To explore this amazing town you will need a map, take one from the Tourist Information Center at the station. We start our tour from the harbor. Port Vauban was built in the ancient harbor that has been formed by the natural crescent the rocks make. Vauban was a master architect and builder of fortifications in late medieval times. He designed and built castles and fortresses all over Europe. Fort Carré, one of his first fortresses, was formed in a star shape, with cannons being able to strike at all directions.
Today, Fort Carré is the main sight of Antibes and the port Vauban and the center of Mediterranean yachting. The outer harbor of Port Vauban is home to the beautiful yachts. Locals say that a yacht can be hired at $20-30,000 for the day for the launch party of some film. But you can enjoy the seascape from one of the high walls that surrounds the marina, or just a bench in the green park of the harbor.
Through the gates in the wall that parts the port Vauban from the houses of the Vielle Ville, the inner center of Antibes, you enter mysterious labyrinth of streets and alleys. Directly along the walls is a long stretched square with many restaurants, cafes, and ice cream shops. Going through the maze of alleys, one eventually reaches either the Place de la Republic or the Place du Safranier. In the middle of the square, one finds the traditional French war monument for all those who fell for the country. On a neighbor street, Rue de Bas-Castellet at number 8, the Greek writer Nikos Kazantzaki wrote his famous book "Zorba, the Greek". The cobbled alleyways climb up and down the moderately hilly terrain. Here, make a left towards the high fortifications of old Antibes.
March 27, 2005
From journal Antibes, a Historic Town on the French Riviera