Eugène Lions was a young native boy when he left Barcelonnette for Mexico at the age of 13. He went to join his uncle who already had created a fabric business in the city of Puebla. Eugène’s uncle would become one of the founders of the hugely successful La Ciudad de Mexico department store.
Returning to Barcelonnette he entrusted the construction of Villa Puebla in 1880 to an Italian entrepreneur, Victor Berato.
Twenty years later, in 1903, influenced by the fantasy and ambition of new villas, Eugène Lions commissioned the architect Francis Girard to further build on the design and Eugène Lions went for a colorful dressing.
Friezes and paintings of decorative earthenware highlight the different levels and mark the framing of the openings on the first floor. The roof was modified: carved wooden braces support the extended cover with the help of coves and add a picturesque note to the austerity of the facade.
The Art Nouveau furniture in all the rooms and the decoration date from this period, including the magnificent stained-glass windows. The interior rooms have a decor of plaster work, decorative carpentry and a beautiful set of white, red and black marble fireplaces; the floors are ceramic tiles with large floral motifs
Villa Puebla is surrounded by a large wooded park which also includes an old greenhouse.
Villa Puebla is listed in the inventory of Historic Monuments and its original furniture has been fully preserved.
Furthermore Villa Puebla has received the label of the Heritage Foundation and is included each year in the program of National Architecture Days.
Villa Puebla featured in the very well-known French TV program « Des racines et des ailes ».