Fodor's Expert Review Château-Museé Grimaldi

Haut-de-Cagnes Castle/Palace/Chateau

Crowning Haut-de-Cagnes is the fat, crenellated Château-Museé. Built in 1310 by the Grimaldis and reinforced over the centuries, this imposing fortress lords over the coastline, banners flying from its square watchtower. You are welcomed inside by a grand balustraded stairway and triangular Renaissance courtyard with a triple row of classical arcades infinitely more graceful than the exterior. Filling nearly the entire courtyard is a mammoth, 200-year-old pepper tree—a spectacular sight. Beyond lie vaulted medieval chambers, a vast Renaissance fireplace, and a splendid 17th-century trompe-l'oeil fresco of the fall of Phaëthon from his sun chariot. The château also contains three highly specialized museums: the Musée de l'Olivier (Olive Tree Museum), an introduction to the history and cultivation of this Provençal mainstay; the obscure and eccentric Collection Suzy-Solidor, a group of portraits of the cabaret chanteuse painted by her artist friends, including Cocteau and Dufy;... READ MORE

Crowning Haut-de-Cagnes is the fat, crenellated Château-Museé. Built in 1310 by the Grimaldis and reinforced over the centuries, this imposing fortress lords over the coastline, banners flying from its square watchtower. You are welcomed inside by a grand balustraded stairway and triangular Renaissance courtyard with a triple row of classical arcades infinitely more graceful than the exterior. Filling nearly the entire courtyard is a mammoth, 200-year-old pepper tree—a spectacular sight. Beyond lie vaulted medieval chambers, a vast Renaissance fireplace, and a splendid 17th-century trompe-l'oeil fresco of the fall of Phaëthon from his sun chariot. The château also contains three highly specialized museums: the Musée de l'Olivier (Olive Tree Museum), an introduction to the history and cultivation of this Provençal mainstay; the obscure and eccentric Collection Suzy-Solidor, a group of portraits of the cabaret chanteuse painted by her artist friends, including Cocteau and Dufy; and the Musée d'Art Moderne Méditerranéen (Mediterranean Museum of Modern Art), which contains paintings by some of the 20th-century devotees of the Côte d'Azur, including Chagall, Cocteau, and Dufy. If you've climbed this far, continue to the tower and look over the coastline views in the same way that the guards once watched for Saracens.

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Castle/Palace/Chateau Museum/Gallery

Quick Facts

Pl. du Château
Cagnes-sur-Mer, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur  06800, France

-04–92–02–47–30

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €4 (free 1st Sun. of month), €8 combined ticket with Renoir Museum

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