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Coventry's Cannon

The not very PC Colonels reminder to his wife!

If you're enjoying a stroll around Château Hill just above Vieux Nice at noon don't be alarmed if you hear a loud explosion!

An explosive device is discharged from the top of Château Hill at lunchtime every day. This is a rather odd tradition which the Niçois follow daily and apparently one the Authorities like to keep going.

Late Lunch

Back in 1860 a certain Sir Thomas Coventry, a colonel in the British Army became very annoyed with Lady Coventry. Apparently she didn't always remember to prepare his lunch in readiness for his return each day.

Not very P.C.

The irritated colonel came up with the neat idea of having one of his men fire a cannon every day on the stroke of noon so that the errant Lady could jump to it and get lunch on the table in time for hubby's return!

The tradition has been maintained but nowadays there is no actual cannon, just an explosive device. However, if you do hear what sounds like a cannon being fired at noon then make for one of the many local restaurants and have a nice lunch in the rather pompous colonel, or more to the point, his long-suffering wife!

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Département: Alpes-Maritimes.


Text © Paul Shawcross

Image by Photo by By Alfo23 - Gita Colmar 28