Ideally located between the appealing historic town of Antibes and the city of Nice, this former fishing village is particularly known for its picturesque charm from its medieval village which represents the Grimaldi castle-museum that dominates the town. . Below the seaside town , you will find beaches that are accompanied by crystal clear water... A marriage of leisure and history, to cater to your every whim.
The name "Cagnes" comes from "an inhabited place on a rounded hill". This medieval village, which rises to 91 meters above sea level, was positioned to provide defence against attack. Cagnes was at its peak under the reign of Louis XIII, when its fortified castle, built by Jean-Henri Grimaldi, was transformed into a luxurious royal palace. It became the well-known in the region. At the beginning of the 20th century Auguste Renoir, a celebrated French artist, came to settle in the city, until his death in 1919. His influence made Cagnes a meeting place for all artists who came from around the world. Attracted by the fame of the impressionist master, many painters, in love with the beauty of the place, came to settle in “Les Hauts de Cagnes, on the Heights of Cagnes called "Le Montmartre de la Côte d'Azur". Among the most famous artists were Pierre Auguste Renoir, Georges Simenon, Mouloudji (singer, poet and composer)Greta Garbo and Brigitte Bardot ...
From the seaside resort to the medieval hilltop village, the geographical diversity is ideal for enjoying a contrasting lifestyle. The proximity of Nice to Cagnes-sur-Mer makes this town an ideal residential environment to profit from the sophistication and excitement of the city nearby. With 360 days of sunshine a year, Cagnes-sur-Mer is perfect for a visit or to stay forever!
Your stay in Cagnes-sur-Mer will be rich in history and discoveries.
Start your visit from “Cros de Cagnes” with a walk on the seaside. At the end of the morning, stop at the marina to watch the return of the boats from fishing and meet the fishermen, offering their catch of the day for sale on site, at the Fishmongers Hall “Halle aux Poissons”.
Continue your walk through the Chapel of the Fishermen, a subtle blend of modernity and tradition. Pass by the “Place Saint-Pierre” animated by pétanque players. In the middle of the afternoon, discover Le Haut-de-Cagnes which has both preserved the mystery of its alleys and opened wide to visitors who walk through it.
You will appreciate the charm of the sloping streets paved with pebbles. It is easy to imagine the sound of horses hooves of bygone times passing through the vaulted passageways. Discover the many art galleries, among which is the Maison des Artistes, where there are collective exhibitions of contemporary art by local, regional, national and foreign artists. For more cultural sight-seeing, the Renoir Museum is a five-minute drive away, while the Chateau Grimaldi Museum and the former palace, with its viewing platform on top of a tower, are just a one minute walk.
At nightfall, let yourself be guided by the many authentic restaurants offered by the village. Every spring and summer, the area transforms into a floral fantasia, with the trees and hanging baskets surrounding the chateau which blossom in deep shades of purple and fuchsia pink. This scenery accents the village's steep, narrow alleyways.
The Grimaldi Castle-MuseumLocated in the heart of the medieval village of Haut-de-Cagnes, this castle houses the olive tree museum, the Solidor donation, an exceptional Baroque painted ceiling and numerous contemporary art exhibitions.
The Castle was built in 1309 by Rainier Grimaldi and was reconstructed into an Italian-style Palace around 1620. The Grimaldi castle was acquired by the city of Cagnes in 1937 and became a museum municipal in 1946.
Made famous by its imposing position, dominating the historic village, the Castle-Museum is a must for people who are no doubt curious, for historians and for people who love art.