Archaeological Site and Museum of Nice-Cimiez , Nice , Architecture, Monuments, Museum Provence Attractions

Archaeological Site and Museum of Nice-Cimiez
Address - 160, Avenue des Arènes de Cimiez - 06000
Type - Architecture, Monuments, Museum
In Nice, the tourists do not neglect with their attention a small archaeological museum, located on the hill of Cimiez (next to the museum of the artist Matisse). Established in 1960, this «archeology temple» originally occupied the ground floor of the present Matisse museum. In 1989, the archaeological collection «acquired» its own building - located on the site of the vestiges of the ancient Gallo-Roman city of Cemenelum, which was located partly in the territory of modern Nice.

Musee et Site Archeologiques de Nice Cimiez NiceOn approaching to the museum, the tourists first notice the «Roman» walls dilapidated.

The excavations led by scientists indicate that the fertile lands of Nice were inhabited since ancient times (Neolithic tribes lived there, Romans, Greeks, Etruscans, different civilizations succeeded).

The excavations of Cemenelum are currently underway (at the time of the Romans, this fairly large city was the capital of the province of the Alpes-Maritimes after their conquest of Provence even in the second century BC). The road called the Via Julia Augusta, built by the Romans, passed through this ancient city.

Cemenelum’s population was about 10,000 - the amphitheater of the city was able to hold at least 5 thousand spectators; and large Thermal baths (Thermae) were also built there.

The visitors of the Musée et Site Archéologiques de Nice-Cimiez may see near its building the same Thermae that are an important part of the collection, occupying an area of about 2 hectares. You can see in detail how the Thermae were built - there were dressing rooms, a room of exercise (Palaestra) and room for the cold bath (frigidarium). In the Thermae, the residents of Cemenelum did physical exercise, bathed in cold water, then passing into a hot tepidarium, then - in the caldarium with a maximum water temperature.

The museum possesses a volumetric model of the Thermae of Cemenelum showing this complex in miniature in the smallest details.

Near the Terms, impressive ruins of a large arena with partially preserved vaulted walls, which were built in broken stone fixed with cement, are located. In addition, visitors will see special road signs of the time – stone milestones, which were installed along the Via Julia Augusta (distances to various cities were carved on these milestones).

Directly in the museum building, visitors can see the sarcophagi, statues, steles, dishes, vases, tools, jewelry, perfume bottles, pins and coins – while looking at the exhibits, you may have an idea of life in this ancient city. There is also a mask of Silenus, cleverly made of bronze and pieces of wooden furniture from the sunken ancient ship.

There is a small shop, where tourists can purchase molds of exhibits, pictures and vases, etc., at the museum.

The exhibition on the hill of Cimiez is an important part of the archaeological museum, but it has another space, not less interesting, «Terra Amata». It is located on the slopes of Mount Boron (Boulevard Carnot) and is dedicated to the people of the Paleolithic, living on the territory of Nice.

Map - Archaeological Site and Museum of Nice-Cimiez

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