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Built following the architect Adolph Coquet Lyon's plans, the villa Chabrand breaks with the symmetric parallelepiped model that distinguishes the first villas built back from Mexico between 1870 and 1890. The break lies in the creation of a central avant-corps, crowned with a triangular wooden pediment, the rhythmic treatment of mullioned windows, and the introduction of ceramic panels.

Its sponsor, Émile Chabrand (1843-1893), former emigrant to Mexico, lived off the beaten track, assuming alternately several identities: emigrant, collector, traveler around the world, naturalist, writer, inventor. In 1886, Emile Chabrand opened to the public his cabinet of curiosities containing birds, terrestrial and marine mammals, minerals and fossils, insects, and "various objects to the use of different peoples" that reflect his interest in other cultures. In 1892, the Barcelonnette naturalist-traveler published his travelogue around the world, crowned by the French Academy.

Bequeathed to the city of Barcelonnette in 1893, its eclectic collections are now shown at the Vallée museum, villa La Sapinière located at avenue de la Libération no. 10.


Architectural exterior / settings / details: photo campaign of the General Inventory regional department © Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur - Marc Heller and Gerard Roucaute.
Archives: Émile Chabrand/world traveler/© Photo Library Vallée Museum
Showing of collections/© Photo Library Vallée Museum