France is filled with history ranging back all the way to pre-Neanderthal man, but we are more interested in the little more recent history of Nice. At least if you want to call the last few hundred years recent.
One of our favorite historic stops in Nice is Castle Hill. Make sure you bring a water bottle and your sneakers when you visit this amazing location. You will be climbing 300 feet of stairs to reach the top. This 16th century fortress has amazing views over the ocean and a history as rich as France itself. The main part of the castle was destroyed during a siege by Louise XIV and his followers in 1706, but that was only one of many sieges. The first recorded siege of the castle took place in 1543 by Fracois I of France.
While you are near Castle Hill, we recommend stopping to see Monument aux Morts de Rauba-Capeù. This tribute to the soldiers of Nice who died in World War I will take your breath away. It is carved into the hillside. The domed roof, pillars and stone work are a great place to sit and think about the horrors that France faced during both World Wars.
Do you love Baroque architecture and artwork? Then you will want to drop by the Palais Lascaris. The mansion was built in the 18th century by the Vintimille-Lascaris family. It later became the property of a daughter of Theodore II Laskaris , a Byzantine emperor. The mansion filtered through several families before becoming the property of Nice who now maintains it as a shining example of the Baroque architecture that made the city famous.
The Le Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle in Nice is not an old place by any means. It opened its doors 1846, making it the oldest museum in Nice. The museum hosts a wide variety of animal and plant collections, but do not forget to look around at the structure and stories in every corner of the museum. This is a location children, parents and grandparents can all enjoy together.
Ok, we said 4 historic places, but then we teased you about pre-Neanderthal man. Here is our bonus location you do not want to miss. The Grotto du Lazaret is where proof of pre-Neanderthal men has been uncovered in Nice. You and your family can wander around the caves, look at items that have been excavated and marvel in how these early men managed to live.
This is just a small sampling of the history of Nice, France. Your family could spend an entire week exploring the history of the area and only begin to scratch the surface. One of the best ways to explore all the history is to schedule a tour once your arrive in the city. A guide can show you places only the locals are know about and help you explore both current times and all the way back to prehistoric times.
Remember, Nice is not all about history either. It is a vibrant modern city with entertainment, great food and fun, but the historic locations in Nice should not be missed.