Nice Viguerie of capital, it was once part of the Ligurian ancient between the river Var and the Magra, the Regio IX Liguria Roman, the Kingdom of Italy (Holy Roman Empire) between the IX th and XI th century, the Ligurian League and the Republic of Genoa, before choosing the protection of the County of Savoy following the war of the Union of Aixwon by the pro-Angevins (Marseille, Arles, Antibes, etc.) against the pro-Carlists (Aix, Toulon, Nice, etc.). The western part and the lookouts of Cannes were renamed Terres Neuves de Provence by the Provençals following the Dedition from Nice to Savoy (Dedition Act) in 1388. Nice became in 1526 the capital of the County of Nice. In 1713, Savoy obtains, by inheritance, Sicily which it then exchanges in 1720 with Sardinia giving birth to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia. This new set, installed on both sides of the Alps, thus forms one of the pre-unitary Italian states, whose capital is fixed at Turin. Nice did not become French until 1860, after a referendum described as a “joke” by the entire international community; the Italian and the Ligurian are prohibited
The history of Nice is essentially characterized by two elements. It is first of all a border town, which, without counting the periods of foreign occupation, has changed sovereignty three times. Thus it was successively Ligurian, Greek, Roman, Italian, Genoese, Provençal, Savoyard-Piedmontese-Sardinian from 1388 to 1860 – with an annexation under the French Revolution from 1793 to 1814 -, and finally French. It is then a city whose expansion accelerated sharply during the xx th century, mainly as a result of the development of tourismon the Côte d’Azur at the same time. These two particularities have had important consequences on the social, political, economic, cultural and even urban planning levels.
The old town is the old part of the city of Nice. The architecture of the city underlines the particular evolution of its history. The old town is characteristic of the town planning of an Italian walled city in modern times. The streets are very narrow and winding, the buildings are covered with plaster in warm colors (ocher and Sardinian red). The many churches are baroque in style. The districts built at the end of the modern period and at the beginning of the xix E century reflect the influence of the town planning in Turin of the time: the streets are wider and rectilinear, the buildings are colored.
The neighborhoods built after the annexation to France in 1860 are in a much more austere and Haussmann style: the streets are wide and rectilinear, but the exposed stone replaces the colored facades. These neighborhoods have a much more “French” aspect than the others, which are aesthetically very “Italian”. The city also has many buildings built during the Belle Époque and in the 1930s with pastel-colored facades sometimes decorated with friezes. Finally, a particularity of Nice is the large number of buildings and buildings described as “palaces”: they are from all eras and of equally variable quality.
The term palace in Nice comes from the Italian Palazzo, and means building. The best example is the Palais Donadei by the Nice architect Charles Dalmas (1863-1938). This building received the vermeil medal at the Municipal Competition of the City of Nice in 1903. It bears the name of its client Alfred Donadei (1875-1933), businessman and politician of the Côte d’Azur. The architect, Charles Dalmas had planned a large dining room to accommodate Marie Quinton (1854-1933) alias “La Mère Quinton” and her restaurant “La Belle Meunière” as well as her “Grand Hôtel Nice Palace”. He was also the architect of the Carlton hotel on the Croisette in Cannes, from which he was inspired by the chest of ” La Belle Otero »For the creation of the domes. As was the case, according to legend, for the architect who created the dome of the Hotel Negresco in Nice, also inspired by the chest of “La Belle Otero”.
It is animated during the day by many shops, which can be both extremely typical (sale of olives and spices of all kinds, local vegetables or flowers from the region) as well as very modern (fashionable clothing shops, many tattoo artists) as well as artist galleries. At night, it is a meeting place and a place to go out for the locals. Its narrow streets are indeed dotted with restaurants, pubs and nightclubs of all kinds.
The district includes several administrative buildings such as the town hall or the courthouse. There is also the Opéra de Nice.
History of Nice
The history of Nice is essentially characterized by two elements. It is first of all a border town, which has frequently changed sovereignty. It was thus successively Ligurian, Greek and Roman, before becoming part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy, then of the Eastern Roman Empire and of the Kingdom of Italy (Holy Roman Empire), then becoming Genoese, Provençal, Savoyard, Piedmontese and finally French 1. It is also a city whose development has been very rapid and mainly due to tourism. These two particularities have had important consequences on the social, political, economic, cultural and town-planning levels.
The presence of man during Prehistory is attested by two Paleolithic sites: the camp of Terra Amata, occupied 380,000 years before our era and testifying to the mastery of fire, and the Lazaretto cave (between 230,000 and 125,000 years before our era). Further west, the alluvial plain of Nice is then marshy, then perhaps lagoon until the end of the Neolithic, unsuitable for human occupation. This is however attested for this period on the Caucade site (vestige of a habitat dated6th millennium BC. AD), as well as that of Giribaldi (district of Cimiez, estimated at – 4,500 years), even in the valley of “Brancolar” (Middle Neolithic). Other artifacts bear witness to this period: axes of polished stone (discovered in the XIX century and now extinct) and remains of a globular vase on the castle hill.
Human attendance, if not the implantation, grows during the following period: it is already revealed by indirect traces of anthropization in the Early Bronze Age (charcoal, bone debris, ceramic shards, vegetation rudérale) on the outskirts of Paillon. More tangible testimonies have been discovered on the hill of the castle: shards of ceramic modeled from the local Ancient Bronze (2,100-1,600 BC) and especially from the Late Bronze Age where sepulchral and domestic remains are added (breeding, craftsmanship of the textiles, ovens, etc.); in Caucade with the cremation Yuri necropolis; and a deposit of bronze objects at Mont-Gros.
According to ancient historians and the majority of current specialists of this period, Nice would have been founded by Phocaean Greeks coming from Massalia between the middle of III century BC. AD and the middle of the II century BC. AD. The city would have been part of a commercial network controlled by Massalia on the coasts of the western Mediterranean, with in particular the sites of Emporion (current Empuries), Agathé (current Agde), Rhodanusia, Olbia andAntipolis (now Antibes). The Massaliotes who wanted to obtain hegemony in the north of the western basin of the Mediterranean by thwarting the Etruscan and Carthaginian expansion but who were also possibly in competition with the Phocaean colony of Alalia in Corsica (current Aléria) established a fortress there to protect their business interests. However, no archaeological evidence or ancient story can confirm this theory on the founding of the city of Nice.
The exact location of the site is not well known. However, the traditional location on the hill of the Castle now seems definitively abandoned; the most recent research works tend to consider as the most probable an establishment, which presents all the characteristics of the other sites of Massaliotes, at the foot of the hill, under the current old town.
Because Nikaïa means in ancient Greek “the one by whom the victory came”, the etymology of the name of Nikaïa has often been linked to the military victory of the Massaliotes over the Ligurians; However no source allows attest with certainty, the etymology of “victory” (facing indigenous) had been allocated until later in the XVII century. If this name, moreover frequent in the Greek world, is indeed of Hellenic origin, it could just as well come from a sanctuary dedicated to Athena Nike. But the toponym Nice / Nis / Nic… is also widespread in Italy and Spain, including in regions without Greek influences like that of Nizza Monferrato, and could then come from an indigenous radical which would have been preserved: ce * nis …, * Nik… would be of Ligurian origin and could mean “source” in this language, little known.
At the beginning of II century BC. AD, the Ligurian peoples of the region, the Déceates and the Oxybiens, launched repeated attacks against Antipolis and Nikaïa. The Greeks appeal to Rome, as they had already done a few years earlier against the federation of the Salyans. In 154 BC. AD the Romans intervene for the first time in Liguria. The consul Quintus Opimius defeated Déceates and Oxybiens and takes Ægythna, oppidumof the Deceases. The territories “conquered” by the Romans from the indigenous populations are incorporated into the IX Liguria region, part of Italy (Roman times). Nice will be dependent on Albintimillium.
Although later Rome divides the region Liguria IX and creates the Military District of Alpes-Maritimes in the west, the province of the Alpes-Maritimes will be created until the middle of I century under Emperor Claude. Cemenelum, the new capital of the province, does not appear earlier than the middle of the I century AD. AD It is located on the hill which will become the district of Cimiez, probably next to the city of the Védiantes, Ligurian population, who always supported the Romans and whose territory extends to Levens. It is between the middle of the I and IV century, the largest urban center between Antibes and Ventimiglia (Albintimillium), but its size remains very limited compared to other Roman cities.
Nikaïa proper, that is to say the Greek coastal city, is on the other hand incorporated within the administrative limits of Italy, this at least from the time of Augustus. It constitutes a fraction of the Greek coast which remains dependent on its metropolis, Massilia (Marseille). It is thus, for example, that Strabo, an ancient author, wrote at that time in his work Geography (IV, 1.9): “Although Antipolis (Antibes) is located in the territory of Narbonitis (the province of Narbonne Gaul) and Nikaïa, in that of Italy, Nikaïa remains subject to the Massaliôtai(the Greeks of Marseilles) and is part of the province (therefore of Gaul) while Antipolis was ranked among the Italian cities under the terms of a judgment against the Massaliôtai which freed it from their domination”. Knowing that, for Strabo, the limit between Italy and Gaul was then placed at the mouth of the Var.
Nikaia develops nevertheless, thanks to the proximity of Cemenelum (Cimiez), and supersedes it in importance to the IV century AD. AD The existence of a Christian community in Nikaïa is attested in 314, just as an episcopal center is in Cemelenum. It is also Cemelenum that would have appeared in III century AD. AD the first Jewish community in the Nice region.
In the V century Nice suffers like the rest of Italy invasions of the Visigoths. Cimiez, seat of a bishopric, is gradually abandoned. In 488 Nice will be part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy with Ravenna as its capital. In 550 comes reunification with the Eastern Roman Empire which subjugates or drives out the Ostrogoths out of Italy. Under the Eastern Roman Empire Nice will be part of the exarchate of Ravenna and the province of Liguria between the rivers ofVar and Magra until 641 when it was conquered by the Lombard king Rothari who created the Duchy of Liguria with Genoa as its capital. All of Liguria is then part of the Lombard Kingdom which will become the Lombard Kingdom of Italy. The abbey of Saint-Pons is founded at the end of the VIII century. In the VIII and IX century Nice suffer like Sardinia and Corsica, many raids Saracens, will push back an attempted invasion in 729 but will be taken and plundered in 813, in 859 and in 880 where it was even burned. The Duchy of Liguria cities get over time some autonomy and IX century Nice joined the league Genoa formed by all Ligurian cities.
At the end of the 1070s, the success of the Gregorian reform forced the lords of Nice to give up their control over the heritage of the church of Nice, and especially of Saint-Pons. From 1117, the Bishop of Nice became the city’s first character. Bishop Pierre I promotes the establishment of the Order of the Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem in Nice in 1135. During the Middle Ages Nice intervenes and takes part in the many wars which devastated Italy. As an ally of Genoa, she was an enemy of Pisa and Venice.
In 1108 Nice became a Ligurian maritime republic and took the title of municipality. It is then headed by a military chief in charge of executive power and by three consuls exercising administrative authority. Shortly after, around 1144, the city set up a consulate. Four consuls, elected, manage the city. In 1153, the consuls came into conflict with the bishop. Enriched by maritime trade and by their military successes in Corsica, against the Saracens, they ended up becoming the city’s first political force. In 1162, the inhabitants refused to take an oath of loyalty to the count of Provence Raimond-Bérenger II who wanted to enlarge his territory and control the southern passage of the Alps. Faced with fierce opposition from the Niçois, Raimond-Bérenger II failed to take the city in 1166 and died shortly after. In 1176 Nice was invaded by the Count of Provence Alphonse I who tyrannize the population and ending the republic. In 1215 the death of Alfonso I the city rebels, the inhabitants massacre the Provencal troops and give themselves again to Genoa.
At the end of the XII century, the city has about 3000 inhabitants. In 1229, Count Raimond-Bérenger V of Provence took over Nice by force. During the XIII and the XIV century belonged to Nice a few times to the counts of Provence but the population has always been hostile to these dominations. However, the city is experiencing significant economic and demographic development thanks to the salt trade. It went from 4,000 inhabitants in 1250 to 7,000 inhabitants in 1285.
The end of the XIII century is marked by the reappearance of the consulate. In 1324, the city had a permanent council of 40 members. This Council of Forty is gaining more and more power. From 1344 – 1345, he elected the trustees. The lower town was fortified during the first half of the XIV century. Population growth resumes at the XIV century. The city went from 7,000 inhabitants in 1300 to 13,500 inhabitants in 1340.
The Black Death, in 1347 – 1348, reduced this number by half: the population fell to 8,400 inhabitants in 1365, and between 4,000 and 5,600 inhabitants in 1387. It is also around this time that the Jewish presence in Nice begins to be better documented, although it probably predates this date. If it is not absolutely certain for the III century AD. AD and can legitimately be assumed for the XII century after the expulsion of Jews from the kingdom of France, it is certain from the middle of the XIV century.
Nice then took part in the war of the Union of Aix, from 1383 to 1388, caused by the succession of Queen Jeanne. Nice takes sides against Louis of Anjou and Charles III of Naples, and his successor Ladislas I of Naples. Defeated, the latter concludes an agreement with the count of Savoy Amédée VII, to whom the city is given on September 27, 1388. The agreement is ratified on the 28th. It is the dedition of Nice to Savoy. The passage of Nice under the power of the Counts of Savoy marks a very important turning point in the history of the city. With the neighboring fishing village of Villefranche, Nice becomes the only port of the Savoie county on the Mediterranean: this situation allows it to become a small and prosperous regional capital. The towns of Ventimille, Menton, Beausoleil, Roquebrune and Monaco remain Genoese. The maritime power of Nice increases, its fortifications are enlarged and its roads improved.
Before leaving, Amédée VII of Savoy entrusted power over Nice to Jean Grimaldi de Beuil. Its tutelage was little appreciated and, in 1396, a delegation of notables from Nice asked Count Amédée VIII of Savoy to appoint a new seneschal. Amédée VIII accepts, and Jean Grimaldise rebels against him. After four years of war, the count agrees to sign a compromise. In 1400, the seneschal renounced his title for compensation. In 1406 we finally see the Jewish community of Nice legally recognized.
In 1419, the Capetian house of Anjou-Sicily renounced Nice. The same year, Amédée VIII of Savoy, who became duke in 1416, entered Nice. The political situation stabilizes then, even if the city knows a rebellion of the popular classes in 1436. In the XV century, Nice experiencing a relatively high economic growth period. The city is gradually integrated into the States of Savoy. Early in the XV century, the city adopted a new emblem: a red eagle, referring to the entrance of Amadeus VII Rouge in Nice1388. The city also reinforces its dominance in the hinterland, which the XVI century, is now called in acts of Chancery of Savoy ” County of Nice “. If 1430 saw the birth of “judaÿsium” (Jewry, ghetto) by an edict of Duke Amadeus VIII of Savoy, it was in 1448 under pressure from the Church, and by order of the Duke of Savoy Louis I, that Jews of the city will be locked in the giudaria, corresponding to the current street Benoît Bunico. Closure which, if it is not always strictly practiced during the following centuries, will not be abolished until four centuries later. Built in 1733, the synagogue giudaria is located in n 18 of the street. However, today, no distinctive mark and no commemorative plaque indicates it.
Under the reign of Duke Charles II, from 1504 to 1553, the city experienced a difficult period, mainly because of the wars between the King of France François I and the Emperor Charles V. In 1536, most of the States of Savoy were occupied by the French armies, and Charles II had to withdraw to Nice. Peace negotiations take place in the city in 1538 between Francis I and Charles V, at the initiative of Pope Paul III. They lead to a precarious peace. Dispossessed of most of his territories, Duke Charles II frequently stayed in Nice, his main stronghold. He developed the monetary production of the zecca niçoise there by ordinances of December 1541.
François I made then alliance with the Sultan Ottoman Suleymaniye against Charles Quint. In 1543, Nice was besieged by the Ottoman fleet led by Khayr al-Din, known as Barberousse. The lower town was taken during the assault of August 15, 1543, but the fortress resisted, until the French and the Turks fell back in September. It was during this siege that the intervention of the legendary character of Catherine Ségurane would have taken place. The military and maritime vocation of the city is reinforced throughout the XVI century by Charles III then by Emmanuel Philibert, who reigned from 1553 to 1580. The latter recovered his lands in Savoy and Piedmont in 1559, thanks to the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis. Charles Emmanuel I succeeds then his father. The city then had around 10,000 inhabitants.
The history of Nice is then marked by the wars between Savoy and France. In 1600, the Duke of Guise, governor of Provence, attacked the city, which was defended by its governor Annibal Grimaldi de Beuil. After the death of Charles Emmanuel I, in 1630, his son Victor Amadeus I signed an alliance treaty, the Treaty of Cherasco, with France. This link is strengthened after the death of Victor Amadeus I, in 1637: his wife, Christine of France, the daughter of Henry IV, became regent.
This period is also marked, in 1610, by the construction of the route of the Royal Route Nice-Turin, by the creation of a free port, in 1612, by the development of baroque architecture and the creation of a courtyard sovereign, the Senate of Nice, in 1614. The policy of alliance with France continued under Charles-Emmanuel II so much so that in 1642, the Spaniards were driven from Nice but his son Victor-Amédée II, on the other hand, wanted to move away from French supervision. In 1690, he allied with the Emperor and the King of Spain against Louis XIV as part of the League of Augsburg. The French then occupied Savoy and, in 1691, Marshal Catinat took Nice. The city was however restored by Louis XIV in 1697 (Treaty of Turin).
The war resumed shortly after, on the occasion of the War of the Spanish Succession. Victor-Amédée II is first of all allied with Louis XIV, then with the emperor. In 1705, the French troops of Marshal La Feuillade attacked Nice. The castle fell in January 1706. The city was occupied until 1713 (treaties of Utrecht). In the meantime, Louis XIV ordered the destruction of the fortress and the ramparts. The city then changes function by losing its military role. After the abdication of Victor-Amédée II, in 1730, his son Charles-Emmanuel III pursued a policy of alliance against France. From 1744 to 1748, the war affected the country of Nice but, the city having lost its strategic interest, the fighting took place in the hinterland.
The XVIII century, after the destruction of the castle and ramparts, is characterized by deep urban changes. Cours Saleya was completed in 1780. The current rue Saint-François-de-Paule becomes the main artery of the city. The Vittoria gate was created in 1788 (it was destroyed in 1879). Place Vittorio (now Place Garibaldi) was completed in 1792. The population resumed its development and established itself outside the perimeter of the old ramparts. The city had 14,600 inhabitants in 1718 and 20,000 inhabitants in 1790. The elites of Nice are more and more attracted to Turin, where they study and where they have a career in administration, the army, or diplomacy.
At the same time, a growing number of English aristocrats are choosing Nice as a winter resort. This new function is symbolically consecrated by the stay of the Duke of York, brother of King George III, in 1764. In the 1780s, there were around 300 winter visitors.
Revolution, Consulate and Empire
Following the entry into the war of France against Austria and Prussia in April 1792, Nice was taken without fighting, in September, by General D’Anselme, who set up a provisional administrative body, headed by Joseph-Ignace Giacobi. Municipal elections in December 1792 were won by the party in favor of the reunion of the County of Nice with France: the lawyer Jean-Alexandre Pauliani, Joseph Dabray, Jean Dominique Blanqui and Ruffin Massa. They send Blanqui and the merchant Joseph Isaac Veillon to theNational convention to request connection. The National Convention, however, demands a vote. An assembly representing the 18 occupied municipalities then solemnly requested the reunification, which was accepted by the Convention, on January 31, 1793. The Alpes-Maritimes department was then created.
Nice then follows national developments. The three deputies of the city, Blanqui, Dabray and Veillon, sit with the Girondins. In September 1793, the envoys Augustin Robespierre and Jean François Ricord arrived in Nice to install a public safety regime. The period was marked by continued fighting in the hinterland. The city of Nice, for its part, is experiencing major supply problems. From May 1795 begins the Thermidorian period. In the hinterland, the barbets oppose the French troops. The nature of barbetism is, however, debated, and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish among them what is part of the political struggle from what comes out of simple brigandage.
The post-Thermidorian period is characterized by the opposition between a moderate municipality (Jean-Alexandre Pauliani then Joseph Emmanuel) and a more radical departmental directorate (André Gastaud). The latter places his supporters in commissions and committees. He is also accused of corruption. The coup d’état of 18 Fructidor, however, enabled commissioners Ruffin Massa and Joseph Dabray to arrest the main culprits of embezzlement. The official dissolution of the barbets by Turin in May 1796, then its renunciation to claim the County of Nice, disoriented the opponents of the Revolution. Barbetism then degenerates into brigandage. The coup d’etat of 18 Brumaire and the establishment of the Consulate did not change anything in this difficult situation. The Austro-Sardinian troops take Nice, which is then taken over by General Suchet. The latter installs a new prefect, Florens.
The situation began to stabilize with the arrival of a new prefect in May 1803, Marc-Joseph Gratet Dubouchage, who succeeded in re-establishing an efficient administration. He also appoints Jean-Dominique Blanqui as sub-prefect of Puget-Théniers. Despite this stabilization, the continuation of the Napoleonic wars caused local public opinion to turn away from France. In 1813, the crowd acclaimed Victor-Emmanuel I. After the fall of Napoleon I, in 1814, the County of Nice is returned to the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia.
The Sardinian restoration and revolution of 1848
The two Treaties of Paris (May 30, 1814 and November 20, 1815) make the county of Nice to the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia and its sovereign, Victor Emmanuel I. The latter also obtains the Republic of Genoa and the protectorate over the Principality of Monaco. The return of peace and stability is appreciated in Nice. Victor Emmanuel I set up the policy of “good government” (Good Government). All the measures put in place under the Revolution are abolished. The municipal administration returns to what it was since 1775 and before 1792: 21 councilors represent the three orders of society (nobles, bourgeois and artisans – farmers). Each order is represented by a consul, but it is the noble consul who holds the reality of power. During this period, the most important were Agapit Caissotti from Roubion, Amédée Acchiardi from Saint-Léger and Henri Audiberti from Saint-Étienne. The most important figure in the city, however, is the governor.
The city finds its Senate. The high school was transformed into a royal college, run by the Jesuits until 1848. The Brothers of the Christian schools are responsible for primary education. Nice also benefits from the creation of two secondary schools, of law and of medicine and surgery, which welcome students before they go to finish their studies in Turin or, sometimes, in Paris. The clergy regained all their prerogatives. The diocese of Nice is detached from the province of Aixand becomes suffragan of the archbishopric of Genoa. In addition, the law of October 7, 1848 endows the provinces with a Provincial Council elected by censal suffrage, which assists the governor. The municipal councils and the trustees are also elected by censal suffrage. The Jewish ghetto of Nice is officially suppressed and the Jews finally obtain the same rights as the Catholics, which they had already enjoyed during the revolutionary and imperial periods.
Nice then experienced a period of political tranquility. The middle bourgeoisie is however more and more sensitive to liberal ideas. The population of the city is increasing sharply. It went from 23,500 inhabitants in 1815 to 44,000 inhabitants in 1858. The city extends on the right bank of Paillon. In the 1830s, an ornamental council, the Consiglio d’Ornato, was set up on the model of the Turin Architectural Commission to plan urban expansion. The church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, known as the Vow, was built in 1835 – 1852 in order to honor the vow adopted by the city council in 1832 and which requested the protection of the Virgin in the face of the cholera epidemic which then threatened Nice. The Massena is designed from 1839 by architect Joseph Vernier Turin. Place Cassini (now Île-de-Beauté) and the Notre-Dame du Port church were built in 1840 – 1853, as well as rue Cassini.
Nice then benefited from the political liberalization movement launched by Charles-Albert in 1847. The Statuto was promulgated on March 4, 1848. The Chamber of Deputies is now elected by censal suffrage. The elected members of Nice are all liberals. At the same time, Giuseppe Garibaldi begins to become famous. Tensions were nevertheless perceptible in May 1851, because of the abolition of the port franchises. The city is also characterized by the existence of a French party, which is structured from 1848 around the newspaperL’Écho des Alpes-Maritimes. This party is essentially made up of liberal traders who studied in France. In 1851, following the coup d’état of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, many French Republicans settled in Nice.
The annexation of 1860 and the Second Empire
At the origin of the annexation was above all the will of Napoleon III, who wanted to help Italy to unite, in order to contain Austria. However, to avoid creating a potentially dangerous unified state right next to France, the emperor claims, in return for his help, the Duchy of Savoy and the County of Nice, which constitute two strategically important regions on the military level.
The principle of this exchange was established in 1858, during the Plombières agreements, between Napoleon III and Cavour, even if the latter then tried to “save Nice”. The Treaty of Turin, the March 24, 1860, confirms the change of sovereignty of the city. The population of Nice seems at first quite reluctant. During the legislative elections of March 1860, the two deputies elected by Nice, Giuseppe Garibaldi and Charles Laurenti Robaudi, were fiercely opposed to annexation. It is true that the abstention was very important. The population, however, finally accepted the change of sovereignty when King Victor Emmanuel II, the 1 April 1860, formally asked to do so on behalf of the Italian unit. A plebiscite is voted on the 15th and theApril 16, 1860. Opponents of annexation call for abstaining, hence the low number of “no” votes. 83% of those registered in the county of Nice and 86% in Nice won the “yes” vote, partly thanks to pressure from the authorities (priests, trustees, civil servants). The territory of
Nice was officially ceded to France on June 14, 1860. The department of Alpes-Maritimes, second in the name, was created by the addition of the county of Nice and the district of Grasse. Political life in Nice was fairly calm under the Second Empire. The city’s trustee elected in 1857, François Malausséna, was appointed mayor in 1860. The provisional governor at the time of the plebiscite, Louis Lubonis, was elected deputy in 1860 and re-elected in 1863. The regime thus favors continuity. The prefect Denis Gavini manages to reconcile the local notables. The city also benefited from many investments, the most visible of which was the arrival of the railway in 1864. The right bank of the Paillon is developing very quickly. Unlike the left bank, it is built in a French Haussmann style. The population rose from 44,000 inhabitants in 1858 to 48,000 inhabitants in 1861.
However, the change in sovereignty also causes discontent. The social category most harmed is undoubtedly that of lawyers who, with the abolition of the Court of Appeal, lose a very important part of their clientele. The lawyers of Nice, who studied in Turin, are thus the main victims of the annexation. Many aristocrats, supporters of the House of Savoy, are also leaving Nice to settle permanently in Italy. Politically, the Nice liberals and supporters of Garibaldi also very little appreciate Napoleonic authoritarianism. Elements of the right (aristocrats) as of the left (Garibaldians) therefore desire the return of Nice to Italy. For the Nice general, in fact, his birthplace is unmistakably Italian. The end of the Second Empire was marked in Nice, as in the rest of France, by the rise of disputes. Too little popular, the deputy Louis Lubonis had to resign in 1868. He was replaced by François Malausséna, reelected in 1869. The management of the city by the latter is however increasingly criticized (his opponents reproach him for favoring the right bank of the Paillon to the detriment of the old districts), while many notables of Nice, especially lawyers, are victims of competition their counterparts in “Outre Var.” The results of the plebiscite of May 1870place Nice among the cities rather opposed to the regime. A double opposition, “French republican” on the one hand and “Italian liberal” on the other, is gradually taking shape. It was therefore a divided city that saw the sudden fall of the Empire and the proclamation of the Republic on September 4, 1870.
The Third Republic from 1870 to 1914
The proclamation of the Republic takes place in a particularly complex political landscape. The “French” Republicans, close to the daily Le Phare du Littoral, oppose the “Italian” liberals, close to the daily Il Diritto di Nizza, some of whom want Nice to return to Italy while others are essentially calling for consideration by the French government of local specificities. Garibaldi was elected deputy in 1871. The first republican prefects, Pierre Baragnon and Marc Dufraisse, lead a sometimes clumsy policy, accusing all their opponents of “ separatism”. There are disturbances, the army and the navy intervene. The conservative prefect Villeneuve-Bargemon, appointed under the Moral Order, then relies on local conservatives, ” particularists “.
Among these particularist local conservatives are the mayor of Nice elected in 1871, Auguste Raynaud, as well as two deputies elected in February 1871: Louis Piccon and Constantin Bergondi. However, political particularism fails quite quickly. In 1874, Louis Piccon had to resign after giving a speech in which he envisioned the return of Nice to the Italian sphere. At the same time, his colleague Constantin Bergondi commits suicide because of family problems. In the following legislative elections, the prefect and the newspaper Il Pensiero di Nizza support two BonapartistsNice, Joseph Durandy and Eugène Roissard de Bellet, but it is two “French” republicans, Gaspard Médecin, from Menton, and Léon Chiris, from Grasse, who are elected. The lawyer Alfred Borriglione then approached the “French” republicans and was elected deputy in 1876. In 1878, he ran for municipal elections against outgoing mayor Auguste Raynaud and won the ballot. Nice passes to the left.
Alfred Borriglione launched a policy of major works: creation of Boulevard Gambetta, extension of the Promenade des Anglais, creation of a municipal casino on Place Masséna, organization of an international exhibition in 1883 – 1884. Close to Gambetta and member of the Republican Union, he was reelected as mayor in 1882. However, following a municipal crisis, he was defeated in 1886. His opponents, conservatives, reproach him for having done too much work and for having indebted the city. The new municipal council appoints Jules Gilly as mayorthen, following his resignation, Count François Alziary de Malausséna. The town hall is therefore now held by moderate conservatives, who stop the policy of major works. The Scout Littoral becomes Nice Scout’s the 1 January 1888.
The February 23, 1887, the major earthquake of intensity 6.3 or 6.4, whose focus was located at sea, probably off San Remo, strongly shook the city and left 2 dead and 13 injured. Nietzsche, while on vacation, called it “entertainment of a new kind: the charming prospect that suddenly opens up to us to see ourselves swallowed up at any moment. ” The social policy of the municipality of François Alziary de Malausséna is, however, considered insufficient by a growing part of the opposition, and in particular by the workers. The municipal elections of 1896 were won by a radical, Honoré Sauvan. The latter remained mayor until 1912, relying on the old town and part of the working class. Honoré Sauvan however had to face many development problems, due to the very rapid growth of the city. In the municipal elections of 1912, he was defeated by the conservatives, who carriedFrançois Goiran at the town hall. Nice therefore returns to the right.
During this period, the city also experienced significant economic and demographic growth. The tourism becomes a predominant activity. The number of hotels thus rose from 64 in 1877 to 182 in 1910. The population increased from 52,000 inhabitants in 1872 to 143,000 inhabitants in 1911. The boom in the economy is made possible by immigration. At the end of the XIX century, Nice has indeed between 24,000 and 25,000 Italians, about one quarter of its population (93 800 inhabitants in 1896).
The second half of the XIX century is marked by the development of Nice as a seaside resort and worldly (even though, initially, sea baths are not a habit of the elite), to debut by English aristocrats and Russian annuitants during the winter, then which spread to other nationalities, especially after the arrival of the railway in 1865. Queen Victoria came several seasons to the Hotel Excelsior Regina and the Russian Empress Alexandra Feodorovna went there in 1857. Many luxury hotels were built, such as the Westminster and the Negresco, as well as casinos and villas inspired by the Italian style adorned with chic gardens (Pauline Bonaparte staying with Carlone, Giacomo Meyerbeer villa Robini, Empress Alexandra villa of Orestis, Louis I of Bavaria Villa Lions and Bashkirtseff villa Romanoff). For these wealthy residents who create a certain cosmopolitanism, various places of worship are built (Scottish, American, English Episcopal, Anglican Evangelical, Russian Orthodox churches). The Promenade des Anglais is the Belle Époque an important social place. The painters also echo the importance of Nice as a winter resort for the bourgeoisie.
Nice has 68 buildings with at least one protection as historical monuments, i.e. 18% of historic monuments in the Alpes-Maritimes department. 30 buildings have at least one listed section; the 38 others are registered.
The Colline du Château was the site chosen by the Phocaean Greeks to establish their trading post and thus found the city of Nice, a few millennia ago. Nowadays, a large landscaped park in the heart of Old Nice, the Château hill takes its name from the imposing fortification which was built there and which was destroyed by Louis XIV in 1706. The medieval city took its place there before the habitat does not extend below (from the 12th century). In particular, there were the palace of the Counts of Provence and the cathedral, two major elements of the medieval city that archaeological excavations are trying to rediscover.
Protected since the 18th century by a total absence of urban development, the site contains in its basement the remains of the medieval and modern city, but also of older periods. While it is not yet clear whether the Greek city of Nikaïa is indeed at its summit, archaeological excavations clearly show an ancient occupation, dating back to the beginning of Protohistory, a millennium BC. The hill has always been a privileged place for habitat and surveillance of a territory in contact with the sea.
There are still some vestiges of the old fortification in the current park. But the fragments are so rare that visitors do not manage to understand their nature, and even less to visualize the monumental ensemble to which they belonged. It must be said that the destruction ordered by Louis XIV, in 1706, of the entire fortified system of Nice was extremely radical.
The Crypt of Nice
La Crypte de Nice is a 2,000 m² underground room located under Boulevard Jean-Jaurès and Place Garibaldi, along the Paillon River. It was the archaeological excavations of the first line of the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis tram, in 2006, which revealed very well-preserved remains around one of the main entrances to the city, the Porte Pairolière, and to highlight in an exceptional way the history of Nice since the Middle Ages as a stronghold of the County of Provence and then of the Duchy of Savoy. Central element in the defense of the County of Nice, these fortifications will disappear on the order of Louis XIV, in 1706, for three centuries of oblivion.
Carried out by Inrap and the Archaeological Service of Nice Côte d’Azur, it was carried out in two stages, first in the open air and then, after the installation of the beams supporting the tramway track, under a closed slab. In 8 months of excavation, all the remains were completely cleared. The construction of a concrete wall around the site allowed the preservation of the site. In 2012, in view of its historical and heritage interest, the Crypt of Nice was classified as a Historic Monument.
The streets of Old Nice
Abbey (rue de l ‘)
The street was named so because it was the administrative center of the abbey of Saint-Pons located much further north in the valley of Paillon (the current Pasteur hospital). The abbey, founded by Charlemagne, found itself covered with legacies from the local nobility before the year 1000. These activities were subsequently split from the monastery and brought together in this street. The immense expanses were gradually split up or sold over the centuries.
The square is only the eastern end of Cours Saleya, at the foot of the castle hill. At the bottom the hill of the castle. The painter Henri Matisse stayed there.
Collet (rue du)
Located south of Place Saint-François, it begins at the same location as Rue Droite but runs along the Paillon.
It has nothing “right” but its name comes from a bad translation of drecha which means direct. It was, in fact, the street which connected the Ponchettes beach located to the south to the Pairolière bastion located on the northern limit of the old town. The goods passed there on this narrow axis by carriers, mules or charetons.
After the mining of the ramparts of Nice, the old town was able to open to the north by a large square built on a square plan and arcades.
From Place Masséna to rue Barla. The boulevard follows the old dikes of Paillon. Current traffic axis W ⇒ E. The creation of boulevard Jean-Jaurès dates back to 1825, under the orders of the Sardinian intendant Alexandre Crotti de Costigliole. The boulevard is then called boulevard des Bastions, then boulevard du Pont-Vieux. At the beginning of xx th century, it is called Boulevard MacMahon named general became president of the French republic.
This is the last section that linked the south to the north of the city in the Middle Ages, from Ponchettes to Porte Pairolière.
Malonat (rue du)
Rue du Malonat rises in tiers from rue de la Préfecture to the hill of the Castle. It owes its name to the “maloun” (Nice name for “tommettes”), small hexagonal terracotta plaques used for paving streets or tiling houses. During the Revolution and under the Empire, it was called rue de la Fraternité, then rue Oblique, before regaining its initial name.
At the top of this dead end street stands an oratory dedicated to Notre Dame du Bon Secours. It was raised in 1854 by the inhabitants of the district and their canon, grateful to have escaped a cholera epidemic. Indeed, cholera had appeared in Nice inJuly 1854. The sick had been installed in a nearby building, the former Bernardine convent, and the inhabitants had then relied on the Virgin. The oratory houses a statue of Notre-Dame du Bon-Secours, also known as Notre-Dame du Malonat, made of plasterboard, as are the floats and large heads of the Nice Carnival. The first celebration of Our Lady of Malonat took place onAugust 2, 1854, the oratory itself was inaugurated on September 8, 1854.
Since then, a votive festival has been held in the neighborhood every year. It is taken care of by patron ladies, the prioulessa. The centenary of this tradition was celebrated inMay 1954, Marian year and also centenary of the dogma of the immaculate conception. The 150th anniversary, in 2004, gave rise to festivities and conferences.
Well known to Nice and tourists, it is the shopping street in the old town. It begins in the north near Place Garibaldi, an old bastion protecting the entrance to the city at this location. It joins the Place Saint-François to the south. This term comes from the Nice pairou (= cauldron). In the Middle Ages, it was the street of the boilermakers.
Rue du Pont-Vieux
Called simply street bridge to the xvi th century, the street Old Bridge was previously called carriera Fustaria (= street fustiers or carpenters). The construction of the Pont-Neuf in 1824 made it necessary to add the adjective old to differentiate the road leading to the Saint-Antoine bridge. Apart from a few fords, it was the only road to the other side of the Paillon and to France.
Formerly, it seems that the west side was adorned with Gothic porticoes falling on short columns. There are remains to the north. At the northern end was the Porte Saint-Antoine which linked the street to the Pont Saint-Antoine. The door was dismantled in the xix th century and reassembled at the Chateau creating a false ruins below the waterfall.
Prefecture (rue de la)
The rue de la Préfecture was called rue Impériale under the First Empire and the Second Empire (1860 – 1870 in Nice).
The Rossetti square is the heart of the old tourist town. There are restaurants on three sides. Initially, a block of houses blocked the view of the Sainte-Reparate cathedral, making it as difficult to see as the Lascaris palace currently in the rue Droite. The donation of this island to the city by the Rossetti family allowed its demolition and to enjoy the view that we know. In exchange, the city gave the name of the family to the new square as well as to the street which climbs towards the castle.
Starting from the square, climbs east on the foothills of the castle hill. An ultimate staircase provides access to the rue du château, the old and only access road to the citadel. For the name see Rossetti square above.
The Saint-Hospice street is the street of the Providence Lane St. Francis. Its name is a tribute to Saint Hospice, a hermit from the Nice region.
The red of its facades, the white window frames, the arcades and the square shape of its northern part signify the Piedmontese influence in the architecture of this place, the center of the city and the center of the famous Carnival. Once cut in two by the straw, it only found its unity in 1884. It bears the name of André Masséna, a French patriot firmly attached to his origins in Nice. On the “fountain of the sun”, inaugurated in 1956, are five bronze statues sculpted by Alfred Janniot. They all represent characters from Greco-Roman mythology: Earth, Mars, Venus, Mercury and Saturn. In the center of the fountain is a marble statue of Apollo, seven meters high. The square also has seven scribes statufies in white resin, about ten meters above the ground. These statues light up at night thanks to changing light effects and turn them into “Sitting Tatoos”, or translucent men who light up in different colors depending on the moment. They were made by the Catalan sculptor Jaume Plensa.
The river separates the old town from the rest of the city and whose existence we no longer suspect because it is largely covered by a set of monuments (Promenade du Paillon, Theater, Museum of Modern Art, Acropolis, Palais of Congresses).
It was built in 1855 on the site of an old theater, by the Nice architect François Aune who was inspired by the Paris Opera. The ceiling is painted by Emmanuel Costa, painter from Menton. Continuing towards the castle, you enter the vast space of Cours Saleya. In the middle of the course, we discover the Place Pierre Gautier with as a backdrop the columned facade of the old prefecture and to its right the Chapel of Mercy.
The “course” is a pedestrian esplanade laid out from the base of the castle hill to the edge of the opera house. Surrounded by restaurants, it is also a colorful place with its food and flower markets every morning. Tourists can also find souvenirs, antiques and flea markets there.
The old Prefecture
It is located on the site of the palace of the Dukes of Savoy then the government palace. It was a high place of social gatherings of the last century. There are paintings by Jules Cheret.
The Chapel of Mercy
Considered the most beautiful baroque chapel in the city, the richness of its interior decorations, the originality of its volumes and the paintings by Bistolfi make it the masterpiece of the architect Vittone. Continuing towards the castle until the rue de la Poissonnerie, you will be able to discover on a facade dated 1584 a sculpted and painted bas relief representing Eve and Adam armed with a club, a profane subject rare at that time.
Saint Giaume church
A few steps away, stands one of the oldest churches in the city, the Church of Saint Giaume, built on a chapel which dates from the year 900. Restored in baroque style, it celebrates and venerates Saint Rita. stone constructions is one of the reasons for the evolution of Romanesque churches towards a transformation in the following period into a baroque church.
It was built in the 12th century. The citadel surrounded the whole city from 1388 date on which Nice abandoned the French and Provençal tutelage to choose Savoyard domination. The castle takes on strategic importance and the inhabitants are forced to settle on the banks of the Paillon. This agreement, not recognized by the French sovereigns, will lead to numerous conflicts. Deemed to be impregnable, the castle was taken by French troops in 1706 and razed to the ground by order of Louis XIV.
The rue Sainte-Reparate leads to the Cathedral, whose baroque facade and the dome with glazed tiles face the Place Rossetti. The Sainte Reparate cathedral was built in 1649 by the architect Jean-André Guibert. It is dedicated to the patron saint of the city.
Jesuit Church known as the “Gésu”
Built in 1607 by the architect André Guibert who was inspired by a Roman church for its Baroque facade, its interior is very richly decorated. Start from the rue du Gésu which faces the church until the rue sainte Reparate where you passed previously and join the rue de la Préfecture on the left.
The Lascaris Palace
Genoese-type residence built in 1648, with a facade decorated with fire pots, garlands with an entrance portal with pilasters and a monumental staircase of honor the ground floor is reserved for commercial activities.
A fish market surrounding a fountain decorated with dolphins characterizes it. It is dominated by the Communal Palace, the old town hall of the city, current labor market, a rare example of civil baroque architecture.
La Tour and rue Pairolière
A little beyond at the corner of rue de la Tour and rue Pairolière, the pretty clock tower is the only vestige of a former convent. Rue Pairolière leads to boulevard Jean Jaurès. We then leave the pedestrian zone to reach a little further in the same direction the place Garibaldi. The most beautiful square in the city, surrounded by arcades which house shops. The southern part houses the Chapel of the Holy Sepulcher known as the White Penitents. The center of the square is occupied by a statue of Garibaldi, the work of the sculptor Etex (in 1891).
It was built as part of the Longlio d’Ornato, a town planning project. From 1850 by the architect Conte Robilante to pay homage to the Piemontese sovereign Victor Amédé III. Joseph Garibaldi was born in Nice in 1807, ardent revolutionary, he participated in South America in the wars of independence then for Italian unity against the Austrian Empire. He fought for France in 1871. Towards the east, you will reach rue Catherine Ségurane, a woman of the people of Nice who, during the battle between Nice Savoyarde and the French and Ottoman troops (François I and Frédéric Barberousse) in 1543, stood out for her daring… the legend, it is the symbol of courage and independence.
Ohter historical buildings of Old Nice
Many buildings of all ages and styles are called palaces in Nice. In particular, we speak of the palaces of Old Nice as we speak of the hotels of the Marais in Paris.
The main palaces of Old Nice are listed below in alphabetical order of the streets:
15 rue Alexandre Mari: Palais Héraud or Palais Héraud-Vintimille. The palace passed by marriage to the Malausséna family (that of François Malausséna, the last Sardinian trustee and first French mayor in 1860) then, by inheritance, to the Raiberti family (that of Flaminius Raiberti, the first Niçois to become minister after 1860).
12 rue Benoît Bunico: we are in the old ghetto; belonged to the Trèves family.
27 rue Benoît Bunico
31 rue Benoît Bunico: belonged to De Constantin
1 place Charles-Félix: Caïs de Pierlas palace, belonged to the family of the same name after having been the property of the Ribotti family until around 1782. The painter Henri Matisse lived for a few years on the third floor of building.
7 rue du Collet: belonged to Pierre Gioffredo
15 rue Droite: Palais Lascaris which is the most famous of the palaces of Old Nice; belonged to the Lascaris-Vintimille de Castellar (strongholds in Ventimiglia and Castellar).
38 to 42 rue Droite, 1 and 3 rue du Château, 2 and 4 rue du Malonat: Palais des Galléan de Châteauneuf.
8 rue du Jésus
2 rue Jules Gilly
3 and 5 rue Jules Gilly. Inscription Pax cum amicis, bellum cum vitiis: Peace to friends, war against vices.
1 place du Palais: Palais des Torrini, Counts of Fougassières (near Estéron). The building has the shape of an L: instead of an old courtyard or garden, there are shops occupying a simple ground floor, including the restaurant in Nice where Jacques Médecin had his habits. In the cadastral plan of 1812, the current Place du Palais is named Place Impériale (it also bore the name of Place Saint-Dominique): in block 18 the two wings of the palace form plots 504 and 503, and the location of the yard parcel 503 bis.
2 rue de la Poissonnerie
5 and 7 rue de la Préfecture: “Palace of York”, palace of the Counts of Cessole (this stronghold is in Italy), Spitalieri family of Cessole; became the Hotel York at the xix th century. It is indeed a unique palace even if the part corresponding to n ° 5 has been raised. In the cadastral plan of 1812, the palace faces the Place Impériale: in block 98, n ° 5 corresponds to plot 280 and n ° 7 to plot 283.
15 rue de la Préfecture and 7 rue Saint-Vincent: palace of the Caïs de Gilette (we also write Cays de Gilette to distinguish them from the Caïs de Pierlas: respective strongholds of Gilette and Pierlas). To build this palace, we began to group together plots from 1782: the chapel of the blue penitents was thus transferred to the current Place Garibaldi. During the French Revolution, the palace was looted, confiscated and damaged. Plot 296 of block 85 in the cadastral plan of 1812 where rue Impériale corresponds to the central section of the current rue de la Préfecture. Uti Parta ita manet (She remains as she was born) is inscribed above the entrance which relates to the house and is therefore not the motto of the Caravadossi d’Aspremont (stronghold in Aspremont) who owned the palace at the end of the xix th century.
16 rue de la Préfecture
18 rue de la Préfecture
19 rue de la Préfecture: Palais des Ricci des Ferres (Les Ferres is a town near Estéron)
3 rue Raoul Bosio (formerly rue de la Terrasse): Clément Corvesi’s palace. The Corvesi or Corvesi family of Gorbi (stronghold in Gorbio) is originally from Sospel. Town Hall Annex Corvésy (the municipal scribes have chosen this spelling) since its acquisition in 1937.
1793: the palace is confiscated from Clément Corvesi, Count of Gorbio and first president of the Senate of Nice as an emigrant property.
Beginning of the xix th century, the palace became the hotel of famous foreigners for his garden.
1937: becomes an annex of the town hall. The garden becomes a hall, then a school is built (the Nikaïa school group) and a car park (the Corvésy car park).
2 rue Saint François de Paule: palace of the Ongran de Saint-Sauveur counts of Fiano (we also write Hongran), a family whose origin and stronghold are in Saint-Sauveur-sur-Tinée. The land was acquired in 1730.
3 rue Sainte Reparate: former episcopal palace.
5 cours Saleya: palace of Annibal Grimaldi, last count of Beuil. Decorated ceilings on the second floor can be seen from the street.
1 Old Place: belonged to Caïs Gilette the xvii th century before installation at 15 rue de la Prefecture.