Cagnes-sur-Mer extends along a bay with almost four miles of beach. The city is surrounded by hills, including the one which hosts the castle and is 90 meters above sea level. Two rivers run through it: the Cagne and the Malvan.
Medieval village in the 11th century it became an important frontier post in the 14th due to its proximity to the Var river which formed the border between Provence and the County of Savoy. The village suffers from numerous border conflicts in the 16th century, and then enjoyed a period of calm in the 17th during the reign of Louis XIII. It underwent further invasions in the 18th century under the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV.
Haut de Cagnes: In the early 14th century, Raynier Grimaldi, co-lord of Monaco, became lord of Cagnes-sur-Mer. He built the castle which remains the property of the branch of Grimaldi from Antibes, until the French Revolution. In the 17th century, Jean-Henri Grimaldi decides Honoré II of Monaco to switch from Spanish protectorate to French protection. Swamped with wealth by Louis XIII and Richelieu, he transformed the medieval castle in a comfortable home in which he led a luxurious lifestyle.
The Cros de Cagnes: At the end of the 18th century, fishermen of Menton discovered that the waters of Cagnes are very rich in fish. They decide to settle down on this swampy coast and are quickly joined by inhabitants of Cagnes who abandon their farming activities. The village continues to prosper through fishing reaching its peak in the early 20th century.
Besides the visit of Haut de Cagnes, the city shelters the Renoir domain where the painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir lived from 1903 up to his death in 1919. This domain, today transformed into museum, proposes the visit of the workshop of the painter, the paintings of the pearly period (from 1889 to 1919) and sculptures.
Cagnes-sur-Mer hosts since the mid-20th century the Hippodrome of the French Riviera for horse racing. Infrastructure has continued to grow and improve, making it now one of the largest racetrack in France.
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