Grimaldi Castle in Haut-de-Cagnes

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Grimaldi Castle in Haut-de-Cagnes

The impressive Grimaldi Castle in Haute-de-Cagnes from 1309, today serves as a museum of art and of the olive tree. In addition, the castle offers one of the most breathtaking views in the entire area of the Mediterranean Sea in the South and the Mercantour massif in the North.

The Grimaldi castle in Haut-de-Cagnes
The impressive Grimaldi Castle in Haut-de-Cagnes

Grimaldi Castle in Haut-de-Cagnes

Grimaldi Castle proudly rises as the highest point in the old medieval town of Haut-de-Cagnes.

The castle was built in 1309 by the, then French, admiral Rainier Grimaldi. He had been given dominion over Cagnes-sur-Mer by the Count of Provence as a thank you for his very successful military efforts.

Grimaldi Castle was built as a defensive post and prison and later, during the reign of Louis XIII (1610-1643), the castle was changed into a habitable and comfortable palace.

The castle is built around a triangular courtyard on 3 floors with open hallways on each floor facing the courtyard.

The main hall has a painted ceiling depicting the fall of Phaeton, painted by the Genoese artist Giulio Benso in the 1620s.

Ceiling painting by Giulio Benso at Grimaldi castle in Haut-de-Cagnes
Ceiling painting by Giulio Benso at Grimaldi Castle in Haut-de-Cagnes

Grimaldi Castle art exhibitions

Today, the castle hosts both art exhibitions and an olive tree museum. Contemporary art is continuously exhibited as well as a permanent art collection donated by and dedicated to Suzy Solidor.

Suzy Solidor (1900-1983) was an important singer, muse and actress in the 1930s. Her mission was to become the most painted woman of all time, and she managed to collect more than 200 portraits of herself.

Suzy Solidor's portrait collection in Grimaldi castle in Haut-de-Cagnes
Suzy Solidor’s portrait collection in Grimaldi castle in Haut-de-Cagnes

She donated 40 of these portraits to the Grimaldi Castle on condition that they are never separated and that they remain permanently displayed in a room of her choice.

Suzy Solidor lived her last years in Haut-de-Cagnes, where she had a small café and cabaret on Place de la Château. Today, the room is called Espace Solidor, and temporary jewelry exhibitions are held here.

Suzy Solidor died in 1983 and is buried in Haut-de-Cagnes cemetery.

Link to the museum: Château-Musée Grimaldi

Olive tree museum

On the ground floor are 5 rooms dedicated to the memory of the olive production of that time. It was the palace curator Denis-Jean Clergue (1906-1981) who undertook to safeguard a traditional activity that was disappearing.

He collected a large amount of regional tools and objects used in the production of olives and olive oil, and which today document the manufacturing processes of the time.

By Tommy Sverre – 2022

July and August
from 10.00 to 13.00 and from 14.00 to 18.00 – evening to 19.00 Friday jazz nights at the castle

September, April, May and June
from 10.00 to 12.00 and from 14.00 to 18.00.

October to March
from 10.00 to 12.00 and from 14.00 to 17.00.

Last entry 15 minutes before the museum closes
Open from Wednesday to Monday
Annual closure 1 January and 25 December

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