Villa Wenden, then Le Rouve
The backer of this sumptuous villa is the Grand duchess Anastasia Mecklembourg Schwerin, granddaughter of Czar Nicolas I of Russia and sister of the Grand Duke Michel well known in Cannes. Of neo classic style with a German touch, the building constructed in 1889, rises on a garden terrace sustained by a spectacular peripheral wall. This work of art is remarkable, like the wrought iron gates closing the accesses of the property. The Villa Wenden is the first residence in Cannes equipped with electricity. A winter residence, the villa is the place of the winter retreat of the German family of the Prince de Wenden Schwerin and the Romanov of Russia.
Only daughter of the Grand Duke Michel Nicolaevitch, Anastasia is extravagant and shows a strong personality. She surrounds herself with a crowd of friends and organizes numerous parties. On the opposite, her husband Frederick III, reigning prince of Schwerin, is a sullen neurasthenic character. He dies in Cannes in April 1897, formally of an aneurysm, but in fact, he is found lying at the foot of the retaining wall of the property. Anastasia, aged thirty-six years, keeps the villa and also inherits various possessions. She lives in a great comfort between the French Riviera, Paris, England and Russia. Of her relationship with her private secretary Vladimir Paltov, a son is born in Nice in 1902 who takes the name of Louis Alexis de Wenden. In 1909, after the death of her father in the villa in Cannes, she inherits a huge fortune.