The Fort of Mont Alban

September 23, 2023

A small 6 page brochure with information, history, photos and more about the little fort perched between Nice and Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Steve and Carole in Vence - Le Fort du Mont Alban

I can’t remember exactly when I first discovered the little Fort of Mont Alban. It was probably on one of my many cycling trips to Nice in the early 2000s. It’s a little off the beaten track and unless you are specifically headed there it’s unlikely that you will just run across it by accident. It’s visible from both Nice and Villefranche-sur-Mer if you know where to look.

Built between 1557 and 1560 on a hill (220 meters above sea level) between the two towns it is said to be one of the few examples of military architecture from this time period to still be in good condition. It was classified as a historical monument in 1909 and was acquired by the city of Nice in 2007. It is now open to the public during the summer months and on special occasions such as the Journées du Patrimoine (Heritage Days).

The fort is designed in a rectangular format with corner bastions that extend the structure and offer additional protection. It has a long history and changed hands many times over the last five centuries. During the Second World War it was occupied first by the Italians and then by the Germans.

I have visited the fort many, many times on my bike and used it as a starting point for a great hike through Nice and Villefranche-sur-Mer several times as well. In 2021 I was able to tour the inside of the building during the Journées du Patrimoine.

This brochure contains about a dozen photos, drawings and paintings along with a short history of the fort. It is written in French and was published by Centre du Patrimoine in Nice, though I’m not sure when. I don’t think it’s available anymore, I found this copy at the old book market in Nice and I’ve never seen it before or since. I have scanned it and published it as a PDF in three different file sizes. I have also translated it to English and carefully recreated it in its original design and layout so that anyone who doesn’t speak French can easily read and enjoy it. See the download links below.

Note: It is not my intention to infringe on any copyright, I just want to make this information available to more people, especially with my English translation. If there is any reason I should not be offering this download just let me know and I will remove it immediately.

   Download a high quality PDF of this brochure in FRENCH (48mb)
   Download a very good quality PDF of this brochure in FRENCH (8mb)
   Download a good quality PDF of this brochure in FRENCH (1mb)
   Download a high quality PDF of this brochure in ENGLISH (11mb)

[click on any image to see sample pages]

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