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Place Massena


Finally in 1870 it acquired its current name of place GARIBALDI to honor, during his lifetime, Giuseppe GARIBALDI born in NICE in 1807 of a family of Genoese origin.

The Pont Neuf started in 1820 under the direction of the engineer Paul GARDON, was blessed on November 4, 1824 by Bishop COLONNA D'ISTRIA. It was composed of three arches and built of stone at the expense of the city, the government and a voluntary subscription on the part of a few inhabitants. It thus made it possible to reach Place Charles ALBERT (on the rue de l'Opéra and Alexandre Mari side) in the Croix de Marbre suburb and the Ville Neuve district.


Two identical places therefore had to face each other in a half-moon on either side of the bridge.

On the right bank of the Paillon, at the end of the new square, the Church of Our Lady of Graces was to rise in execution of the wish of the municipal council on April 25, 1832.

This project was subsequently abandoned because it did not meet the rules of the regulatory plan of the "consiglio d'orNato" (ornamental council) put under study by a ministerial circular of April 24, 1824 and approved by King Charles Albert by royal letters patent of May 25, 1832.

It was therefore decided to replace the semicircular square "closing too much the city towards the north" with a rectangular square "Quadrata" that we know today, the work of the architect VERNIER inspired by the porticoes of the rue de Rivoli in PARIS.

It should be noted that the major part of this land, including gardens, meadows, buildings and commercial operations, comprised an area extending from the current Saint Michel and Deloye streets to the east, to the Longchamp street to the west, and up to Boulevard Victor Hugo and Dubouchage to the north, and belonged to the TIRANTY family from LEVENS.

It was not until 1860 that the Place Charles Albert, the Pont Neuf and the northern part, already called Place MASSENA, were leveled and definitively developed, on the occasion of the visit of NAPOLEON III.

At the entrance and to the left of the Pont Neuf stood the freestone obelisk on a pedestal decorated with 4 white marble sphinxes, a monument erected in 1827 by the ISRAELITES of NICE, in honor of his majesty the king CHARLES FELIX, as a token of gratitude for the benefits received. This monument will disappear during the construction of Place MASSENA

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