Palais Masséna et Musée d’art et d’histoire , Nice Provence Attractions

Palais Masséna et Musée d’art et d’histoire

Palais Masséna («the Massena Palace», which currently houses the exhibition of Musée d’art et d’histoire («the Art and History Museum») (free admission for visitors), is located in the city center of Nice.

Palais Masséna et Musée d’art et d’histoire, NiceThe museum is within walking distance of the famous Hôtel Negresco (Hotel Negresco) on the Promenade des Anglais. The white as snow building, very fine, of this palace-museum is surrounded by a garden with a wrought iron gate, is also a kind of «exhibit».

In 1919, having inherited this building, one of the best of the city, André, the son of Victor Masséna (discussed below), decided to donate it to the city, but it has put forward two conditions. He asked them to open the local history museum in the palace and make a building with a garden open to the public. These conditions have been respected so far!

The residents of the city of Nice like to walk with pleasure and sit on the benches among the flowers and greenery in the garden. Roses and magnolias bloom here, as well as tea plants, laurels, palms, etc. grow there (The garden was designed by Edouard André, the renowned landscape architect of the 19th century).

In regards to the building of Palais Masséna («the Massena Palace») it was built in 1898. The luxurious villa, overlooking the Baie des Anges belonged to Victor Massena, a French officer and politician. (It bore the title of Duke of Rivoli and was the grandson of a native of Nice, Napoleon's Marshal André Masséna).

The appearance of the villa reflects the dual nature of the personality of its owner (the south facade, with a charming rotunda and semicircular balconies, reminiscent of the turbulent social life, and the northern facade is strict and talks about his successful military career). This villa, built in neo-classical Italian style, served to Victor Masséna as a "winter" residence. The architects Aaron Messiah and Hans-Georg Tersling, which worked on the palace project, were inspired by the Rothschild villa, previously built in Cannes.

Before the museum was installed in the building, its luxurious interiors were restored in their entire splendor: columns and marble fireplaces, mosaic floors, furniture in the Empire style, stucco, frescoes, crystal chandeliers, etc...

Upon entering the museum, the visitors can see two large paintings (hanging on either side of the main staircase), in which all members of the Masséna family are portrayed.
The exhibition 2nd floor also has exhibits that tell the story of the family of the palace former owners. And in general, the museum's exhibition tells the history of Nice since the late 18th century. Au 3ème étage il y a une bibliothèque, où des milliers de documents, relatifs à l'histoire de la Provence, Nice, la Savoie et l'Italie sont stockés.

Musée d'art et d'histoire («the Art and History Museum») is justifiably proud of the «pearls» of its collection - paintings of Renoir and Sisley! Among other exhibits there are watercolors, drawings and oil paintings, engravings, sculptures, textiles, the period costumes, fans, various trinkets, posters, posters and photographs.

Map - Palais Masséna et Musée d’art et d’histoire

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