World Heritage #1635 – Nice

Published 30.03.2022France, Southern Europe, World Heritage Sites

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Nice, the very popular town on the French Riviera, is part of the World Heritage List. UNESCO calls it a winter resort town, but Nice is in fact a destination for all seasons.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes over a thousand properties. They have outstanding universal value and are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

Official facts

  • Full name of site: Nice, Winter Resort Town of the Riviera
  • Country: France
  • Date of Inscription: 2021
  • Category: Cultural

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 1635:

Nice, located on the Mediterranean, at the foot of the Alps, near the Italian border, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, reflects the development of a city devoted to winter tourism, making the most of its mild climate and its coastal situation, between sea and mountains. From the mid-18th century, the site attracted growing numbers of aristocratic and upper-class families, mainly British, who developed the habit of spending their winters there.

In 1832, Nice, then part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, set up the “Consiglio d’Ornato” which drew up a city planning scheme and architectural requirements designed to make the city attractive to foreigners. Thus, the “Camin dei Ingles”, a modest path which had been created along the coastline by British winter visitors in 1824, subsequently became the prestigious Promenade des Anglais.

After the city was ceded to France in 1860, and thanks to its connection to the European rail network, an increasing number of winter visitors from all countries flocked to the city. This led to successive phases of development of new districts beyond the medieval old town. The diverse cultural influences of the winter visitors and the desire to make the most of the weather conditions and the coastal landscape have shaped the urban development and eclectic architectural styles of these districts, contributing to Nice’s reputation as a cosmopolitan winter resort.

My visit

I have been lucky to call on Nice, and also the Côte d’Azur or French Riviera, a few times. The first time I wrote this in my diary. “After this we walked the Promenade des Anglais with palms and fashionable hotel; just as good as the Croisette in Cannes. We continued into Vieux Nice, the old part of the city. It is nice and has lots of restaurants. The hill (fortress) above the city was unfortunately closed; so we went home for a steak and red wine in our room. Cheap and very good food.”

I have spent several days in Nice and used it as a base to explore other towns on the coastline, as well as a staging point for trips over to Corsica and into Provence.

Read about my first visit

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