• Russian Cathedrale
• Market Liberation
Access in minutes on foot:
• Beach and Prom 30 – 60
• Gambetta in 5 - 15
• Magnan in 15 – 30
• Etoile in 20 – 40
• Carre d’Or in 20 – 40
• Vieux Nice in 25 – 50
• Liberation in 25 – 50
• The Port in 50 – 60
Public transport from Liberation:
Key transport links in minutes on foot:
• Train station in 5 – 15
• Tram stop Liberation in 5 minutes
Near North Liberation Area
Place de General de Gaulle
Avenue Malaussena/Joseph Garnier
The Liberation area stretches from Ave. Gambetta on the west to the sloping hills of Cimiez on the east. It reaches up north, half way up Cessole and Borriglione, the two major avenues flanking this quiet residential neighborhood. Its lower south side smacks centre downtown onto Ave. Jean Medecin and Ave. Thiers, where the main Nice SNCF train station is found, Gare Thiers.
With the launch of Nice’s much anticipated tramway, which opened it’s doors to commuters in Nov. 2007, this area has radically changed. It is becoming one of the most interesting and up-and-coming hot spots for locals and tourists alike.
With the beach now only a 3-minute tram ride away and the main avenues Maulessena / Borriglione turned into a pedestrian-only zone, bistros, cafes, and shops have exploded. Along with the popularity of its authentic local Farmer’s market now accessible to a wider public.
Historically, this is the area where the children of the Niçoise ‘paysan’ farmers from the hills moved to, to be ‘in the city’; and therefore, the Marché Liberation tradition was born. The Marché Liberation is very well known by the locals with prices that half those of the more touristy famous flower market on the Cours Saleya. For those keen on feeling the real Niçoise spirit this is where to head; where a smile, a strawberry, and parsley sprigs are handed out free with a purchase.
Find fruit, flowers, nuts, honey, olives, cheeses and one of the largest fish markets in the area. You will find a plethora of never-seen-before varietals of vegetables, organic stands, and a covered space with offerings of fresh made pastas and a butcher’s area. Beware though, it will be a hard find to come across English speakers in this area!
Marché Liberation (Ave Malaussena): 7am-1pm Tues-Sun
Up towards the top of the market and Ave. Malaussena (same avenue as Jean Medecin, just north of the Thiers central train station it changes name), you will find the Gare du Sud; the original station for the steam, narrow- gauged line from Nice to Dignes. Originally, built from 1890-1892, the architect built an imposing structure of neo-classical design with a glass roof coming from the Russian and Austro-Hungarian pavillion of the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle. It was shut down in 1991 and a more modern station now lies just one street over, still open today and known by the locals as the Train des Pignes.
Today the Gare du Sud is in the middle of a reconstruction process and will soon consist of a sports pavillion, media library, and house a space for the School of Fine Arts all covered by a roof of solar panels to harbor its energy. Surrounding the building is a 1300-space public car park and there are rumors of housing the Nice Ville Marie (town hall) here.
The ‘Train des Pignes’, named by the city as Chemins de Fer de Provence is something not to miss for those in love with the true French Provencal feeling. The locals have fondly named it the ‘Pine tree Train’ taken from the old Christmas tradition of locals taking the slow steamed-powered train while scooping up pine cones off the sides to take home with them. Today this is no longer possible, but the huge picturesque windows will take your breathe away as you venture back towards the beautiful Provençal region, past rivers bends, through tunnels, and hilltop villages.
The Roman Catholic Church, St. Jeanne D’Arc, found on avenue St. Lambert (directly behind avenue Borriglione where the tramway runs up) is an astonishing and beautiful structure. Built from 1926- 1933, it forms pure white melting peaks which the locals have named The Meringue. Its architecture is quite organic and follows an art Deco theme, some may argue Art Nouveau. Head over and decide for yourselves! Inside you will enjoy the breathtaking interior volumes and find a circular fresco covering the entire church depicting Jesus’ ‘path to the cross’ in a Russian cubism style.
Just skirting the Liberation Area to the west, one street behind Ave. Gambetta, find the astoundingly intricate Orthodox Russian Church. Bejeweled in gold, beige, and stunning turquoise blue mosaics you will find beautiful onion domes piercing our Cote d’Azur sky. One of the largest and most ornate Russian Orthodox Churches outside of Russia, it was originally built in memory of 21 year old Russian heir, Nicolas Alexandrovitch, who died in his villa on the same land which now holds this impressive church.
If Cannes and Italy are on the itinerary, the main train station is just one tram stop away or few minutes walk. Find the Matisse museum a short bus ride uphill or walk it in about 30 minutes. And of course the main shopping is all up and down Malaussena and Jean Medecin with the beach just a bit further past Place Massena.