Images en cours de chargement
Old Nice|Photo ElitimoNice and the promenade des Anglais|Photo Ben The ManThe palais Lascaris (ceremonial rooms)|Photo Armand de FoucaultSainte-Réparate Cathedral|Photo Nice TourismeThe Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art|Photo Nice TourismeThe Arènes de Cimiez|Photo Edouard Hue

Nice, the capital of the Riviera

Nice is the capital of the "French Riviera". The promenade des Anglais and its seven kilometres of beaches is the symbol of the city. Nice cultivates the charm of a Mediterranean city and has a countless range of activities and tours: the promenade des Anglais, the old Nice, Belle Epoque buildings, museums of exception and the Arènes de Cimiez.

Brief summary of history

The history of Nice is mainly characterized by two elements. It is a border city that has changed multiple times of sovereignty. She was successively ligure, Greek and Roman, before becoming part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy, then of the Roman Empire of the East and the Kingdom of Italy (888-1024). Nice passing under the rule of the counts of Savoy from 1388 to 1860 marks a turning point in the history of the city. This location allows Nice become a small regional capital and prosper. Finally Nice territory was formally ceded to France in 1860.

It is then a city whose expansion has accelerated sharply during the 20th century, mainly as a result of the development of tourism. These two features have resulted in a significant impact on the social, political, economic, cultural, and even urban plan.

The districts of Nice

Vieux Nice has great riches. Its narrow streets lively, its Baroque churches and its colourful markets. Much of beautiful places are located in the old city, as the place Saint-François, the place Garibaldi and the cours Saleya. Most other places of the city were drawn in the 19th century and are located on the edge of the old Nice, this is the case of Charles Albert square and place Masséna.

The dock of the United States and the lively port represent one of the largest concentrations of antique dealers in France. Boulevard Victor-Hugo has facades of buildings, in particular the palais Meyerbeer (No. 45) with its wrought ironwork and villa Abbo (No. 22) neoclassical.

The ancient palaces and hotels

The palais Lascaris (straight Street) dates from the first half of the 17th century is a baroque palace, whose architecture and decoration show the Genoese influence. The palais Masséna (rue de France), dated 1899, his style is neoclassical.

  • Other famous palaces of the city, include the marble palace, built in Fabron towards the end of the 19th century and the palais Maeterlinck, a former palace of the Cape of Nice.
  • The English castle is a building which marks the appearance of castles of exotic styles built in Nice from 1856 to 1858. Due to its color and shape, it remains as a strong testimony of the follies which are erected on the Riviera. It is a pastiche of the palaces of Jaipur.
  • Nice hotel heritage is considerable, it related to the development of the tourist activity in the second half of the 19th century. The former hotel Regina (Excelsior Regina Palace), former hotel Alhambra, the palais de la Méditerranée, the Boscolo Exedra Nice and the renowned hotel Negresco.

The religious buildings and religious Baroque

The city of Nice has a large number of Italian Baroque religious buildings. Behind the baroque façade, the Ste-Reparate Cathedral (1650 to 1699) did not finish surprising. Most of the baroque taste plays in the manner in which the façade uses light. Niches and undercuts on ledges create gaps of shadow that contrast with the bright beaches of the pediment.

The St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral was built in 1912. It is a church with five cupolas inspired the Cathedral of Saint-Basile the blessed of the red square of Moscow. Its décor of frescos, woodwork and icons is extraordinary.

The Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur Church dates from 1607. Its facade shows the beginning of the influence of the Roman baroque in Nice.

The main museums in Nice

Nice has several museums, dedicated to the art, history and local traditions.

  • The Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art seduces by its architecture. Its monumentality, futuristic lines and its superimposed gateways whose glass walls open onto the old town are a curiosity. The centerpieces of its collections include sculptures, paintings, engravings, lithographs and serigraphs of Niki de Saint-Phalle. In particular her famous "nanas" polyester coloured. Are also presented the new realism with Jean Tinguely, Arman, César, pop art Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and Roy Lichtenstein.
  • The Marc Chagall Museum was created during the lifetime of Marc Chagall (1887-1985). It brings together the works of Marc Chagall on the Bible. In particular the series of 17 paintings depicting the biblical message painted by Chagall.
  • The Matisse Museum is devoted to the work of the french painter Henri Matisse. It includes the a the most important world collections of his works. One can trace his artistic journey and its evolutions from inception until his final work.
  • The Museum of fine arts has collections ranging from the end of the 16th century in the middle of the 20th century. It houses including works of painters Jules Chéret, Louis Bréa, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, the Impressionists Sisley, Monet and post-Impressionists Vuillard, Bonnard and Kees van Dongen and Dufy fauves.
  • The international Museum of naive art Jakovsky welcomes more than a thousand works from donations from Renee and Anatole Jakovsky.

The Arènes de Cimiez

The Arènes de Cimiez form an ellipse of 67 metres on 56. The building hosted games intended to distract the population from the town of Cemenelum, Roman capital of the province of Alpes-Maritimes. With a capacity of 5,000 spectators, the arenas are in close proximity to the Roman baths of Cimiez.

Useful information :

Address :
06088 Nice

Good to know :
Office the Tourisme et des Congrès de Nice, 5 Promenade des Anglais, 06302 Nice Tel. 33 (0) 8 92 70 74 07

Free of charge.

Where to stay:

All accommodation