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Gates of Nellcôte 1.jpg
The gates of Nellcôte in August 2008
General information
Type Private residence
Location Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
Address 26 Avenue Louise Bordes
06230, Villefranche-sur-Mer
Coordinates 43°42′04″N 7°19′27″E / 43.701222°N 7.324194°E / 43.701222; 7.324194Coordinates: 43°42′04″N 7°19′27″E / 43.701222°N 7.324194°E / 43.701222; 7.324194
Completed 1890's

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. Nellcote 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.[1]


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,[2] 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.[3]


  1. ^ Greenfield, Robert (8 September 2006). "Making "Exile on Main Street"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  2. ^ The Rolling Stones at Villa Nellcôte, The Guardian, 15 May 2010
  3. ^ "Stones fans not welcome at French 'Exile' mansion" by Peter Howell. The, 5/21/2010.[1]