What to see in Nice

Author: DanielaNob

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Nice Places And Charm, France

Promenade des Anglais

Nice's mild climate (rarely under 5 degrees in the winter) convinced the rich English and Russian families to take winter vacations in the city in the early nineteenth century, creating two strong communities.
In 1802 the English Reverend Lewis Way designed the Promenade des Anglais to make the unhealthy land on the sea an ideal place for the families to walk. He gathered as much financing as he could and thus the glorious life of the Promenade began, through the splendor of the Belle Époque to the present day.
If the open beach presents any challenges for enjoyment at the end (being made of gravel), a spectacular display is guaranteed by turning your gaze to the architecture of the Promenade, the Liberty-style hotels and most of all the Théâtre de Verdure, the Palais de la Méditerranée (a luxury hotel with an art-deco facade, declared a historical monument to be protected), the Musée Masséna and finally the Hotel Negresco (with the red dome), marvelous examples of the unforgettable grandeur. For resting there are the typical blue benches.
The Promenade is the stage for the battle of the flowers in the Nice Carnival and the ideal track for skaters and athletes.


Old Town

Leaving the Promenade des Anglais behind, you will enter the old town of Nice. It is recommended to walk the Cours Saleya, a street surrounded by low houses and populated by numerous cafes and restaurants. Here you will find the the Chapelle de la Misericorde, one of the most imposing Baroque monuments. The famous flower market takes place here every day, replaced by the antique market on Mondays.
The religious heritage of the old town can be seen at the Cathédrale Saint-Réparate (open daily from 7:30 am to 7:00 pm), build in the second half of the 1600s and dedicated to the young martyr, Saint Reparata, whose beheaded body arrived from Palestine.
A bell tower was added in the eighteenth century and the Baroque facade was added in the nineteenth century. The inside is interesting, with 10 chapels and an impressive marble balustrade.
Palais Lascarais, which will soon house Nice's music museum, is a building originally constructed in 1648 as the residence of the Lascaris-Vintimille family. Its style is Baroque and Genoese with a monumental staircase, decorated salons and frescoes.


New Town

In the new town the Cathédrale Saint-Nicolas de Nice deserves a visit, having been inspired by St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow's Red Square. The inside is an interesting example of Russian Orthodox art, with icons, frescoes and paintings.
L'Eglise Jeanne D’arc is a modern construction in white cement by the great architect Jacques Droz. The outside is impressive with its bell tower and domes, while the inside is decorated with large frescoes that depict the passion of Russian painter Eugène Klementieff.


Cimiez Hill

The expansion of the Roman village Cemelenium, capital of the Roman province of the Alpi Marittime, led to the construction of walls, an aqueduct, baths and the amphitheater.
The small amphitheater had a structure with two separate tiers, one for legionnaires and one for the enlisted, who came from two different entrances.
What remains of the amphitheater today has been renovated and restored, creating a space for jazz shows.
Excavations conducted from 1954 to 1970 helped to shed light on the baths (third century AD) and retrieve objects from the Roman era, the metal age and the high Middle Ages, such as coins, ceramics, terracotta, jewelry, masks and sculptures.
These objects are on display at the Archaeological Museum; entry is required to see the bath areas, the excavation and the Paleo-Christian site (fifth century AD). Classified as a historical monument to be protected, the baths have the same construction plan as the sauna and the rooms for cold, warm and hot water, oriented north-south with the furnaces in the north.
The Cimiez Monastery, founded by the Benedictines in the ninth century, was later inhabited by Franciscans, who restored it and created a small courtyard, the perfect place today for classical music concerts and summer Mass.
The church of St. Mary of the Angels (Sainte Marguerite des Anges) presents three great works by the Nicoise painter Ludovico Brea, dated between 1475 and 1520: a pity, a crucifixion and a deposition of the cross.
In the monastery's small cemetery the painter Matisse and the winner of Nobel Prize for Literature, Roger Martin du Gard, are buried.
You can visit the Franciscan Museum to better know the life of the Franciscans in Nice. From their origins up to today, you can investigate scrolls, manuscripts, paintings, ancient codes ... or you can enjoy the more earthly and tangible, the wonderful outdoor Italian garden with truly fascinating orchards of oranges, lemons and pomegranates.

Closed Tuesdays - 160 Avenue des Arènes
tel.: 0033 (0)4 93 81 59 57

Place du Monastère tel.: 0033 (0)4 93 81 00 04
Closed Sundays and some holidays.


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