Saint Nicholas cathedral in Nice

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The Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Nice is a magnificent Russian Orthodox religious building. Managed for decades by a religious association of Nice, after many trials, the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas returned to the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Chersonese, Moscow Patriarchate and all Russia.

Architecture of the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas of Nice

The cathedral was built from 1903 to 1912, by Russian architect Mikhail Preobrazhensky. It is built on a concrete frame, enhanced with volumes and other facings. It has five domes, symbolizing Christ, dominator and the 4 evangelists. Thus, the cathedral appears rich, complex and colorful.
The whole building is finely decorated. Outside, the colors white, brick and blue harmonize with the environment of the city of Nice. In a particular style, between neo-Russian and neo-Byzantine, it reveals a superb architecture, both traditional and modernized.

Most importantly, you should take the time to admire the intricate architecture as well as the abundant decoration, even outdoors.

Interior decoration of the cathedral

But the interior decoration is also particularly rich in icons and frescoes. Indeed, some icons are ancient and of great cultural and cultural value. In addition, the woodwork, including the magnificent iconostasis, is remarkable. The iconostasis is a wall separating on the one hand, the celebrating clergy and on the other hand, the non celebrating clergy and the faithful. And that of the Saint Nicholas cathedral is a work elaborated in Russia, all of finely carved wood, bronze and chiseled copper, covered with gold leaf.

Of course, there is all the symbolism of the Orthodox Church, executed with great refinement.
The pillars and the vault, pale blue, yellow, purple, with motifs of Art Nouveau and Art Deco style, make this cathedral a unique jewel of its kind. Indeed, it is an architectural work of both traditional and very modern.

But be careful, it is a place of worship, so a respectful behavior is required. In addition, visiting is prohibited during services and ceremonies such as weddings.

Chapel of Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich

The chapel dedicated to Czarevich Nicholas, who died in 1865 of tuberculosis, stands in the imperial park. The bust of the Tzarevich is in the foreground in our photo.
(See the official website at the bottom of the page).

History of the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Nice

St. Nicholas and St. Alexandra

The Russian community, particularly important in the nineteenth century, took the habit of coming to Nice for vacation, especially in winter. They built their first Orthodox church: Saint-Nicolas-et-Sainte-Alexandra.

St. Nicholas and St. Alexandra by © Chris230 of Nice

The empress Alexandra Feodorovna, the wife of the late Nicholas I, was a frequent visitor to Nice. She contributed to the construction of a first Orthodox church, at 9 rue Longchamp: Saint Nicolas and Saint Alexandra.

But the small building soon proved to be too small to accommodate the faithful.

During the first years of the 20th century, a new church was built on the plans of the Russian architect Mikhail Preobrazhenski: the current Saint Nicolas Cathedral.

Practical information

Saint Nicholas Cathedral
Nicholas II Avenue

Bus stop 64, 71 or 75: Tzarewitch/Gambetta

Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, from 10am to 5pm
Sunday, starting at 12:00 noon
Visits not permitted during celebrations

My advice
Visitors must respect the sacredness of the place, through proper and silent behavior. It is also required to wear dressy street clothes.

Official website

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