France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Archaeology Museum, Nice, France
With its small arena and remains of parts of the Roman town, a part of Nice's history comes to life at the archaeology museum.





The Archaeology Museum of Nice-Cimiez is located on Cimiez Hill, just next to the Musée Matisse. This is the site of the Roman city of Cemenelum. The museum itself is quite small and includes such items as sarcophagi, stele, pots, tools, and jewelry. Some of these items come from the site itself, and others from nearby historic areas.

The real "star" of the museum is the chance to stroll through the site, which includes the remains of public baths from the first to the third centuries. You'll also see areas of homes, shops, and gathering places, as well as paved streets. The area shows evidence of centuries of habitation.

The site also has the remains of a paleo-Christian church and baptistry.

The arènes, or amphitheater, is actually just outside of the museum and is a popular gathering place. The amphitheater was built in the 2nd century and enlarged in the 3rd century to allow for more entertainment use. It had a capacity of about 5,000 spectators and has been used as an entertainment venue in modern times.

The actual excavations at the site took place from 1950 to 1969, and the first museum opened in 1960. The original location was the Villa des Arènes, the adjacent building that now houses the Matisse Museum.

Signage is all in French, but you can still appreciate the art even if you can't understand all of the descriptions.

The Archaeology Museum is closed on Tuesdays. It accepts both the French Riviera Pass and the Nice Museum Pass.

Archaeology Museum of Nice-Cimiez
160, avenue des Arènes de Cimiez
06000 Nice, France

About Nice

What to See & Do in Nice

Nice Hotels

Musée Matisse

Russian Orthodox Cathedral

Musée National Marc Chagall

Nice Transport

Côte d'Azur



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Archaeology museum, Nice

Above, View of the excavated Roman ruins at the Archaeology Museum of Nice-Cimiez.

Below, Funerary stele from the necropolis at Cimiez, dating from the 1st century CE.


Roman stele, Nice archaeology museum



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