EDOUARD NIERMANS, AN EXTRAORDINARY ARCHITECT
“A Parisian born in Holland by an error of nature,”as a columnist from Gil Blas humorously wrote, this outstanding master boasts an impressive list of works, including but not limited to the Negresco Hotel in Nice, the Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz, the Hôtel de Paris in Monte-Carlo, the Palace Hotel in Madrid, and in Paris, no less than thirty-two concert halls and auditoriums, including the Moulin Rouge, the Casino de Paris, the Folies Bergères, the Capucines, the Olympia, the Élysée Montmartre and the Théâtre Marigny, as well as the Brasserie Mollard and the Rumpelmayer tea salon (now Angelina). The sheer wealth of his œuvre and the ecclecticism of his style, which catered to his commissioners' demanding tastes, placed this “playful servant of the times,” as he was called, among the great architectural pleasure-makers of what later became known as the Belle Époque. “With Niermans,” wrote historian Bruno Foucart, “19th century architecture gets inebriated and smiles.”.
Nothing predestined this architect courted by the "Café Society", the former jet set, to establish himself as a winemaker in the small village of Montlaur, a few kilometers from the City of Carcassonne that Viollet-le-Duc had just awakened. Friend of Auguste Renoir, Théo Van Gogh, Jules Chéret, Félix Ziem, Charles Garnier,
Edouard Niermans married in 1895, Louise Marie-Héloïse Dewachter (1871-1963), a charming young Belgian 24 years old. Sister of the post-impressionist painter Isidore Louis Dewachter (1872-1946) known as Louis Dewis,Louise Marie-Héloïse is the heiress of the Dewachter multi-branch stores, whose flagship remains the flagship store on Sainte-Catherine Street in Bordeaux. From their union will be born two boys, Jean and Edouard and a daughter Hélène.