A luxury resort city in the French Riviera, Cannes is mighty! Located in the division of Alpes-Maritimes and the area of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in France and also includes the Lérins Islands. Cannes is famous for the iconic Cannes International Film Festival that takes place every year at the Palais des Festivals in May.
Filled with luxurious hotels and resorts, Cannes is a common spot to vaction for the rich and wealthy. The history of Cannes and the budget travelers say otherwise about the city. Here is a list of fascinating facts about Cannes you didn’t know –
Cannes was formerly known as Canua in the 10th century
Cannes was first a settlement for a tribe called the Ligurian Oxybii and was called Aegitna. The area was the site of a battle in 69 CE. It was fought between the military units of Othos, a settlement in Karpathos, Greece, and the Roman Emperor Vitellius. Cannes (then Canua) was struck in 891 by Saracens, who remained there until the end of the 10th century. The Saracens came down hard on Cannes and wreaked havoc in the region.
The history of Cannes is closely linked to that of the Lérins Islands.
The Lerins Islands plays a role in the Cannes history. The activity in Cannes is linked of mainly protection on the Lérins Islands. In 1035, the city was fortified by the construction of a castle. Since the coasts used to be covered in reeds, the name Cannes is thought to have been derived from ‘canna’, a reed.
Lord Brougham is the man who popularized Cannes
There is a statue of him in Cannes. Lord Brougham was an important British statesman, who became Lord Chancellor from 1830 to 1834 and played a huge part in the abolition of slavery. He spent thirty years of his life in Cannes and made it a popular resort for the British upper-classes. On top of that, he is also the inventor of the “brougham”, a four-wheeled carriage.
fancy hotels emerged in Cannes during the 19th century
Soon after Lord Brougham popularized Cannes, the city paved way for its unimaginable posh suburb. This beautiful coastal city is famed for regularly hosting some of the most renowned celebrities, as well as… well, simply rich people. The city started small, a pier was built in 1838. Then, a casino and an esplanade were founded. After that a variety of fancy hotels began to grow, like the Carlton hotel.
Cannes served as the medical base during WWII
Apart from the city’s glamorous galore, the history of it is quite profound. If you have ever visited Western Europe, you will have probably seen at least one memorial somewhere in a city or in a village. The Cannes’ Memorial is dedicated to the all the valiant soldiers who lost their lives during any of the 20th century wars. All of Cannes’ beautiful buildings were transformed into a medical place during WWI. What a sight that must have been!
The biggest heist in history happened in Cannes
It is the law of the nature. Every living being has a predator. And just like that, the Cannes jewel heist happened. As the city houses many places with money and money’s worth, the robbers are smart enough to make it a target. An armed robbery took place in the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel with stolen gems and jewelry for a whopping estimate of $136 million! It is still considered to be one of the greatest heist in history.
Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco in Cannes
One of the most famous Hollywood actresses of all time, Grace Kelly got married in Cannes. She became Princess of Monaco after she married Prince Rainier III in 1956. They met while filming Hitchcock’s “To Catch a Thief”. Kelly, provided the feather to Cannes’ crown and enhanced it even more from her prominent life choices. Making it the most glamorous and fancy cities of all time.
The Man in the Iron Mask spent prison time off the coast of Cannes
“Île Sainte-Marguerite” is the most famous historical site in Cannes to date. It is an island with a fortress prison on it. Located 15 minutes away from the city. If you have time, you can visit the place. There you will see the cell where the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask spent 11 years of his life. An exhibition dedicated to him in the “Musée de la Mer”, right next to the prison took place years ago.
Cannes is the commerce center of the French Riviera
Cannes is renowned so much as a shopping city that it is labeled as the “Sister City of Beverly Hills”. Yes. Cannes is the Beverly Hills of France. The fanciest shops of all the French Riviera are found here. The “Boulevard de la Croisette”, where you can see tons of luxury hotels and fancy restaurants. In the “Rue d’Antibes”, you will find the most interesting shops and street stores.