Stunning scenery, sparkling seas, balmy sunshine, architectural heritage, historic wonders… These are but a few of the reasons why, in 2021, neighbouring Nice became a UNESCO World Heritage site. Nice is the second-largest city on the French Mediterranean coast after Marseille, with close to one million inhabitants. And its extraordinary history, notable visitors, admirers, and extravagant tales are what makes the city so uniquely exceptional today. In this blog we will explore how the entire city of Nice achieved this accolade – a World Heritage Site. Further, we will look into what this means for the area and the future of the city.
The greatest reward of the UNESCO World Heritage title
A World Heritage Site is all about preserving beautiful architectural and natural sites around the world. That is to say, sites vary from impressive properties, to celebrated monuments, remarkable natural sites, and others in danger. Importantly, they are all deemed worthy of protection. Of course, gaining this title is no small feat. By making an application for World Heritage status, the location must be of outstanding universal value. For example, the criteria includes:
- Demonstrating international significance
- It must ‘transcend national boundaries’
- Be of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity
In fact, Nice joins France’s impressive collection of more than 40 world heritage sites. For instance, the River Seine in Paris, Versailles Palace, Mont-Saint-Michel and Mont Perdu in the Pyrenees. Each, without doubt, represents significant beauty and are must visits.
A city of international recognition
With its stunning location – nestled between the mountains and the Mediterranean – Nice has attracted international attention for centuries. To clarify, since the middle of the 18th century, aristocratic and wealthy families, poets, artists, and authors have flocked to the region. The international and wealthy audience, all being enticed by the extravagant and glamorous lifestyle in the Riviera. And, at the heart of the Riviera has always been Nice, the ‘city of the Côte d’Azur’. Today, Nice maintains its unique beauty. Therefore, the title has been awarded to the Promenade des Anglais, Nice old town, south-east Nice and Port Lympia alike.
Ultimate protection for future generations
At Parc du Cap, we are fortunate that Nice is but a short 30-minute drive, 23km coastal cycle, or short boat trip away. As a result, there are many ways we can enjoy this exceptional city. To clarify wander the winding and charming streets of the old city and try the local delicacies from the magical markets. Or, engross yourself in the history of the city at the many fascinating museums or picturesque 19th-century mansions. Further, relax on the glorious sandy beaches and spend time galivanting on the water – exploring nearby islands and bays. For example, the magnificent Opéra Plage, Castel Plage or Blue Beach. Moreover, dine at some of the city’s greatest beachside and rooftop bars and restaurants in the South of France. For instance, here are a selection of some exceptional spots – Plage Beau Rivage, Le Plongeoir, or Le Méridien.
Consequently, this new title guarantees the splendour and offerings of Nice will have special protection for years ahead. In other words, henceforth, urban development in Nice will be strictly controlled – ensuring the preservation of the city’s heritage.
To sum up, Nice is a city abundant with cultural, historical, and traditional delights, all whilst being both Mediterranean and Alpine. As a result, it is no wonder the city has been crowned with the UNESCO World Heritage site title. And joining other fellow sites, cities and locations across France and the world, it will be forever protected. At Parc du Cap, we are delighted for our fantastic neighbouring city – located but a stone’s throw from our door.
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