The Notre Dame de Nice looks like a centuries-old basilica, but actually dates from the 19th century. Like its famous sister in Paris, Nice's largest church impresses with massive towers and ornate stained glass windows.
Like Paris, Nice on the Côte d'Azur in the south of France also has a magnificent Notre Dame church to offer, which is one of our 10 most beautiful churches in France. The monumental sacred building on the shopping street Avenue de Jean-Médecin is also just as impressive as its world-famous counterpart, the Nôtre Dame in the French capital Paris. We have declared it one of our top 10 sights of Nice.
Although the "Basilique Notre Dame de l'Assomption" is the largest church in Nice, it does not function as a municipal cathedral. The Gothic Basilique Notre Dame de Nice was built between 1864 and 1868 on the initiative of Bishop Jean-Pierre Sola.
At that time, the aim was to use the Gothic style typical of France to architecturally separate Nice, which had been annexed only four years earlier, from Italy and to transfer it to France. The sacred building was financed by donations from all over France and also from some English families who regularly spent the winter in Nice.
Design and style of the Basilique Notre Dame de Nice
The basilica was designed by Louis Lenormand, who also designed Monaco Cathedral. The architect took the cathedral of Angers as a model for the design of Notre Dame de Nice. Like the latter, the basilica in Nice has two square towers that reach a height of a good 30 metres.
The ornate window rosette that adorns the east façade above the entrance portal between the church towers depicts the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into the Kingdom of Heaven. The other stained glass windows were also created by some of the best master glaziers in France at the time. The religious motifs in coloured glass conjure up a mystical atmosphere inside the church with the sunlight. Also remarkable are the paintings in the apse depicting the Virgin Mary in various scenes.
Concerts in the Basilica
Notre Dame de Nice is not only used for religious services, but also for musical events thanks to its excellent acoustics. Orchestral, choir and organ concerts, as well as the " Heures musicales de Notre Dame" organised by the basilica itself, offer fantastic sound experiences inside the monumental building all year round.