The first foreign residents were the English who came in the XVIII-th century to spend the winter months in Nice. They belonged to the aristocracy as Lord and Lady Cavendisch, the duke of Gloucester, the duke of York, brother of king ( 1764 ), Lady Penelope Rivers, wife of George Pitt. In November, 1784, the British nationals were about 70, which, with their suite, represented a group of about 300 persons. The first to come rented apartments in the new districts, at the West of the old town. More numerous, they group together along the road of France, in the sector of Croix de Marbre *, they baptized Newborough. There, they lived generally in recent houses which the inhabitants of Nice built for rent. Many of these hosts were sick persons, affected by tuberculosis, asthma, chronic bronchitis, depression. The more robust walked, sometimes swimmed as Smolett, frequented the theater created by the family Maccarani in 1777. Besides the English, Nice welcomed some Germans as the prince of Brunswick in 1766, Swiss Sulzer who published a description of the city, French writers such as Delille, Thomas, the abbot Expilly.

The confusions of the Revolution and of the Empire interrupted the coming of the foreigners. After Napoleon's fall and the return of the County in the realm of Piedmont - Sardinia, hundred of families returned in Nice. The number went on increasing : the statistics, which seemed established especially according to the fame of the persons, gave 147 families in 1827 and more than 800 in 1857-1858, it is probably necessary to multiply the number by five to obtain the total quantity of the foreign colony. The English were the most numerous. They were followed by the Frenchmen among them a lot of retired, taking residence in Antibes to perceive their pensions and living in Nice where life was less expensive. One found also Germans, Italians, Russians* close to the members of the imperial family, Americans. The most fortunate continued to rent villas the rents of which were very high. The English had their habits in la Croix de Marbre, their church, their cemetery, soon their Promenade* along the sea, fitted out on the initiative of reverend Lewis Way. The less rich rented apartments in the suburb of the old town; mainly the French, particularly numerous in rue Saint-François de Paule. The stay in hotel progressed: 13 establishments existed in 1830 and about twenty in 1858. Some were famous such as hotel York - place Sant-Dominique , hotel Paradis - rue des Ponchettes, Grand hotel Chauvain near the Pont Neuf. The presence of winter holiday-makers created employments in building industry, catering, confectionery, hairdressing, domestic dervice. The foreigners always looked for the sweetness of a climate renowned favorable to their diseases. They appreciated the strangeness of a nature which seemed exotic to people usely living in the north. They enjoyed frequenting the Visconti bookshop *, the royal theater which performed plays in Italian, the French theater built by the family Tiranty. The Carnival was more and more appreciated.

In the twenty years following the attachment* of the County to France, the development of tourism is rapid. The arrival of the railway in Nice - the first convoy entered the station on October 17, 1864 - extraordinarily shortened the delays. In the XVIII-th century, 25 post houses were needed from London to Paris and 80 from Paris to Nice; in 1855, the route in diligence from Marseille to Nice by Draguignan took more than 20 hours. So, with the new means of transport, the number of winter holiday-makers increased: 4 500 in 1861 , 12 000 in 1870 , 25 000 in 1875,

33 000 in 1880. At the beginning, English and French were in equal number : 30 % of the tourists for each nationalitiy. Then the Frenchmen passed in the first rank. Russians occupied the third position, followed by Germans, Italians, Poles, Americans in increasing number. Among the French, outstanding personalities : Napoleon III and Eugénie, prince Napoleon, son of king Jérome, Lord Chancellor Baroche, Thiers, baron Haussmann in his villa of Mont-Boron, the Rothschilds. Among the foreigners, one noticed members of the ruling families surrounded with the European Gotha, as empress Alexandra Feodorovna, czar Alexandre II and empress Marie, tsarewitch Nicolas who died in Nice in 1865, king Louis Ist of Bavaria, sovereigns of Wurtemberg, Hesse-Darmstadt, Bade, king of Belgians Léopold II... Around the aristocrats, businessmen the bankers, as well as known artists, writers, musicians were more and more numerous. The season began in mid-September, took its real development in December, its peak in January - February and ended at the end of April. The guests lived several months in the region. The most fortunate built luxurious palace - folies. The others rented villas and apartments or settled down in hotesl. In Nice, 31 establishments existed in 1861 and 54 in 1877. The winter holiday-makers met in lounges, official and brilliant as that of prefect Gavini *, fashionable and cultural at Ernest Gambart’s in the Palais de Marbre *, musical at the baron von Derwies’s in Valrose *, at Mrs Cruvelli’s *, baroness Vigier, at Mrs de Chambrun’s around the Temple de l’Amour *, political and literary at Mrs Rattazzi’s born Bonaparte-Wyse* and at Mrs Henri Germain’s*. Many other places of meeting and entertainment were offered to the hosts of Nice: circles *, the first casino inaugurated in 1867 on the Promenade des Anglais which became the Circle of the Mediterranean Sea in 1872 after financial difficulties, theaters *, the racecourse of the Var in the district of California. Carnaval* was organized and enteeds an institutional frame in 1873. The first battle of flowers took place in 1876

During la Belle Epoque, from 1880 till 1914, the success was confirmed. Côte d'Azur, baptized so by Stephen Liégeard* in a book published in 1887, and its main pole, Nice, were known all over the world.Other places developed eastward, in Cap-Ferrat where magnificent domains as those of the Léopold II and American James Gordon Bennett * were created, in Beaulieu where beautiful hotels were built, Bristol, Metropole, BeauRivage,La Réserve, as well as villa Kérylos *, in Villefranche and Eze where the tourists came frequently. The number of hotels in Nice still developed: 67 establishments in 1879 , 132 in 1909, (which represented 13 334 beds), and 182 in 1910. The most beautiful hotels were on the right bank of Paillon, on the Promenade des Anglais where Négresco* and Ruhl * were built , in Cimiez where Régina* was built for queen Victoria*. During winter 1913-1914, about 150 000 tourists stayed in Nice. One always noticed the members of the ruling families of England, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal. Emperor François-Joseph d' Autriche-Hongrie and empress Elizabeth were in Cap-Martin, prince Boris, heir of the throne of Bulgaria in Beaulieu, grand duchess Olga in La Turbie. In the years which preceded the war, the duration of the wintry stay tended to be reduced and the place of residence in hotel progressed. The clientele, aristocratic and middle-class, was relatively little demanding in comfort, notably for sanitary installations, heating, telephone, elevators, but required in palace- hotels a luxurious setting, vast lounges and dining rooms, majestic stairs, rich crystals, stained glasses, stuccos, decoration on facades, large parks, irreproachable service made by a numerous staff. Besides the entertainments already existing in the previous period, the tourists could frequent the Casino municipal de Nice opened in 1884, the Jetée-Promenade* in 1891, the cafés with live music and the music halls, the cinemas in Nice (from 5 to 10 between 1908 and 1914). They could devote to tennis* and to clay pigeon shooting at the Castle. they were suggested to attend to horse shows, regatta, motor racing, aviation meetings. Activities depending on tourism developed: catering, confectionery, building industry, furnishing, fashion, flower selling, jewel trade (Nice being the second French centre).

During the First World war, tourism collapsed because the means of transport were monopolized for militaryuse , Customers either belonged to enemy countries or lived too far, and supplies were lacking. The biggest hotels were requisitioned to welcome wounded persons and refugees. A shy resumption began at the end of the conflict with the arrival of American soldiers on leave and of Parisians frightened by the bombardments of the capital. In 1918 the hotelkeepers were in a critical situation after four years of overdrawn management and the damages undergone by the establishments turned into hospitals.

The liabilities of the war were however erased rather quickly and prosperity returned as soon as1922. In 1925-1926, 317 000 persons stayed in Nice. If the French remained the majority and the English formed the most important foreign colony, if the crowned heads were always numerous, the clientele underwent important modifications: the Russians, victims of the Revolution, and the Germans, the losers, ruined by the inflation, almost disappeared. The impoverished aristocracy tended to be replaced by a middle-class enriched by the war or benefiting from a favorable exchange. The duration of the stay was still shorter. To compensate for the losses, the responsibles for tourism tried to attract the guests in the hinterland, thanks to excursions in buses, and to launch a summer season by convincing the hotelkeepers to maintain their establishments opened after Easter. The success of this last initiative was modest. The structures of the hotel business knew changes: progress of the concentration in important chains, Frenchifying of the staff, these transformations being facilitated by the creation of a Hotel and Catering school in Nice in 1916.

From 1928, the tourist development slowed down in the County, victim of her competitors, Italian Riviera, Biarritz and Deauville, Cannes and Juan-les-Pins, modern stations, endowed with sandy beaches. Nice seemed old-looking and less elegant. To raise the situation, the responsibles improved the rail service, developed the tourist circuits at the hinterland and the winter sports, which became fashionable, in Beuil, Auron, Valberg. Nice began prestigious works as the construction of a luxurious casino, the Palais de la Méditerranée *, inaugurated in 1929.

At that time the world was struck by the economic crisis born in the United States in 1929. The tourism, a luxury activity,was immediately contaminated. The tourists, especially the foreigners, became less numerous, reduced their expenses, shortened the duration of their stay. It was the rich clientele, regular winter host, that was the most affected. So the profits of the summer season increased, but without equalling those of winter. The institution of the paid holidays in 1936 came to increase the number of the summer guests. The hotelkeepers, who had little financial reserves, should decrease their prices, get into debt, dismiss a part of the staff, support general expenses, especially in luxury hotels. So many stopped their activity: in Nice, 22 establishments closed between 1930 and 1937, especially in Cimiez, district considered too far from the sea.

After the Second World war, big changes already started in 1939 took place: Côte d'Azur passed from an essentially aristocratic, luxurious, sedentary, wintry tourism, to a democratized tourism, based on shorter stays, mainly in summer. In 1945, the situation seemed worrying: a part of the traditional customers had disappeared, the others were impoverished, the hotel capacity was reduced by the closing off of the 1930's or the damages due to the use of the establishments by numerous occupants. The situation was however quickly restored: Nice already welcomed 340 000 hosts in 1948 and 540 000 in 1953. The development asserts itself from 1960's. At the end of 1990's, the department of Alpes-Maritimes receives every year 8 in 9 million tourists. Still all are not booked because some are accommodated in their family or make not declared rents. The Frenchmen are majority. Among the foreigners distinguishes himself American, English, Belgian, German, Italian, more recently Japanese and Russes*. The access to the region is easy thanks to the number of the rail links, to the democratization of the motorcar and the air transport: to go(surrender) from London to Nice, it was necessary fortnight for the XVIII-th century, two hours today. The airport of Nice became the second of France. An increase of the activity could result from the development of the cruises end of the line of which Nice would become. A vast range of residence is possible. From the years 1960-1970, new hotels are constructed, notably in the category Hyatt become Radisson dislocates, so in Nice, Elysée-Palace, Frantel: the old man Ruhl is brought(shot) down and replaced by a new establishment endowed with a casino and with a shopping mall; of the former(ancient) Beautiful Bank remains only the facade. Many of the other hotels are renewed. Some bet on the originality of the organization, as the Négresco, Windsor goes out of museum faithful to the big French styles, or which makes decorate its rooms(chambers) by contemporary artists. In 1993, Alpes-Maritimes counts 891 hotels among which 244 in Nice, what represents 29 767 rooms(chambers) among which 10 892 in Nice. The tourists also resort to the furnished(furnished flats) rents, in studio or in villa, and to campsites among 148 in the department in 1968. The summer season took the step on winter: in 1958-1959, one counts in Alpes-Maritimes 800 000 tourists and 350 000 winter holiday-makers. In 1992, the hotels of Nice register(record) a rate of activity(occupation) of 41 % in February and 80 % in August. The responsibles try to fill(perform) the intermediate seasons by organizing congress. The construction of the Palace Acropolis in Nice, inaugurated in May, 1985, offers in this respect an excellent tool which adds in Exhibition centre been born in 1957. If the tourists are strongly attracted(enticed) by the nautical pleasures and the beauty of the landscapes, Côte d'Azur their offer also of numerous museums, holidays(name-days) and festivals. It is finally necessary to note the contemporary phenomenon of the second homes that one finds on the coast and at the top country. The Inhabitants of Nice who had the means of crossed(spent) it traditionally the warm months to Saint-Martin-Vésubie or to Levens. More recently, native persons villages of the mountain restore the domestic houses which they were able to keep(preserve). The others buy or built, particularly in winter sports resorts.

Ralph SCHOR

 

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