The Collegial Church

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The Collegial Church

The 17th century marked the golden age of the church in Saint-Paul de Vence. Here the church in 1666, by the bishop Antoine Godeau of Vence, was raised to the rank of Collegial Church.

The nave with the 4 pillars – ©

The collegiate church from the 14th  century with baroque art jewels
The construction of the village church in Saint Paul de Vence stretched over 4 centuries from the 14th to the 18th  century. The church therefore contains a mixture of several periods and styles.

The four pillars and arcades of the nave, plus the entire chancel, date back to the original Romanesque church. The corridors were added later, probably in the early 16th  century to accommodate the growing population.

The 17th  century marked the golden age of the church in Saint-Paul de Vence. Here the church was erected in 1666, by Bishop Antoine Godeau of Vence, to the rank of collegiate church, by the orders of King Louis XIV.

This meant that the church gained a significantly greater reputation and new furniture. Among other things was the pulpit and rows of seats of mercy designed in 1668.

The main attraction, however, is the chapel dedicated to Saint Clément. This was also built during this period in and contains relics from the catacombs of Rome.

One of the highlights of the church, the Saint Clément Chapel – ©

The Baroque-style décor with its treasured works of art was added in the early 1680s by the Bernardi Family. Its abundance of stucco and frescoes provides a remarkable example of Counter-Reformation art.

The large bell tower dates from the 18th century. The church has four chapels and a collection of antiques, which includes 16th-century parchments, a Tintoretto painting and precious jewelry.

The original 1672 bell tower collapsed in 1739 and was rebuilt in 1740 – ©

The church door was renovated in 1764, and in 1787 a new marble altar was erected.

By Tommy Sverre / 2021

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