Cote d'Azur: Along the Promenade - to the Stars


Fort built by Richelieu

Our journey stretched along the Cote d'Azur towards Cannes and its environs. The first stop on the way was Canet Rocheville, a large city favorably located among the hills, making it famous for its warm and mild climate. Cane Rocheville was founded by the Lehren monks and is still considered the ideal place for lovers of a relaxing holiday. Residential areas of the city are located at around 250 meters above sea level and are protected from the winds by the mountains of Pesu and Tete de Guille.

The cape, which rises above the coast and the two Lerensky islands - Lero and Lerina, today the islands of St. Honorat (Satut Honorat) and St. Margaret (Satute Marguerite) - these are places that were inhabited in the Neolithic and Iron Age. The modern islands are closely connected with Cannes by water, especially in the summer. Great performances of the Sound and Color light music are held here.

And how pleasant boat trips around the islands, divided by the narrow strait of the Plateau de Milla, on which pleasure boats scurry endlessly! The island of St. Marguerite is the largest and highest of the Lerensky Islands. With a width of 900 meters, the island stretches from east to west for 3 kilometers. Beautiful alleys plow the island's pine and eucalyptus groves. It also houses the Museum of the Sea, once it was a fortress built by Cardinal Richelieu.

From 1607 to 1698 in this fortress a mysterious prisoner languished, who went down in history under the name of the Iron Mask, and his identity has not yet been established. The fortress has preserved the chains with which the legendary prisoner was chained to the wall, the cell of this mysterious person, as well as the neighboring cells, which contained French Protestants. A beautiful panorama of the coast opens against the background of the spurs of the Northern Alps mountain range from the site of the fortress.

Mandelieu is 7 km from Cannes. Mimosa was brought to this city from Australia. Then the plant was acclimatized by the famous gardener Gilbert Nabonard in Golf Juan. What does mimosa mean for this region? This will be discussed later.

The city of Mandelieu overlooks the sea through the castle of Napoule, which was built in 1390 on a rock. At one time it was destroyed by the army of Raymond de Tyuren, then only three massive square towers and parapets leading to them remained from the castle. In 1919, the castle was reconstructed by Henry Cleus. Currently, the works of this famous sculptor are exhibited here. Napoule, with its mild and warm climate, has become one of the largest tourist destinations thanks to its exquisite white sand beaches and winter swimming opportunities.

City of Stars

And here we are in Cannes! This city is located in an exceptionally beautiful place. At first it was an ancient settlement, founded by ligurs on the coast of the Gulf of Napoule, where the Esterel mountain range comes close to. The name Cannes (or Cannes) comes from the Ligurian word “canua”, which means “peak” or “height”. The city was subordinated to Lerensky Abbey, starting in 1030. In the XI-XIX centuries, towers were built on the island of Saint Honor and the tower Le Suquet on the cape.

During the French Revolution, Cannes came under state control. However, this small French village was destined to undergo a radical turn in 1834, when the eminent traveler, former English chancellor Lord Bregham, forced to interrupt his journey to Italy due to the cholera epidemic, accidentally stopped in Cannes and fell in love with this city forever.

Lord Bregham was so fascinated by the mild climate, the blue sky and the beauty of the town that he decided to build a house here, to which he came every winter. The king received funds from King Louis Philippe to build a dam in the old city.

Many English aristocrats followed the example of Lord Bregham. Over time, the city grew, and the former settlement turned into an elegant resort: elegant, aristocratic, becoming the meeting place and the rest of the wealthiest people in Europe. In 1837, the British General Taylor ordered the construction of the castle of St. George. The next year, work began on the construction of the port, a promenade was laid along the coast of Chemin de la petite Croix. Today, this road is known as La Croisette, the place where world movie stars gather at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival every May.

In 1858, Prosper Merime, inspecting historical monuments, came to the Lerensky Islands and noted the importance of Cannes and the surrounding area of ​​this city. After Merimet, who, along with Lord Bregham, is considered the discoverer of Cannes, Guy de Maupassant, Tocqueville, Thiers, Victor Cousin, Stefan Liege and many other figures of literature and art come there. Since then, Cannes has become a resting place for artists, wealthy bankers, aristocrats. Views of the modern city are known around the world. Cannes festivals are also famous: in January - the festival of gramophone records and music publications, in May - the international film forum. All year round congresses take place in Cannes, world-famous people gather here, which makes Cannes considered a fashionable and prestigious city.

In addition to traditional festivals, the city organizes various events that meet the tastes and needs of residents and tourists. There is a marina, golf and polo courts, a water stadium, a flying club, regattas are held and other spectacular events take place. Now, a little digression. The flower of the city of Cannes, its symbol is mimosa. It is exported to all countries of the world. It blooms in February, and this month usually hosts the traditional annual festival that bears her name.

Areas, neighborhoods, housing estates ...

Cannes stretched 9 km from the Bocca quarter to the rocks of Furnad. In the middle, a beautiful panoramic view of the city opens: Antibes street, Liberty Alley and, of course, Croisette. This world famous 3 km long boulevard runs along the seashore from the Old Port, the Palace of Congresses (built on the site of the demolished city casino) to Cape Palm Beach with its summer casinos and the Port of Kant. The boulevard, with an abundance of flowers and palm trees, amid the sea and golden sandy beaches, is a magnificent sight, a real symbol of recognition and development of Cannes.

On the Croisette, around the Palais des Congrès et Festivals, are hotel buildings that are unusually beautiful in their sophisticated elegance, such as Martinez, Carlton, Majestic or Noga Hilton. Next to them are prestigious, luxurious residential buildings and boutiques, on the signs of which you can read famous names from the world of high fashion. An esplanade stretches along the shore: this strip of land, reclaimed from the sea and turned into a beautiful garden, is considered a kind of "visiting card" of the city.

To the north is Carnot Boulevard, reaching the Cannes Quarter, to the west - to the Bocca Quarter, Jeanne Iber Boulevard stretches along the South Beach, in the east direction prospectuses lead to the prestigious residential neighborhoods of California and Cannes Eden. Parallel to the Croisette, you can stroll along the street of Antibes - a large open-air shopping center with luxury shops. The always crowded, typical of Cannes, Meinadieu Street amazes with its colorful shop windows and shop stalls.

In the center of the old town rises the hill of Suquet with the ancient Castrum Cana's, the streets and houses of which are crowded along the slopes of Mount Chevalier.

The Suquet Quarter, reminiscent of a village, contrasts with the splendor and luxury of the modern city of Cannes. In Syuk everything breathes peace and quiet. 22 meters high Suquet tower is the most striking historical monument representing the old city. During the French Revolution, the tower was destroyed, but it was rebuilt, thanks to Cannes fishermen, for whom it served as a guide when fishing in coastal waters. From the height of the old fortress walls of Suquet there is a magnificent panorama of the city with a web of picturesque streets: Leon-Chevalier, Saint-Antoine, Bushera, Pre, Saint-Dizier.

Beyond the ramparts of Suquet is the Church of Our Lady of Hope. The construction of the church, made in the style of Mediterranean Gothic, was completed in 1645. The church has a retablo of the era of classicism. Caskets with holy relics in a vase of sculptural portraits of the 17th century adorn the main altar with the image of the Virgin Mary of the 16th century, as well as a wonderful sculpture of St. Anne dating from the same era. At the top of the hill is a small Castres Square, surrounded on the north by fragments of the 14th-century fortress wall. Everything here breathes history: the ancient square, lined around the perimeter with pine trees and decorating its church of the 16th century. The architecture of the temple resembles the Gothic style, the interior is made up of polychrome sculptures.

The Castres Museum also enters the square, the exposition of which is very diverse: Etruscan sarcophagi of the era of Ancient Greece, made of lead, found in Sidon; the painted sarcophagus of Scrib Emenheshen (XX dynasty); American ceramics of the pre-Columbian period; exhibits of Polynesian culture and objects from faience from the island of Rhodes and from Asia Minor; Egyptian antiquities; anchors and amphorae. The basis of the museum is a private collection of the rich Dutch baron Lickmann - a portrait of a baron in an oriental costume adorns one of the halls.

Behind the California residential area are the hills of the Upper Cannes (Super Cannes), with a beautiful view of the Esterel mountain range, extending to the Italian border. Walking along Isola Bella Avenue and A. L. Sardou Street, we visited the observatory, enjoying the stars and sky above the Mediterranean Sea of ​​Liguria.

Sun, pines and dunes

Leaving Cannes, we ran into the dunes covered with pine. Here are only the Bokka castle and the chapel of St. Kasyan. Around 1855, the glazier Jozef Barthelemy, who became the founder of the Bocca quarter, settled in the area.

From the height of sheer cliffs you can see the city of Teul, facing the sea. Protected from the north by a chain of hills, the city is literally buried in greenery and flowers. The city has four marinas accommodating more than 1000 boats. Its beaches stretch for 10 km, and walking tours form a network of routes with a total length of 100 km. Near Teul, among lush greenery there are houses that fit perfectly into the rocky landscape of the village of Port la Galere, built according to the original plan of the architect Jacques Quell.

The final stage of our tour was a visit to the island of Saint Honor, covered with dense vegetation: pine trees, laurel, flowers and rich vineyards. For eight centuries, the island belonged to the monks who ruled the city of Cannes and the entire surrounding region. In 575 they founded the Order of St. Benoit. Over the course of its centuries-old history, the monastery has been destroyed more than once, and now the brothers of the Cistercian Order have settled in it. There are many churches of Romanesque architecture on the island, but its main monument is a cubic castle built in the 10th century. It served as a fortified prison, towering above the ancient cystery of the Roman period. In the castle, monks found shelter during the robberies, which were many in the centuries-old history of the island. The museum displays exhibits of Roman and early Christian culture found during excavations on the island, as well as historical documents relating to the island and its life. Seven churches are located on the island of Sainte Honor: the most significant interest is the Trinity Cathedral, which is close to us in decoration and architecture.

Now for sure, bye!

Our journey through Gangnam and its environs has come to an end. We took away with us tremendous impressions left from the charm and unique atmosphere of Cannes, formerly a small sea village, and now one of the most sophisticated cities in the world.

The wonderful alchemy of the Cote d'Azur in France with the golden light of the generous sun, the blue sky, the harsh mountain peaks of the Alps, the subtle aromas of the flowers of mimosa, rose and lavender - this is a unique landscape of the amazing natural world, as well as the history of different eras, characteristic features for this corner of the famous French Riviera. Ah, how I want to return ....