Mandelieu has a rich and eventful history linked to the abbey of Lerins and its castle..
In the 4th century, Eucher, lord of Mandelieu, frees his slaves. Consorce, his daughter, founded a convent and a hospital for pilgrims who come to Lerins or go to Rome. Twice, in the 8th and 9th century, Mandelieu is completely destroyed by the Saracens. In the 13th century, the Castle of Mandelieu is included in the property of the church of Antibes, where the bishop is then located. Once the episcopal seat was transferred to Grasse, Mandelieu depended on Grasse for the temporal chapter and to the Abbey of Lerins for the spiritual chapter, until the french revolution.
In the 14th century, the Lords of Villeneuve complete the construction of the castle of La Napoule. In the first part of the 16th century, the village of La Napoule is sacked after an incursion of Barbarossa. Some years later, the inhabitants of Mandelieu, Théoule and La Napoule, cut the road to Charles-Quint in the Estérel massif. Leaving Nice, the Turkish naval force under the command of Barbarossa, attempting a landing at La Napoule. This army includes 5000 men but will be rejected by the people led by John II of Villeneuve. In the late 16th century, it was the turn of Charles Emmanuel of Savoy, who tries to invest the Castle, to be repelled by David of Villeneuve and the inhabitants of La Napoule and Mandelieu. Discouraged, the duke of Savoy will pursue his road towards Fréjus. At the beginning of the 18th century, the duke of Savoy ravages the region. It was then that the castle of Mandelieu is completely destroyed. The seigneurial house of “Villeneuve” will be reconstructed at the beginning of the 20th century by an American artist, Henry Clews, a painter and a sculptor. Nowadays it is the house of Art foundation and the Festival of the Nights of the Castle.
At the end of the 19th century, the French Riviera is connected to Paris by railroad. It becomes the lounge of the international aristocracy. The “Old Course” golf, the oldest of the French Riviera, was created at that time by the Grand Duke Michael of Russia. He quickly gained such notoriety that the railway company, the P.L.M. (which stands for Paris Lyon Marseille) had to admit, on the desire expressed by the Grand Duke Michael, that the trains stop at the small station of La Napoule, what the inhabitants solicited in vain for over thirty years. It still distinguishes itself by the crossing of the river “La Siagne” to reach the hole n°3.
Mimosa has been imported into the region in the early 19th century by British botanists. The English aristocrats were thus the first to decorate their gardens when the French Riviera was created. This plant is native to Australia acclimated amazingly well to the Mediterranean climate. Frost and snow which destroyed the plantations in 1929, are at the origin of the first Mimosa Festival in Mandelieu-La Napoule in 1931. It was the occasion to celebrate the perseverance of the producers of Mimosa and the revival of the production. This festival, which became a tradition, allows to see carnival floats decorated for the Big Parade. Today, Mandelieu-La Napoule, capital of the Mimosa, constitutes one of eight stages of the “Road of the Mimosa” (Bormes les Mimosas, Rayol Canadel, Sainte Maxime, Saint Raphael, Mandelieu la Napoule, Tanneron, Pégomas, Grasse).
Mandelieu-La Napoule has a varied coast (fine sand beaches and creeks of characteristic red rocks of the Estérel Massif) and exceptional harbour facilities distributed on 6 ports (2 seaports, 3 river ports and 1 dry dock). It is the municipality which offers the biggest harbour capacity of sailing of the Alpes-Maritimes in number of rings. Mandelieu-La Napoule, thanks to the direct access to the forests massifs of the Esterel and Tanneron, has developed a green tourism. With these two golf courses (the “Old Course” and “Riviera Golf”), it is the first golf destination of the French Riviera.
Une belle ballade le long de la mer entre les deux ports de Mandelieu - La Napoule
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