Don’t miss the fascinating apothecary on the ground floor, transferred here from Besançon in 1738.
Palais Lascaris was built in the 17th century for Niçois aristocrats the Lascaris-Ventimiglia family. It suffered significant damage after the Revolution; in 1942, it was purchased by the city of Nice, and restoration work began.
Today, it is one of the most remarkable surviving works of Baroque architecture in Nice, comprising all its phases from the 17th through the 18th century. A monumental vaulted central staircase is decorated with frescoes, leading off to luxurious ceremonial rooms with mythological scenes on frescoed ceilings, gilt stucco Rococo moulding, and tapestries, sculptures and objets d’art. It’s an opulent relic of aristocratic decadence and glamour.
If musical instruments are your thing, this is the place to go. After Paris’s Musée de la Villette, it houses the most important collection in the country. Its 500-plus instruments are in large part the legacy of the 19th century Niçois collector Antoine Gautier.
His bequest includes many important early pieces, such as rare 17th century Baroque guitars, a bass violin, and a 1581 tenor sackbut. The palace is a dream for anyone interested in the exaggerated aesthetic grandeur of the period.
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