HISTOIRE NICE & THE PORT SEMINARY
The port of Nice and surroundings are rich in places loaded with history, uncommon or nique.
We often select one to tell you about it. In this issue, we present an unusual site located by the port.
The Seminary building is unobtrusively situated and has a stunning view on the Mediterranean Sea.
Good news for food lovers, it was lately turned into a restaurant and a hotel as well.
Walking down Avenue Jean Lorrain you reach Boulevard Frank Pilatte and the seashore where Nice inhabitants come and bask in the sun on the white rock, and the starting point of the “Sentier des Douaniers” which will take the most motivated of them as far as Monaco. After passing the “Parc de la Villa la Côte” a high wall bordering the sea protects the treasure we intend to tell you about: “Le Petit Séminaire”.
At the start, the Petit Séminaire was an idea of Archbishop Galvano in 1832 when he arrived from Piémont (Italy). His hierarchy gave him permission in 1842. He then had it built in order to host secular and religious students. Rich Niçois ‘children would also reside there. Not far from the Seminary, the Lazaret Cave reminds us that the area was already a population centre by 400 000 years BC.
The big house has a pink façade and green shutters typical of the local architecture and is perched on a space of fl at land overhanging the sea. Nestled in the Lazaret area, the “Maison du Séminaire, has always been an historical and emblematic site to the diocese. In 1891, a beautiful chapel was built next to it.
Archbishop Rémond eagerly took care of the chapel layout whose architecture refers to early Christian era. The Norman and Byzantine décor, inspired by Ravenna basilica (Italy) has recovered its lustre, which makes the chapel one of the Côte d’Azur most remarkable places of worship. Its library, opened to all, off ers quietness in the reading room whose windows open onto the sea. A preserved place of serenity with a breath taking view!
Since about ten years ago, the Maison du Séminaire as well as a hotel has hosted a restaurant.
Full of charm, ideally located, the “Saint Paul” is an out of the ordinary place. When you have lunch on the restaurant terrace you cannot but start thinking of the monastic life of generations of seminarians whom, we hope, enjoyed the stunning view that their seminary off ered them while they were despite it all in home confinement.
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