On the eastern end of Nice, the Parc du Chateau looms over Vieux Nice from a height of 92m. By day the park offers unforgettable views over the Baie des Anges and by night the illuminated Chateau cuts a striking figure against the sky.
Despite it's name, there's very little of the medieval defensive fortress that remains which is a shame considering the Chateau's importance in Nice history. From the time of the ancient Greeks, residents took shelter on the high hill to escape from Barbarian invasions. By the 13th century, the hill was inhabited by several thousand people who erected churches, convents, a market and hospitals.
A defensive system became ever more elaborate throughout the 16th century before Louis XIV razed most of it in 1706. In the 19th century, urbanists created the first public garden in Nice on top of the hill which eventually were enlarged and expanded to include Aleppo pines, cypresses, parasol pines and other Mediterranean vegetation.
In addition to the spectacular views, the Parc de Chateau is worth a visit for the:
Cascade Donjon, an artificial waterfall;
the Tour Bellanda, the 16th-century tower rebuilt in the 19th century
the Cemetery in which several notables are buried
Getting to the Parc du Chateau
You can access the chateau by elevator or stairs from the eastern end of the Old Town.
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