Cote d'Azur. Menton
With the two panoramas of the magnificent Menton health resort, that is situated 30 km away from Nice, AirPano has finished the big cycle of publications, dedicated to the picturesque landscapes of French Riviera.
It is the French easternmost town of the Côte d'Azur close to the Italian border, that's why the town has two different spellings: the French "Menton" and the Italian "Mentone". The mild climate of this area favours the abundance of vegetation, but the true symbol of the town is the lemon. This plant, known for its bright taste and aroma, has been grown here since the 15th century.
No wonder that the town holds a special lemon festival which takes place here annually. Moreover, the biggest citrus gardens not only of France but of the whole Europe are located here, in Menton, near Carnoles Palace (Le Palais de Carnolès). This building is a former summer residence of the Grimaldi family, and now it is the fine arts museum.
Menton is also famous for the Jardin Botanique exotique du Val Rahmeh that was created in the 19th century by the noble Menton resident Lord Percy Radcliffe. The park features a pond and several thematic sections: the Mediterranean area, the spices garden and the area of healing herbs. Since 1967 Val Rahmeh has become a part of the National museum.
On Menton's coast, there is the fortress that was built back in the 17th century for the defence of the town from seaward attacks. Several hundred years later, the Bastion was restored: it was done mostly by the efforts of Jean Cocteau, the famous French poet, artist, playwright and filmmaker. A museum of his works is now functioning in this Bastion.
The basilica of Saint-Michel-Archange built in the 17th century is the bright example of the baroque style. The Russian Orthodox Church of Menton dedicated to Our Lady of Consolation and St. Nicholas, the Wonderworker, represents the neo-Russian architectural style. The building standing close to it is named "the Russian house". Both them appeared in Menton in the end of the 19th century, at the time when Russian noble people and the Russo-Japanese War veterans were coming here for the medical treatment.
Unfortunately, even local healing climate could not do wonders. And thus, a Russian cemetery was created atop a hill. Many members of the noble families were buried here, their gravestones are the great cultural and historical monuments. Another Menton's landmark of this kind is the cemetery chapel that was built using the immigrants' funds. The altar image for this church was created by the famous Russian artist Ivan Kramskoi.
Despite these sorrowful milestones, Menton is still a sunny and joyful town where the scent of roses and lemons mixes with a light sea breeze. One of the most popular recreation places of the town is the Old Port with its viewing point. But the most spectacular view will be available from above, in the AirPano panoramas.
Photos by Stas Sedov and Sergey Shandin
7 February 2018
Have a look at other parts of Côte d'Azur:
• Villefranche-sur-Mer, Ile d'Or and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat