Prefecture Palace of Nice , Nice , Architecture, Monuments, Palaces Provence Attractions

Prefecture Palace of Nice
Address - Place Pierre Gautier - 06000
Type - Architecture, Monuments, Palaces
Prefecture Palace of Nice (Le palais des ducs de Savoie à Nice, currently known as the Palais de la Préfecture des Alpes-Maritimes, Palais des rois de Sardaigne and the Palais sarde).

Дворец префектуры, Ницца
Walking in Nice on the pedestrian street, Cours Saleya, tourists will notice the front of the impressive building of the Palais de la Préfecture des Alpes-Maritimes (this building is also known as the Palais des rois de Sardaigne and the Palais sarde). There was previously the residence of the Kings of Sardinia, located in Old Nice.

The history has not kept the exact date of the commencement of the palace construction, but it is known that in 1573, around a partially constructed building (then composed of seven bedrooms and a kitchen), the gardener Antonio Giordano landscaped the garden.

The project works were carried out by Domenico Ponsello, an Italian architect and military engineer, engaged by the Duke Emmanuel Philibert (duc Emmanuel-Philibert) (who was nicknamed the «iron-headed». It is also known that the duke decided to build his residence near the Dominican monastery in 1543 (after the siege of Nice by the troops of Francois I and Suleiman the Magnificent).

In 1613, the mansion gets the status of real monarch residence. At that time, Charles-Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy, settled there. The palace was actively enlarged and «expanded» during his residence. To double the size of the palace, in the middle of the eighteenth century, a part of the Dominican monastery was acquired by the Piedmont-Sardinia rulers.

With the entry of the French revolutionary troops in 1792 (under General Anselme), the palace was ransacked. The mansion was looted, the garden was destroyed and the palace became a military hospital.

In 1814, during the Sardinian restoration, the king of Piedmont-Sardinia Victor-Emmanuel I, being back to Sardinia after the fall of Napoleon, decided to raise the building to the rank of the royal residence. He commissioned the architect of the city Jean-Antoine Scoffier. The restored royal apartments receive furniture taken from the palace of Turin and Genoa.

In 1826, Victor-Emmanuel abdicated the crown; the palace was occupied by his brother, King Charles Felix with Queen Marie-Christine, his wife.

In 1860, the building of the Palace became the seat of the Alpes Maritimes Prefecture after the annexation of Nice to France. In addition, in 1864, the Palace hosted the meeting of the Emperor Napoleon III and the Russian Tsar Alexander II.

Later, during 40 years, the building was continuously expanded - the goal was to make it part of brilliant receptions on the French Riviera. (Because of all the transformations and changes, there remained only the central staircase in the lobby of the Palace of the Dukes of Savoy (Palais des ducs de Savoie).

Now the building is decorated with wooden carvings and gilding, with magnificent frescoes, Corinthian columns and paintings by Jules Cheret. The Palace rooms ceilings were decorated in neo-baroque style, and the West «wing» of the building has a beautiful winter garden. Tourists can see all this magnificence.

The Nice Palace more than once has become the center of world-class events (In 1960, for the centennial of the annexation of Nice to France, General de Gaulle lodged and chaired a gala dinner there. In 2001, the Treaty of Nice on the extension of the European Union was also signed there. The Russia-European Union summit (EU-Russia) dedicated to the global financial crisis and the Russian proposals for the European security system reform was opened in 2008 in the Palace of the Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes (Palais de la Préfecture des Alpes-Maritimes).

Map - Prefecture Palace of Nice

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