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From Titanic to Cimiez, Nice With A Vision


From Titanic to Nice must be a long way or, for some, maybe an impossible link. Still, there are immortal moments that turn into real stories. Just like the one of Samuel Goldenberg.

Aristocratic Dreams

Samuel and his wife Nella were among the 711 survivals of the Titanic shipwreck, back in 1912. After this tragedy, the American couple decided to come and enjoy the sunny life on the French Riviera. Samuel accuses intense visual deficiency that turned into blindness, after the accident. Thanks to the doctors from the Pasteur hospital in Nice, Samuel Goldenberg recovered his sight. This came like a second miracle and rebirth in his life which revived in him the desire to help others. His dream was to create a center, The City of The Blinds, in Nice.

Nella, Samuel's wife, wrote on her journal avout the Titanic shipwreck:

"SS Titanic Sailed with S.L.G on the Titanic. Captain Smith, Commander. The ocean liner struck an iceberg at 11:45 p.m. on April 14. We left in a canoe, and were saved 8 hours later by the SS Carpathia. Captain Arthur Rostron, commanding officer. The Titanic sank 40 minutes after the collision.More than two thirds of the passengers, and almost the entire crew are missing " 

Still, his personal life was going through some troubles and his wife, Nella, leaves him and returns to New York. Samuel remains in Nice where he meets Countess Edwiga Garbowska to whom he gets married in 1929. The Countess was a former nurse at the military hospital in Monte Carlo, during the First World War.

Villa Yada in Cimiez, the lovers' nest

They lived together in the aristocratic neighborhood in Nice, Cimiez, at the Villa Yada. Together, they decided to create a center for the blind people, as he had always desired since his recovery.

So, in 1923, at Saint-Francois square, a center for the blinds was created but it was not until the project was to be fulfilled and developed at Valrose. 16 villas were built to host the families of blind people who only spoke one language, the Braille. But everyone was free to enjoy the activities like playing an instrument or creating a community bond within the center.

The City of the Blind hasn't last till our days, only a few families, living there, kept their homes on the land of Valrose. Today, we have the story of a man with a vision.