St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral
Nice and the French Riviera were fashionable holiday resorts for Russian nobility in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, leading to a close relationship between the regions that culminated in the rose-pink Russian Orthodox Cathedral, one of the most beautiful buildings in Nice. Topped with the onion-shaped domes distinctive to Russian cathedrals, the church was built by Tsar Nicholas II in 1912 and is the largest of its kind outside of Russia. The interior of the cathedral is also magnificent; it is in the shape of a Greek cross and boasts some wonderful frescos, woodwork and art, as well as notable goldsmith's work. There is presently an ownership dispute between the Russian government and the current tenants, part of an overseas jurisdiction. No matter who owns it, the odd image of the Russian spires set against the background of palm trees on the Cote d'Azur is one of the most interesting sights in Nice. Strolling past the cathedral, and getting some photos, is a must and it is well worth going inside as well.
Address: Avenue Nicolas II
Telephone: +33 (0)4 9396 8802
Transport: Northwest of the central train station.
Opening times: May to September: 9am to 12pm and 2.30 to 6pm; closes 5pm October to April.
Admission: â‚¬3 (adults).