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Easy French Practice

Secrets of “Le Vieux Nice”

Geneviève By Geneviève on April 10, 2018
Nice france secret

Nice is one of the most beautiful town of the French Riviera. But do you know why the streets of “le Vieux Nice” – the older Nice neighborhood – remain so cool, even in warmth of summertime? In this French English bilingual article, practice your French and discover the secrets of Nice.

J’habite Nice depuis mon enfance, je pensais en conna√ģtre pour une grande partie son histoire, sa culture , son architecture. En fait, il n’en est rien, car √† l’occasion de chaque visite guid√©e que je fais, je d√©couvre un nouvel aspect que j’ignorais totalement.

I have lived in Nice since my childhood and believed I knew almost  all there was to know about the city’s history, culture and architecture. In fact, however, this was far from the truth because with each guided tour I have taken, I have discovered an entirely new aspect of the city.

The Cooling System of Nice – French Riviera

Ma derni√®re d√©couverte en date est celle que j’ai faite avec mon amie Chantal, qui au cours d’une de nos promenades dans la vieille ville, m’a expliqu√©¬† un ph√©nom√®ne assez unique : La climatisation naturelle du Vieux Nice¬† !!!!

My latest discovery is one I made with my friend Chantal who, in the course of one of our walks in the old part of Nice, explained quite a unique phenomenon  Рthe natural cooling system of Old Nice!

Bon,¬† j’avais toujours remarqu√© que lors des p√©riodes tr√®s chaudes de l’√©t√©, les ruelles du Vieux Nice √©taient toujours un bon refuge, J’attribuais cette fra√ģcheur √† l’√©troitesse des ruelles, √† la proximit√© de la mer. Mon raisonnement n’√©tait pas compl√®tement faux mais un peu court quand m√™me.

Of course, I had always noticed that when it was very hot during the summer, the narrow lanes of Old Nice offered a good escape. I attributed the fact that these streets were cooler to the narrowness of the streets and the proximity to the sea. My reasoning wasn’t completely wrong, but nevertheless incomplete.

Car en fait, c’est un processus beaucoup plus √©labor√© que cela.

 In fact, the process is much more complicated than that.

old nice secret

Les volets aux fenêtres du Vieux Nice

Based on a Natural Principal

Les constructeurs ni√ßois de l’√©poque ont exploit√© un principe naturel qui dit que lorsque deux lieux proches ont des temp√©ratures diff√©rentes, un d√©placement d’air se cr√©e.

When Nice was constructed, the builders took advantage of a natural principal according to which air is displaced when two places close to each other have different temperatures.

old nice secret

Les cours intérieures

En √©t√©, les toits du Vieux Nice sont chauff√©s par le soleil, quelques m√®tres plus bas, les ruelles √©troites sont plus fra√ģches. Ces quelques degr√©s de diff√©rence suffisent √† cr√©er un mouvement d’air. Il restait aux constructeurs ni√ßois √† mettre en place quelques particularit√©s architecturales qui permettraient d’accentuer ce ph√©nom√®ne naturel.

In summer the roofs of the buildings in Old Nice are warmed by the sun while a few meters below, the narrow lanes are noticeably cooler. These few degrees of different in temperature suffice to create a draft. All the builders had to do was add certain architectural features in order to enhance this natural phenomenon.

secrets of old nice french riviera

Les claroirs sont ces grilles situ√©es au dessus de la porte d’entr√©e de l’immeuble donnant sur la rue.

Ainsi, lorsque vous vous prom√®nerez dans les ruelles du Vieux Nice, attardez votre regard sur les clairoirs , les volets typiquement ni√ßois¬† et les cours int√©rieures. Les clairoirs sont ces grilles situ√©es au dessus de la porte d’entr√©e de l’immeuble donnant sur la rue. Ils jouent un r√īle tr√®s important. C’est un merveilleux dispositif o√Ļ l’air aspir√©¬† peut s’engouffrer dans les habitations et remonter le long de la cour int√©rieure pour enfin √™tre expuls√©.

So when you stroll through the narrow streets of Old Nice, pay attention to the clairoirs, the shutters so typical of Nice, and the inner courtyards. The clairoirs are the barred openings above the entrances to buildings facing the street. They serve a very important function in that they allow air to flow into people’s homes and then pass through the interior courtyard where it is finally expelled into the street.

” Nos anc√™tres avaient tout compris avant nous “

Our predecessors in Nice understood this long ago.

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