Nice Cathedral

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Cathedral of Saint Reparata
Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate
Cathedrale Sainte-Reparate Nice.jpg
Nice Cathedral
Basic information


Geographic coordinates 43°41′50″N 7°16′33″E / 43.69722°N 7.27583°E / 43.69722; 7.27583Coordinates: 43°41′50″N 7°16′33″E / 43.69722°N 7.27583°E / 43.69722; 7.27583
Affiliation Roman Catholic Church
District Diocese of Nice
Country France
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Cathedral
Architectural description
Architectural type church
Architectural style Baroque
Groundbreaking 1650
Completed 1699

Nice Cathedral (French: Basilique-Cathédrale Sainte-Marie et Sainte-Réparate de Nice) is a Roman Catholic church located in the old town of Nice in southern France. It is the seat of the Diocese of Nice. The cathedral was built between 1650 and 1699, the year of its consecration. It is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and Saint Reparata.[1] It has been classed as a national monument since 9 August 1906.


On the site, the first cathedral was consecrated in 1049, St. Mary of the Castle.[2]

In the year 1060, relics belonging to St. Reparate (For whom the current cathedral is named) arrived in the city of Nice.

By the year 1075 there was construction at the foot of the Castle of a chapel dedicated to St. Reparate.

During the later half of the twelfth century, the chapel became the priory of the abbey of Saint-Pons.

The year 1246 marked the official elevation of the priory to a parish.

The first church on the site was built in the early 13th century on land belonging to the Abbey of St. Pons and became a parish church in 1246.[3]

1455 to 1468, Population growth led to additions being built onto the church.

During the first half of the 16th century a series of acts gradually effected the transfer of the seat of the bishops of Nice from Cimiez Cathedral on the hill of the castle overlooking the city to the church of Saint Reparata which in 1590, after an official ceremony presided over by the then bishop, Luigi Pallavicini, and in the presence of Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy, was recognised as a chiesa-cattedrale.[4]

However, in 1649, judging the building too small, bishop Didier Palletis commissioned the architect Jean-André Guibert to produce a structure more in keeping with the importance of the city.

1650 to 1685, The construction of a new cathedral (The current main building) occurs during this time.

In 1699 the new cathedral is officially consecrated but the construction is an ongoing process.

From 1731 to 1759 the now widely recognized bell tower is built.[5]

1900 marked the most recent addition to the cathedral with the construction of new side chapels which replaced the former heavy baroque ornamentation.

The cathedral was declared a minor basilica on 27 May 1949.[6]

For Reference: A Cathedral is the official seat of a Cardinal, whereas a Basilica is a special title given to a church by the pope.

Bell tower of the Nice Cathedral



Originally rectangular and oriented to the north, the cathedral was rebuilt on the model of Santa Susanna in Rome. i.e., on a Latin cross ground plan oriented to the east, with a cupola, clad in coloured tiles varnished in the Genoese style, over the transept crossing. The building is in the Baroque architectural tradition.

A number of alterations have taken place since the initial construction. A campanile was built between 1731 and 1757, which partially obscures the cupola. Between 1825 and 1830 a Baroque revival façade replaced the original west front. Between 1900 and 1903 an apse was added on either side of the choir.


The interior, also Baroque, includes ten chapels, dedicated to: Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, the Crucifixion, Saint Rose of Lima, Saints Alexander and Bartholomew, the Holy Sacrament, Saint Rosalia and the Virgin, Saint Joseph, Saint Reparata, the Four Crowned Martyrs and Saint John the Baptist. Until the end of the 17th century each of them was connected to a different guild which had the responsibility and expense of maintaining them. The high altar is surmounted by a picture of the Glory of Saint Reparata, the virgin martyr to whom the cathedral is dedicated and whose relics have been enshrined here since 1690.


The cathedral contains three organs: one is on a tribune above the narthex, another in the north arm of the transept and the third in the choir rehearsal room.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "La Cathedrale Sainte-Reparate - Cathédrale Sainte Reparate Nice" (in French). Retrieved 2016-11-08. 
  3. ^ Luc Thevenon, "Du château vers le Paillon. Le développement urbain de Nice de la fin de l'Antiquité à l'Empire", Serre éditeur, coSARAll. "Forum d'Urbanisme et d'Architecture", Nice, 1999, p.38 (ISBN 2-86410-302-8)
  4. ^ Luc Thevenon, op. cit., p. 110
  5. ^ "La Cathedrale Sainte-Reparate - Cathédrale Sainte Reparate Nice". Cathédrale Sainte Reparate Nice (in French). Retrieved 2016-11-08. 
  6. ^

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