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A 4 000 year old city.

map antibes
Map showing location of Antibes
Source: planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/antibes-f-az-an.htm

Antibes is a town located on a cape between Nice and Cannes.  Today it is the second largest town on the Cote D’Azur and a very popular holiday destination because of its 23 km of coastline and lovely beaches, its old town, medieval streets and old fortress.  

Beach

One of the very popular beaches.

It is in a bay with natural protection from the weather, so it soon became a port and trading centre.  The Greeks settled here in the 5th century BCE, calling the settlement Antipolis. 

Later the Romans arrived, and the town became the largest in the region.  It had theatres, amphitheatres, spas and aqueducts. 

The town declined with the end of the Roman Empire as the area was overrun by warring tribes. Like many other towns, the stones from the Roman buildings were later recycled in construction during the Middle Ages. Antibes continued tobe the victim of famine, plague and warfare throughout the Middle Ages.

The town ramparts  and the Fort Carré date from the 16th century and the city was heavily fortified by Vauban during the 17th century as Louis XIV made it his main military base.  

Fort carre
The Fort Carré means square fortress, but in fact, it is a star shape.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that wealthy travellers discovered the area and began to construct holiday villas.  Guy de Maupassant moored his boat in the harbour while he wrote some of his works.

harbour
Antibes is a very sheltered port for ships of all sizes.

In the twenties Americans, millionaires and poets, came to “reinvent” themselves here finding in the town a sense of liberty and pleasure in the summer sunshine.   It was the favourite town for many artists and writers such as Picasso and Graham Greene. The Second World War put an end to this, and it wasn’t until the 1950’s that the town began to take off with the holiday crowds again.

Today, it is a bustling holiday town, with a colourful Sunday market.

markets

 

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