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The place Massena

LA PLACE MASSENAFinally, in 1870 it obtained its actual name of Place GARIBALDI, to honour Giuseppe GARIBALDI, born in NICE in 1807 to a family of genoese origin.
Pont Neuf, begun in 1820 by the engineer Paul GARDON, was consecrated by Bishop COLONNA D’ISTRIA on November 4th 1824. It was made up of 3 arches and built of stone paid for by the town, government and a voluntary subscription of a few inhabitants. It allowed a connection between Place Charles ALBERT (on the side of Opera street and Alexandre Mari) and the suburb of Croix de Marbre and Ville Neuve quarter.

Two identical squares thus would have faced each other in a half moon on either side of the bridge.

On the left bank of the Paillon, at the end of the new square, would have been built the church Notre Dame des Grâces on the wish of the communal council, 25th April 1832.

This project was abandoned because it was not in accordance with the rules of the regulatory plan of the ” consiglio d’ORNATO ” (ornamental council) the focus of a study by a ministerial circular dated 24 April 1824, and approved by Charles Albert with the royal seal on 25thMay 1832.

Therefore, it was decided to substitue the semi-circular square which ” closed in the town too much towards the north “, for a rectangular area ” Quadrata ” as we know it today, the work of the architect VERNIER, who was inspired by the porticos of Rivoli street in Paris.

It must be noted that a large part of these lands, including gardens, meadows, buildings and commercial enterprise, composed an area extending from Saint Michel street, and Deloye at the East (as we know them today, to Longchamp street at the West to Victor Hugo boulevard and Dubouchage at the north. It belonged to the TIRANY family, originating from Levens.

It was not until 1860 that Place Charles Albert, the Pont Neuf and the northern part already named Place MASSENA, were definitively moved INTO on the occasion of the visit of Napoleon III.

At the entrance and to the left of Pont Neuf was a carved stone obelisk on a pedestal decorated with 4 white marble sphinx, monument built in 1827 by the Israelites of NICE in honour of his Majesty King CHARLES FELIX, in recognition of benefits received. This monument disappeared during the construction of place MASSENA.