The Collegial Church

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 – © cityxee.com

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 – © cityxee.com

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 – © cityxee.com

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

By Tommy Sverre / 2021

Other experiences in Saint-Paul de Vence
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Churches & chapels

The Cemetery of Saint-Paul de Vence

One of the most visited cemeteries on the Côte d’Azur – here rests several celebrities – including Chagall & Maeght

Museums

Célestin Freinet school

The famous schoolteacher and educator Célestin Freinet (1896-1966) taught in Saint-Paul de Vence between 1928 and 1933.

Churches & chapels

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.

Fountains

Grand Fontaine 1850

La Grande Fontaine was built in 1850 in the Provencal style and has inspired many painters and photographers over time.

Squares & Promenades

Pétanque at Place de Gaulle

Learn to play pétanque at perhaps the world’s most famous pétanque court at Place de Gaulle. The local tourist office can provide an educational lesson.

Hiking

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.

Food & Wine

La Colombe d’Or

This is one of the world’s most famous restaurants, visited by the most famous people in the world.

Art

Lucky the Horse by Rémi Pesce

The artist, Rémi Pesce, used 3,000 horseshoes to create the statue, each representing Saint-Paul’s approx. 3,000 inhabitants

Art

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.

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