Cimiez is an upscale neighborhood which is well worthy of your attention while in Nice. During Roman times this community was a rival of Nice. Today it is a community in the northern part of Nice. It is relatively distant from the beaches but is home to three, or more, attractions well worthy of your consideration.
1. The Henri Matisse Museum
2. Roman ruins including an arena, amphitheater, baths, and a nearly 2000 year old church
3. A more modern Franciscan monastery and church
The Matisse Museum probably owns the largest single collection of Matisse's work, including a significant sampling of his watercolor and paper cutouts from late in his creative career;
e. g., "Nude #4." (I think that my first grade teacher may have sent some of my work to them, as well.)
The Roman ruins are home to the Nice jazz festival each July. I was there just a few days before the 2008 festival, so I missed it but the buzz and advertising certainly made me wish that I could have extended my stay.
The Franciscan monastery/church owns some very significant paintings by 16th Century artist, Louis Brea (pron. Bray-uh) including La Pieta and La Crucifixion so you could easily spend a day admiring and studying art within this relatively small neighborhood. In the cemetery at the monestary, you might want to visit the burial places of Henri Matisse and 1937 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Roger Martin du Gard.
The ruins of a hotel (not 1st Century) where British Queen Victoria spent many holidays are also in Cimiez.
The cemetary at Cimiez is the last resting place of two giants of french art - Matisse and Raoul Dufy. Both painted prolifically in Nice, inspired by the colurs and patterns around them. It is fitting they should leave their last impression in the cemetery here.
Finding them amidst the mausoleums and sepulchres of grand Italian families is no small feat, but under blue skies a task that allows unhurried browsing through the last hundred years of Nice life. Or should that be Nice Death?
As a visitor to Nice you will become familiar with the district and street names - Garribaldi, Gambetta, Pastorelli, Grosso. The trick is to match the names to the grand mausoleums and family tombs. You will also find the family internment of Jellinek-Mercedes - founders of Daimler Benz AG and the motor car Mercedes empire. However the Medecin clan - Nice's notorious mayors Jacques and son Jean, are interred at a little churchyard with a view over all Nice up in Gairault. Thats a different excursion.
The Cimiez Monastery and church that have been used by the Franciscan monks since the 16th century. The church owns "La piéta", "La Crucifixion" and the "Déposition", three of the most important works from the medieval artist Louis Bréa. On display are more than 300 documents and works of art from the 15th to 18th centuries. Buried in the monastery's cemetery are the painters Henri Matisse and Raoul Dufy plus the winner of the 1937 Nobel Prize for Literature, Roger Martin du Gard. The gardens are asolutely beautiful and ofer a nice view of the city.
A wealthy northern suburb of Nice, with a number of things to see - the Matisse + Marc Chagall Museums, an archaeological site with old roman ruins, Franciscan monastery and the Cimiez cemetery where painters Henri Matisse and Raoul Dufy are buried in the graveyard. Also The Regina hotel, originally a palace built for Queen Victoria
Loved by those looking for peaceful open spaces, the Monastery gardens offer pergolas with climbing rose bushes, well-kept grass paths decorated with Seville orange and tangerine trees, as well as quiet wooded areas.