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  Villages /  Nice /  Nice Museums

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The town of Nice, France has some wonderful museums. We've visited most of them, and many of them several times. However, we don't keep up to date on pricing or variations in opening hours, so check ahead before you visit.

The Russian Church (Eglise Russe), for example, was in some legal tangle (early 2013) about ownership by the Russian government (apparently), and we don't know if it's current open for visits.

The Naval Museum (Galerie de la Marine) has an interest beyond just lovers of ships; it's in a lovely site and has a great view down across the sea front of Nice.

Asiatique Art Museum - Musée des Arts Asiatiques

Contains ancient and modern items from the Chinese, Japanese, Cambodian and Indian civilizations; housed in the only European building by Kenzo Tange.

Location: 405 Promenade des Anglais _ Arenas

Open: 2 May - 15 Oct, 10h-18h; 16 Oct - 30 Apr, 10h-17h

Closed: Tuesday; 1 Jan, 1 May, 25 Dec

Entry: €6/4.00; free under 14; free 1st & 3rd Sundays.

Tel: 0492 293 700; Fax: 0492 29 37 01

Web: www.arts-asiatiques.com


Musée Chagall

A very complete collection of Chagall paintings, gouaches, engravings, sketches, lithographs and stained-glass windows.

Location: Ave du Docteur Ménard (just outside the Voie Rapide, where the Bvd de Cimiez starts up the hill; across from the Conservatoire de Musique).

Open: Oct - June, 10h-17h; July-Sept, 10h-18h

Closed: Tuesdays; Jan 1st; May 1st; Dec 25th

Entry: €6.70/5.20; free under 18.

Tel: 0493 538 720; Fax: 0493 53 87 39

The nr 15 bus is free between the museums Chagall, Matisse, and Cimiez-Archeology; get a bus pass at any of these three museums.


Cimiez Monastery and Franciscan Museum

Location: Place du Monastère (Cimiez, past the east end of the park)

Open: 10h-12h, 15h-18h

Closed: Sunday, some holidays

Entry: Free

Tel: 0493 810 004

In a 17th-century convent, still an active monastery. The museum shows the Franciscan way of life from the 18th century. The 15th-17th century church contains documents and artwork, including three paintings by Louis Brea. The park and flower gardens are beautiful and peaceful, and have a nice view of the Paillon valley.


Cimiez Museum of Archeology - Musée et Site Archeologiques de Cimiez

At the site of Roman Cemenelum at Cimiez, this museum presents the tools, sculptures, pottery, engravings, jewelry and coins found here, and includes the outside excavations of the ancient baths and other buildings.

Location: 160 avenue des Arènes; in the lovely red building with trompe-l'oeil facades inside the park area.

Open: April-Sept, 10h-12h, 14h-16h

Closed: Sun morning, Monday, 18-30 Nov, some holidays.

Entry: Museum €4/2.50; under 18 free. Archology site an additional €3/1.50. Free 1st & 3rd Sundays.

Tel: 0493 815 957; Fax: 0493 81 08 00

The nr 15 bus is free between the museums Chagall, Matisse, and Cimiez-Archeology; get a bus pass at any of these three museums.


Fine Arts Museum - Musée des Beaux-Arts (Musée J. Chéret)

Italian 17th-century and French 18th-century paintings, and 19th-century paintings and sculptures.

Location: 33 ave. des Baumettes (west of Bvd Gambetta and Bvd Franço;is Grosso, between the Promenade des Anglais and the Voie Rapide)

Open: 10h-12h, 14h-18h

Closed: Monday, some holidays

Entry: €4/2.50; free under 18; free 1st & 3rd Sundays.

Tel: 0493 445 072; Fax: 0493 97 67 07

Web: www.musee-beaux-arts-nice.org

This museum now houses the Dufy collection and the Alexis and Gustav Adolf Mossa collections, previously in the Dufy Museum-Gallery and the Mossa Museum-Gallery.


Heritage Center - Centre du Patrimoine

A site of patrimonial information about Nice and the local region, open to the public.

Location: 75 quai des Etats-Unis (in the terraced buildings between the sea-side and the Cours Saleya of the old town)

Open: Mon-Fri, 8h30-17h

Entry: Free

Tel: 0492 004 190


Lascaris Palace Museum - Musée des Arts Decoratifs Baroque

This "museum" is in the 17th-century Genovan-style palace residence of the Lascaris-Ventimille family. The palace itself, with its monumental staircase, is worth the visit, and the old furnishings and collections are an extra. A new addition (2005) of ancient musical instruments of Nice.

Location: 15 rue Droite (in the middle of the old town, off Rue Rossetti)

Open: 10h-18h

Closed: Tuesday; some holidays

Entry: Free

Tel: 0493 627 240; Fax: 0493 92 04 19

Also, conferences most Thursdays, 14h30, at the Théâtre Francis Gag, rue Saint-Joseph, Vieux-Nice; free entry.


Massena Art and History Museum - Musée d'Art et d'Histoire

The Musée Massena has an excellent collection of paintings, furniture, decorations, weapons, uniforms and other artifacts that give a good feeling for the history of the Nice-Piémont region.

Location: 35 Promenade des Anglais; 65 rue de France (between rue de Rivoli and rue Meyerbeer)

Open: 10h-12h, 14h-18h [Closed for repairs, until 2007!]

Closed: Mondays, 19 Nov - 1 Dec, some holidays.

Entry: Closed for repairs, until 2007!

Tel: 0493 881 134; Fax: 0493 82 39 79


Matisse Museum

Includes Matisse's personal collection. Matisse lived in Nice from 1917 until his death in 1954.

Location: 164 ave des Arénes de Cimiez, in the Cimiez park, just to the right of the red Archeology museum building, "below ground".

Open: 10h-18h, all year.

Closed: Tuesday; some holidays

Entry: €4/2.50; free under 18; free 1st & 3rd Sundays.

Tel: 0493 810 808; Fax: 0493 53 00 22

Web: www.musee-matisse-nice.org

The nr 15 bus is free between the museums Chagall, Matisse, and Cimiez-Archeology; get a bus pass at any of these three museums.


Modern and Contemporary Art Museum - Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain

American and European avant-garde art from the 1960s to the present.

Location: Promenade des Arts (in the "promenade" between the bus station and the modern Acropolis center);

Open: 11h-18h every day

Closed: Monday; 1 Jan; Easter Sun; 1 May; 25 Dec.

Entry: €4/2.50; free under 18; free 1st & 3rd Sundays.

Tel: 0493 626 162; Fax: 0493 13 09 01

Web: www.mamac-nice.org


Naive Art Museum Anatole Jakovsky

A wonderful collection of naive art in an old manor house on park-like grounds. The collection, donated to the city in 1982 by Mr. and Mrs. Anatole Jakovsky, shows the progression of naive art from the 18th century.

Location: Chàteau Sainte-Hélène, avenue Val-Marie (about half way out the Promenade des Anglais towards the airport, and on the north side of the Voie Rapide)

Open: 10h-12h, 14h-18h

Closed: Tuesday, some holidays

Entry: €4/2.50; free under 18; free 1st & 3rd Sundays.

Tel: 0493 717 833; Fax: 0493 72 34 10


Natural History Museum - Museum d'Histoire Naturelle

Presents the natural history of our earth from the beginning. Four separate rooms are dedicated to birds, fungi, geology and mineralogy. Includes a natural-science library (free entry, by request).

Location: 60 bis, bvd Risso; Entry via the archaeological site, ave Monte Croce (between Place Garibaldi and Rue Barla)

Open: 10h-18

Closed: Monday; some holidays

Entry: Free

Tel: 0493 551 524; Fax: 0493 55 81 96

Web: www.mhnnice.org


Naval Museum - Galerie de la Marine

A spacious museum with wood parquet floors and beautiful ship models, period-piece nautical instruments, arms, engravings and paintings. There's a great view of the sea and the beaches of Nice, from the roof-top terrace or the portholes of the museum. A powerful telescope provides an amusing view of the beach.

Location: Tour Bellanda, up 214 steps (or by elevator) at the Port end of the seaside (Colline du Chateau)

Open: 10h-18h

Closed: Monday; some holidays

Entry: Free

Tel: 0493 623 711


Photography and Image - Theatre de la Photographie et de l'Image Charles Nègre

Opened in this permanent site in 1999.

Location: 27 Bvd Dubouchage (3 blocks east of Bvd Jean Médecin, at the corner or Rue Alberti)

Open: 10h-18h

Closed: Monday; some holidays

Entry: Free

Tel: 0497 134 220

Web: www.tpi-nice.org

Jan through April 2005: Edward Curtis expositon of American Indian photos.


Ponchettes Gallery-Museum - Galerie des Ponchettes

Temporary exhibits of paintings, drawings, ceramics, etc.

Location: 77 Quai des Etats-Unis (on the sea-side of the buildings along the Cours Saleya of the old town)

Open: 10h-18h

Closed: Monday; some holidays

Entry: Free

Tel: 0493 623 124


Prieuré du Vieux Logis

An old manor house built in the exact style of a rural Dominician priory. The contents on display include 14th-16th century furniture and regional items.

Location: 59 ave Saint Barthélémy (the north part of Nice, a couple of blocks west of Bvd Gorbella; near the Villa Arson)

Open: Closed for renovation; not due to reopen until 2006.

Entry: Free

Tel: 0497 133 415, or 0497 971 033


Russian Church - L'Eglise Russe

This Russian Orthodox Cathedral (1903-1912) is one of the most beautiful ever built outside of Russia, similar to St. Basel's in Moscow. The interior is ornate and exotic, and includes items commemorating the Grand Duke Nicolas Alexandrovitch who died in Nice in 1865

Location: Bvd Tzarewitch

Open: June-Sept 9h-12h, 14h30-18h; Oct 9h15-12h, 14h30-17h30; Nov-15 Feb 9h30-12h, 14h30-17h; 16 Feb-May 9h15-12h, 14h30-17h30

Entry: 12F

Tel: 0493 968 802


Prehistoric Museum of Terra Amata - Musée de Terra Amata - Prehistoire

This museum displays an "in situ" exhibition of prehistoric man. The elephant hunter's camp displayed here, actually discovered in the center of Nice, is so life-like it makes you feel like you are there with them.

Location: 25 Bvd Carnot; just off the Bvd. Carnot, a couple of blocks past the port in the direction of Villefranche-Menton.

Open: 10h-18h

Closed: Monday; some holidays

Entry: €4/2.50; free under 18; free 1st & 3rd Sundays.

Tel: 0493 620 554; Fax: 0493 92 04 19

Web: www.musee-terra-amata.org


Villa Arson

This lovely red 18th century villa is an international art school (with artists in residence) and center for contemporary art. This lovely red 18th century villa is an international art school (with artists in residence) and center for contemporary art.

Location: 20 ave Stephen Liégard (the north part of Nice, a couple of blocks west of Bvd Gorbella; near the Prieuré du Vieux Logis)

Open: July-Sept 13h-19h daily; Oct-June 13h-18h except Monday

Entry: Free

Tel: 0492 077 373; Fax: 0493 84 41 55

Web: www.villa-arson.org


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