The English promenade and its blue chairs
Why the Promenade des Anglais?
Do you know the history of this must-see seaside avenue on the Côte d'Azur?
From its "British" creation to its emblematic blue chairs, discover Nice and its unusual anecdotes.
The history of the Promenade des Anglais!
In the 18th century, many English aristocrats settled in Nice, in luxurious houses along the Bay of Angels. These wealthy Englishmen wanted to enjoy the Côte d'Azur climate during the winter months.
The only problem was, there was nowhere to walk along the sea.
Legend has it that the English were taken with the people of Nice, who were suffering from a harsh winter and very poor harvests.
So, in 1820, they decided to finance the construction of the promenade and hire the unemployed and beggars of Nice to carry out the work.
The promenade was completed in 1824. The English christened it the "Strada del littorale", but the people of Nice soon dubbed it "El camin dei Inglés".
"El camin dei Inglés" was retained when Nice was annexed by France in 1860. That's where the name "Promenade des Anglais" comes from!
Today, the Promenade des Anglais stretches over 7km, so you can enjoy with your family an impressive view of the entire Bay of Angels.
Why are the prom chairs blue?
The famous blue chairs!
Do you know the history of the emblematic blue chairs of the prom' of Nice ?
In 1948, Jacques Ballanger, owner of the marine street furniture business, decided to replace the wicker chairs on the promenade with sturdier ones.
He called on a Tourrettan craftsman, Charles Tordo, to make 800 chairs.
Originally, the chairs were white.
It wasn't until 1850 that the color blue took hold, representing the sky and the Mediterranean Sea.
It was also a way of differentiating them from the white benches in Nice gardens.
The little anecdote
Back then, you had to pay to sit down. And yes, you had to buy a ticket at the "Chaisière" or risk being fined.
To discover other unusual anecdotes, watch the program Les curiosités du Sud on our Youtube channel