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(nēs), city (1990 pop. 345,674), capital of Alpes-Maritimes dept., SE France, on the Mediterranean Sea. Nice is the most famous resort on the French RivieraRiviera
, narrow coastal strip between the Alps and the Mediterranean, extending, roughly, from La Spezia (Italy) to Hyères (France). Famous for its scenic beauty and for its mild winter climate, and dotted with fashionable resorts, hotels, and villas, the Riviera is a
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. Although the economy depends mainly on the tourist trade, the electronics industry as well as other manufactures are important. The old port of Nice handles both commercial fishing and passenger service to Corsica. The new port, west of the city, engages in more commercial shipping. Nice also has one of France's major airports. There are several churches dating from the 12th through the 17th cent. and a Russian Orthodox cathedral (1912). The Carnival of Nice marks the height of the city's festival season.

Probably a Greek colony (Nikaia, or Nicaea in Latin) established in the 5th cent. B.C., Nice became an episcopal see in the 4th cent. A.D. It was pillaged and burned by Muslim forces in 859 and 880. In the 13th and 14th cent. the city belonged to the counts of Provence and Savoy. In 1543 the united forces of Francis I and Barbarossa attacked and burned Nice. It was annexed to France in 1793, restored to Sardinia in 1814, and again ceded to France in 1860 after a plebiscite. At the beginning of the French Revolution the city was a haven for Royalist émigrés. Its popularity as a resort began in the late 18th century, increasing with the building of roads in the 1820s and the arrival of the railroad in 1864. At first a retreat for royals and aristocrats, the city became a middle class resort as accessibility to it grew. Nice was claimed and occupied by Mussolini during World War II.


See R. Kanigel, High Season (2002).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a port city in southern France, on the Mediterranean coast. Capital of the department of Alpes-Maritimes; major transportation junction. Population, 322,400 (1968).

Nice is one of the principal resort centers of the French Riviera. The winters are mild and sunny, with an average January temperature of 7°C; summers are hot, with an average July temperature of 22°C. The annual precipitation is 1,000 mm. Nice has a large sandy beach and a long bathing season, extending from late May to mid-November. There is year-round climatotherapy and heliotherapy for persons suffering from fatigue or functional disorders of the nervous system. The local population is primarily engaged in service industries. There are also food-processing, textile, garment, perfume, furniture, and electrotechnical industries. Local firms produce souvenirs. Flowers and fruits are cultivated in the suburbs.

Nice was the birthplace of G. Garibaldi and is the site of the grave of A. I. Herzen. A university was founded in the city in 1965. Nice has a motion-picture studio and eight museums, including the archaeological, natural history, fine arts, and Matisse museums. Nice is the site of a cathedral, churches, and palaces, all belonging to the 17th and 18th centuries and in the Italian baroque style. The part of the city facing the sea has splendid eclectic-style buildings that were constructed in the 19th and early 20th centuries.


Dalmasso, E. Les Grandes Villes françaises: Nice. Paris, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Nelly excessively modest or prudish woman. [Am. Usage: Misc.]
See: Prudery
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city in SE France, on the Mediterranean: a leading resort of the French Riviera; founded by Phocaeans from Marseille in about the 3rd century bc. Pop.: 342 738 (1999)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


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