Cannes (France)

Cannes France

Cannes is a city in southeastern France, located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. The city is famous for its resorts, beautiful beaches, cultural events and the famous film festival.

Every year in May, Cannes hosts the Cannes Film Festival, where new films are presented and the best films and actors are awarded. You can also visit museums, parks, famous restaurants and stores, as well as enjoy the local architecture and beautiful views of the sea.

Cannes is also the center of perfume production and there are many stores and museums related to the subject. The city is also famous for its fireworks, which are held during the summer season and at Christmas.


In Europe, quite a few settlements have not just centuries, but thousands of years of history. On the paths by the picturesque Côte d’Azur the ancestor of the Heidelberg man walked about 900 thousand years ago. This is evidenced by the remains and tools found in the mountains. They are the oldest traces of man in Western Europe.

In the 10th century B.C. the tribes of the Ligurians appeared in the area and founded the first settlement in present-day Cannes. In the 5th century B.C. the Gauls settled there. The settlement of Aegithnon became known in the 2nd century B.C. It was founded by the Occibians whose tribes raided the lands of the Greeks of Marseilles. Aegithnese was destroyed, and the south of modern France was subdued by Rome and became Narbonne Gallia in 121 BC. It was after the victories of Caesar (100-44 BC) that the Romans founded a fishing village called Cannes in 42 BC.

In 410, St. Honorat of Arelata (365-429) founded a monastery in one of the Lerino Islands (near the coast of Cannes), which gradually became one of the most influential monasteries in Europe, and for a long time it owned the village of Cannes. Its inhabitants were notable for their asceticism. In the VIII century there were about 500 monks. According to legend, St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, also studied here. In 1331, Raymond Beranger, Count of Provence, who had a favorable opinion of the Abbey of Lerins, freed Cannes from taxes and signed a deed of donation by which the abbot became the owner of the fortress of Castrum Marcellium, built by the Greeks. The decline of the Abbey of Lerins dates from the 15th century. This was because the king gave away the island lands belonging to the monks to his nobles. By 1480, Provence lost its independence and became part of France.

Cannes, like the rest of the Côte d’Azur, preferred to stay out of the conflicts during the troubled times of the French revolutions of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Curiously enough, when Napoleon (1769-1821) who fled Elba landed in 1815 near Cannes, he sent a troop for food to the town. But the locals were royalists, so the imperial troops were not welcomed here, which, however, did not prevent Bonaparte from seizing power in the country for a while.

But at the time, not many people knew about the small fishing town on the picturesque seashore. The fate of Cannes changed dramatically in 1834, when English Chancellor Henry Peter Broom (1778-1868), on his way to Italy, received news of a cholera epidemic there and decided to wait it out on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean (not yet known as the Côte d’Azur), in Cannes. Fascinated by the unique scenery and mild climate, the lord decided to build a villa there. Two years later, all the society of London gathered in Cannes for the opening of his mansion. The British aristocracy was drawn to the site. In 1838, work began on the construction of a port and promenade along the coast, called La Croisette. In 1863, the railroad reached Cannes from Paris, and in 1870 alone 35 hotels and 200 villas welcomed 19,000 tourists.

Cannes became a health resort, with anemia, rheumatism and tuberculosis patients coming here. Prosper Mérimée moved to Cannes for permanent residence. Guy de Maupassant, Emile Zola, Baron Rothschild and many others often stayed here.

Cannes Film Festival

In 1946 the city began to gain fame as one of the centers of world cinema. Every spring the famous Cannes Film Festival is held here. Tens of thousands of fans come to Cannes to watch the world’s “stars” walk up the red carpet of the Palais des Festivals, filling the city’s coffers and filling the already sparkling city of Cannes with brilliance.

In ancient times, the Palme d’Or would have made its mark on mythology, on a par with such fairy-tale items as the Golden Apples of Hesperides, the Golden Fleece of Nephele or the Living Water, so coveted and fabulous is this branch for all filmmakers. Whoever gets it becomes a legendary and almost mythical figure in the world of cinema.

Becoming a city of legends and a pilgrimage point for thousands of rich and famous has not been easy for Cannes. But fortunately, sometimes even the most dramatic events have benefited the city.

If the cholera epidemic in Italy made Cannes famous among English aristocrats, another disease, the social one, owes Cannes the title of European film capital. In 1938, at the Venice Festival in Italy, Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia and Goffredo Alessandrini’s Pilot Luciano Serra won first prizes, films that, although artistically worthy, promoted fascist and nazi ideas. It was this favoring of the Venetian juries to the German and Italian regimes that gave rise to the idea of an independent film festival, which it was decided to open in Cannes. The first celebration was to take place in 1939 under the presidency of Louis Lumière (1864-1968). But the outbreak of World War II has changed these plans.

The International Cannes Film Festival came to full fruition in 1946. Since 1952, it has been held at the end of May. The Palais des Festivals et Congrès was built between the Old Port and La Croisette in 1982. Over the decades, the Festival has earned a reputation as the most prestigious and popular event among the business and film elite, which in many ways defines cinematic fashion.

The main prize of the Cannes Film Festival is the Palme d’Or. Its origins lie in the history of the Abbey of Lérins. Legend has it that St. Honorat, the founder of the abbey, banished a snake with a palm branch. This legend led to the palm branch on the emblem of the monastery, then the city of Cannes, and since 1954, with an interval (1964-1975), the golden branch became the main award of the film festival.

Following the example of the filmmakers, Cannes has become the venue for a number of exhibitions, forums, competitions and contests: Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, the biggest Mobile Technology Fair, MAPIC, the most important commercial property exhibition in Europe, the annual Fireworks Festival, the MIDEM International Fair of Musical Audio Production and many others. By the number of events Cannes ranks second in France after Paris.

Cannes has also become the center of “aristocratic” sports. The Yacht Club was founded in 1867 and the Union of Cannes Yacht Club in 1891. After the First World War, one of the most popular races among the European nobility were the regattas, called the Royal Regattas.

The development of elite tourism was truly a golden age for the city’s architecture. Architects of the “Belle Epoque” (1890-1914) implemented the most daring projects: flamboyant villas, incomprehensibly beautiful palaces-hotels and fabulous gardens. Villa “Alexandra” with Muslim minarets, the castle “Scott” in the Gothic style, Villa “Camille Amélie” with a natural grotto and huge marble columns; hotels “California” and “Croix de Garde” on the Croisette, “Grand Hotel” (1864).

While in other countries tourism is created primarily for foreigners with average and high income, the social programs of France have made prestigious resorts accessible to all. This is especially noticeable in August, the period of mass vacations. Perhaps only Cannes is an exception to this rule. Here the beaches are created with imported sand and most often belong to the hotels. But there are also free beaches along the Croisette, one of them opposite the Palais des Festivals.

General Information

  • City in the south of France, department of the Alpes-Maritimes, first mentioned in 42 B.C.
  • Administrative divisions: Cannes-Centre, Cannes-East, Mandelieu-Cannes-West.
  • Language: French.
  • Ethnicity: 94% are French.
  • Religions: Catholics (about 80%), Protestants, Muslims, Jews, and others.
  • Currency: euro.
  • Important airport: Cannes-Mandelieu.


  • In the north of the city is Sophia Antipolis Technopark. Founded in 1970-1984, it is home to companies working in computer science, electronics, pharmacology and biotechnology. The European headquarters of W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) is also located here.
  • Industry: high technology, aerospace (headquarters of Tayas Alenia Space), aircraft factory, textile, clothing, food.
  • Agriculture: wine-growing, plant growing. Fishing.
  • Services: tourism, financial services, trade.
  • Area: 19.62 km2.
  • Population: 72 939 (2008).
  • Population density: 3,717.6 people/km2 .
  • The maximum altitude of the city is 260 m above the sea level.

Climate and weather

  • Mediterranean.
  • Average temperature in January: +7.9°C.
  • Average temperature in July: +22.1 ºC.
  • Average annual precipitation: 857.7 mm.


  • The old town: Le Suquet district, Notre-Dame de l’Esperance (Our Lady of Hope) Cathedral (1648).
  • Church of Notre-Dame de Bon Voyage (Our Lady of the Road).
  • Russian Church of St. Michael the Archangel (1894).
  • Villas: Eleanor Louise (1836), Domergue (Fiesole), Alexandra, Camille, Amélie.
  • Boulevard de la Croisette (mid-19th century).
  • Rue d’Antibes.
  • Grand Jas cemetery (1866).
  • Palace of Festivals and Congresses (1982).
  • Museums: Museum of the Arts and History of Provence, Museum de la Castre in a castle of XI century. on the hill Le Suquet (archaeology of the Mediterranean), Musée de la Mer (Museum of the Sea), Museum of Photography, International Museum of Perfumes, Picasso Museum in the castle Grimaldi (XII century, in the city of Antibes).
  • Île Saint-Honore: Lerin Abbey (V cent.), Tower (XI cent.), five ancient chapels.
  • Île Saint-Marguerite: Natural reserve, botanical path, fortress of Port-Royal (XII).

Fun Facts

  • The concept of the “Côte d’Azur” first appeared in a novel by the now forgotten writer Stéphane Liègeard. The image was born in his soul when he was on holiday in the local area in 1870. This is how he named his novel.
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