Postcards from Southern France: Nice’s Lympia Harbour

Nice has never had a proper harbour until the mid 18th century. The Lympia Harbour or simply the Nice’s Port looks like a multicoloured nest in the heart of the city. The buildings around the Port area feature an unusual architectural richness, which combines the Italian Renaissance style with accents of the Baroque born in Turin.

The Port is the terminus point of the famous Promenade des Anglais and is actually hidden behind the Castle Hill. Arriving at the Port one can enjoy a beautiful view over the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Given their strategic positions, both the Castle Hill and the River Paillon protected the Port in the past, according to the touristic guides.

Nice’s Lympia Harbour seen from the Castle Hill

Nice’s Lympia Harbour seen from the Castle Hill

The Port name, Lympia, comes from the water source of a lake, which was in place before the Port got shape.

Two main commercial activities run in the Port. The first one consists of transporting cement to different destinations while the second one deals with the transport of tourists. Fishing as such is not a major work in the Port area anymore.

The Port is well known for running high speed connecting services, mainly to Corsica. One can come by car here, leave the car in the parking, and take a yacht to whatever destination. I will perhaps do it one day, who knows?

Lympia Harbour's lighthouse seen from the Castle Hill

Lympia Harbour’s lighthouse seen from the Castle Hill

There is a beautiful old lighthouse in the Port. The lighthouse was replaced several times.

In 1909 the lighthouse was equipped with a red light, which in 1916 was replaced with another one, blinking each five seconds.

In 1928 the lighthouse was removed and an improved tower took its place. In 1945 the lighthouse was partially destroyed during the War. The Administration fixed some problems for a short time period.

In 1952 the Port got a modern automated lighthouse to better respond to the needs of the navigators.

While visiting the Port we found out that Nice’s coast was hit by tsunamis in 1979 and 2010. On 16 October 1979 four events occurred in Nice: a landslide at the airport, an underwater landslide, and two tsunamis.

There is no clear explanation of the events. The official reports are secret for the following 100 years.

In 2010 there were some damages on the coast due to a powerful storm, which generated gigantic waves. Locals called the phenomenon “small tsunami”.

Nice’s Lympia Harbour Photo Album

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