Considered # 1, because:
1) It’s the biggest Russian church in Europe – outside Russia
2) It is indeed so spectacular that it was adopted by the French government as its own historic and cultural monument
3) There are two more Russian churches in Nice, and nearly every town in the French and Italian Riviera has one of its own
Back to business - as per last autumn, can't say about now
Consult the guidelines (photo # 3) - you'll find a lot of things you are not supposed to do. Good news, though - 3 euro fee waived
Good news: entrance fee waived
Not so good news (for some): proper attire, decent behavior required
The guard at the door – see the man in all black, including eye-glasses? - will see to it that you abide by the rules. He doesn’t seem to speak Russian, but French and English are OK; on very friendly footing with modern gadgets – helped a lady with google-mapping the Orthodox cemetery (but not with its office hours, so I had to put in my 5 eurocents)
Basically the rules are:
• No taking pictures/shooting video inside – but you can buy a postcard from kerchiefed young girls at the improvised shopping-stand
• No loud speaking
• No shorts or strapped tee-shirts – the church provides sort of a pareo for a skirt and a shawl to cover your hair and naked shoulders (if any). The one I used was Burberry-themed, I guess they buy them in bulk at the Ventimiglia Friday market. But only ladies are thus privileged, gentlemen in shorts are promptly turned back, Scots’ kilts do not work here!
See photo # 3 for the hours and more details
You know this sad story of the young Russian prince (tzarevitch) Nicholas who came to Nice only to die in spring 1865 of a mysterious decease in the arms of his heart-broken family?
His mother the Empress never got over it, while his father Alexander II the Liberator soon found consolation with a fine lady, who incidentally settled down here in Nice, too. I can show you her grave if I ever have time to write about the Russian cemetery in Caucade. And his fiancée eventually became the wife of his brother, Alexander III the Peacemaker and the mother of the last Russian tzar Nicholas II – the tiny lane where the cathedral stands was named after him. But that happened much later.
Meanwhile Alexander II bought the plot, pulled down the unfortunate Villa Bermond and ordered the Chapel. Four years later it was built to match byzantine churches , or so they thought. This ponderous style was very popular in Russia at the time, the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow being the most spectacular example.
When – and if – they will finally get through with restoration works, we may be able to see the black marble tombstone – exactly where the tzarevitch’s was. So far the entrance is shut by heavy iron doors, the steps are uneven, and the whole place has a very sorrowful air indeed.
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Picture Group #1
This was a very interesting site to see.
The Russian Orthadox Church in Nice
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May 1st - September 30th:
9 am to 12 noon / 2:30 pm - 6 pm
October 1st - October 31st :
9:15 am to 12 noon / 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm
November 1st - February 15th:
9:30 am to 12 noon / 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm
February 16th - April 30th
9:15 am to 12 noon / 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Built by Tsar Nicolas in 1912 in a small suburb a half mile west of Nice Ville railway station, the Cathedral offers an impressive architectural sight, and houses treasures of icons, woodwork, and frescos. It was the first church to be designated a Russian Orthodox Cathedral outside Russia, and is a reminder of the long established pre-revolutionary Russian presence on the Riviera at the end of the 19th century, when the Russian fleet used to drop anchor in the deep-water harbour of Villefranche, and the Russian royal family would bury their elderly relatives in the cemetery above Menton.
Occasionally you see groups of local Russian-speakers picnicing in the shadow of the church, but mostly Nice's Russians arrive on frequent direct flights from Moscow. At the airport, if you see lines of prosperous businessmen with surgically-enhanced icy- blondes on their arms, check the flight schedules for Aeroflot. (The most wealthy Russians of course arrive not by plane but in their superyachts, but that is another story)
The cathedral charges a stiff entry fee, as it is not covered by municipal museums free entry policy. If you take a camera with you be very discrete (disable flash!) and be wary of the security staff. Their main purpose in life seems to be preventing anyone taking pictures, rather than stealing pictures. I guess it gives them some sense of purpose but in this digital age its not the way to go. A lot of people on holiday won't even know where they have been until they get back home and download their photos.
The cathedral was built under the patronage of Tsar Nicolas II. With its five coloured onion-domed cupolas, it's a stunning example of Russian Orthodox architecture. Inside is stunning too, there are intricate carvings & frescoes.
The cathedral is open daily for a few hours. Be warned, a dress code for visitors applies.
There is no need to travel all the way to Russia to take in it's architecture when you can get a small sample of it in the middle of Nice. Built by a rich Russian duke, the cathedral sticks out in comparison to the more modern buildings of Nice. And while it may look like something out of Walt Disney's imagination it was built far before that guy was born!
We read that this Cathedral is one of the most beautiful Russian Cathedrals outside Russia.
Having seen some other orthodox cathedrals in Russia, I must say that this one is definitely beautiful.
It is located in a nice green area of the city, and you cannot see the building untill you're actually in front of it. Its "hidden location" makes it even more isolated from the rest of the city and the Western life style. An oasis!
The façade is in excellent conditions, while the back of the cathedral is a little bit damaged, but still wonderful.
We were lucky to be there while a service was being celebrated: the service is held in Russian, and it is attended by a large Russian community.
The interior is even more impressive than the exterior.
This cathedral display stage of history when Russian aristocrats visited this city and was need for Russian Orthodox Church there. I live in country where Russian Orthodox Church is one of the main churches and so I can aver that Russian Orthodox Church in Nice is really impressive and have true charisma.
There you can by some souvenirs and illustrated material about history of Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
St. Nicholas Cathedral is one of the most beautiful structures in the French Riviera. There are lots of icons inside.
Some of them are:
Our Lady of Korsoun
The Sacred Face of Jesus
The Apostle St. Peter
The Archangel St. Gabriel
St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker
Our Lady of Kazan
The Archangel St. Michael
The Icon of the Resurrection
St. Alexander Nevsky
The residence where the crowned prince, the son of Emperor Alexander II, Grand Duke Nicholas, became a commemorative chapel.
There was a smaller church before, but since on rue Longchamp in the mid 1800's, but because of the increase of the faithful, there was a need to build the Cathedral.
The Cathedral was inaugurated on Dec. 17, 1912 and is considered one of the most maginificent Russian Orthodox Cathedrals outside Russia.
The Russian orthodox church near the central station is worth to stroll by.
From the promenade, walk up Boulevard Gambetta and to the left after the undercrossing of the Highway. After a few meters you will see the playfull rooftops of the church to your right.
It's really nice, just sit down on one of the benches around and enjoy the look.
St. Nicolas Church was built between 1903 and 1912, and was donated by and dedicated to Tsar Nicholas II. It has 6 onion domes and is built in the form of a Greek cross . The exterior is richly decorated in mosaic. The style is based on the Laroslavl church in Moscow. Particularly striking is the large representation of the Turin Shroud held aloft by an angel. Before this made its way to Turin it was one of the holiest relics of the Russian Orthodox Church, kept in the city of Odessa on the Black Sea. There is a small charge to go inside. The interior is also richly decorated, with icons in silver gilt cases and jewel-encrusted treasures. There are no chairs for in the Orthodox Church the congregation stands. Note the commemorative chapel to Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovitch who died in Nice in 1865. The east transept is closed off by an ornate screen, separating the 'Holy of Holies' from the rest of the church.
Russians began arriving in Nice in the 1850s. There is still a large Russian population here.
Info taken from here:
There is an entrance fee 3 euros. I've heard that they dont charge the orthodox believers...
Generaly I came from orthodox country but I get annoyed with fees to enter the churches. I haven't seen chatolich church with a fee...
In the times when tourism actually started out as a business, the richer classes could afford to wander around the globe. French Cote d"Azur was actually one of the first spots where - especially English) - wealthy people spend there wintertimes, thus escaping from the harsh weather conditions in England. Immediately following the English nobility was the Russian tsar and his family as well as their noble and rich people. With them, they brought the Russian Orthodox church to France and tsar Nicolas II ordered a beautiful cathedral built in Nice. Finished in 1912, the Saint Nicolas church looks like a exotic monument from far away. It's colourful appearance hides a spectacular collection of icons, woodworks, paintings and fresco's. This, because the church saved a huge amount of Russian Orthodox memorabilia from destruction as only five years after it's completion, Russia fell into revolution and civil war, resulting into the communist era in which the church was banned from public life. Many historical items and relgious objects were immediately put on transport to Nice.
This spectacular Russian Orthodox Church a few hundred yards from the Nice city centre comes as a surprise for those not expecting to see such a sight.
Having visited the inside, it is almost as beautiful as some we saw in Sweden.
Well worth a visit
St. Nicolas Orthodox Russian Cathedral (L'ÉGLISE RUSSE) was inaugurated in 1912, the cathédrale Saint Nicolas is made up of a harmony of pink bricks, light grey marble and brightly coloured ceramic. Crowned by six 'onion-shaped' domes, it contains fabulous treasures, icons, woodwork and frescoes.