The Fort du Mont Alban is a fine example of 16th-century military architecture. Built on the hilltop at 220m above sea level, ... More
Fort du mont Alban
The Fort du Mont Alban is a fine example of 16th-century military architecture. Built on the hilltop at 220m above sea level, it offers a striking 360° panorama. To one side you have Nice itself, the bay opening out onto the sea, the airport and the Lower Alps region. To the other side your eyes wander over the pretty little towns and villages such as Villefranche and Cap Ferrat. The landscape is wild and densely covered in typically Mediterranean vegetation, such as scrubland, pine and oak trees. For the trivia-mongers among you, Elton John owns a vast estate just 300m from the fort, but unfortunately neither the actual fort nor the singer's home are open to visitors.
It is beautiful up there and has fabulous far reaching views over Nice and the bay of Villefranche, however, don't go up there in the earling evening as it's a meeting place for men looking for sex. I made this mistake to my cost when I went up there to walk my dog and found innuerable men lurking behind bushes waiting for the casual passerby, I felt quite threatened by them - though I actually think they were more interested in their own sex. Nonetheless it was rather intimidating
The Fort is in surprisingly good condition given that it has been locked up and you can't get inside--usually spots like this can be expected to be havens for transients and vandals. I chanced upon it whilst making my way south on the footpaths and roads on the way down from the Observatoire. There's nothing there in the way of signage or interpretation, so you are pretty much stuck to whatever you can see from the outside and the leads from your guidebook. Worth a look, but if you had to choose between it and other sites in and around Nice, I'd skip this.
I happened to notice the Fort while walking back from Castle Eze. I followed the foot path to the top of the hill and found the fort very easily. Walking around the Fort/Castle was very interesting and enjoyable. Not to mention to overall view of Nice, France. I recommend this walk to everyone. The only drawback was not being able to see the inside.
review by dirk
I first visited this fortress in September 2001 and I actually chanced upon it while on a tour that stopped to allow tourists to photograph Nice Harbour. As I was photographing the harbour, I turned and looked down a dirt path that only showed trees but something called to me from that path. I was drawn to walk down the path and found Fort Mount Alban at the end of the path. As I stood and looked at the one side of the wall that had actually posted a name of the fortress I felt very melancholic and very sad and a real atmosphere hung around the fortress. As I looked at the boarded up windows and doorways I felt as thought some horrible tragedy had befallen this 16th century fortress. I will return one to day to this fortress to investigate further if there are perhaps some paranormal things happening aroung it! It would be great if the City of Nice would make it a tourist attraction and open it to the public!!!
A massive fort from the 1500s at the top of a hill in a wooded park (Mont Boron Park)that has lots of walking paths. And besides the fort, there's a spectacular Riviera view. And the price is another bonus...it's all free. You can't go inside the fort, though.
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