January 26, 2009

The Massena Museum on the Prom

Next to the Negresco hotel on the Promenade des Anglais you can find the Massena Museum. Like all municipal museums in Nice, the admission is free.

The Massena Museum reopened in March 2008 after a big renovation (started in 1999) of the building and the gardens. Built from 1898 to 1901, Victor Massena, the great-grandson of Marshal André Masséna (1758-1817), gave it to Nice in 1917. It was then transformed into a regional history museum. On the ground floor you can visit the villa as it was decorated with empirical items, including some from the Napoleonic times.

The two floors above trace the history of Nice in chronological order. You can see how the fisherman lived in the houses on what is now the Quai des Etats-Unis, the several political powers that ruled over Nice (till 1860 it belonged to Savoye). Further you can learn something about the construction of the Promenade des Anglais, and the European aristocracy that discovered Nice. A large painting of Queen Victoria is exhibited. There is too much to list. I can assure you, it is worth a visit.

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