Last modified: 2005-07-09 by ivan sache
Keywords: alpes-maritimes | cagnes-sur-mer |
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by Ivan Sache
The city of Cagnes-sur-Mer (44,2007 inhabitants) is located on the French Riviera (Côte d'Azur), between Antibes and Nice. The city is made of three parts: Haut-de-Cagnes, the medieval village grouped around the castle; Cagnes-Ville, the modern city; and Cros-de-Cagnes, the sea resort and marina built along the Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels). Cagnes is also famous for its horse race track.
In the VIth century, monks of the abbey of Lérins (located on a small island off Antibes) built a monastery on the mouth of river Loup, devoted to the Golden Virgin (Deaurata). The first city of Cagnes was built on the top of a rock to prevent attacks from the sea. The three gates of the city controlled the three main roads to Nice, Antibes and Saint-Paul-de-Vence. The castle was built in 1310 by Rainier Grimaldi, Lord of Monaco, Admiral of France and Lord of France. A branch of the Grimaldi family ruled Cagnes until the French Revolution (1789). In 1620, Henri Grimaldi transformed the old medieval castle into a rich palace where he attracted a brilliant court. Henri advised his cousin Henri II, Lord of Monaco, to denounce the protection treaty with Spain and ask for the French protection, which was granted by the treaty of Péronne (1641).
The castle of Cagnes was bought by the municipality in 1936 and transformed into a museum (museum of olive-tree, museum of Mediterranean modern art). The impressionist painter Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) spent the last ten years of his life in the Collettes estate, now Renoir Museum. The expressionist painter of Lituanian origin Chaim Soutine (1893-1943) stayed in Cagnes in the 1920s.
Ivan Sache, 30 July 2002
The flag of Cagnes-sur-Mer, as shown hoisted over the castle in the Guide Gallimard Alpes-Maritimes, is vertically divided red-blue.
Ivan Sache, 31 July 2002