Place Massena, Nice
Place Masséna is the main square in Nice, tracing its development to 1820-'30 as per the Consiglio of Ornato's plans for urban beautification.
Place Masséna is the main square in Nice, tracing its development to 1820-'30 as per the Consiglio of Ornato's plans for urban beautification. Lying between Vieux Nice and the New Town, it is a lively hub at the intersection of major boulevards, surrounded by monuments, malls, restaurants, and cafes. The old Neoclassical buildings around the square have all been painted red with blue shutters.
To the north are Rue Massena and Rue Gioffredo, with the shopping street Avenue Jean Médecin jutting off, leading to the Galeries Lafayette. On the south side of the square, across Avenue des Phocéens in the heart of the old place Charles-Albert, is the Fontaine du Soleil (Fountain of the Sun) with a 7 metre high marble statue of Apollo surrounded by 5 bronze statues by Alfred Janniot, representing Earth, Mars, Venus, Mercury and Saturn. To the west of the fountain is an art installation by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa, of 7 white resin statues, representing the continents, on 10 metre poles. They are lit up at night in different colors. Further to the west is the Jardin Albert I, while the Promenade du Paillon lies to the east. The Rue Desboutin, Rue de l'Opéra, and Rue Alexandre Mari radiate southwards away from the square.
The square is especially magical during Christmas, when it hosts a festive market with food stalls, artisan stands and a giant ferris wheel.