Interested in Menton?
We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Menton each week.
As one of the 120 cities designated Ville d'Art et d'Histoire (City of Art and History) by the French Minister of Culture, Menton has many attractions to keep visitors amused. Start with a visit to the Place Saint Michel, which is one of the main squares in the city. The architecture of the surrounding buildings is mostly Italian Baroque, and the mosaic cobblestones and old churches make this plaza one of the most picturesque places in Menton. Here you can find the Basilica of Saint Michael, built in 1619 by then Prince of Monaco Honore II, and the Chapelle of White Penitents, which dates back to the 1700s.
The Bastion of Saint Antoine, built in the early 1600s (also by Honore II), was a fortress intended for defense against sea invasion. It was guarded around the clock by fully armed soldiers until 1846, after which the fortress slowly became more or less defunct. During its history, the fort has also served as a prison and a lighthouse. Today, the bastion has been converted into a museum dedicated to the works of the artist Jean Cocteau.
There are two free admission museums in Menton. The Musee de Prehistoire, at Rue Loredan Larchey to the nothwest of the Mairie, covers mankind's earliest impact on the Mediterranean shore for the million years before written history. Objects collected at area digs and a treaure trove of videos are augmented by temporary exhibits and workshops for children. The Palais Carnoles, one-time seat of the Grimaldi's is a fascinating hodge-podge of art, housed in an amazing, ornate building, now in need of some repair. It's adjoining citrus tree garden is filled with sculptures of all kinds, and makes an excellent spot for quiet contemplation.
The city also enjoys natural landmarks, including many beautiful botanical gardens and fruit orchards. The Val Rah Meh, created in 1905 by Lord Radcliffe, is now the Museum of Natural History. The Maria Serena, on the other hand, is a garden filled with exotic and tropical plants