Nice / Niçard -- La Principauté de Monoco    

Visitors to Nice in France may arrive at the city's central train station. Long-distance service goes to Barcelona, Marseille, Avignon, Paris, Munich, Lyon, Milan and other places in Europe. A High-speed train (TGV) operates from Paris (Gare de Lyon) to Nice. Just west of the city centre, along the coast is the airport, with service to points in France and abroad. It is the main fly-in point for Monte-Carlo in Monaco and the Côte d'Azur if you do not arrive by yaught, train or voiture.

Today the capital of an urban area with nearly 2 million people, Nice (Nicæa) was established most likely about 350 BC by the Greek colonists of Massilia (Marseille), who later gave it the name of Nikaia in honour of a victory over the neighbouring Ligurians. Nike is the Greek messenger of victory, often seen held in Athena's hand. Nikaia became one of the busiest trading ports on the Ligurian coast; but it had an important rival in the later-founded Roman town of Cemenelum, that continued as a separate settlement until the time of the Lombard invasions. The ruins of Cemenelum are located in a city district called Cimiez.

Over time, Nice had a close associations with Genoa, other cities on the Ligurian coast, and later, Pisa. During the course of the 13th and 14th centuries, the city fell more than once into the hands of the Counts of Provence; and at length in 1388 the city commune placed itself under the protection of the Counts of Savoy. In 1561 Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, abolished the governmental use of Latin and established the Italian language as the official language of Nice. It bounced back and forth to and from various ownership hands, finally ending up in France (1860 Napolean III). The cession was ratified by over 25,000 electors out of a total of 30,700. The former Kingdom of Savoy was also transferred to the French crown by similar means. Of course in 1942/3 the city was occupied and administered by Italy (during World War II).

Trophée des Alpes, Via Aurelia, village TurbieStarting in the second half of the 18th century, the English took to spending the winter in Nice, enjoying the panorama along the coast, as well as the glorious weather. It was the English who first proposed the project: a walkway (chemin de promenade) along the sea (mare). The city fathers of Nice, intrigued by the prospect of a grand promenade, greatly increased itse scope. This promenade was first called the Camin dei Anglès (the "English Way") by the Niçois in their native dialect of Nissart. After the annexation of Nice by France in 1860, it was rechristened La Promenade des Anglais, replacing the former name with its proper French translation.

Cathedrale Sainte-Reparate The village of La Turbie is on the busy road junction of the Moyenne Corniche where you turn to go down to Monaco. {La} Turbie is a medieval village, once on the famous Via Aurelia, where the equally famous Trophée des Alpes (somewhat stripped-down) stands. It was built when the road was named Via Julia Augustus. The Trophy that was built in 6 BC on this Alpine Summit (Summa Alpe) was a massive structure, and even the truncated ruin dominates the village today -- it is quite visible when flying into Nice. Wandering through the old town, one will discover also 12th and 13th-century defensive walls, as well as, picturesque arched passages.

Located twenty kilometres east of Nice, facing the Mediterranean Sea, on the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera), the Principality of Monaco, with a surface area of 2 square km, is the second smallest State in the world after the Vatican City. Divided into ten districts, including Monte-Carlo, the central district, Monaco has a population of 32,000. Independent since 1297, this constitutional monarchy is governed by the sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco since 2005. The presentation of the teams participating in the 2009 Tour de France took place on Thursday the 2nd of July. The Port Hercule (Hercule Harbour) played host to the start and the finish of the first stage on Saturday the 4th of July, and then on Sunday the 5th of July, the official ceremony and the start of the second stage. The Race finished in Paris on July 26th.

Built in 1875 using white stone from la Turbie, the current Cathedral of Sainte-Dévote stands on the site of a 13th century church in Monte-Carlo dedicated to Saint Nicolas. It houses the tombs of the royal family of the Principality of Monaco, including the resting place of Princess Grace, an American. Near the roof are gargoyles, similar in style to the ones on Notre Dame in Paris. The altar is made of marble with pillars of granite, mosaics frame the window openings and cover the inside of the cupola of this basilica structure. Two stamps (designed by Pierrette Lambert and engraved by Pierre Albuisson), issued for the Monegasque Red Cross, depict the life of Sainte Dévote (, the patron saint of Monaco. The old cathedral is apparently pictured. Dévote, a young Christian girl and native of Corsica, would have been martyred by the prefect Barbarus (a governor under Emperors Diocletian and Maximian) on a date that one could place at 303 or 304AD. Her lifeless body was taken by other Christian believers, put into a boat by night, transported to what is now Monaco and buried in the chapel of a small valley called des Gaumates, near to today's port (below Monte-Carlo), on January 27th of the same year. The site became connected to the St. Pons monastery (11th Century -- Legend and facts can be found fully explained at:

By tradition, Nice was evangelized by Saint Barnabas, sent by St. Paul, or else by Ste. Mary Magdalen, Ste. Martha and St. Lazarus. Saint Bassus (May 11th), a martyr under Emperor Trajan Decius (249-251), is believed to have been the first Bishop of Nice. The See of Nice in Roman Gallia Narbonensis existed in 314, because the bishop sent delegates to the Council of Arles in that year. The first bishop historically known is Amantius, who attended the Council of Aquileia in 381. the seperate town of Cimiez had also an episcopal see around 260, held in the middle of the fifth century by St. Valerianus; a papal rescript of St. Leo the Great, issued after 450 and confirmed by pope Saint Hilarus in 465, united the sees of Nice and Cimiez (devastated by the Lombards in 574). Charlemagne, when visiting Cimiez, caused Saint Syagrius to build on its ruins the monastery of St. Pontius, the largest Alpine abbey of the Middle Ages.

Cathedrale Sainte-Reparate, the oldest and most ornate church in the city, has stood since the 13th Century; it was rebuilt and made a Cathedral, and has been heart of the old city. It’s named after a young Palestinian teen, Reparate, who was arrested for her Christian faith in the year 1060, but refused to renounce. Her torturers tried their worst, but nothing could convince her to abandon her faith, and as each of their execution attempts were foiled by angels… Burn her at the stake? Sudden downpour. Drink poison? Cast iron stomach. Finally they went with the foolproof method and just beheaded her. As was the custom after such executions, to deny her a Christian burial, her body was put out to sea on a raft to rot and be desecrated by sea birds …but the angels took over once again and guided her raft across the Mediterranean to the bay of Nice, where her body arrived pristine and untouched, and was declared a miracle. That is how the bay of Nice became named the Bay of Angels and how the young martyr became Saint Reparate, the patron saint of the Cathedral in Old Nice. http

Rose Calvino 
Place Massena (Nice 1900)

Link to other pages about cities in Southern France: Montpellier, Nîmes, Arles, Orange et. al. -- Avignon -- Narbonne -- Toulouse -- Carcassonne -- Béziers -- A look at Lanuguedoc's Fab Four -- Marseille -- Digne-les-Bains & Embrun

Celtic/Frank History -- Germaniæ Historicæ -- Anglo Saxons
Reformation from a French-Protestant point of view

Pau -- Bayonne -- Orléans -- Bordeaux -- Nantes
Île de Ré, La Roche-sur-Yon, LaRochelle, Rochefort, Saintes & Royan -- Tours -- Caen, Rouen & Rennes

New: 06/08/08