Probably a Greek colony (Nikaia, or Nicaea in Latin) established in the 5th cent. BC, Nice became an episcopal see in the 4th cent. AD It was pillaged and burned by Muslim forces in 859 and 880. In the 13th and 14th cent. the city belonged to the counts of Provence and Savoy. In 1543 the united forces of Francis I and Barbarossa attacked and burned Nice. It was annexed to France in 1793, restored to Sardinia in 1814, and again ceded to France in 1860 after a plebiscite. At the beginning of the French Revolution the city was a haven for Royalist migrs. Its popularity as a resort began in the late 18th century, increasing with the building of roads in the 1820s and the arrival of the railroad in 1864. At first a retreat for royals and aristocrats, the city became a middle class resort as accessibility to it grew. Nice was claimed and occupied by Mussolini during World War II.
See R. Kanigel, High Season (2002).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: French Political Geography