The observatory in Nice was built in 1879. It was the first of all observatories to be built along the Côte d'Azur. The foundation of an association of observatories for the exploration of the universe and the earth followed.
The observatory of Nice is located on the Mont Gros and lies at a height of 372m (407yd) altitude. It is Europe's oldest mountain observatory and was the first one that has permanently been used since 1879.
The main dome of the construction has a diameter of 26m (28yd), consists of massive metal and was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the co-constructor of the Eiffel Tower.
The observatory can be visited three days a week. There is a 2km (1.2mi) long guided tour being offered through the area taking up to 2 hours of walking.
Even if the observatory is closed, it's worth coming all the way up onto the mountain for an excursion. One will certainly enjoy one the best views on Nice from here. Additionally, adjacent to the observatory, there is a beautiful natural park offering a lot of space for any kind of outdoor activity. The park has many well-maintained hiking trails to offer. Mountain bikers will also enjoy cycling along these routes as they are equally suitable for both hikers and cyclists. And what is more, there is a paragliding take-off site just in the vicinity.
How to get there
By public transport
You'll best get here by taking bus line 84 and getting off at the station “Observatoire”. You can as well drive all the way up by car. There are parking facilities provided on-site.