the major events on television.
As a perfect example of the architecture of the "Belle Epoque", "Beausoleil" was coined in 1904.
The gigantic stairs were built to connect Monaco with Beausoleil. The "Riviera Palace" was made of concrete and covered with stucco.
The stairs from Monaco to Beausoleil
The "Riviera Palace" ended in 1903 has been registered among the greatest "Historical Monuments" of France since December 1989. This palace was built according to the plans of Georges-Paul Chedanne (1861-1940), a French architect who was also the project manager of the "Palace Hotel" on the Champs-Elysées Avenue in Paris.
The "Riviera Palace" in Beausoleil
In 1898, a rack funicular connected the heights of Beausoleil with the Casino of Monaco.
The "Riviera Palace", is 180 metres above sea level and the panoramic view from it is stupendous.
The "Riviera Palace" in Beausoleil
The winter garden of the "Riviera Palace" was settled next to the Northern facade of the building. It is 27 metres high and covers an area of more than 900 square metres. The glass roof of this winter garden was built by Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923) who also made the glass dome of the "Hôtel Hermitage" in Monaco and the large dome of the observatory in Nice (1881).
The glass roof of the winter garden of the "Riviera Palace"
Most of the prestigious palaces and hotels of the French Riviera are located in Monaco, such as the "Hôtel de Paris" and the "Hôtel Hermitage" already mentioned, the "Hôtel Mirabeau", the "Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel", the Fairmont Monte Carlo (formerly named "Monte-Carlo Grand Hôtel" and "Loews Hotel") and the "Columbus Monaco Hotel" (owned by the Scottish Formula 1 driver David Coulthard and by Ken McCulloch).
In 2004, various shows about the "Belle Epoque" will commemorate the centenary of the town of Beausoleil.
There exists a twinning between the town of Beausoleil and the town of Alba in the Piedmont (Italy).
The access to Beausoleil :
Photos of trains in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region