NICE. The capital of the Department of Alpes Maritimes. France, situated on the Mediterranean, at the foot of the Alps, and at the western ex tremity of the Riviera, 140 miles by rail east northeast of Marseilles, and 640 miles from Paris (Map: France. 0 g). Nice is far-famed as a. place of sojourn for health-seekers, some 15.000 of whom visit it yearly. The city and its bay Are protected by the mountains on the north.
The climate is dry, mild, and invigorating. It is warm in winter and not hot in summer. „Mean annual temperature 58.6° F.—January July 73.8°. Frost and snow are rare. The rainy period is in the fall. The fashionable season begins soon after January 1st and lasts till .June 1st. The situation of Nice, where the small l'aglione empties into the sea, is splendid. There is a circle of forts in the rear, and the city is important strategically to France. On the left bank of the co•ered-over stream is the little old town, with narrow, crooked streets. In this section a mixture of Provencal and Ital ian is spoken. Along the sea front here extends a fine boulevard. At its east end rises Castle Hill, on which runs a promenade, whence an immense and admirable view of the coast may be had. Beyond the bill lies the city's small harbor, called Limpia.
On the western bank of the Paglione is the more important foreigners' quarter, where French is the universal language. In this section the avenues are spacious and beautiful, with plane trees and eucalypti, and the city presents the delightful appearance of a southern sea resort. The centre of life in this part is the Square Mas se'na, on which stands the bronze statue to Mas s6na, who was born in Nice. Adjacent is the Casino, an attractive modern municipal struc ture, containing gaining rooms, a theatre. and an entertainment garden. From the Casino the Public Garden, exceptionally attractive with its palm, pepper, myrtle, and laurel trees, reaches to the sea, and terminates in the splendid iron and glass pier promenade. From this point west along the bay for a distance of over two miles is the wide, magnificent Promenade des Anglais, flanked by villas and spacious hotels, and having gardens of orange and lemon trees and axles of flowers. Among the objects of interest in the
city are a marble cross, commemorating the meet ing here of Francis I. and Charles V. in 1533; the modern centenary obelisk in honor of the union of Nice with France in 1792; a pyramid to the memory of Garibaldi, a native of Nice; also a statue of him, and a bust of President Carrot.
The public library has nearly 100,000 volumes. The Mu.seum of Natural History is noteworthy for its collection of mushrooms. The municipal museum contains mediocre works of modern French artists. Nice has a nunnery, a lyceum, a priests' and a teachers' seminary, a charity hospital, and an important astronomical observa tory (on Mont Gros). with one of the largest refractors in the world. The municipal theatre has good opera in the season. The earnival—an elaborate f&te of flowers, confetti. and Moceoletti —is an annual occurrence which attracts pleas ure-seekers from all countries. To the north of Nice lies Cimiez, with its interesting Roman remains. Nice exports oranges, lemons, flowers (for which it is celebrated) , perfumes, olives. oils, and liquors. It also manufactures ivory goods, furniture, silk, dyes, etc. Some marble is quarried near. The city shows a marked increase in commercial importance and in population. Its inhabitants numbered 105.109 in 1901.
Nice was the Nica.a of the ancients, and dates from the fourth century B.C., when it was settled by from Marseilles. It suffered in many wars. and at the hands of many races. It belonged in the late Middle Ages to Provence, and finally passed to Savoy. The French took it in 1792; it was given back to Sardinia after the fall of Napoleon. and became again a part of France in 1860. It suffered severely from an earthquake in 1877. Consult: Hole, Nice and Ihr Neighbors (London, 1881): Lee. Nice and Its Climate (ib., 1854) ; 31oris, Nice ( Paris, 1899)