Tag Archives: Nice

Photo Tour of Place Massena in Nice, France

One of Nice’s best known landmarks is Place Massena, the city’s distinctive Italianesque main square, which lies at the northern edge of the Old Town.

place massena in nice in frnac

The chequered tiles make for a striking contrast with the pink and yellow facade of the buildings.

place massena in nice france

I’d spotted the pavement water jets when passing Place Massena on the tram. I went back to the square in the evening to have a closer look.

looking towards place massena from the pavement fountain

There doesn’t seem to be any pattern to the frequency and height of the water jets, so I had to keep my finger on the camera shutter button to capture the jets. In warm weather, it must be tempting to cool off by walking through the fountain.

high jets from pavement fountain in place massena in nice france

Once the jets stop, the remaining sheet of water acts like a mirror.

reflections in pavement fountain in place massena nice in france

The other eye catching fountain in Place Massena is the classical style Fontaine du Soleil (Sun Fountain).

sun fountain in place massena in nice france

The Greek god Apollo is the towering centrepiece of the fountain. According to mythology, every day Apollo would drive his four horse chariot across the sky to move the sun. Homage is paid to this by the four horses sitting on his head.

centre piece of fountain in place massena nice

Bronze sculptures encirle Apollo.

scutlpure in fountain at place massena in nice france

I’d recommend that you spend some time chilling out in Place Massena when you visit Nice.

The Giant Head Sculpture in Jardin Marechal Juin in Nice, France

I’d seen a couple of photos of the enormous head sculpture in Nice on Pinterest prior to my visit to the city. I intended to seek out the sculpture to take some photos. But I chanced upon it when I got slightly lost walking from our hotel to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC).

Jardin Marechal Juin Nice

The head sculpture is located in Jardin Marechal Juin, which lies between the Acropoplis conference centre and MAMAC.  It’s official title is ‘La Tete au Carre de Sosno’ which translates to ‘Thinking Inside the Box’. It was created by the French artist and sculptor Sacha Sosno. The sculpture is home to a library with three floors. I’m not sure if it’s ever open to the public, I couldn’t find any information about this.

Jardin Marechal Juin in Nice

There are a few other sculptures in Nice’s Jardin Marechal Juin. I liked the rock man, held in place by wire wrapped around his body.

rock sculpture in Jardin Marechal Juin Nice

The man below looked pensive as he stared up into the sky.

close up of sculpture in Jardin Marechal Juin Nice

I liked the simplicity of the predominately white sculpture in contrast to the intricate balconies and green shutters of the pink building behind it.

Jardin Marechal Juin Nice sculpture


Photo Tour of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC) in Nice, France

When I searched for free things to do in Nice, one of the attractions which appeared was the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC). However, when I went to the museum’s website to check the opening hours, it stated that there was a 10 Euro charge for an individual ticket valid for 48 hours, which appears to also include entry to Matisse Museum, Palais Lascaris and some other galleries.

As it said that journalists could get in free, I practised my French to attempt complementary entry to MAMAC. I was successful.

MAMAC is a striking building, designed by the French architects Yves Bayvard and Henri Vidal.  It opened in 1990.

exterior of MAMAC in Nice France

Once you’re in the building, you realise the size of the arches in the central part.

MAMAC Nice huge arches in building

Below are photos of some of the pieces in MAMAC which caught my attention.

I loved the blue dress with the long train which was constructed with plastic bottles.

plastic bottles dress at MAMAC in Nice France

The female characters had barbed wire grids attached, presumably to keep their movements restricted.

barbed wire art at MAMAC in Nice France

The bride in the painting looked rather wistful.

bride and grrom at MAMAC in Nice France

I rather fancied having the gold coffee table in our living room.

tables at MAMAC in Nice France

The Marilyn Munroe poster reminded me of an exhibition of the movie star’s costumes, which I saw in Jersey Museum on the Channel Islands in 2010.

marilyn monroe at MAMAC in Nice France

One of the exhibitions by a single creator which I most enjoyed was that of the French sculptor and artist Niki de Saint Phalle. I found her work to be colourful and humourous.

The women in their swimming costumes looked extremely laid back.

niki de saint phalle women in swimsuits at MAMAC in Nice France

Perhaps the reading man might have been more usefully employed milking the cow with the bulging pink udder.

man reading and cow at MAMAC in Nice France

I’m not sure if the corseted angel’s holey wings would permit flight.

niki de saint phalle angel in corset at MAMAC in Nice France

On closer inspection, the life size sculpture of a woman had all sorts of plastic models attached which included horses, cows and humans.

detail on sculpture by niki de saint phalle in MAMAC Nice France

There’s a sculpture of the Loch Ness Monster by Niki de Saint Phalle a few hundred metres from the MAMAC building, in front of the National Theatre of Nice.

loch ness sculpture in nice france

If possible, visit MAMAC on a dry day, so that you can spend time up on the roof terrace.

In one direction, you’ll see the giant head sculpture in Jardin Marechal Juin and hills behind Nice on the horizon.

looking towards the head sculpture from MAMAC in Nice France

In another direction, you look towards Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill).

view to colline du chateau from roof terrace at MAMAC in Nice France

There’s a small garden. mainly planted with trees and shrubs.

looking toward the garden from the roof terrace at MAMAC in Nice France

I would have happily paid the 10 Euro entry fee to MAMAC. I spent more than three hours at the museum. I was impressed by the architecture and the contents.

If you plan to visit several museums in Nice, you can buy a 20 Euro Museum Pass, which is valid for seven days. I was only in Nice for two full days, so I didn’t want to spend too much time in museums.

Photo Tour of Colline du Chateau in Nice, France

I was keen to visit Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill) when we were in Nice. It came up in a search for free things to do in Nice and the views over the city were highly praised.

port of nice from colline du chateau

I attempted to go there one evening. but by the time I found the path, it was only a few minutes until the closing time of 7pm.

The next morning,  Colline du Chateau was my first port of call. I took the free lift up, which is situated in Rue de Ponchettes, just behind the eastern end of Quai des Etats-Unis.

lift to colline du chateau

I stopped to admire the wall of mosaics to the right of the lift exit.

mosaics at Colline du Chateau Nice

The views towards the beach were fantastic.

looking down on nice from Colline du Chateau

There were more beautiful mosaics just past the castle ruins. Some of my favourites were floral mosaics by the steps under the flowering trees.

flowering trees at Colline du Chateau Nice

Below are a couple of close ups of these mosaics.

floral mosaics at Colline du Chateau Nice

flower mosaic at Colline du Chateau Nice

The steps leading up from the trio of floral mosaics looked even prettier with the fallen purple petals lying between the stones accentuating the single blooms.

floral mosaic steps at collline du chateau

There were fish mosaics on the adjacent pavilion.

fish mosaics at Colline du Chateau Nice

The fish mosaic below had such a pouting expression.

fish mosaic at Colline du Chateau Nice

There’s a cafe, kids play area and public toilets, which charge a fee of 50 cents per person.

There were even more mosaics, this time bird themed, as I headed down Colline du Chateau on foot towards the port.

bird of prey mosaic at Colline du Chateau Nice

swan mosaic at Colline du Chateau Nice

bird mosaics at colline du chateau in nice france

Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill) should be on your must-visit list for Nice. You’ll be impressed by the views and the mosaics are beautiful.