Villafranche, we arrived at Jardin Albert 1er in the center of Nice. It is a restful open space with a large modern arc and other
sculpture, arbors, fountains and lots of benches. Our goal for the
day was walking the Promenade des Anglais and visiting the Russian
The Promenade des Anglais (built in 1824 by the English) is reputed to
be one of the three best beach promenades in Europe (along with ours in
Sitges and the one in Palma de Mallorca). It is quite wide and
about 4 miles long, with benches, chairs and latticed spots creating a
few breaks in the bare line along the narrow pebbled beach of
Nice. It borders a wide (2 lanes 2 ways) street with palm trees in
the center. Fronting the beach are rows of cafes and hotels.
The Russian Orthodox Cathedral was built on the orders of Tsar
Nicholas II and dates from the belle époque. It is an exquisite
structure with ornate onion shaped domes and tiles with a striking
interior - a marvelous collection of icons (including the jewel
encrusted Virgin of Kazan). The iconostase is richly decorated
and the small, round central nave is adorned with floral designs.