Jazz a` Juan, the famous jazz festival of Antibes was initially held as a tribute and honour of Sidney Bechet, the famous musician. This inspired musicians across Europe to create and participate in music festivals across the nation. This was a revolutionary concept in music which brought about an overturn in the way even common people perceived musicians and Jazz. The music icons became accessible and the public became one with them through their mesmerizing performances. The festival was held under the century old tree facing the Mediterranean.
Antibes Juan les is often seen as melting pot which blends in many different trends of music together. There has been musicians who have performed there every year since its start in 1960.Right from conception the consistent festival is seen in as a landmark event, where often jazz history is made. It is also flocked by music lovers and critics and is often looked on by the media.
This festival reflects a wide array of programmes, styles as well as diverse musicians. They feature newbies who has become trend icons, popular singers who has been there all along, modern and classic jazz performers from all around the world: including Africa, Latin –America, India, Europe and France performing in different styles such as cool Jazz, hard Jazz, Jazz Rock, Latin Jazz, Electro _Jazz ,Blues and Swing. Some of the popular singers who has performed there are: Norah Jones, Jamie Cullum, Thomas Dutronc, Richard Bona and Roy Hargrove.
The festival takes place every year during July under the Pinede Gould gardens. The setting is quite magical with the roaring sea in the background and spectators watching it from the banks .There are also stands to watch it from apart from seats and the concert timing is from 8.30 pm and includes up to three different acts.
The harbour in Europe with the largest yachting port is in Antibes and is called as Port Vauban. It has about 2000 moors and also has provisions to accommodate boats and yachts that are bigger than 100 meters in length .It is not man made , and has been in use even before the period of Romans. Now it is mostly used by the local fishermen and is also a primary visiting place for the tourists.
The major attraction in the scenic tourist spot is the gigantic sculpture of a man who has been created entirely using alphabets. The installation exits, inviting all people’s attention at the end of the walkway near to the wall of Saint-Jaunme. Nomade, is a beauty in itself which cannot be missed at any cost. Many visitors experience the inviting nature of the sculpture which has a rare tempting and alluring quality, which makes people wander near it.
This permanent installation is the work of the famous Catalan contemporary artist Jaume Plensa who is focuses on Paris and Barcelona. Plensa is regarded as a pioneer of contemporary art and has degree in art from Barcelona, the place where he is originated from. He has a wide array of sculptures and pieces of art to his credit and specializes in cast iron installations employing creative inclusion of sound, language and light. Nomade was in installed in 2007, and exists in a magic harmony with the recently restored bastion (Saint-Jaume). This work of art draws thousands of visitors to the coast, and visitors come to admire and thereby get mesmerized by this enormous human figure made out of alphabets , looking on to the depth and beauty of the Mediterranean Sea.
This is a heritage spot situated in the outskirts of Antibes. This fort also known as Fort Carre` d’ Antibes was built in the 17thcentury and is in the shape of a star with four bastions(arrow-head shaped). It is believed that this fort was actually built by Romans around 1565 as tower in modification to a chapel that already existed. However, in 1565 Henry III took over the place and added 4 bastions to it and thereby called it as the squared fort or Fort Carre.
The fort in addition to the beautiful architecture and infrastructure holds a lot of historical significance as Napoleon Bonaparte was imprisoned there during the French Revolution, after overpowering Robespierre. This fort is also significant during the annexure of Nice in 1860.The Fort is quite close to the harbour, with a triangular entrance protruding from the wall leading on to a narrow bridge which directs into the insides of the fort.
The fort is located on a rock which is 26m above the sea level with a 43 m high walkway and promises a panoramic vision. It also has a beautiful and vast (4 hectare) ecological park which is filled with the flora and fauna from all around the Mediterranean. The Fort remains opened from Tuesday till Friday at 12:30 till 4:00 Pm .On the Weekends it opens at 10. The cost of the guided tour is included along with the entry free and occurs in a duration of half an hour. In the months of August and July the timing shift from11 to 6 and there are special packages and workshops scheduled for school and group visits .More information is available on the website.
The Museum Picasso is one of the widely visited places in Antibes which was formerly known as Chateau Grimaldi. It is believed to be built on the foundations and remains from the ancient town, Antipolis. In 1608, the Grimaldi family took hold of the building and monopolized it under their name till 1702. However in 1946, it was converted into a museum and Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest artist of the 20th century lived there for 6 months. The museum was later renamed to honor the great artist as the Picasso Museum and it is the first one in the history to do so.
Picasso has donated many of his works to the museum (most noted are his paintings “La Joie de Vivre” and “The Goal”). Later the museum acquired many works after the artist’s death including 6 etchings,2 ceramics,10 drawings,4 paintings along with the earlier collection of 60 etchings,6 carpets and 3 paper works. All these are put on display which draws a lot of art admirers to come there and appreciate the greatest modern artist.
The artist stayed on the second floor of the now museum and he is said to have promised the then care taker that he would beautify the walls as a thank you note. One of the most iconic painting La Joie De Vivre (1946) is said to reflect his time spent in Antibes. It showcases the Roman Greek heritage as well as the artist’s mental frame work.
The painting is featured in the second floor of the museum now, which was the artist’s studio then. Another intriguing feature of this particular painting is the kind of materials that the artist used while staying there. It is believed that, Picasso could not get art materials in the small village then and he had to employ the materials which he had procured locally. This museum is a must visit to the art lovers and tourists who are visiting Antibes.
The Marineland of Antibes is one of the biggest sea themed aqua park which was founded by Roland de La Popye in 1970. It is spread over 26 hectares and includes Marineland Resort, a three –star hotel, Aqua splash which is a water park, Kid’s Island which is a park for children , a dolphinarium and a marine zoological park. It actually is owned by a multinational company based in Spain and has its major stake holders from Britain. It is one of the most popular and visited attraction of that province and houses Orcas/ Killer whales which is the largest member of the oceanic dolphin family. Marineland is one of the two dolphinarium which houses Orcas in Europe and statics indicate that 1.2 million people visited the park in 2014.
It has a lot of aquatic shows filled with performances of both human and animal performers including polar bears, dolphins and orcas. It is quite well organized with a queue system and has a separate fees structure. The park also houses snack bars and cafeterias which are not very expensive. However it could be time consuming, and you could include it in your plan if you are visiting Antibes for a long holiday and also especially if you have children. You could avail more information on the park from their website or catalogues that are widely available in the area.