Cours Saleya Market, Nice

Cours SaleyaCours Saleya
An Italian atmosphere - Nice did not become French until 1860 - pervades the Cours Saleya, a long plain square without any real "sights" (even if in 1796 Napoleon, then Chief Commander of the Italian army, resided in the house on the southwestern corner). Known for its flower market (Tuesday to Sunday mornings), its attraction really lies in the richness of Nice's daily life. The market offers all the things which go to make up the cuisine of the Côte d'Azur, from Nice olives, sheep's cheese and home-gathered mushrooms to fish. The obligatory junk market is held on Mondays. Here fashionable young people and peasant women converge and it is again possible to hear the "lenga nissarda", a mixture of French and the Italian dialect of the Riviera, which is once again being taught in the schools.
The flat roof of the "Ponchettes" (the double row of houses between Cours Saleya and Quai des Etats-Unis), which is several hundred meters long, is unfortunately not accessible; from there it would be possible to look across the Baie des Anges over to Antibes, and even to make out Corsica on a clear day.
The trilogy "The Bay of Angels", in which Max Gallo describes the story of an Italian immigrant family in Nice, was written in the yellow Baroque-style house on the east side of the Cours.

Chapelle de la Miséricorde

On the north side of the Cours Saleya stands the Baroque Chapelle de la Miséricorde of 1736; inside there is an altar with the "Vierge de la Miséricorde" (Virgin of Mercy) by Jean Maralhet, dating from the early 15th C., and a picture of the Madonna ascribed to Bréa. This, the most beautiful church in Nice, is closed because of damage to the fabric of the building; a visit would only be possible at the discretion of the Palais Lascaris.

Palais Grimaldi

Adjoining the Chapelle de la Miséricorde to the north is the former Palais Grimaldi, built in 1611-13 and restored in 1907. Today it is the seat of the Préfecture (government administration). Nearby stands the Palais de Justice (lawcourts), completed in 1892.

St Jacques

On the Rue Droit in Nice, stands the former Jesuit church of St Jacques, which dates from the 17 century and has a richly adorned interior and colorful stucco decorations. The Corinthian pilasters extend sufficiently far out into the nave for it to be possible to lay an ambulatory on top of them.

Ste Réparate

The Cathedral of Ste-Réparate in the Place Rossetti in Nice is the episcopal church and was built in the 17th C. It contains elaborate ornamental plasterwork, fine choir-stalls and wooden paneling in the Sacristy.

Palais Lascaris

On the rue Droite, the Palais Lascaris in cours Saleya is well worth a visit. This sumptious Baroque building dating from the middle of the 17th C. was the palace of the Lascaris-Vintimille family, Counts of Castellar and since 1963 restoration has been taking place. On the ground floor are the fine entrance hall and an 18th C. apothecary's premises. In the rooms on view there are furnishings from the 17th and 18th C., Flemish tapestries, rich stucco work and ceiling paintings of the Italian school. Regular temporary exhibitions show the cultural tradition of the region.

Quai des Etats-Unis

The Quai des Etats-Unis, the eastern part of the cours Saleya, flanking the Baie des Anges in Nice, was called the Quai du Midi until 1917. Its change of name was a gesture of thanks to the U.S.A. on the occasion of that country's entry into World War I.

Galerie des Ponchettes

On the Quai des Etats-Unis in Nice, a few steps from the western end of the Cours Saleya, the Galerie des Ponchettes (Musée Dufy) is housed in the former arsenal of the Sardinian Navy. The gallery displays an outstanding collection of the works of Raoul Dufy (1877-1953), a gift from his widow to the city of Nice.

Musée Mossa

On the Quai des Etats-Unis (no.59) is the Musée Alexis et Gustav-Adolf Mossa. Alexis Mossa (1844-1926), who conceived the idea of the Nice carnival procession, painted remarkable landscapes in watercolors. His son Gustav-Adolf (1883-1971) continued this theme; his early work is, however, distinguished by a surrealistic kind of symbolic universe.
To the west of this point is the opera house and beyond it the church of St François-de-Paule (1736, Italian Baroque) with a "Communion of St Benedict", ascribed to Van Loo. In the courtyard of the Hôtel de Ville (city hall, a little further to the west) there is a representation of Orestes in front of the statue of Athene.

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