Once upon a time, in the little Provençal village of Eze, there lived an old lady. She lived all alone in a small house overlooking the sea. No one knew her past and, in fact, no one today can even remember her name.
She had a small herd of goats and took them to pasture every day at the foot of the village. At nightfall, she led them back to the barn to milk them. She lived from the sale of the precious milk of her herd. The milk was collected very early in the morning and the old lady always kept some to make her own inimitably delicious cheese.
Every sunday, she went to the village to sell it. Every gold coin she received was carefully concealed among the stones in the old house. No one knows for how many years this ritual lasted, nor how many gold coins the old lady hid away. One winter’s night she died, taking her fabulous secret with her.
Many years later, an old peasant, following a goat with a golden fleece, discovered the little house left abandoned and decided to buy it. Once the deal was made, he visited his new possession and, to his utter surprise, discovered the secret. Indeed, the lime, which had covered the treasure for so many years, had disappeared. The glittering gold coins were now easily visible.
Thanks to this gift from heaven, the old man was able to make his dearest wish come true: building a magnificent house at the top of the village. Thus after many months of hard work, the masterpiece was completed, far exceeding the old man’s wildest hopes. The building was one of the most splendid in the entire region, immediately it was called “Le Château”.
Unfortunately, the old man did not enjoy this new home for long. the First World War broke out, devastating Europe and calling all the men to the front. The old man disappeared and was never heard from again. Some time after the end of the war, a great American violinist (Balakowicz) informed his fans he was stopping his career to retire to a magical place he had discovered while touring Europe: Eze-village. The “American”, as the villagers soon dubbed him, moved into the new home he had just purchased.
He loved the great estate with its breathtaking view and the region’s privileged climate. At the village bistro, tongues were wagging. Everyone was talking about the treasure hidden in the mountains that a goatherd, led by the golden fleece of one of his flock had come upon by accident one day. It came to the violinist’s ears, but the old lady’s secret had been carefully guarded until then.
The old musician paid no heed to this legend and continued reading on his terrace overlooking the garrigue. But one fine summer evening, the legend revealed itself to him. There stood the goat, majestically before him. He tried to approach and touch it, but it disappeared instantly. The golden glint was dazzling.
Was this vision real or was it the old man’s imagination? And why did the goat glitter with gold? No one has ever known… But it is this vision that gave its name to this home of legends: “Château de la Chèvre d’Or” (Castle of the Golden Goat).
There is no doubt that “Château de la Chèvre d’Or” is a magical place. Perhaps you too will be lucky enough one day to glimpse this mythical creature on the terrace. And were you to doubt the veracity of the legends, you might ponder the fact that “eze” means “goat” in Hebrew! A strange coincidence indeed…