Nice is revealed and shows different faces, to immerse yourself in religious architecture through the city, take a walk in Old Nice, visit churches, monuments or even the hills of Nice. Walk and bus ride connecting the most beautiful religious monuments. Long route which can be fragmented.
The many churches are baroque in style. Some of religious architecture in Nice is very eclectic, ranging from neo-gothic to neo-classical, for example, the Byzantine Revival style Saint Nicholas Cathedral. Several monuments and statues commemorate events or characters linked to the history of the city, such as the Marble Cross, the Pope’s Column, or the Locksmiths monument.
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 districts built at the end of the modern era 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 remain aesthetically very “Italian”.
The city retains a large number of religious buildings, characteristic of Baroque piety. The oldest is the church of Our Lady of Cimiez, which was built in 1450 and rebuilt in the XVII and XIX centuries. First property of the Benedictine monks of Saint-Pons, it was then ceded to the Franciscans in 1546. The latter developed pilgrimages to Mary there. The church houses three altarpieces of Louis Brea (XV and XVI centuries).
The city has above all a high number of Italian Baroque religious buildings. Among them, the church of Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur, or of Gesù, located rue Droite, dates from 1607. It first belonged to the Jesuits then became the seat of the Saint-Jacques parish. Its facade shows the beginning of the influence of the Roman Baroque in Nice. It was redesigned during the first half of the XIX century. Its bell tower dates from the XVIII century. Its plan and its architecture are inspired by the church of Gesù created by Vignole inRome. The Saint-Philippe-Néri chapel dates from 1612. The Sainte-Reparate cathedral, Place Rossetti, was built from 1650 by the architect Jean-André Guibert. The church is mentioned since the XI century. It was originally a priory of the abbey of Saint-Pons and it is promoted cathedral in XVI century, replacing Sainte-Marie-du-Château. The cathedral was rebuilt in the middle of the 17th century, from around 1650 to 1680. The church is inspired by early Baroque Roman architectural models (Vignole, Maderno). The bell tower was built in the XVIII century.
Among the other Baroque religious buildings, besides the Chapel of the Visitation and the Chapel of the Visitation of St. Clair, we find the Church of St. Martin-St. Augustine, located on the Place St. Augustine. It dates from the late XVII century but only completed in 1830. It is served by the Augustinians. Its facade is neoclassical. St. Jaume chapel or Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur or St. Giaume or Santa Rita, also known under the name of Church of the Annunciation, the XVI century was listed building February 3, 1942. Finally, the Church of Saint-François-de-Paule, in the eponymous street, is in the late Piedmontese Baroque style, but the facade is neoclassical. It dates from the XVIII century as the Saint-Aubert Chapel with Baroque facade.
The Church of the Vow, located on Quai Saint-Jean-Baptiste, was built in 1840-1853 by the architect Carlo Mosca. It was erected to thank the Virgin for saving the city from a cholera epidemic. It is considered to be the most beautiful church of this period, thanks to the use of simple volumes. The Notre-Dame-du-Port church was built in 1840-1853 according to plans by architect Joseph Vernier. The facade was added in 1896 by Jules Fèbvre.
The brotherhoods of penitents have also marked the religious landscape. The Sainte-Croix chapel of the archconfraternity of white penitents, located rue Saint-Joseph, was first built by the Minimes, from 1633. It was then bought by the Archconfraternity of the penitents of the Holy Cross, which makes redecorating in the second half of the XVIII century by architect Antoine Spinelli. Its facade is in the style of the XVII century. The chapel of the Archconfraternity of the Most Holy Trinity and the ShroudLocated rue Jules Gilly, next to the old Senate, when meanwhile the XVII century. Modified XVIII century by the architect Gio Battista Borra Piedmont, it belonged to the brotherhood of the penitents of the Holy Shroud, which was founded in Nice in 1620. It is neoclassical. Two other brotherhoods settled there, the white penitents of the Holy Spirit and the red penitents, before the three brotherhoods merged and became the archconfraternity of the Most Holy Trinity.
Among the other chapels of penitents, we find the Chapel of Mercy of the Archconfraternity of the Black Penitents, located Cours Saleya and dating from theXVIII century. The architect was Bernardo Antonio Vittone. It became the property of the black penitents in 1829. Finally, the Holy Sepulcher Chapel of the Arch-Confraternity of the Blue Penitents, work of Antoine Spinelli, located Piazza Garibaldi is neoclassical and dates from the end of the XVIII century.
The attachment of the County of Nice to France led to the construction of religious buildings in the Gothic style. Thus, between 1864 and 1868, avenue Jean-Médecin, is erected the Notre-Dame basilica based on the plans of the French architect Louis Lenormand. It is inspired by Angers Cathedral and has a large rose window surrounded by two square towers of 65 meters.
Among the churches built in the XX century, the church of Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc, Grammont Street, typical architecture of the 1930s it was designed by the architect Jacques Droz, and completed in 1933. The Notre-Dame-Auxiliatrice church, Place Don Bosco, is the largest in the diocese. It is in Art Deco style. The Church of St. John the Evangelist also dated XX century, as the Armenian Church of St. Mary (1927-1928), and the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes of 2004.
The presence of foreign wintering in Nice from the second half of the XIX century led to the construction of new places of worship. Thus the establishment of a Russian colony in the city led to the creation of Russian Orthodox churches, the first of which, Saint-Nicolas-et-Sainte-Alexandra, located rue de Longchamp, was built in 1858 by the architect Antoine-François Barraya.
After the death of his eldest son, Tsarevich Nicolas Alexandrovich in 1865, Alexander II had a memorial chapel built on the site of the villa where the prince died. The building is located on Boulevard du Tzaréwitch.
Next to the chapel stands the Saint Nicholas Cathedral, built from 1903 to 1912 in the “Old Russian” style. Its architect, Preobrazhensky, also built the castle of Valrose. It is the largest Russian Orthodox building outside of Russia. In 2015, the Court of Cassation rejected an appeal against a decision which had found the State of the Russian Federation to be justified in repossessing it.
The Greek community of the Côte d’Azur, for its part, inaugurated in 1955, avenue Désambrois, the Saint-Spyridon Orthodox Church, which offers a unique example in the region of Byzantine frescoes.
Since the beginning of the XX century, the presence Armenian translates the existence of the Armenian Church of St. Mary.
There is also a Franco-Serbian community with the chapel of the Dormition-de-la-Vierge, rue Fodéré in the port district.
In the same way, the presence of English in Nice led to the construction of an Anglican church in the district of Buffa, inspired by the King’s College Chapel of the University of Cambridge.
Protestant places of worship were built in Nice, such as the Protestant temple on Boulevard Victor-Hugo, which dates from 1887. It was built for the American community which, having become too small, sold it in 1974 to the Vaudois Reformed Church. Its architecture is in the Neo-Gothic Nordic style.
The strong establishment of the Vaud church in Piedmont and the adoption in 1848 of the Albertine Statute by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia which gave religious freedom to this church, led to the construction in 1855 of the Vaudois temple, rue Gioffredo. It is one of the first religious buildings built in Nice by a non-Catholic religious community. It is antique in style and today houses a.
The Nice synagogue was built in 1885 in the city center and renovated in 1988.
The city is home to five mosques ː the Al Fourkane Mosque, the Ar-Rahma Mosque (located on avenue du Général-Saramito), the En-Nour Mosque (inaugurated on July 8, 2016), the Giuliani Mosque and the Imane Mosque, as well as several rooms of prayer.
The city has 2 sets of places of worship called Kingdom Hall, one located on Avenue St Joseph and another located on Rue Pie François Toesca. Meetings are held in several languages including English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Lingala, Ewe, Cambodian, Chinese (Mandarin), Malagasy, Haitian Creole, Serbian, Armenian.
The Circuit of churches
The Nice Tourist Office provides special religious heritage sightseeing routes, walk and bus ride connecting the most beautiful religious monuments. Long route which can be fragmented.
Chapel of Mercy
Via the rue de l’Opéra and rue de St. François de Paul (south towards the sea) join the Cours Saleya. In the middle of the square, next to the old prefecture, the sober facade of the Chapel of Mercy.
Probably the most beautiful Baroque chapel in the city. Like all churches of this style, the upper parts are richly decorated. It dates from the 17th century and dedicated to St. Gaetan. Its front in Piedmont Baroque style is the work of the architect A.Vittone.
Church of Saint Rita
Cross the Cours Saleya going towards the Castle and turn left into the rue Poissonnière at the end of which we find the church St. Giaume (St. Jacques in French).
It is one of the oldest in the city. Built in the Middle Ages (around 900) it was remodeled and transformed into a baroque-style church in the 18th century. It is known for the celebration by the people of Nice of Saint Rita, patron of desperate causes.
Sainte Reparate Cathedral
Always on foot, via rue de la Préfecture then rue Ste. Reparate, until the place Rossetti discover the cathedral Ste. Repair.
Built from 1650 by the architect André Guiberto, it is inspired by the so-called Roman Baroque, with a triangular pediment and a severely ordered and balanced facade.
Church of Gésu
Retrace his steps in rue Ste. Repair to turn left a few meters further on the small rue du Jésus, an enlargement of which at its end takes the name of Place du Gésu. Dominated by the baroque facade of the Church of St. Jacques the major known as the Gésu. But also the Jesuit church. It is one of the oldest parishes in the city, built by the Nice architect Jean André Guibert in 1642. Financed by a wealthy Nice man Ponce Céva.
The Chapel of the Holy Sepulcher
From Place du Gésu by Rue Droite, head towards Place St. François, then by Rue Pairolière reach Place Garibaldi. Integrated into the architecture of this monumental complex on the south side of the square, the loggia facade of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Built from 1782 to 1797 at the same time as the urban ensemble of the square by the architect Antoine Spinelli, the church with its triangular pediment and its ancient colonnades is built in the Baroque style. It belongs to the brotherhood of blue penitent not often opened it contains a painting by Van-Loo who although of Dutch origin was born in Nice and worked a lot for the Piedmontese sovereigns. There is also a painting by Guido Remi.
The Church of the Vow
From Place Garibaldi, by rue Ciavalo, cross the passage under the Museum of Modern Art and by avenue St. Jean Baptiste (going south) reach very close to Place du V’u where a small square precedes the facade of the Church of the Vow. Neoclassical in style built in 1852 by architect C. Moscow, it is dedicated to Our Lady of Graces. In 1832 a cholera epidemic led the municipality to make a wish to build a church so that the city would be spared from the plague.
Church of Our Lady Help of Christians
From the Place du Voeu, head towards the Palais des Congrès, clearly visible to the north. Via avenue Saint Jean Baptiste and avenue Gallieni, cross the expressway Voie Malraux and pass in front of the swimming pool building, turn left into rue du XVième Corps. Up to the corner of avenue Don Bosco, you arrive in front of the Church of Our Lady Help of Christians. Built in 1926 to pay homage to Abbot (Don in Italian) Bosco who created in 1859 the congregation of Salesians (society of St. Francis de Sales) and Salesiennes (daughters of Mary Help of Christians) hence the name of the ‘church.
The Monastery of Cimiez
For the rest of the route, take bus 17, stop Xvième Corp. Direction the monastery of Cimiez, or bus 25 direction Aire St. Michel. The Monastery of Cimiez was built on the ruins of a temple of Diana, it is an architectural ensemble which includes a church, a cloister, and a cemetery where many famous people are buried, a garden which was the kitchen garden of the monks (plot square that still exists).
Joan of Arc church
From the monastery, cross on foot the garden of the Cimiez arenas to go to the bus stop n.22 (arenas or Victoria) and take the direction of the Archet. Get off at the St. Barthelemy stop and go down avenue Borriglione to rue Peguy, which you follow to arrive in front of the Jeanne D’Arc church. Built from 1926 to 1933 by the architect Jacques Dror, it is entirely in reinforced concrete. The new material at the time this modern technique allowed an original construction that is similar to Art Nouveau. Three domes with strong curvatures rest on four pillars, which allows an arrangement of an astonishing interior volume.
From the Joan of Arc church walk back to the st. Barthelemy avenue Borriglione take bus line 23 direction l’Archet and get off at the Gambetta stop. On foot, go up in Boulevard Gambetta, pass under the SCNF bridge, turn left onto Boulevard Tzarewitch for 300m, the Russian Church is in a cross on Avenue Nicolas II. Church with five domes, it is inspired by the Ste. Basil the Blessed in Moscow’s Red Square. Built between 1902 and 1913 by the architect Stocklin, financed by the Czar Nicolas II, this majestic church combines Italian majolica with French faience, the bells gilded with pure gold, with pink marbles, the bricks with white stones of La Turbie a typically Russian ensemble and recalls the importance of the Russian presence in the city of Nice at the beginning of the Century.