At the end of the prehistory, the place where the future village
of Saint Paul will be situated, is a green hill dominating the
sea by its 197 yards from top. Some pebbles on the North and
South slopes of this hill testify a past when the sea was present.
Undoubtedly attracted by the luxuriance of valleys, Ligures
will be the first small tribes to become established. It is
only at about the Xth century when these people, by fear of
Maures, will join height on "Puy" where is the actual
chapel Saint Michel. A chapel (perhaps that of Saint Michel)
and devoted to Saint Paul will be built there. Between XIIth
century and as XIVth check, the population will regroup around
the castle established near the chapel Saint Paul at the beginning
of the XIIth century by an upper-class family so giving birth
to "Castrum" and taking the name of Saint Paul.
located at the top of rocky foothills, the village of Saint
Paul, by this natural position of observation have become a
1536, François Ist made demolish the old ramparts dating
from the previous century, to build bigger designed to protect
the river (Var) against another attack of Charles V and to counterbalance
Nice stronghold belonging to Duke of Savoy. The fortification
is the work of the military engineer François Mandon
of Saint-Remy, and was carried out according to the modern military
technics at the time. The walls were classified as a historical
monument in 1945.
Nowadays, the walls are well preserved, all around the entire
village. Two holes were made in the walls to allow the passage
of vehicles: one at the end of the nineteenth century in the
North and another one in the twentieth century in the bastion
views of the ramparts :1
3 | 4
| 6 |7
the "Vence gate", is the Lacan cannon. This is a trophy
of the battle of Ceresole of Alba in Piedmont in 1544. After
the death of the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, Charles V,
in the absence of an heir to the latter, took advantage to concede
the investiture of duke to his son Philippe (the future Philip
II). It was then the end of the truce stipulated by François
1er. The resumption of hostilities saw the victory of French
troops. The cannon has taken the name of the captain from Sain
Paul and who served François the first.
for fun :
towards the end of the sixteenth century Vençois in rivalry
with St. Paul decided one night to come to steal the cannon
(unsealed at the time). The Saint Paulois had heard about the
project and instructed the barrel with cherries. The infernal
noise, and the red blintches covering the "Vençois"
made them run away very quickly. This story was told a lond
time, to the dismay of "Vençois".
of Royal entry and Lacan cannon in :1910
machicolation Gallery is a overlooking stone built, ie in advance,
at the top of the walls of a fortress or tower. This allows
observation of the enemy or the jet of various projectiles upright
on the attackers.
tower, dating from the fourteenth century, overviews the door
and it had royal mission to defend the entrance leading drawbridge.
The top floor, open presents an edge to the tune of man, holes
es breakthrough to send arrows.
going up the street "rue Grande" (after the Royal
entry), you arrive at the Place of the great Fountain, built
in 1615 by Martin Melchior, a stonemason in the village and
classified since 1850 . It inspired many painters and photographers.
The fountain is Provencal style. Above the basin of the fountain,
iron bars were used as support for the pitchers. Today, these
bars are bent. The Place of the fountain hosted hawkers stalls.
the Placette, there is an oldest fountain where water flows
well is probably very old, as being located between the very
closed houses of the village at the foot of the stairs leading
to the church. Until the late 1990s, this stoned well preserved
its original form. It was topped by a wrought-iron work with
two bars, finely worked and ending with a bunch of leaves, they
also wrought iron. The pulley was still fully attached. It is
difficult to determine when this work metal has been achieved
but this kind of work was common in the late seventeenth century
to the nineteenth in Provence.
Unfortunately, this well was
transformed some years ago. It was cut by its magnificent wrought
iron console, the old stones were covered with an infamous plaster
and the opening closed with a full metal platel. The outstanding
charm of this well has given way to a "pie" to use
the term of old Saint Paulois outraged by the massacre and who
still turn back in their graves.
So I wanted to show, just for
a photo, the old well at its current landscape and let you "see"
church was built in the thirteenth century. It was placed close
to the castle courtyard, which was located at the foot and to
the north of Donjon. Its choir is novel, and its single nave
is square reinforced by collateral Gothic added in the fifteenth
century. The church has undergone numerous changes over the
centuries: the vaults have been recreated in the seventeenth
century. Bishop of Vence, Antoine Godeau took an ordonnace in
1666, and endorsed by Louis XIV, for establishing it as Collegiate,
which increases almost at the level of a cathedral.
few years later, at the instigation of Alexander Bernardi and
his brother, canon of the Church of Saint John Lateran, gentleman
of the House secret of Pope Innocent XI, is built in the shape
of the transept (it is a Nave cross that cut at right angles
the main nave of a church, and give the symbolic form of a cross)
on the ruins of the castle, the Chapel of St. Clement. In a
shrine of the altar, lie the bones collected from the Roman
catacombs of a martyr, St Clement.
door of the church has been rebuilt in 1764 and a new marble
altar was set up in 1787.
steeple bell rhythmed life in the village. It was melted in
1672. The bell tower had collapsed in 1739, it was rebuilt and
an inscription can be read at its base: "This once built
tower was rebuilt left to right and brought the highest in 1740."
white Penitents chapel, or Holy Cross Chapel, was built in the
seventeenth century. It has become the venue of their meetings,
their rallies for the departure processions. It also served
as for the various elections such as consuls and municipal officers.
The role of penitents whites was primarily religious and also
to help the poor by giving them soups.
has a three-sided tower that is found in several chapels of
penitents made at the time, like the chapel
of Pénitents at Utelle also built in the seventeenth
century (but also those of Sospel, Valdeblore, Sanary, Tourettes
- Levens ...). All these towns are in South of France.
2006, the municipality of Saint Paul, receiving half of grants
from the General Council, the district and community agglomeration
of Sophia Antopolis decided, after renovation of the chapel,
to build it according to Folon's draft. The famous artist, who
really wanted this project to be led, disappeared in October
2005, without seeing the realization. Known around the world
for his watercolors and sculptures, the Belgian artist was living
in Monaco, where he had his workshop. His was a familiar of
the village of Saint Paul for several years. The decoration
project designed by Folon based on the theme of gift choices
related to the charitable purpose of the Brotherhood Penitents
chapel is now open to the public: contact the Tourism Office
of Saint Paul for hours and rates of the visit
dungeon is what remains of the ancient castle dating from the
early twelfth century. At the time it was the home of the Lord,
but also a watchtower and then its function was to represent
the feudal authority. Today it houses the city hall, the mayor's
office, vaulted room with stone walls.
the top floor of the dungeon, the Clock Tower, is a very old
clock that worked even a few decades ago. At the top of the
dungeon is the campanile, iron work dating from 1685 that houses
a bell melted in 1443 and revised in 1637, on which is engraved:
"Hora est jam de somno surgere" which means: "It
is time to wake up". Saint Paul - Letter to the Romans,
chapter XIII, v.11. The phrase was repeated by Prudence (Aurelius
Clemens Prudentius), lyric poet of the fourth century which
put his poetry in the service of the Christian religion, in
one of his works Cathemerinon, anthem singing of the Rooster.
At that time it was customary on sundials and bells (sacred
objects), which rythmed village life to burn the currency most
appropriate for the venue. In Saint Paul, the bell sounded the
alarm sounds (singing of the Rooster) and resounded at the end
of the day (when the hens and men go to bed) and rythmed the
harsh life of the peasants of the time that they should not
be free to dream. It was also a good idea to have chosen a word
of St. Paul the Apostle who gave his name to the village. Note
however that Saint Paul in his letter, uses this phrase as a
metaphor, and that the currency is on the bell in its original
At the end of the seventeenth century, Saint Paul has several
rural chapels.. The Saint Michel chapel (view 2) is the oldest of the
chapels as it is prior to the twelfth century. It lies in the
current cemetery, south of the village within the old city walls
but outside the city walls built by François I. That's
where assemblies were held in the community in the Middle Ages.
Sainte-Claire chapel, patron of the village,
is located at the entrance of the village and dates of the sixteenth
century. That of Notre-Dame
de la Gardette takes its name from the place which served
as a refuge for people in the Middle Ages. That of Saint
Charles / Saint Claude is the latest (1695).It is located
on the old road to Tourettes between the Sainte Claire chapel
and Notre-Dame de la Gardette. The Saint
Roch chapel is on the road to La Colle, in the forest
of the city's Fontmurade. These are the white penitents who
created the celebrations of the chapel of Saint Roch, saint
patron of leprosy every year on August 16. The Saint Etienne
is now on the territory of La Colle-sur-Loup. The Saint John
in the neighborhood of Malvan has disappeared. The Chapel of
St. Peter's, on an old road to Vence, is in ruins today. The
chapel of Consolation is destroyed.