Nellcôte (often referred to as Villa Nellcôte) is a Belle Epoque 16-room mansion on a headland above the sea at Villefranche-sur-Mer on the Côte d'Azur in southern France. Nellcôte was leased from April 1971 to March 1972 by Keith Richards, guitarist of The Rolling Stones, and recording sessions for their classic 1972 Exile on Main St. album took place in its basement.
In the late 1890s, a former banker, Eugene Thomas, built the imposing villa fronted with marble Ionic columns. Originally it bore the name of Chateau Amicitia. In 1919, the villa, since renamed Nellcôte, was acquired by the Bordes family, famous shipowners specialising in the transport of sodium nitrate between Chile and France.
Adding infamy to its history, Nellcôte served as the headquarters of the local Gestapo during the Nazi occupation of France in the early 1940s, with the floor vents in the basement reportedly being decorated with swastikas.
It is presently owned by a Russian national, who purchased it for 100 million euros ($128 million) in 2005.
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