Last modified: 2009-12-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: alpes-maritimes | cagnes-sur-mer |
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Flag of Cagnes-sur-Mer - Image by Ivan Sache, 30 July 2002
The municipality of Cagnes-sur-Mer (48,313 inhabitants in 2006; 1,795 ha) is located on the French Riviera (Côte d'Azur), between Antibes and Nice. The municipality is made of three parts: Haut-de-Cagnes (Cagnes Heights)), the medieval village grouped around the castle; Cagnes-Ville (Cagnes Town), the modern town; and Cros-de-Cagnes, the sea resort and marina built along the Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels). Cagnes is also famous for its horse race track.
In the 6th century, monks from the abbey of Lérins, located on a small island off Antibes, built a monastery on the mouth of river Loup, devoted to the Golden Virgin. The first settlement of Cagnes was built on the top of a rock to prevent attacks from the sea. The three gates of the town controlled the three main roads to Nice, Antibes and Saint-Paul-de-Vence. The castle was built in 1310 by Rainier Grimaldi, Lord of Monaco, Admiral of France and Lord of France. A branch of the Grimaldi family ruled Cagnes until the French Revolution (1789). In 1620, Henry Grimaldi transformed the old medieval castle into a rich palace where he attracted a brilliant court. Henry advised his cousin Henry II, Lord of Monaco, to denounce the protection treaty with Spain and to ask for the French protection, which was granted by the Treaty of Péronne (1641).
The castle of Cagnes was purchased by the municipality in 1936 and transformed into a museum (Museum of Olive, Museum of Mediterranean Modern Art). The Impressionist painter Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) spent the last ten years of his life in the Collettes estate, now the Renoir Museum. The Expressionist painter of Lituanian origin Chaim Soutine (1893-1943) stayed in Cagnes in the 1920s.
Ivan Sache, 30 July 2002
The flag of Cagnes-sur-Mer, as hoisted over the castle in a photo shown in the Guide Gallimard Alpes-Maritimes, is vertically divided red-blue.
Ivan Sache, 31 July 2002