The museum of the Polish novelist and playwriter Witold Gombrowicz enables the locals and tourists of Vence to learn about the Polish author and his most famous works.
Thanks to the museum, the beautiful Villa Alexandrine has become a tourist attraction and is thus part of France’s cultural map.
Work on the museum was put in place in Warsaw by Minister of Culture and National Heritage Jarosław Sellin together with Loic Dombreval, Mayor of Vence.
The assignment was performed by the Society of Friends of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, the National Institute for Museums and Public Collections and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
Witold Gombrowicz has been translated into many languages and is internationally valued
Witold Gombrowicz has been described as the author of the ultimate author and his work connects him with the philosophers Roland Barthes and Jean-Paul Sartre.
His writing is both fantastic and absurd with strong ties to existentialism, structuralism and satire. He has been praised, among others, by Milan Kundera and by one of the great novelists of the 20th century, John Updike. He was an anti-nationalist with deep psychological insight and attacks our ideas of culture, form, true authenticity and literature in itself.
In 2004, his native Poland celebrated his life and work by declaring it the year of Gombrowicz, yet he is still largely unknown in the West.
Witold Gombrowicz spent the last years of his life in Vence and died in 1969, at the age of 65.
His works are still translated into over 30 languages and the best works include: Diaries, Ferdydurke, Pornography, Cosmos and Yvona, Princess of Burgundia. Many of his works were not fully appreciated until after his death. A familiar lot for many artists!
By Tommy Sverre / 2021
- Churches & chapels
Hike Vence – Baou des Blancs
The hike from the center of Vence to the top of Baou des Blancs is a stunningly beautiful and varied trip all year round. When the summit is reached, the reward is a fabulous view.
Hike to Saint-Paul de Vence
This hike to Saint-Paul de Vence from the center of Vence is neither too long nor too strenuous, but rather beautiful and cozy.
Saint Elisabeth chapel
Saint Elisabeth chapel in Vence impresses with its rediscovered fresco paintings by Giovanni Canavesio, and its history dates back to the 14th century.
Ranch El Bronco
Horseback riding and hiking from the top of the Col de Vence – for both beginners and experienced.
The markets in Vence
A visit to the markets in Vence is a must if you really want to feel the character and authenticity of the city.
The Museum of Vence
The Musée de Vence / Fondation Émile Hugues is situated in the heart of the historic city center and is among the very popular sights on the Côte d’Azur.
Here in the middle of the old medieval town of Vence you will find France’s smallest cathedral. Usually one expects cathedrals to be large and impressive…
The Peyra fountain
It stands in the city’s most idyllic square and has been watered from the Foux spring since its birth in 1822.
Viewpoint – F. Moutet
From near and far you can see the Baou Mountains rising majestically on the horizon. Depending on from where one looks at the mountains, they assume different…
The Wash-house at Avenue des Poilus
The wash-houses have their own history, which dates from the 19th century and testifies to the challenges of the …
Chapel Pénitents Blancs
This chapel is the largest and most interesting chapel in Vence. Centrally located, just a few hundred meters from Place Grand Jardin, on the ancient Roman road to Castallane…
Rosary Chapel by Matisse
The Rosary Chapel by Matisse is together with the cathedral in the old town Vence’s biggest attraction and one of Henri Matisse’s greatest masterpieces.
- Churches & chapels
- Food & Wine
La Petite Cave – a wine cottage in a unique 14th-century cave
If you like wine in exceptional surroundings, La Petite Cave in St. Paul’s cave is a must visit. The cave dates back to the 14th century.
The Collegial Church
The 17th century marked the golden age of the church in Saint-Paul de Vence. Here, in 1666 the church was raised to the rank of Collegial Church by the bishop Antoine Godeau of Vence
The Cemetery of Saint-Paul de Vence
The cemetery of Saint-Paul de Vence is one of the most visited cemeteries on the Côte d’Azur – here rests several celebrities – including Chagall, Escoffier & Maeght.
Célestin Freinet school
The famous schoolteacher and educator Célestin Freinet (1896-1966) taught in Saint-Paul de Vence between 1928 and 1933.
The Folon chapel – The White Penitents
Experience the admirable Folon Chapel, a design work of Jean-Michel Folon and learn more about an artist who had strong ties to Saint-Paul de Vence for over thirty years.
Le Fromager in Saint-Paul de Vence offers a nice little stop where you can enjoy different kinds of sandwiches, dried fruits and drinks…
Walk along the western rampart
“Henri Layet discovery walk” – this is a wonderful little walk on a recently created path that runs along the western side of the city.
La Colombe d’Or
La Colombe d’Or is one of the world’s most famous restaurants, visited by the most famous people in the world.
The Maeght Fondation art museum
The Maeght Fondation art museum welcomes more than 100,000 visitors in a unique architectural building designed by Josep Lluis Sert.