Friedrich Nietzsche left in 1878 his rostrum of philosophy at the university of Basel because of health problems. Among his journeys, Nice occupied an important place because he returned to it six consecutive winters from 1883 till 1888, which represented a total stay of 26 months. On December 2, 1883, he settled down at first 38 rue Ségurane (a plaque reminds his presence). He often changed address and another plaque, situated at the 26 rue Saint-François-de-Paule commemorates his residence in this building
Nietzsche made long walks, notably to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and to Eze where he conceived in 1884 a part of his Zarathoustra. He wrote: " This decisive part whose title is the old and new Tables " was conceived during an ascent of the most painful from the station to the magnificent Moorish village Eza, built in the middle of cliffs ". The philosopher’s stays in Nice were very fertile because he wrote there the third and fourth parts of “So spoke Zarathoustra”, “Beyond the good and the evil” and he defined his theory of the Will for power.
He alternated criticisms and praises of the region of Nice, this " stupid piece of calcareous Riviera poor in trees ", this Nice which " is apparently the first place which does good to me. What is necessary to me, is a serene sky and a sun without the slightest small cloud ". Precise and biting observer, he was present during the earthquake of February 23, 1887: " The whole population camps at the moment outdoors; one circulates as in the bivouac of an army in the field. Except for a very pious, convinced old lady that God will not dare to hurt her, I remained alone among these tense and vibrating nervous systems. The panic in the hotels is hardly credible (....) the house in which two of my works were conceived was so shaken that it was necessary to destroy it. It will be an advantage for the posterity to have a pilgrimage less to make "
Nietzsche left Nice on April 1-st, 1888 not to return to it any more because he lost his mind in January, 1889.
Author : Ralph SCHOR