Saint Elisabeth chapel

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Saint Elisabeth chapel

Saint Elisabeth chapel in Vence impresses with its rediscovered fresco paintings by Giovanni Canavesio. Its history dates back to the 14th century

The charming little chapel with the beautiful fresco paintings by Giovanni Cavanesio – ©

Saint Elisabeth Chapel is beautifully located

Chapel Saint Elisabeth in Vence was built in romanesque style and dates back to the 14th century. Like so many rural chapels of that time, this also has a covered porch that protected passers-by from the elements as they traveled from city to city.

It is beautifully situated on a small elevation right where the old road to Saint-Paul de Vence starts (Ancien Chemin de Saint-Paul).

Beautiful frescoes by Giovanni Cavanesio discovered in 1924

The most interesting thing about the Chapel of Saint Elizabeth in Vence is the beautiful frescoes by the Italian painter Giovanni Cavanesio.

The frescos were painted in the 1400’s, but was “lost” for many years. They had been covered in a thick layer of lime and were discovered during a restoration work on the chapel in 1924. In 1927, the chapel was recorded as a historical monument.

Trompe l’oeil behind the altar

Behind the small altar is a trompe l’oeil decoration (which cheats the eye) which depicts the meeting between the Virgin Mary and her cousin Saint Elizabeth.

The fresco paintings by Giovanni Cavanesio and the trompe l’oeil decoration behind the altar – ©

Bell tower a la Penitents Blancs

The chapel also has a small bell tower decorated with polychrome tiles, most likely inspired by the Chapel of Penitents Blancs  in Vence.

The bell tower was added to the chapel later in the 19th century.

Mass is held once a year – the Monday after the first weekend of August.

By Tommy Sverre – 2021

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