Place Massena is the main square of Nice. The huge plaza lies between the old and new town area with so many shops and restaurants along the street. Located at the crossroad of several main boulevards, it is the favourite place for residents and touris
The old buildings surrounding the square have unique signature. They are painted with bright colour, such as red, yellow, and orange with bright blue colour for their windows which is perfect with bright spring sky in Nice. Tramway runs through the center of the plaza, otherwise it’s pedestrian only. Place Massena is named after Andre Massena. He was a French military commander during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. Andre was one of the eighteen Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon, with the nickname l’Enfant chéri de la Victoire (“the Dear Child of Victory”). That is why the square is the beating heart of Nice. Around the square, there are seven statues which represent the continents in the world. Those statues also shows communication between the different groups of society today which designed by the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. During the night, they are illuminated in different colours.
Another interesting spot in Place Massena is the fountain called La Fontaine du Soleil with Greek style. In the center of the fountain stands seven meters Apollo, the God of sun, statue. He is wearing crown, naked, and holding a fabric on his right hand. Below him, there are five sculptures from Greek mythology namely Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Saturn. This is a popular place to take pictures and to hang out for a while to enjoy the views. The wonderful statue which made by Alfred Janniot have many controversy. It have been changed several times because some people feel disturbed with that naked statue. Even the naked Apollo once moved to football stadium by local Catholic women’s group because it offended women’s delicate sensibilities. When the Apollo was moved from the middle of the fountain, it created a huge void. After some time, the statue of Apollo was brought back to decorate the center of the Place Massena’s fountain until today.