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Nice

Nice© Ekaterina Budnikov

About Nice

A trip to Nice will bring you to the fifth biggest city in France. It was founded in the year 350 BC by the Greeks. In the middle of the 19th century, the widow of the Russian Tsar Nikolaus I. visited the town and laid the foundation for tourism. Today, Nice with its 341,000 inhabitants is hotspot for the rich and famous at the Côte d`Azur. The town is located at the beautiful Baie des Anges (Angel Bay) and has numerous pretty beaches. Typical for Nice are the impressing Baroque buildings, but there are many other must-see places, like the Palais Masséna, built in Italian style. Visitors can marvel at paintings of the Nice School here. Do not miss to visit the cathedral Sainte-Réparate, built in the 17th century.

The atmospheric central point of Nice is the harbour. Numerous restaurants and cafés invite you to spend some relaxing hours and various leisure activities do not let boredom arise. It is also departure point for ferries to the nearby island Corsica. The old town of Nice is located at the bottom of the former castle hill. The alleys are bordered with high, narrow buildings. To experience the real atmosphere of Nice, you should visit the daily flower- and vegetable market at the Cours Saleya. One of the biggest collections of creations from Marc Chagall can be found at the Musée Chagall. The artist Henri Matisse has an own exhibition as well. You find drafts, graphics and paintings.

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Nice - Russian Church© Ekaterina Budnikov

Nice Sights

Promenade des Anglais
The Promenade des Anglais is famous for its popularity with the rich and beautiful. They love to walk along the promenade before having dinner in the evening. At the weekend you see many street artists, jogger, inline-skater, couples and families that enjoy the stunning view of the buildings of the Belle Epoche and the sea. The Promenade des Anglais also offers a good view of the luxurious hotels. The boulevard got its name from the English visitors who populated the wide Promenade des Anglais. Characteristic for the promenade are the colourful benches all along the way which form a lively contrast to the posh hotels.

Old Town
Especially the architectural valuable buildings in Vieux Nice form an impressing picture. Center of the old town is the square Cours Saleya which is surrounded by ochre houses with numerous Cafés inside. Every day a market is taking place on the square where you find a large range of fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, handcraft and flowers. You definitely should try a typical Socca, a bread made of chickpeas, freshly baked in the wooden stove. Every Monday, a flea market is taking place at the Cours Saleya. This is a perfect option to find souvenirs. The old town in Nice with its narrow alleys and the high buildings from the 17th and 18th century is a great place for a relaxing walk. Colourful houses with washing lines hanging on the small balconies create an Italian atmosphere.

Palais Lascaris
Located in the old town you find the former noble palace Palais Lascaris. It was built in the 17th century by the family Lascaris-Vintimille who inhabited the palace. Inside the building the pompous artistic Baroque compositions can be admired. Sculptures, angel-portraitures and lots of plastering are decorating the walls and stairs of the Palais Lascaris. On the ground floor you can see an old pharmacy with its original furniture from 1738. The four-storied Palais Lascaris also houses one of the most important collections of musical instruments in Europe – the Musée de la Musique and a private collection of musical instruments. As the building is meanwhile property of the Order of Malta, you find lots of information about the history and function of the order within the palace whose exterior does not reveal the impressive inside.

Musée Matisse
In Nice you find the biggest collection of creations from the painter, graphic designer, drawer and sculptor Henri Matisse. Until his death in 1954, the artist has spent most of his life in Nice, more precisely, in Cimiez. This is also the place where the Musée Matisse, a building in Italian style, painted in red, is located. The museum is surrounded by a beautiful spacious park.

Corniches
Corniche is the word for “road along a steep coast or a steep rock”. That’s exactly what the three corniches that connect Nice and Menton are. They are called Corniche Inférieure, Corniche Moyenne and Grand Corniche, what means small, medium and big. The Grand Corniche is the most famous panoramic road in the world. It is not without reason that the road was used as location for the spectacular chase in the beginning of the James Bond movie “Goldeneye”. The three roads all passing the Sea-Alps and offer an amazing view of the sea and the inland with its villages. As the corniches are very busy and as you should take lots of breaks to take photos of the great landscape, it is recommended to plan much time for the trip.

Colline du Chateau
The 100-meter-high castle hill Colline du Chateau offers a great view of Nice as well as a beautiful park with exotic plants and an artificial waterfall in the middle. Although you do not find a castle here, the park and the view are definitely worth the climb. It is a great location for a picnic and to watch the planes taking off and landing. On your way up you are passing a cemetery which is also very worth seeing. If you prefer a more relaxing way up, you can make us of the lift which is with costs. Everyone who is spending a couple of days in Nice, should walk up the Colline du Chateau twice – once during daytime and once at night. In the dark the view of the lighted Promenade des Anglais is very romantic.

Place Garibaldi
The Turin-based Place Garibaldi forms the passage to the Neustadt district in Nice. Ochre yellow fronts with arcades are bordering the square in the middle of which is a statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi who has once been an Italian guerilla fighter. He firstly supported the German-French-War, later he expresses the opinion that Nice should be Italian again. This caused the reaction that he had to go into exile. The Place Garibaldi was originally designed and built in the 18th century by the same architect that constructed the harbour of Nice. In the course of time, many modifications have taken place. Since 2008 the Place Garibaldi is a pedestrian area with shops, cafés and a cinema.

Russian Church of Nice
The Russian Church of Nice is called Cathédrale Orthodoxe Russe Saint-Nicolas in French. It is the biggest church of its kind outside of Russia and is evidence of the Russian noble families and tsars who lived in Nice in the 19th century. The church was inaugurated in 1912. Looking at St. Nicolas cathedral, visitors are nodding approvingly. Light grey marble is mixed with terracotta bricks and garnished with extensive and detailed ceramics and decoration, like the six golden domes. The inner part of the church with its different claddings and gold work also offers an impressing view. The Russian Church of Nice is open to the public and can be visited.