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Bassin Lympia

Le Port Lympia

From Roman times till the mid 18th century ships anchored below Château Hill, or Lou Casteau in Nissart (the old dialect), as Nice lacked a deep-water port.

The Duke of Savoy’s Investment

However, as ships got bigger Nice found itself losing out to Marseille and Genoa. The Duke of Savoy decided to excavate a proper port and merchants built impressive Italianate houses around it.

Although there was some initial success, the Bassin, or Port Lympia, could not compete with the larger ports. It is now used only by fishing boats and pleasure craft while the Corsican ferries anchor in the outer port. The large cruise liners visiting Nice anchor in the deep water Rade de Villefranche just along the coast.

A scenic port area

While the Duke of Savoy may well have been disappointed with the results of his efforts, the city has a much more pleasant aspect than might have been obtained if a large commercial port had been constructed!

A great view of Port Lympia can be obtained from Castle Hill.

Practical Info Practical Info icon

Bassin Lympia, 06300 Nice, Alpes-Maritimes.

The Modern Centre

Nice In-A-Day

Highlights of central Nice on foot or by bike

Text © Paul Shawcross

Image by © Paul Shawcross