The gardens of the Monastery of Cimiez
The Cimiez Monastery which dates back to 1546 is an architectural complex built by Franciscan monks. It includes a church, a cloister, a cemetery where Henri Matisse and Raoul Dufy painters are buried and Roger Martin du Gard, 1937 Nobel Prize winner for Literature. A vegetable garden which was tendered by the monks (square piece which still exists) and the convent buildings is now the Franciscan Museum, which traces the Franciscan life in Nice since the thirteenth century.
The History of the monastery is closely linked to the history of Nice and Cimiez. A plaque under the church portico recalls, without justification, that the site was a temple of Diana time Cimiez Roman city on the ruins of which the Benedictine Fathers of Saint-Pons built the first sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the Alpes-Maritimes. More of the history of the monastery can be read here
The gardens of Jardins Monastère de Cmiez Nice France
The Cimiez Monastery is located in the hills above Nice, France with spectacular views of the castle hill, Bay of Angels, old Nice and wonderful blue seas, these scenic views make way for hordes of visitors alike, so it’s better to go out of season at least you have great sunshine and don’t have to wait for mobile phone uses to get selfies of themselves.
The Gardens are located next to the Cimiez monastery (founded in the ninth century by the Benedictine monks of the abbey of Saint-Pons) and is one of the oldest gardens in Nice. The gardens were originally the former monks’ vegetable garden, growing chickpeas, artichokes and beans that required little watering, the arrival of water from the Vésubie in 1878 allowed the planting of other vegetables and fruits.
Acquired by Nice it opened its paths to visits in June of 1927 after renovation by the garden designer, Auguste Louis Guiglaris (1882-1963) who also did the Villa Massena public garden and Parc Chambrun and became a great success as it still remains.
The gardens make way to kissing couples, brides who want to be photographed with splendid and inspiring shrubbery and backdrops, to the meditative picture postcard photographers and those who want peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
A wide path lined with sumptuous rose bushes and some trees and flora typical of méditérrannée make it the main attraction. The southern facade of the monastery is lined with a long lawn flanked by flowerbeds in the spirit of French Italian garden.
The southern side mostly has citrus (orange, lemon) which had just been harvested before we arrived with terraces discreetly scented by Abélias from a small path to reach a walled garden in a medieval mind.
As you can see it’s a photographers paradise and well worth a visit, please allow yourself a couple of hours to visit and languish in the meditative environment. The gardens are open from 8.00am and close at 18.00