This fantastic villa was built between 1898 and 1901 by Danish architect Hans Georg Tersling, who also built the Russian Church in Menton.
It is a neoclassical-style building, clearly inspired by Italian architecture.
Villa Masséna was, from its beginning, the winter residence of Prince Victor d’Essling, grandson of Niçois André Masséna. His son, André, then inherited the villa and gave it to the city of Nice in 1919.
Villa Masséna Museum – the history of Nice
In 1921, the villa is transformed into a museum for the history of Nice and memorabilia about Napoleon.
Today you can experience the villa’s impressive rooms and decorations, furniture and paintings.
In addition, there is a fine collection of paintings, posters and photos of old Nice and a model of the Casino la Jetée-Promenade that once stood over the water at the Promenade des Anglais.
Particularly interesting is also Napoleon’s memorabilia: among other things, a vest that he wore when he was on the island of St. Helena, Napoleon’s death mask made by Dr. Arnolt, Joséphine’s tiara in mother of pearl, gold, pearls and colored stones given by King Joachim Murat to the Empress and a collection of poems dedicated to Napoleon written by the magistrate Stéhpen Liégeard.
Memorial site for the victims of the Nice terrorist attack in 2016
The peaceful garden of Villa Masséna houses a special memorial for the 86 victims of the terrorist attack in Nice on 14 July 2016.
The memorial site is located just to the right of the entrance from the Promenades des Anglais.
Here are pictures of the victims and a heart with everyone’s names engraved (see the picture in the gallery below).
By Tommy Sverre / 2021
Gallery from the Villa Masséna museum in Nice: