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Canas (Occitan)
Cannes from Suquet Tower 03.jpg
A view of Cannes
Flag of the Commune of Cannes (White Variant).svg
FRA Cannes COA.svg
Location of Cannes
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Provence-Alpes-Cotes d'Azur region location map.svg
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Coordinates: 43°33′05″N7°00′46″E / 43.5513°N 7.0128°E / 43.5513; 7.0128
Country France
Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Department Alpes-Maritimes
Arrondissement Grasse
Canton Cannes-1 and 2
Intercommunality CA Cannes Pays de Lérins
  Mayor (20202026) David Lisnard [1] (LR)
19.62 km2 (7.58 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2020) [2]
  Density3,700/km2 (9,600/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Cannois (masculine)
Cannoise (feminine)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
06029 /06400
Elevation0–260 m (0–853 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Cannes ( /kæn,kɑːn/ KAN, KAHN, French:  [kan] i , locally  [ˈkanə] ; Occitan : Canas) is a city located on the French Riviera. It is a commune located in the Alpes-Maritimes department, and host city of the annual Cannes Film Festival, Midem, and Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The city is known for its association with the rich and famous, its luxury hotels and restaurants, and for several conferences.



By the 2nd century BC, the Ligurian Oxybii established a settlement here known as Aegitna (Ancient Greek : Αἴγιτνα). [3] Historians are unsure what the name means. The area was a fishing village used as a port of call between the Lérins Islands.

Cannes seen from Spot Satellite Cannes SPOT 1160.jpg
Cannes seen from Spot Satellite

In 154 BC, it became the scene of violent but quick conflict between the troops of Quintus Opimius and the Oxybii. [4]

In the 10th century, the town was known as Canua. [5] The name may derive from "canna", a reed. Canua was probably the site of a small Ligurian port, and later a Roman outpost on Le Suquet hill, suggested by Roman tombs discovered here. Le Suquet housed an 11th-century tower, which overlooked the swamps where the city now stands. Most of the ancient activity, especially protection, was on the Lérins Islands, and the history of Cannes is closely tied to the history of the islands.

An attack by the Saracens in 891, who remained until the end of the 10th century, devastated the country around Canua. The insecurity of the Lérins islands forced the monks to settle on the mainland, at the Suquet. Construction of a castle in 1035 fortified the city then known as Cannes, and at the end of the 11th century construction was started on two towers on the Lérins islands. One took a century to build.

Around 1530, Cannes detached from the monks who had controlled the city for hundreds of years and became independent.

During the 18th century, both the Spanish and British tried to gain control of the Lérins Islands but were chased away by the French. The islands were later controlled by many, such as Jean-Honoré Alziary and the Bishop of Fréjus. They had many different purposes: in the middle of the 19th century, one served as a hospital for soldiers wounded in the Crimean War.

Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux bought land at the Croix des Gardes "about the year 1838, when it was little more than a fishing village on a picturesque coast" and constructed the villa Eleonore-Louise; Brougham's work to improve living conditions attracted the English aristocracy, who also built winter residences. [6]

The 19th century saw the modernization of Cannes, spearheaded by Marie de Lametz and her son Prince Charles III to follow the successes of nearby Nice and the successful gambling industry in Bad Homburg. After several failures in 1850s, the late 1860s saw an expansion of casino, villas, hotels, roads and railway (the distance from Paris to Cannes reduced to 23 hours). [7]

At the end of the 19th century, several more railways were completed, which prompted the arrival of streetcars. In Cannes, projects such as the Boulevard Carnot and the rue d'Antibes were carried out. After the closure of the Casino des Fleurs (hôtel Gallia), a luxury establishment was built for the rich winter clientele, the Casino Municipal next to the pier Albert-Edouard. This casino was demolished and replaced by the new Palace in 1979.

In the 20th century, new luxury hotels such as the Carlton, Majestic, Martinez, and JW Marriott Cannes were built. The city was modernised with a sports centre, a post office, and schools. There were fewer British and German tourists after the First World War, but more Americans. Winter tourism gave way to summer tourism, and the summer casino at Palm Beach was constructed.

In 1931, Karan Singh the crown prince of Jammu and Kashmir was born at the Martinez Hotel.

The city council had the idea of starting an international film festival shortly after World War II.

On 3 November 2011, it hosted the 2011 G20 summit.

In 2021, Cannes was designated as the City of Film by the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.


Cannes has a subtropical Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa) and the city enjoys 11 hours of sunshine per day during summer (July), while in winter (December to February) the weather is mild. Both seasons see a relatively low rainfall and most rain occurs during October and November when over 100 mm (3.9 in) falls.

Cannes summers are long and warm, with summer daytime temperatures regularly hitting 30 °C (86 °F), while average temperatures are about 25 °C (77 °F). Temperatures remain high from June to September, the busiest time of the year.

Mean temperatures drop below 10 °C (50 °F) for only three months of the year (December to February). The spring and autumn are also warm, although more suited to those who prefer slightly cooler weather.

The record high temperature was 39.2 °C (102.6 °F) on July 19, 2023, while the record low temperature was −12.0 °C (10.4 °F) on January 9, 1985. [8]

Climate data for Cannes (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1949–present)
Record high °C (°F)22.9
Average high °C (°F)13.6
Daily mean °C (°F)8.6
Average low °C (°F)3.7
Record low °C (°F)−12.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)82.5
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)72707070737472727475747272.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 148.1164.0216.7227.3274.6312.5346.5320.1254.2192.7149.6136.52,742.7
Source 1: Meteociel [8]
Source 2: (humidity 1961–1990) [9] [10]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 2,626    
1800 2,896+1.41%
1806 2,804−0.54%
1821 3,982+2.37%
1831 3,994+0.03%
1836 3,997+0.02%
1841 3,381−3.29%
1846 4,720+6.90%
1851 5,557+3.32%
1856 5,860+1.07%
1861 7,557+5.22%
1866 9,618+4.94%
1872 10,144+0.89%
1876 14,022+8.43%
1881 19,385+6.69%
1886 19,959+0.59%
1891 19,983+0.02%
1896 22,959+2.82%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 30,420+5.79%
1906 29,365−0.70%
1911 29,656+0.20%
1921 30,907+0.41%
1926 42,427+6.54%
1931 47,259+2.18%
1936 49,032+0.74%
1946 45,548−0.73%
1954 50,192+1.22%
1962 58,079+1.84%
1968 67,152+2.45%
1975 70,527+0.70%
1982 72,259+0.35%
1990 68,676−0.63%
1999 67,304−0.22%
2007 70,829+0.64%
2012 73,603+0.77%
2017 73,868+0.07%
Source: EHESS [11] and INSEE (1968-2017) [12]


The Promenade de la Croisette is the waterfront avenue with palm trees. La Croisette is known for picturesque beaches, restaurants, cafés, boutiques, and luxury hotels. Le Suquet, the old town, provides a good view of La Croisette. The fortified tower and the Chapelle Sainte-Anne house the Musée des Explorations du monde. A distinctive building in Cannes is the Russian Orthodox church.



Cannes of the 19th century can still be seen in its grand villas, built to reflect the wealth and standing of their owners and inspired by anything from medieval castles to Roman villas. They are not open to the public. Lord Brougham's Italianate Villa Eléonore Louise (one of the first in Cannes) was built between 1835 and 1839. Also known as the Quartier des Anglais, this is the oldest residential area in Cannes. Another landmark is the Villa Fiésole (known today as the Villa Domergue) designed by Jean-Gabriel Domergue in the style of Fiesole, near Florence, which may be visited on appointment.

Île Sainte-Marguerite

St. Marguerite Island Ile St Marguerite.jpg
St. Marguerite Island

It took the Man in the Iron Mask 11 years to leave the tiny, forested St Marguerite Island. The mysterious individual was believed to be of noble blood, but his identity has never been proven. His cell can be visited in the Fort of St Marguerite, now renamed the Musée de la Mer (Museum of the Sea). This museum also houses discoveries from shipwrecks off the island, including Roman (1st century BC) and Saracen (10th century AD) ceramics.

Île Saint-Honorat

St. Honorat Island South coast of Saint-Honorat island near the chapelle Saint-Pierre.jpg
St. Honorat Island

Cistercian monks are the only inhabitants of the smaller, southern St Honorat Island. Monks have inhabited the island since AD 410 and, at the height of their powers, owned Cannes, Mougins, and Vallauris. Medieval vestiges remain in the stark church, which is open to the public, and in the ruins of the 11th-century monastery on the seashore. The monks inhabit the Lérins Abbey and divide their time between prayer and producing red and white wines.


The Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Provence houses artifacts from prehistoric to present, in an 18th-century mansion. The Musée de la Castre has objects from the Pacific Atolls, Peruvian relics, and Mayan pottery. Other venues include the Musée de la Marine, Musée de la Mer, Musée de la Photographie and Musée International de la Parfumerie.

Theatre and music

Cannes is not known for traditional theatre. However, small venues stage productions and host short sketches during the annual International Actors' Performance Festival. Local theaters include the Espace Miramar and the Alexandre III.[ citation needed ]

Festivals and show events

Festival d'art pyrotechnique de Cannes 2021 20210721 220433 Festival pyrotechnique de Cannes 2021.jpg
Festival d'art pyrotechnique de Cannes 2021


The Cannes Mandelieu aero centre Aero cannes.jpg
The Cannes Mandelieu aero centre

The area around Cannes has developed into a high-tech cluster. The technopolis of Sophia Antipolis lies in the hills beyond Cannes. The Film Festival is a major event for the industry which takes place every year in May. In addition, Cannes hosts other major annual events such as the MIPIM, MIPTV, MIDEM, Cannes Lions, and the NRJ Music Awards. [14] There is an annual television festival in the last week in September.

The economic environment is based on tourism, business fairs, trade, and aviation. Cannes has 6,500 companies, of which 3,000 are traders, artisans, and service providers. In 2006, 421 new companies were registered.

Cannes hosts the Cannes Mandelieu Space Center, headquarters of Thales Alenia Space, the first European satellite manufacturer.


Cannes is home to the football side AS Cannes, which currently plays in the French third division. The club is notable for having launched the professional career of Zinedine Zidane.

The city hosts the Jumping International de Cannes international horse jumping event every June.

Cannes women's volleyball team RC Cannes has been very successful (won twenty French Championships and two CEV Champions League).


Nice Côte d'Azur Airport

Located 24 km (15 mi) from Cannes, Nice Côte d'Azur Airport has close to 10 million passengers a year. Marseille Provence Airport is also 150 km (93 mi) away. The smaller Cannes – Mandelieu Airport is nearby. CannesExpress operates a regular door-to-door airport shuttle service between Nice Airport and hotels/accommodations in Cannes. The price per seat is 20 Euros.


Cannes station is the main railway station for the city of Cannes. It is situated on the Marseille–Ventimiglia railway.

There are several rail services including: TGVs from Paris Gare de Lyon to Nice, a TER from Marseille St Charles to Nice, a TER service from Cannes to Les Arcs,and a TER service from Grasse/Cannes to Ventimiglia (Italy). The formers occasional Thello (Italian train) from Marseille St Charles to Milan no longer operates since December 2021. [15]

Cannes-la-Bocca station is both a passenger station and a goods/maintenance depot. It is situated alongside the beach and has a connection to local ferries. There are three more stations on the line to Grasse: Le Bosquet, La Frayère, and Ranguin.


Coach services arrive at the Gare Routière de Cannes, in the centre of the city, near the Town Hall. Companies from abroad include Eurolines and Agence Phocéens. Regional services are by Rapides Côte d'Azur and CTM, with services from Nice and Grasse/Mandelieu respectively. Local bus services are provided by Bus Azur.


Ferries are available in the Nice harbour from Bastia and Calvi in Corsica, with services provided by SNCM Ferryterranée and Corsica Ferries. From Bastia, the journey is 4 hours, and 45 minutes on conventional ferries, and 3 hours, and 40 minutes on express ferries, while from Calvi, conventional vessels take 3 hours, and 45 minutes, and express vessels take 2 hours and 45 minutes. An average of four ferries a day sail on these routes, with more during summer.


Cannes has 2 marinas – Vieux Port de Cannes (with 800 berths up to 145 m in length) [16] beside the Palais des Festivals and Port Pierre Canto at the far end of the Croisette. Vieux Port is the main port and is used for cruise stopovers and yacht charters.

Panorama of Cannes Hoarbour.jpg
Panorama of Cannes waterfront, from which many ferries can be caught

International relations

Cannes is twinned with:

Cannes has friendship pacts with:

Notable people

Catherine Guillouard, 2017 Catherine Guillouard, PDG de la RATP.jpg
Catherine Guillouard, 2017
Gerard Philipe, 1955 S.Kragujevic, Gerard Philipe 1955.JPG
Gérard Philipe, 1955
Sarah Bouhaddi, 2014 2014-08-22 Culture Club (OL TV) (8).JPG
Sarah Bouhaddi, 2014
Jean-Baptiste Dumas Gravure Jean-Baptiste Dumas chimiste.jpg
Jean-Baptiste Dumas
Alexis de Tocqueville, 1850 Alexis de Tocqueville (Theodore Chasseriau - Versailles).jpg
Alexis de Tocqueville, 1850

Public service

The Arts


Died in Cannes

See also

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Further reading

Published in the 19th century
Published in the 20th century