Originally a modest Mediterranean village of fishermen and monks, its history is inseparable from those of the islands Sainte-Marguerite and Saint-Honorat which are a few strokes of the shores. Also, it is impossible to speak of the history of Cannes without mentioning that of the Lérins Islands.
Appeared only in the Middle Ages, the modest village of Cannes developed very modestly during the Ancien Régime while witnessing the Franco-British and Franco-Spanish struggles that are mainly on the Lérins islands.
It was not until the nineteenth century that the city really took off, thanks in particular to Lord Henry Brougham and Vaux, the great Chancellor of England who settles in, attracts the English and European aristocracy who builds magnificent secondary homes for Winter. Like most coastal resorts on the Côte d’Azur and the Riviera, the city is enjoying unprecedented growth thanks to this prestigious population. Its internationally renowned status was only acquired in the middle of the 20th century by the Film Festival.
Cannes quickly became an over-publicized city. It still exerts the same power of attraction on a French and foreign clientele fascinated by its aura of star city. From this intense tourist activity, the highly developed sectors of the hotel, catering and luxury businesses offer, between sea and sun, a prestigious showcase of French luxury.
But you should not only look at Cannes on the glittery side, but take a break from the Croisette to discover Cannes’ Cannes.
Le Suquet: historical location of the city of Cannes on a promontory overlooking the bay, a walk through its narrow streets and squares before enjoying a unique view of the Croisette, the Bay of Cannes and the Lerins Islands.
La Pointe Croisette: A few steps from the palaces, you will discover the atmosphere a small village around the place of L’Étang before going to discover the Port of Red Moure, the real port of Cannes where pointy mix and small sailboats .
But the Bay of Cannes also invites you to the pleasures of swimming. Nearly 10 km of sandy beaches are waiting for you. Don’t forget to ask us our good plans to fully enjoy your days at the beach!
The Lérins Islands are located opposite the commune of Cannes, of which they form part administratively. They form an archipelago composed of the island Sainte-Marguerite (the largest), the island Saint-Honorat (property of a monastery), and the islets of Tradelière and Saint-Ferréol, both uninhabited.
Sainte-Marguerite Island is a little over a kilometer from the mainland, it stretches from west to east over a length of 3 km, and its width is about 900 meters. There are beautiful eucalyptus woods, the oldest in Europe, and pine trees. The majority of the island is covered by forest, state-owned protected area; it is the second most visited forest in France.
In addition to this beautiful forest, you will probably have heart to visit the fort of Sainte-Marguerite. Built by Richelieu, it was reinforced by Vauban and served as a state prison. It now houses the Museum of the Sea, presenting collections of underwater archeology.
But its tourist appeal also comes from the fact that one can visit the cell of the Iron Mask. Indeed, in 1687, the fort of Sainte-Marguerite receives the famous prisoner … who probably wore a simple velvet mask. The identity of the prisoner has never been established, and the legends, suppositions, or very serious works of historians have evoked in turn an adulterous brother of Louis XIV, a secretary of the Duke of Mantua, an accomplice of the poisoner La Brinvilliers, Fouquet, an Italian spy, & c. The Iron Mask died in 1703 in the Bastille, and his identity is probably lost forever.
Saint-Honorat Island is the farthest from the coast and the smaller of the two islands. 1500 meters long, 400 meters wide, it has a lower coast less welcoming than Sainte-Marguerite Island, from which it is separated by a narrow channel called “Plateau du Milieu”. It is wooded with maritime pines and beautiful umbrella pines.
Saint-Honorat Island perpetuates the memory of Honorat d’Arles (Saint Honorat). At the end of the fourth century, Saint Honorat, seeking solitude, settled in one of the two islands “Lerinas” but his retirement is known and the disciples come running. Resigned, the saint founds a monastery which will count among the most illustrious and the most powerful of Christendom. Today, the island is still owned by the monks.
In the south of the island, you will discover a fortress, built in 1073 to protect the monks from Saracen pirates. From the fifteenth century until 1788, the religious lived there permanently and suffered many attacks. From the platform, crenellated and machicolated, located at the top of the old dungeon, the view extends over the Lérins Islands and the coast, from Estérel to Cap d’Antibes and at the back plan, the alpine chain.
The monastery nowadays attracts many pilgrims or retreatants. In the garden of the cloister are grouped Roman and Christian lapidary fragments found on the island. The old cloister, whose walls date partly from the 7th century. and the cradle vaults of the tenth century, is one of the oldest of its kind in the West. On the gallery is opened, by a low semicircular door, the chapter house vaulted with ogives and, leaning against the South gallery, another room of the same style which serves refectory to the monks. The canvas at the back of the coin represents the Last Supper was executed in 1900 by Pita.
The Cannes Film Festival, founded in 1946 under the aegis of Jean Zay, Minister of Fine Arts of the Popular Front, and called until 2002 the International Film Festival, is an international film festival taking place each year in May. twelve days.
It has become, over the years, the most publicized film festival in the world, and its influence has continued to grow thanks to the media and sponsors present on this occasion, especially during the opening ceremony and the traditional climbing the steps: the famous red carpet and its twenty-four “marches of glory”. Despite this prestige, the Festival has often been criticized, and it was at the origin of several scandals or controversies that relayed magazines and newspapers, French and foreign.
Each year, during the second half of May, the city of Cannes is invaded by filmmakers and stormed by thousands of photographers. It is at the Palais des Festivals and Congresses, located on the Boulevard de la Croisette, that the main screenings take place.
In parallel to the Festival, several sections have been created over the years. Among them, we find the Fortnight, the Cinéfondation, the Week of Criticism, Un certain regard, and especially the Cannes Film Market, the first in the world, in importance. During these festivities, the opportunity is given to the numerous producers and distributors present on the spot to find partners for the financing of their projects of films, or to sell the works already turned to the distributors and televisions of the whole world.
Although originally a tourist and social event4, the Festival was created to reward the best film, the best director or the best actor and the best actress of an international film competition. However, over the years, other prizes awarded by a jury of professionals, artists and intellectuals, have appeared and have come to add to the prestige of Cannes, such as the Jury Prize, the Grand Prix and especially the Palme Golden. Today, the official selection reflects the world’s film production. The competition usually highlights auteur or research cinema.
Built at the top of the Suquet hill overlooking the bay, all of the museum’s buildings form one of the few witnesses of the Middle Ages in Cannes. It was built from the eleventh century on the initiative of the monks of Lérins, installed in their famous abbey on the island Saint-Honorat since the fifth century. Conventual building (male monastery), it is built on a quadrangular plan, like that of a castle with dungeon, and it incorporates in its defensive walls a main building and a chapel. In the middle of the central courtyard stands a square tower whose height could allow the watch. Aimed at the princes of the Church who were the abbots of Lérins, lords of much of the region, the castle of Cannes marked his architectural majesty that imposed on the landscape of the coast.
Damaged at the end of the sixteenth century, the castle was partially destroyed in the eighteenth century by order of the Bishop of Grasse. Sold as a national property during the Revolution to the Hibert family, it served as a dwelling until 1878, when it was rented to a ceramic factory “The earthenware art of Mont-Chevalier”. In 1919, the municipality of Cannes acquires all buildings to house its museum. The tower and the chapel Sainte-Anne form with the church Notre-Dame-of-l’Eperance a set classified Historical Monument by decree of July 28, 1937.
In addition to collections of primitive arts, musical instruments, the museum offers children discovery workshops.
Museum of Castre: Place de la Castre (le Suquet) – +33 (0) 126.96.36.199.26