The Hotel Negresco is the most famous sight of Nice. The white hotel with its pink dome is the symbol of the city. The name comes from Henri Negresco, the ambitious immigrant from Romania quickly made a career in France and ran the Casino in Nice. He wanted to build a luxury hotel in the style of the Belle Epoque and commissioned the architect Edouard Niemans. None other than Gustave Eiffel was hired to construct the dome. The Negresco was opened in 1912.
Since then, the hotel on the Prommenade des Anglais has been a playground for the international jet set. Celebrities like Salvador Dali, Grace Kelly, The Beatles and many other stars and starlets have already stayed here.
The most famous sight of Nice is the kilometer-long waterfront. The English were the first Northern Europeans to stay in Nice to spend the winter. The "Promenade des Anglais" (English Promenade) was built around 1850 on their initiative. There is always a lot going on on the wide river walk. The city's famous luxury hotels are also located here. The pebble beach on the promenade makes the water shimmer clear and blue, but is not so pleasant on the feet. On some parts of the beach, sand is poured in so that you can play volleyball. There are bike paths on the promenade that pedestrians should cross with care. In the evening, tourists and locals stroll along the Promenade des Anglais and enjoy the cool wind by the sea.
The old town of Nice "Vieille Ville" with its narrow streets and colorful houses is very reminiscent of an Italian city. Nice has been part of Italy for many years and has adopted the best of both countries. Many lovely shops and restaurants are hidden in the small streets. The Place Rossetti is home to the baroque Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate de Nice. The baroque church was built in the 17th century. Here is a relic of the patron saint of Nice. The holy Reparata was tortured and beheaded as a virgin martyr in Caesarea Maritima. Above the altar of the church is a picture of the holy Reparata.
The Cours Saleya is the largest square in the old town. During the day there is a very market with food, flowers and spices. In the evening, the restaurants place their tables on the square and attract visitors with opulent seafood and fine scents. In the south of the Cours Saleya there are mostly low rise buildings, which gives the square a lot of sun. There are higher buildings in the north, the Chapelle de la Miséricorde is the most beautiful building. To the east of the square you can see the green hill Colline du Châteaux.
The Palace of Justice of Nice dominates the Place du Palais de Justice, a large square in the old town of Nice, where the Dominican monastery previously stood. The classicist structure was built in 1892. Farmers' markets or other events often take place on the beautiful square. If there are no festivities, you can simply relax in a café on the square. The clock tower Tour de l'Horloge stands also on the square. The clock tower was built in 1718 in the Baroque style by architect Bernardo Spinetta.
Since 1776 there is a theater at this site, which was replaced in 1826 by the "Théâtre Royal". In 1881 the theater was destroyed by a fire that killed 200 people. The new building was called "Opéra de Nice" and was opened to the public in 1902. The architect François Aune designed a very elegant opera house with the main entrance on Rue Saint-François de Paule and a second facade on the promenade from which you can see the stage tower, which is located under the classicist gable roof.
The "Nicetoile" is the largest shopping mall in center of Nice. The mall opened in 1982, it was built on the site of the former "Hospice de la Charité". The Nicetoile is located on the main shopping street Avenue Jean Médecin, which connects the train station with the old town. It used to be Nice's main thoroughfare. The Ave. Jean Médecin has been redesigned and has now wide sidewalks and in the middle runs Line 1 of the Tramway de Nice since 2007.
The neo-Gothic church is strongly reminiscent of Notre Dame in Paris. After Napoleon's defeat in Waterloo, Nice was added to the Kingdom of Sardinia at the Vienna Congress. Since France supported Sardinia militarily, the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont ceded Savoy and Nice to France in the Treaty of Turin in 1860. To make it clear that Nice belongs to France, donations were collected for a church that is architecturally based on the tradition of France. The church was built in 1868 by Lois Lenormand. The Basilique Notre-Dame de Nice is the largest church in the city and is located on the main shopping street Avenue Jean Médecin. But the Nice Cathedral in the old town clearly follows Italian models.
At the request of the Russian Empress Maria Feodorovna, this Russian Orthodox Church was built in the park of Villa Bermond in 1903. Her son Nicolas lived in Villa Bermond and died of meningitis in 1864 at the age of 20. The Russian architect Mikhail Preobrazhensky designed the Orthodox church based on St. Basil's Cathedral on Red Square in Moscow. Russia claims the property as the successor to the Russian tsars. Since then, the Russian cathedral "Cathedrale Russe" has been administered from Moscow. The church is normally open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., however, it is closed to tourists during religious events.
Welcome to Nice
Nice is the largest city on the Côte d'Azur with around 350,000 inhabitants and has the only international airport in the region. The old town of Nice "Vieille Ville" looks like a small Italian town. The city belonged to Italy for many centuries. The Italian border is only 25 km away. The second largest city on the Côte d'Azur is Cannes, which became known through the film festival. The old pirate town of Monaco exudes even more glamor with the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino.
From the middle of the 19th century, the British discovered the south of France as winter quarters. Tourism led to pompous hotels and casinos along the beautiful coast. In the 1960s, the actress Brigitte Bardot made the small fishing village "Saint-Tropez" world famous.