Massena Square is Nice’s geographic centre. Originally created in 1832 has the name of one of the city's most famous citizens. Jean-André Masséna (1758–1817) was born in Nice and he was famous as military commander during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
The square is big enough and it is a relaxing point for the people passing by and you can have some nice photos near the fountains. We did this, we checked the statues and the pine trees and after a while we had to choose of going to the shops near by like most of the locals usually do or entering the Old Town. We did the second of course...
Place Massena is an attractive square surrounded by shops and restaurants which are concentrated along the Rue Messina, a pedestrian only zone. A cluster of rich, red colored buildings mark the spot--it's hard to overlook them!
This popular square was named for Marshal Massena, a man described as both "canny and corrupt" who managed to collect a number of distinguished titles throughout his career.
Like most squares, pretty flower plots and scattered benches welcome its visitors each day to people watch or rest their weary legs.
Go on a SHOPPING SPREE along PLACE MASSENA here in NICE. France's #1 department store, GALERIES LAFAYETTE is also located here (see photo below. Galeries Lafayette is just directly behind me housed in that quaint pinkish-red building). But please, please be careful when you're around this area because there are literally lots of gypsy pickpockets here! I was robbed in broad daylight - right here - by 3 gypsy children.
(For more details, please read my comments under the 'Warnings' section).
The merchandise sold in Galeries Lafayette store here in Nice is much cheaper than the main outlet in Paris, I feel. Costume jewellery is inexpensive; and so is Clarins (French skin care and make-up) products.
Unfortunately, place Massena was still being restored while we were in Nice, but it was impossible not to notice how beautiful this square is. I was really impressed by the lines that dominate this wonderful spot. Take a look at my pics: everything moves around round lines.
This is the true heart of Nice. On the northern side of the square you will find elegant buildings with arcades tinted in that famous Pompeian red. To the East, enjoy a beautiful perspective with a view towards the hills with their Tuscan charm. The huge fountain, whose bronzes signed by Alfred Jannoit represent the planets of the solar system, is a favorite meeting place for tourists.
You'll probably end up passing through here at one point or another during your trip to Nice. The central point of Nice at the southern end of Avenue Jean Medecin. The square has a large array of fountains and gardens.
The Place Massena was opened in June 2007. It is a wide-open pedestrianised square, watch out for the trams though. The square has its critics, due to lack of shade & greenery. I loved the open feel to it, especially when the sun lit up the surrounding buildings. It was busy with people both day & night, and a great place to sit & relax.
The square contains a fountain as well as seven figures sat atop giant poles facing each other. Both the fountain and the sculptures are illuminated at night.
As soon as I saw these seven pillared statues, I knew immediately what they were and who the artist was – simply because I had recently seen one of his similar exhibitions on display in Bamberg, Germany. Sculptor Jaume Plensa, a Spanish artist that creates unique sculptures, designed the Nice sculptures to represent the seven continents.
Commissioned by the Commuanuté d'Agglomération of Nice in 2007, these sculptures stand 12 meters (nearly 40 feet) high on both sides of the road going through Place Massena. They are made from polyester resin with a stainless steel column and base, and light up in various colors at night.
During the time we were in Nice, we witnessed the opening of Carnival which takes place in Place Massena. It was difficult to get good nice photos because of the crowds and the special lighting for the Carnival festivities.
To see more of Jaume Plensa’s works on display around the world, visit his official website.
This huge square can't be missed when in Nice.
It's surrounded by the Albert I and Massena gardens and the imposing red-coloured buildings. Not to mention the fountains.
This is where a parade, show or other events often take place.
Considered the centre of the city, Place Massena is the stage for the festivities during le Carnaval de Nice. The elegant buildings around the square date from 1850 and mix the arcades of rue de Rivoli in Paris with Italianate architecture. The most distinguishing feature is the rose coloured façades of the encircling buildings.
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