Berlioz’s Nice in our time

(Companion to Berlioz in Nice page)

Introduction

    The page Berlioz in Nice explores Berlioz’s connection with Nice. That page also presents 19th and early 20th centuries images of the locations that Berlioz knew, such as the places at which he lodged or visited and general views of the city itself. The present page revisits these locations as they are in our time (in 2012). In addition the page includes photos and information about the locations where Berlioz’s connection with the city are posthumously commemorated.

    All the photographs on this page were taken by Michel Austin in May 2012. © Michel Austin. All rights of reproduction reserved.

This page is also available in French

1. General views of Nice

View from Bellanda Tower

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View from Quai des Etats-Unis

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View from Quai Rauba Capeu

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Nice Harbour – view from the Colline du Château

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Nice Harbour – view from the Colline du Château

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Map of the Old Town

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The above photo shows a large commemorative plaque installed on the wall at the foot of the steps leading up to Bellanda Tower and the Colline du Château.

2. Villefranche

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3. Nice Railway Station

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4. Places where Berlioz stayed during his visits in 1831 and 1844

1831 – Maison Clerissi, now Hôtel Suisse, at the foot of Bellanda Tower 
1844 – Bellanda Tower

(see also the history of Maison Clerissi and Bellanda tower)

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Hôtel Suisse

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Commemorative plaque on Bellanda Tower

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The text on the upper section of the plaque is quoted from Berlioz’s Memoirs (Chapter 53): ‘The room where in 1831 I had written the overture to King Lear was occupied by an English family, so I set up my quarters in a tower leaning against the rock of the Ponchettes, above the house’. The lower section reads: ‘This plaque was installed thanks to the Association of Students of the Nice Conservatoire on 6 November 1932’.

Plaque commemorating the reconstruction of the tower in 1825 

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The text on this plaque gives a brief history of Bellanda Tower.

“Tourre Bellanda”

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The poem on this plaque, entitled Bellanda Tower, is by the Niçois poet Joseph-Rosalinde Rancher (1785-1843).

View coming down from the Colline du Château

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5. Rue des Ponchettes, leading to the base of Bellanda Tower 

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6. The Terraces

View from Colline du Château

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The two terraces, on the bottom left of the picture, are wedged between the Cours Saleya (and its Flower Market) on the one side and Quai des Etats-Unis on the seafront.

Stairs leading up to the first terrace, built in the 18th century

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The stairs are located in the Cours Saleya.

The second terrace on Quai des Etats-Unis, facing the sea

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The first building to the left on the above photo is the Centre du Patrimoine de la ville de Nice [Heritage Centre of the city of Nice].

The second terrace

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This porch provides access to the first terrace and through to the Cours Saleya behind it. The text on the porch commemorates the involvement of the United States in the First World War in 1917 in support of France and against the German army. In the same year, Quai de Midi along which the second terrace was located was renamed Quai des Etats-Unis [Quay United States].

7. The Hôtel des Étrangers, where Berlioz stayed during his visit in 1868  at present an annex of the Mayoralty

We are very grateful to Mr. Ian Woolf for sending us the following three photos of the annex of the Mayoralty which was until 1937 a hotel.

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8. Promenade des Anglais

View from Colline du Château

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9. Rue Berlioz (near the railway station)

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This block of elegant apartments situated on Rue Berlioz is called Palais Berlioz [Berlioz Palace].

10. Bust of Berlioz in Jardin Albert Ier

The bust of Berlioz installed here is by the French sculptor Henri Blattès and dates from 1948. The bust was a gift to the City of Nice by the Friends of Berlioz Committee.

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English translation of the text: Bust presented to the City of Nice by the Committee of the Friends of the great French composer. 

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11. Bust of Berlioz in Masséna Museum

The Museum is located in the Villa Masséna, which was built by the Danish architect Hans-Georg Tersling between 1898 and 1901; it was the winter residence of the Niçois André Masséna’s grandson Prince Victor d’Essling (1836-1910). His son André (1891-1947), who inherited the villa after his father’s death, donated it to the city of Nice in 1919, stipulating that its garden be made open to the public and the villa should become a museum. The Masséna Museum was inaugurated in 1921. In 2008 the museum underwent extensive refurbishment to restore its garden and interior decoration  to its original state, while exhibiting its historic collection in a modern presentation style.

The bust of Berlioz, in patinated plaster, was made by Alfred Charles Lenoir in 1919; he had made its model between 1903 and 1904, and was commissioned to make the actual bust in 1904.

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The photos of the bust of Berlioz reproduced below were taken with permission from the Masséna Museum.

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See also elsewhere on this site photos taken earlier by Mr. Ian Woolf of Berlioz’s bust by Henri Blattès in the Jardin Albert Ier and that by Alfred Charles Lenoir in the Musée Masséna.

The Hector Berlioz Website was created by Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin on 18 July 1997; the page Berlioz’s Nice in our time was created on 1 June 2012, and enlarged on 1 September 2014.

© Michel Austin and Monir Tayeb for all the pictures and information on this page.

Copyright notice: The texts, photos, images and musical scores on all pages of this site are covered by UK Law and International Law. All rights of publication or reproduction of this material in any form, including Web page use, are reserved. Their use without our explicit permission is illegal.

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