History and Traditions

Articles and stories of historical interest. How certain customs came to be.

Why there are Gargoyles on French gothic churches
Secret language of cypress trees in Provence
The Virgin project of Nice: the statue that never came to be
Tracing the 1,000-mile odyssey of D.H. Lawrence’s phoenix headstone
The French do love their wedding customs
The fate of D.H. Lawrence’s ashes after his burial in Vence
Madame Tussaud: Ahead of her time
Marie Antoinette’s cats and an American rescue attempt
Happy May Day! La Fête du Muguet, a day to give a flower to someone you love
History of the French beret
D.H. Lawrence’s final journey, from the sun to the stars
God Save the Royal Derriere: the origin of the British National Anthem
How berets came to play their part in the French stereotype: Onion Johnnies
Bob Walter the garage owner: Cupid’s helper in the early 1900s
How the Eiffel Tower was sold
Marianne and the changing face of the French Republic
Where is the stained glass window from the old Christ Church Cannes?
Bread delivery: “Les porteuses de pain” of days gone by
Le Pétomane, The Mad Farter: Joseph Pujol
St Nick... Santa Claus... Father Christmas
Albert Spaggiari and the Société Générale robbery
FANY: The women who drove to World War 1
The Ephrussis: Dog Weddings, Duels, and Stalin?
Operation Dragoon, the Liberation of the French Riviera in 1944
Pierre the Patriot, and how he destroyed the Bastille
Hélène Vagliano's story
The Murphys: American trendsetters on the Riviera
Tooth Fairy vs Little Tooth Mouse
American Easter Bunny vs French Easter Bell
April Fool or April Fish
Madame Liberté, from Nice to New York
Three Russian Tsarinas leave their mark on Nice: the Russian Orthodox Churches
Aaron Messiah: the small man who became the great Anglo-Niçois architect
Pétanque and a girl called Fanny that no one wants to kiss
Colonel William Edwyn Evans of Cimiez
British cannon fire over Nice
John and Anna Jaffe: The art lovers from Belfast who gave the Emperor's library to a nation
Lady Olivia Sparrow - The will of iron with a heart of gold
William Allen Sturge - The good medicine of Queen Victoria's doctor
Vanished art of the Consul
Living with the enemy on the Riviera during the war
The history of the postcard
Churchill ... and a chapel in Mougins
Joan of Arc - mystery woman
The Liberation of Fayence - August 1944
Côte d’Azur autumn 1939: a not too phoney war
What did you do in the war, Papa