Discover the UNESCO heritage routes

Since July 2021, Nice has been listed by UNESCO on the World Heritage List as a riviera winter resort city.

Some history

In 1706, on the orders of Louis XIV, King of France, the castle and fortifications of Nice were destroyed. A former stronghold, the town had to find a new vocation. The States of Savoy, to which Nice belonged, maintained close relations with the English. In 1764-1765, Tobias Smollett, a Scottish writer, decided to come and stay in Nice. During his trip, he wrote his ” Letters from Nice “, which helped to popularize the city among his fellow Englishmen and even more widely. Nice became a stopover on the Grand Tour, and then a destination in its own right.

The first foreigners to visit Nice came for the winter season. They belonged to the aristocracy or wealthy families. They came in particular for the benefits of the climate and the beauty of the landscape. Over time, the geographical origins of winter visitors widened, and the destination became more popular.

From the very beginning, vacationers settled on the right bank of the Paillon, away from the existing town. The first villas were built on the hills and on the Promenade des Anglais, which where then followed by hotels. The city was a permanent construction site, with buildings altered according to changes in ownership and fashion. All styles coexisted, from the most sober to the most eccentric. A city of pleasures, Nice was equipped with promenades and gardens, as well as buildings dedicated to leisure activities (opera, casinos, theaters, racecourse, skating rink…). Nice became a city primarily focused on tourism.

The different routes

The UNESCO World Heritage site covers 522 hectares, including the coastline, the center of Nice, Libération and Cimiez hills. To make it easier for visitors to discover this incredible heritage area, we’ve set up discovery routes for each district:

Guided tour ‘When Nice invented the Riviera’

After Nice’s inscription as a winter resort city on the UNESCO World Heritage List, this discovery allows us to understand how cosmopolitan winterers have influenced and shaped the city.
Every Monday at 9 :30 am

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