The Citadel. La Roserie's Gardens.
In 1856, the Treaty of Paris ended the Crimean War in which France, England, Sardinia and Turkey rose up against the tsar. But these hostilities apparently did not compromise the good relations between Victor Emmanuel II and the Russian court as the Dowager Empress Alexandra Feodorovna made her first visit to Nice in the same year and received the official visit of the King of Sardinia from January 1857. This relaxed atmosphere must have favoured the negotiations for the granting of a 'Russian House' to Villefranche-sur-Mer. It was certainly a request linked to the tsars' 'Mediterranean' policy! It seems evident that the presence of this 'base' in Villefranche must have contributed significantly to the establishment and development of the Russian community in the region.