Place Massena (Massena Square), Nice

Place Massena (Massena Square), Nice (must see)

Andre Messena was a boy from Nice who became a Marshal of France. Messena Square in Nice is named for him. The square was designed by Joseph Vernier in 1844. It is spacious and bordered by ochre-colored Italianate buildings, palm trees and stone pines. It is but a short walk from the English Promenade and the Albert I Garden.

Massena Square is a popular place for concerts, public events and festivals. The Carnival Parade, Bastille Day, and other traditional observances are held in the square. One feature of the square is the Open Sky Museum. Seven Buddhist figures sit on stilts high above the square. At night they light up in different colors.

The Open Sky Museum also has a display of blue green "fairy" lights in a form of poetic Morse code. Opposite the lights is the sculpture Neufs Lignes Obliques, nine diagonal lines created for the 150th anniversary of Nice as a French city. Meanwhile, in the Sun Fountain, the god Apollo is in full monte watching over the city watching him.

The Promenade de Paillon is a luscious green park on the side of the square. The park has shrubs and palm trees and the Mirror Fountain. The base of the mirror is polished stone that shines like a mirror when wet. To provide this effect, thin jets of water spurt up at evenly spaced points. Children (and adults) run joyfully through the mists.

Facing the Promenade de Paillon is the Albert I Garden. A public park created in the 1880s, the Albert I Garden extends from Massena Square, connecting the English Promenade to Nice Old Town. The park is the venue for festivals in the summer, especially the Nice Jazz Festival. It has fountains and exotic flowers; a calm green area in the day.

Why You Should Visit:
The square is the heart of Nice. Spacious and busy but never oppressively crowded, it offers something for each generation.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Nice. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Place Massena (Massena Square) on Map

Sight Name: Place Massena (Massena Square)
Sight Location: Nice, France (See walking tours in Nice)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Nice, France

Create Your Own Walk in Nice

Create Your Own Walk in Nice

Creating your own self-guided walk in Nice is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Nice Introduction Walking Tour

Nice Introduction Walking Tour

Nice – an iconic destination sprawled along the pebbly shore of the Baie des Anges in Southern France – has been the lure for the rich and famous for centuries, thanks to its temperate Mediterranean climate and picturesque seafront.

Founded by the Greeks of Marseille around 350 BC as a permanent settlement called Nikaia, after Nike – the goddess of victory, the town has changed hands...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Historical Churches Walking Tour

Historical Churches Walking Tour

Centuries of somewhat turbulent history have left imprint on the face of Old Nice, which until the 18th century represented the entire urban area. The abundance of historic and often colorful churches – about nine per square mile – ranging from the most opulent to the most obscure, each with its own quirks and story behind their stained glass, has made Old Nice part of a heritage preservation...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Shopping Areas in Nice

Shopping Areas in Nice

Other than being just a fashionable French Riviera destination with lively streets, leisurely atmosphere, historical sites and beautiful architecture, Nice is also a true shopper’s paradise. With more than 7,000 shopping options scattered throughout its almost 72 sq km area, the city surely knows how to offer unique and varied goods to its trendy residents and similarly stylish travelers anxious...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Shopping, Dining, and Playing in Nice, France: Good for You, Good for the Planet

Shopping, Dining, and Playing in Nice, France: Good for You, Good for the Planet

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