Tour Bellanda in Nice , Nice , Architecture, Monuments Provence Attractions

Tour Bellanda in Nice
Address - Parc du Chateau - 06300
Type - Architecture, Monuments
Tour Bellanda in Nice, large and impressive, is clearly visible to everyone, who is walking down the dock Quai des États-Unis. Tourists tend to rise on its observation deck (at a height of 92 meters). From there, a magnificent view opens on the Bay of Angels (Baie des Anges). This tower has an interesting and a little sad history, which guides often tell the tourists.

tour bellandaSince the fifteenth century, this tower (which was then called la Tour du Môle) has played an «militant» role, fearing enemy forces attack over the city from the sea, the surveillances were conducted from this tower.

In the seventeenth century, the tower was called la Tour Saint-Elme, in honor of the patron saint of sailors - Saint-Elme. On March 29, 1537, the priceless relic - Shroud of Turin (Saint Suaire de Turin) - was shown to people from that tower. In addition, in 1705, unfortunately, there was only a foundation remained of the tower because the troops of Louis XIV, having taken the city by storm, did not leave «no stone unturned» of local fortifications.

It was only after a long time, in 1824, the tower was rebuilt. It became the property of the family Clairissy, which has received permission from the authorities to organize a hotel there. (It was called «Clairissy»).

Thereafter the history of the ancient tower, newly built, was intertwined with the name of the famous composer Hector Berlioz. He arrived in Nice in a difficult moment for him - his fiancee had betrayed him, and Berlioz rushed to Paris, having decided to retaliate against the infidel. However, Nice has produced such a favorable impression on Hector, he stayed there for a while, which was later called the happiest time of his life. Berlioz changed his mind to revenge for his fiancee; he was installed in the hotel «Clairissy» in «a nice room with sea view», as he described it to his friends. During 3 weeks in Nice, the composer never tired of admiring the sea and made an overture to the opera «King Lear».

Berlioz returned to Nice 13 years later to admire once again the sea, while walking along the coast, making swimming and «discovering» little coves. Then he wrote the new overture, which he first decided to call «La Tour de Nice» (but later renamed in «Le Corsaire»).

In 1868, Hector Berlioz managed to visit his favorite city for the third time after a difficult winter for him in Saint Petersburg. However, that trip was fatal for the composer – in Monaco, he fell from the steep cliff, losing a lot of blood and seriously injuring his face.

Upon arriving to Nice for the treatment and staying again in a familiar hotel, by the fateful coincidence, Berlioz fell again on the stones while walking... (Doctors assumed that he had a cerebrovascular accident). After staying in bed for more than a week following the falling, the composer was able to return to Paris, where, alas, a little over a year later, he died.

A commemorative plaque on the tower's observation deck now resembles of the Hector Berlioz’ stay in Nice.

La Tour Bellanda got its current «name» in the middle of the nineteenth century, at the request of its next owner. For 40 years, it housed the exhibition of the Naval Museum. (Before the start of World War II, it was decided to create the Museum of Berlioz, but this plan could not be realized).

Today, the restored La Tour Bellanda is accessible on foot by the stairs or by lift. The visitors can admire the sea and sails (as Berlioz did it once), through powerful binoculars, which are available here.

Map - Tour Bellanda in Nice

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