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Beautiful pastel coloured buildings are synonymous with Nice | © Dennis Jarvis/flickr
Beautiful pastel coloured buildings are synonymous with Nice | © Dennis Jarvis/flickr
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18 Stunning Shots of Architecture in Nice, France

Picture of Alex Ledsom
Updated: 18 January 2017
Nice is well known for its stunning, scenic coastline but it has as many architectural delights as it does natural wonders. From Roman remains to its famous Promenade des Anglais, Nice’s built environment is every bit a match for its natural one. From the distinctive Mediterranean orange roofs to the grand villas of “La Belle Époque”, these pictures show Nice at its best.

The rooftops of Nice

For many people, one of the first images of Nice that comes to mind is of the distinctive pinky-red Mediterranean rooftops that have seemingly encroached on each other as the town built up over the centuries.

Nice roof tops
Nice roof tops | © bogitw/ Pixabay
A view across the roofs of Nice’s Old Town
A view across the roofs of Nice’s Old Town | © Michel Riallant/Flickr

Promenade des Anglais/Nice seafront

It’s probably one of the most well known seafronts in the world, stretching from the Promenade des Anglais to Villefranche-sur-mer, the next town along to the east. On the way, at La Reserve beach, this old diving platform (now supposedly out of bounds) is still used by the braver locals to cool off after a hot summer’s day.

The diving board at La Reserve beach, Nice
The diving board at La Reserve beach, Nice | © Thomas Leth-Olsen/Flickr
Nice’s Promenade des Anglais, one of the most famous seafronts in the world
Nice’s Promenade des Anglais, one of the most famous seafronts in the world | © Altug Karakoc/Flickr
The path along the seafront at Nice
The path along the seafront at Nice | © Thomas Leth-Olsen/Flickr

Le Vieux Port (The Old Port)

The view over Nice’s Old Port is a one of the most photographed, showing the distinctive buildings gathered around the harbour.

The Old Port is one of the most iconic images of Nice
The Old Port is one of the most iconic images of Nice | © dorinser/Flickr

Old Town, Nice

Just like the pinky rooftops above, the orange, red and pink coloured streets are synonymous with Nice.

The colourful streets of Old Town, Nice
The colourful streets of Old Town, Nice | © hpgruesen/Pixabay

Public buildings

Nice is one of those cities where every public building seems to have been made for a picture postcard, whether it’s the Palais de Justice or Place Garibaldi.

The sublime Palais de Justice in Nice, by night
The sublime Palais de Justice in Nice, by night | © Roland Turner/Flickr
The beautiful detail of one of the buildings in Place Garibaldi
The beautiful detail of one of the buildings in Place Garibaldi | © Groume/Flickr

Many of today’s museums were old villas that have now been given over to public use, like the Musée Masséna on the Promenade des Anglais.

The Musée Masséna and its gardens on the Promenade des Anglais
The Musée Masséna and its gardens on the Promenade des Anglais | © Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/Flickr
One of the many ornate churches in Nice
One of the many ornate churches in Nice | © Trans World Productions/Flickr

Belle Époque architecture

“La Belle Époque” describes the period of great political and social progress in French society before World War I and it is characterised by a distinctive style of architecture, mostly found in the hills above Old Town. Tree-lined avenues are home to grand villas and old hotels built at the end of the 19th century.

The grand villas of Nice built during “La Belle Époque”
The grand villas of Nice built during “La Belle Époque” | © Paul Wilkinson/Flickr
Grand villas were home to many artists all year round as well as families who came to Nice for winter
Grand villas were home to many artists all year round as well as families who came to Nice for winter | © Jean Sini/Flickr
A stroll through the Belle Époque architecture
A stroll through the Belle Époque architecture | © Marc Dupuy/flickr
Hotels were built at the end of the 19th century to accommodate the influx of winter residents, including Queen Victoria in Cimiez
Hotels were built at the end of the 19th century to accommodate the influx of winter residents, including Queen Victoria in Cimiez | © Pixoeil/Flickr

Cimiez

A quick tour around Nice’s architecture would not be complete without mentioning the district of Cimiez, high in the hills above the Promenade des Anglais. It’s the site of the Roman town Cemenelum, built in the first century.

Cimiez arena dates from the 1st century AD
Cimiez arena dates from the 1st century AD | © Edouard Hue/WikiCommons

The remains of Cemenelum’s arena, amphitheatre and Roman baths are all within walking distance of the Cimiez cemetery, where painter Matisse and Raoul Dufy are both buried among the giant mausoleums of local distinguished families.

Cimiez cemetery is full of giant mausoleums among which Matisse and Dufy are buried
Cimiez cemetery is full of giant mausoleums among which Matisse and Dufy are buried | © m-louis/Flickr
Nice cemetery
Nice cemetery | © Jason Milich/Flickr