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The Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill) is Nice’s oldest site, dating back to 2100 BC. The ancient Greeks established a colony there before it fell under Roman domination. The earliest Christians established a church there between the 5th and 6th centuries and dedicated it to Saint Mary. 

(See more about the history of and things to do on Castle Hill)

Although those early remains have been excavated, todays excavations focus on the medieval cemetery associated with the Cathedral of Saint Mary. Archaeologists are now trying to understand the organization of the site beginning in the 9th century and ending in the 18th century. The cemetery has also undergone several complete redevelopments of its funerary space, mainly linked to the restructuring and modifications of neighboring buildings (cathedral and quadrangular building).Read the rest

The annual Journées de l’Archéologie (Archaeology Days) is a great way to do a deep dive into Nice’s history if your French is up to it. Even if it’s not, the archaeologists on site could probably give you some explanations in English.


Workshops and events without reservation
Duration between 20 mins and 45 mins – Young people, all audiences – PRM access

Saturday June 18 10 a.m. > 5 p.m.

Workshop “To your trowels! »

  • Burial Excavation Workshop
  • Excavation of a cremation workshop

Workshop “What the skeletons tell us”

  • Animal Skeletons Workshop
  • Workshop The human skeleton

Workshop “What the walls whisper”

  • Construction Archeology Workshop

Workshop “What revolves around pottery”

  • Workshop What did our ancestors eat?
  • Workshop I identify pottery
  • Workshop X-rayed pottery

Workshop “What plants tell us”

  • Workshop I identify plants grown in the past
  • Workshop I imagine the agricultural landscape of yesterday and today

Workshop “Discovering our ancestors”

  • Workshop To each his own tool

Workshop “You’re smarter with your hands”

  • Workshop Make your antique bowl

Workshop “In search of anecdotes”

Mini-conferences to exchange on the anecdotal underside of the archaeological discipline: “the adventures of the lost shard”, “the depths of the Prom'”, “the fuel for the manufacture of bells in the Middle Ages: the example of the Sainte -Marie de Nice”, “the adventures of an amphora”, “from the church to the theatre: the story of a place forgotten and rediscovered”…

“Seeds of archaeo” area 2 > 6 years old*

Reading tales, colouring, selection of books…

* Under the responsibility of the parents


Saturday at 5 p.m.

Read the rest

Follow my Promenade du Paillon tour and you’ll come to the “Church of the Vow” or, more properly the Eglise Saint Jean Baptiste-Le Voeu at the end of the Coulée Verte park. So what was this famous vow?

Like so many Nice churches, Eglise Le Voeu was built in response to a cholera epidemic. It was the early 1830s and the disease was sweeping the region wreaking devastation in its wake. In six months there were 100,000 deaths in France. On April 15, 1832 the city council, in a special session, made a solemn vow (voeu): if Nice was spared the epidemic, the city would place itself under the protection of the Virgin and build a new church. Also, the city would organize a ceremony each year to renew its commitment to the Virgin.Read the rest

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