Cimiez is a neighborhood north of Cours Saleya on a hill site that used to be settled by Cemenelum, a powerful Roman town. Cimiez is today Nice’s most wealthy quarter and filled with the city’s best museums.
The highlight of Cimiez is the Musée Matisse, which is housed in a 17th century villa surrounded by Roman ruins. The villa was restored and made the museum building to store a large collection of Henri Matisse’s paintings. The famous painter lived in Nice from 1917 until his death in 1954, attracted by the belle ville’s sun and warm climate. He settled in the Cimiez quarter, taking up residence at the Hôtel Regina, which is now an apartment complex. His artwork includes several pieces that he bequested to the city, with many others donated by his family. The museum’s collection today includes Matisse’s paintings, engravings, sketch illustrations, gouache cutouts, furniture and accessories, vases, fabrics, and black-and-white photos of the artist’s work.
Next to the Musée Matisse is the Musée Archéologique (Archaeology Museum), which has a collection of objects excavated from the ruins of the 1st to 5th century Roman city of Cemenelum. The museum also documents Gallo-Roman life in those days.
Another museum in Cimiez worth its weight is the Musée du Message Biblique Marc Chagall (Marc Chagall Museum of Biblical Themes). It features the greatest collection of Chagall’s 20th century works, which typically depict biblical themes in superb colors.
The Monastère de Cimiez is located east of the Musée Archéologique and is still used as a monastery. It features the Musée Franciscain, which retraces the history of the Franciscan order, as well as a 16th century style garden and a 15th century church highlighted by works from the hands of Bréa.
Musée du Message Biblique Marc Chagall
Monastère de Cimiez