Villa Aurora

Cultural Center in Malibu & Pacific Palisades

Built in 1928 in the hills above Sunset Blvd, this was the home of Jewish-German novelist and intellectual Lion Feuchtwanger (1888–1958) and his wife Marta (1891–1987), exiled after Nazis confiscated their Berlin home in 1933. Complete with pipe organ, thick timber-beamed ceilings and miraculous sea views, the villa hosted salons of European artists and intellectuals in exile – folks such as Bertholt Brecht, Charles Chaplin and Thomas Mann – and later served as a base for Marta's political activism.

It is now a German-American art and cultural center hosting visiting artists, musicians, filmmakers and writers in residence, plus occasional concerts, screenings and events. Tours are free but must be arranged in advance.