Museum

Nice has twenty museums and municipal galleries in addition to a large number of private contemporary art galleries and artists' workshops.

 

Chagall museum

The national Marc Chagall museum, was created by the artists will to bring together in one purpose-built place his most important biblical works: the 17 paintings which make up the Biblical Message.

Many works, including the 17 large Biblical Message paintings, sculptures, stained-glass windows, mosaics and tapestries, 205 preparatory sketches, gouaches (1931), 105 prints (1956) and 215 lithographs.

Link to website

 

Fine arts museum

This museum is the heir to the first Municipal Museum of Nice featuring loans from the State, encouraged by Napoleon III.

In 1928, it was moved to a sumptuous late 19th-century villa. The paintings and sculptures on display range from the 13th to the 20th century: Van Loo, Fragonard, Chéret, Dufy, Impressionists, Rodin, Carpeaux.

Guided tour on Wednesday at 3 pm, reservation required.

Link to website

 

Masséna museum

The Villa Masséna, built at the end of the 19th century and registered as a historic monument, has benefited from an architectural and museographic renovation.

Dedicated to the history of Nice in the 19th century, the scientific content of the collections is presented with a chronological, historical and themed approach.

Link to website

 

Matisse museum

A completely renovated 17th-century Genoese villa in the heart of the olive grove of the gardens of Cimiez houses the personal collection of the painter, who lived in Nice from 1917 until his death in 1954.

Works from all periods offer a very complete panorama, from his very first paintings made in 1890 to the famous gouache cut-outs, 236 drawings, 218 prints and a complete presentation of the books illustrated by the artist. Temporary exhibitions.

Link to website

 

Modern and contemporary art museum

This original architecture and a major permanent collection tracing the history of the European and American avant-garde since the early sixties.

The MAMAC collections, with nearly 400 works, illustrate the key role of Nice in the development of groundbreaking movements from the 1960s and 1970s to the present: New Realists (César, Arman, Niki de Saint-Phalle), Pop Art (Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann), Fluxus (Ben Vautier), Minimal and Conceptual Art, School of Nice, Supports-Surfaces, as well as more solitary figures associated with Nice, like Ernest Pignon-Ernest and Gilli. The Museum hosts many temporary exhibitions.

Link to website

 

Museum of natural history of nice

Founded in the mid 19th century, the Museum of Natural History is truly the memory of Mediterranean Nature, the better to understand regional biodiversity: a heritage to help protect the environment, with over a million botanical, zoological and geological.

Link to website

 

Picasso museum

The Picasso Museum is located in the Chateau Grimaldi in nearby Antibes.  This 14th century building contains 150 Picasso paintings.  The best known paintings in the collection are "The Goat" and "La Joie de Vivre".

 

County museum of asian arts

The Alpes Maritimes General Council commissioned the famous Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, to design a building for a museum, a venue for meetings and exchanges between Asian arts and western culture.

Standing in the artificial lake in Parc Phoenix, in a building of white marble and glass designed by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, the Asian Arts Museum evokes the spirit of the main civilizations of Asia, India, Southeast Asia, China and Japan through both classical and contemporary works. Temporary exhibitions, as well as performances and other activities, like the famous ‘tea ceremony’ illustrate the Museum’s creativity.

Link to website

 

Terra amata, human paleontology museum

With a campsite occupied by elephant hunters 400,000 years ago, reconstructed prehistoric habitats, plaster casts, the Terra Amata Museum was built on the very site of the discoveries.

Link to website

 

Archaeological site and museum of nice-cemenelum

Cemenelum was proclaimed the capital of Alpes Maritimae, an ancient Roman Province, in 14 BC by the Emperor Augustus, was.

The ruins that can be visited include the amphitheatre (arènes) and baths (3rd century AD), as well as paved streets and a Palaeo-Christian complex (5th century AD).

The museum, inaugurated in January 1989, displays collections ranging from the Bronze Age (1100 BC) to the Middle Ages: ceramics, glass, coins, jewellery, sculptures, tools...

Link to website

 

Lascaris palace

The finest example of baroque civilian architecture, Palais Lascaris was designed like the traditional palazzi of Genoa.

In addition to its opulently decorated façade and impressive portal, this home boasts a monumental staircase whose elaborated painted vaults houses a museum dedicated to decorative arts, folk art and traditions and musical instruments.

Link to website

 

Monuments and churches

Nice is distinguished by a wide variety of architectural styles, originating from different periods.

Over the centuries of its somewhat turbulent history, Nice has retained the imprint of each age ...

What we now refer to as the Old City represented until the 18th century the entire urban area.  With its Baroque-style palaces and churches, colourful facades and narrow streets, the old city is now part of a heritage preservation scheme.

 

Massena place

Built in the 1840s, Place Masséna remains the jewel of Nice.

On the north side, elegant arcaded buildings are painted with the famous Pompeian red and to the East, there is a splendid perspective on the hills with their Tuscan charm. The square was renovated in 2007, accompanied by the installation of artworks along the tramway: seven statues devised by the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, titled ‘Conversation in Nice’ and representing the seven continents.

 

Opera of Nice

Located in Old Nice and across from the sea and perfectly integrated in the urban fabric, the Opéra de Nice was built on the site of the previous theatre, destroyed by fire.

The design was entrusted to the architect François Aune of Nice, who sought his inspiration in different styles, baroque in particular. This listed historic building remains today at the heart of the city’s cultural life.

Link to website

 

Square head

Devised by the sculptor Sacha Sosno, the ‘Square Head’ is the key symbol of the city’s contemporary architecture: 30 meters high and 14 meters wide, this monument-sculpture is not open to the public and houses the offices of the Louis Nucéra municipal lib.

This 30 meters high and 14 meters wide monument-sculpture is not open to the public and houses the offices of the Louis Nucéra municipal lib.

 

Franciscan monastery and church of Cimiez

On the site of a Benedictine chapel, the church was later part of a Franciscan convent and became the site of a popular pilgrimage in the 16th century.

The church houses three key works by the gothic painter Louis Brea of Nice and a monumental altarpiece of carved gilded wood.

 

The Negresco

Built on the shores of the famous Baie des Anges in 1912 by Niermans for the Romanian Henri Negresco, this Belle-Époque landmark is the only museum and luxury hotel in Nice.

A listed historic building since 2003, it houses collections retracing five centuries of art history. The 121 rooms and 24 suites each have their own decoration. The styles of the most brilliant periods in French art are represented from Louis XIII to modern art. Recently promoted to the 5-star category, it is reputedly one of the world’s finest hotels.

 

Parks and gardens

Nice has chosen to become « the Green City of the Mediterranean » !

A hundred or more hectares of new green areas will be added to the existing 300 hectares of parks and gardens.

Each area has its own identity, rare species and its own particular charm.

 

Albert I garden

This is one of the city’s oldest gardens, with many species of palm trees and roses, it runs from the sea front to Place Masséna.

Arbours of greenery surround the vast stretches of lawn with ponds and fountains. Across from the sea, it extends to Place Masséna, the city’s geographic centre, providing a leafy alleyway over 2 km long in the heart of town, reaching to the seafront. This is a vast area for strolling and relaxing with a bandstand and a late-19th-century theatre in the green (Théâtre de Verdure). It hosts many events in summer. ‘L’Arc de Venet - 115°5’ , a huge black metal arc 19 meters high, has been there since 1988, a gift of the contemporary artist, Bernar Venet.

 

Botanic garden

A wonderful hillside place for strolling and exploration, this garden offers a remarkable view on the mouth of the Var River and a vast panorama from the Alps to the Esterel Massif.

This 3 ha garden features 3,000 varieties essentially Mediterranean plants. Certain tropical species are constantly in bloom. What makes its originality lies in the reconstruction of typical Mediterranean landscapes. National collections of sage and agave approved by the Conservatoire des Collections Végétales Spécialisées (Conservatory of specialised plant collections). Officially recognised by the Botanical Gardens of France and Francophone Countries, it was recently granted the ‘Remarkable Garden’ label.

 

Park of the Castle Hill

The city’s original site, the Castle Hill once boasted a reputedly impregnable citadel that was entirely dismantled by the soldiers of the French King Louis XIV in 1706.

Truly a maze of greenery that has become popular for its cool undergrowth and surprising waterfall, this wonderful place for strolling offers a wonderful viewpoint over Baie des Anges, Old Nice and the Port (orientation table). Spectacular lighting at night.

 

Valrose park

A former aristocratic estate, Parc Valrose still boasts a splendid Château.

This is the only ‘Second-Empire’ park in Nice to have kept its original 10 hectares of grounds, where the Sciences Division of the University of Nice has been located since 1961, one of the most beautiful campuses in Europe. Along with rare trees, it also features a genuine Russian isba made of fir wood and shipped by sea from Odessa and reassembled on the site. Like several other major landmarks (the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, the Fine Arts Museum...), it is a reminder of the presence of Russian aristocrats on the Riviera in the mid-19th century.

 

Monastery garden

Peace and harmony reign here, near the Amphitheatre (Arènes).

This 9,550m2 park evokes an Italian-style garden: the monks’ former orchard and vegetable garden, it has preserved its original layout around a well with old pergolas entirely covered with climbing roses. The fragrance of a multitude of varieties of flowers fills the air. At the end of the garden, there is striking vista over the city.

 

Departmental natural park of grande corniche

This 660-hectare park occupies several communes and offers a breathtaking view from San Remo (Italy) to Saint-Tropez (Var) and sometimes, when the visibility is ideal, it is even possible to see Corsica on the horizon.

This site is home to 450 plant species as well as interesting fauna, including large birds of prey and rare bird species and many mammals.

 

Other gardens and parks on website : Link to website