Antibes has been around since the 5th century BC when the Greeks discovered that its protected port made it an ideal trade center. Unfortunately, they didn’t have cameras back then to document the changes over the millennia and archaeologists have yet to unearth any ancient postcards.
I did, however, find some postcards from the early 1900’s to compare modern Antibes with what it looked like over 100 years ago. This is before the jazz age. Before Zelda and F. Scott got here.
I’ve tried to match the old shots with photos of the same location here and now. We should all age this well.
Place Mace (now Place de Gaulle)
Place de Gaulle is in the new part of town (new meaning 100 years old, as opposed to 700), about a block from the entrance to the old town.
I looked up Ernest Mace, who this Place was formerly named after and found nothing. Maybe he was evil and has been stricken from the records. Why the hell didn’t they name it Place de Gaulle in the first place? Oh yeah, Charles De Gaulle was still in military school when the top picture was taken.
Ahhh, the ancient port. This is where the Greeks, Romans, and various barbaric tribes first staked their claims on Antibes. Today’s port is where the Arabs, Russians and now the Chinese are currently staking their claims. A berth here today costs upwards of a million Euro.
Rue de la Republique, old town
Rue de la Republique is the “main drag” from Place de la Republique through the old town to the Cours Massena and Hotel de Ville (town hall).
I want to know what was behind that wall on the right in the earlier pictures. If there’s a shoe repair shop, would somebody please give me directions? I’d gladly travel through time to get there.
Place National is in the old town center. The war monument is no longer a fountain and the trees have grown significantly. Other than that, not much has changed. Note the piece of ancient Citroen in the lower right hand corner.
Boulevard Aguillon in the old town, lines the rampart walls near the port. While it appears that nothing has changed over the last 100 years, I’m willing to bet that not one of the cafes lining the street had a karaoke bar back then.
Place du Château (now Place Marijol)
This is Place Marijol, in front of the Picasso museum. Back then it was just the Place du Chateau in front of the Chateau Grimaldi (which was built on top of the ruins of an ancient Greek acropolis). The chateau has been here since the 1300s. Picasso didn’t move in until 1946.
The port with Fort Carre in the background
Fort Carre hasn’t changed much over the years, but clearly the parking lot has grown.
View of the old town from the rampart walls
Again, the old town remains the same where the world around it has changed drastically. Fortunately, there is still no Walmart within 3,000 miles.
Rue Aubernon, Port gate
This is a street in the old town leading to the gate that leads to the port. As you can see, people dressed a little more formally back in the day.
Cours Massena/Marche Provencale
They put a roof over the market in 1900. Perhaps it now lacks the charm of the Cours Massena of the 1900’s, but it’s got a much better selection. In the summer it gets a little crowded and pushy. Kind of like Whole Foods in the US.
Rue de la Republic (in the “new” part of town)
This street spans the one block from Place de Gaulle in the “new” part of town to the old town entrance. It’s astonishing how similar it looks. But the chances of getting run over by a car here are much better today.
View of Antibes from Port Aubernon (now Port de la Salis)
While one might be a bit nostalgic for the peace and quiet of the good old days, you’ve got to admit, the view is still pretty darn nice.
View of Antibes and the Cap d’Antibes
When the top picture was taken, the population of Antibes was approximately 10,000. It’s now almost 75,000. From the looks of things here, it would appear the 65,000 newer residents are living on boats.
Post cards courtesy of notrefamille.com