Square Pauline, Juan-les-Pins
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    Situated west of the town of Antibes on the western slope of the ridge, halfway to the old fishery village of Golfe-Juan (where Napoleon landed in 1815), it had been an area with lots of stone pine trees (pins in French), where the inhabitants of Antibes used to go for a promenade, for a picnic in the shadow of the stone pine trees or to collect tree branches and cones for their stoves.

    The village was given the name Juan-les-Pins on 12 March 1882. The spelling Juan, used instead of the customary French spelling, Jean, derives from the local Occitan dialect. Other names discussed for the town include Héliopolis, Antibes-les-Pins and Albany-les-Pins (after the Duke of Albany, the son of Queen Victoria).

    The following year, 1883, it was decided to build a railway station in Juan-les-Pins on the Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée (PLM) line that had been there since 1863.

    Juan-les-Pins got its start as a holiday resort when a successful Nice restaurateur, Edouard Baudoin, decided he wanted to create a party town like he had seen in a movie about Miami. At the time, what is now Juan-les-Pins was virtually nothing but trees and sand. Baudoin purchased the area’s extremely run-down casino, and began extensive renovations. It finally re-opened in all of its glory with a cabaret by the Dolly Sisters.

    The infamous Frank Jay Gould, from a notorious American crime family, also became interested in Juan-les-Pins at around the same time. On his urging the area was improved with roads, utilities, and sewage systems. By the 1930s, the area was inviting enough that hotelier Boma Estene began a project that resulted in the luxurious Belles Rives hotel.

    The area quickly grew in popularity, due in large part to the casino, which drew crowds to both Cap d’Antibes and Cannes, including big-name celebrities such as Coco Chanel, Frank Jay Gould, Scott Fitzgerald, Douglas Fairbanks, and Rudolf Valentino. Though Juan-les-Pins never became as prestigious as some of its neighbours, it was, and still is, a very popular shopping and party resort location. Its standing became even more secure when the first annual Jazz Festival was staged in 1960, bringing in top-name performers such as Louie Armstrong, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Al Jarreau, and many hers. That festival still draws huge crowds every July.

    Antibes has a history dating back several millennia, and the exceptional site where the old city was founded was most probably already inhabited over 3000 years ago. Since then, Ligurians, Ionians, Phoenicians, Etruscans and others Oxybians frequented the place before the Greeks of Phocaea settled there in the 5th century BC to found a trading post.

    Heaped with privileges by the Romans for having supported Caesar against Pompeius, the rich Antipolis was renamed Antiboul with the arrival of Christianity and in 442 Saint Hermentaire, the town’s first bishop. The dark years of the Middle Ages, which saw Barbarian hordes flood into Europe, failed to undermine the fierce determination of the people of Antibes, who clung unremittingly to their rock.

    A pontifical and royal city, Antibes became a stronghold through its close proximity to Italy. Louis XIV entrusted its development to military architect Vauban, who made its rampart walls unassailable. No military campaign ever succeeded against the city, neither that of 1707 nor the siege of 1746 when Antibes put up heroic resistance against the fire fuelled by 2600 bombs and 200 Austrian firepots. The various national revolutions did not have too great an influence on the city, which then had only 5000 inhabitants.

    When Napoleon landed in Golfe-Juan upon his return from the island of Elba, Antibes regained its title of "Bonne Ville" (good town) as a reward for its faithfulness to Louis XVIII: this title had previously been annulled by the emperor. She gained its new coat of arms too.
    New times came, heralding the start of a fabulous expansion.

    The unification of the county of Nice with France and the creation of the Alpes-Maritimes region, the demolition of a part of its rampart walls which had until then prevented the city from evolving, the advent of the brand new seaside resort in Juan-les-Pins, the great technological changes such as the train and the car as well as the extravagant tourist boom of the Côte d’Azur, all of these were to propel the antique Antipolis into the dawn of the third millennium, where we find it today.

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