On the 19th April 1856, the Municipal Council of NICE, in an extraordinary general meeting, sold to Colonel Smith 22 000 m2 of uncultivated land on Mont Boron; the king approved the contract on the 8th May.
The castle was built from scratch in 3 years, its outline reminiscent of Indian architecture, standing out in profile against the horizon. Colonel Smith surrounded it by a garden, having the soil imported at great cost.
We must not forget that, this colonel, a genius officer of the English army, had worked on the fortifications of DELHI and was obsessed with ASIA ; he wanted to live in an architectural surrounding which reflected this. Further to this he painted Far Eastern splendours, amongst which a painting measuring 20 meters by 70 cm, where all of Indian life is represented, from the Sultan’s court to the fakir’s tricks.
On the 27th December 1861, an exhibition of local painters opened under the terraced archways of this house.