France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Musée Masséna, Nice, France
Interested in the history of Nice, particularly the 19th century? Come explore this beautiful Belle Époque mansion/museum.





The Villa Masséna is considered an architectural jewel of the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Built between 1898 and 1901, this Belle Époque mansion combines a fascinating and beautiful structure with an impressive collection of 19th century works of art and history. Just around the corner from the Hotel Negresco, it is an elegant reminder of Nice's history.

The first floor, or rez-de-chaussée, features the Grande Galerie, an elegant corridor which allows access to the other rooms. My personal favorite was the stunning dining room that ends in a domed conservatory. The decor of the ceilings, walls, and floors is all remarkable. Other rooms convey similar elegance, from the library to the salon.

The Grand Salon, which overlooks the lovely gardens, features impressive frescoes, an abundance of chandeliers, and several paintings that celebrate the exploits of Maréchal Masséna. Other rooms include the fumoir, or smoking room, the office of Prince d'Essling, the impressive library, and the portrait room.

The Escalier d'Honneur, or grand staircase, takes you to the next level. You're accompanied by portraits of various members of the Masséna family.

On the next floor you'll find significant exhibits about the history of Nice, including some areas devoted to Napoléon. There are mementos from Napoléon and Josephine (including his death mask), as well as tributes to the Russian Tsars and other royalty who frequented Nice.

Old photographs and maps of Nice provide a fascinating look at how the city has changed over the past century. Views of the Baie des Anges and the Promenade des Anglais provide fascinating glimpses of how these areas have changed.

The Villa Masséna also boasts a lovely garden, so be sure to save time to wander there and enjoy the plants and the view. The garden, called the Jardin de la Légion d'Honneur, is also home to the memorial to those killed in the terrorist attack in Nice on July 14, 2016.

Note: If you like Belle Époque mansions and lovely gardens, be sure to check out the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, just a short distance from Nice. More...

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

Musée Massena
65 rue de France
06000 Nice, France

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