The tiny village of Saint-Paul de Vence is rich in scenic beauty and cultural heritage and offers a slice of the ancient life along the French Riviera. Provence Alpes Maritimes, the southeastern region of France in French Riviera, is dotted with hilltop villages with fortified walls, constructed on rocky crags around castles. These mid-15th-century villages were mostly built around castles to defend the countryside or the routes along the valleys. The villages built on hilltops had a narrow doorway for the entrance. The community inside the fortified walls comprised mostly of craftsmen, artisans, and soldiers. The towns, located at hilltops, had a constant supply of fresh water, were tastefully decorated with pavements of cobblestones with intricate designs and stone sculptures donning the walks and corners of the village.
Must visit in Saint Paul de Vence
The houses were built of stone with tiled roofs along the road leading to the castle. Each of these villages had a church, a fountain, and a square with cafes and restaurants. The church tower acted as a definitive landmark, and the views are breathtaking. Though the community has changed over time, the beauty of these villages always attracts tourists by millions each year. A few of these villages listed as the Most Beautiful Villages in France and Saint Paul de Vence is one most beautiful village in entire Provence.
Stars that lived in Saint-Paul de Vence
Built-in the rocky crags, the village stand on the walls built around the mid-fifteenth century. The town is famous for its secure connection with the torchbearers of arts, literature, and modern Cinema. The village has attracted many famous artists, painters, and writers and has been home for many.
The impressive list of stars that have made Saint Paul de Vence their home includes:
- French actors Simone Signoret
- Yves Montand
- Lino Ventura
- world-renowned painters like Pablo Picasso
- Pierre Bombard, and
- Famous literary figure Jean-Paul Sartre.
The village has been host to stars like Greta Garbo and Sophia Loren. James Baldwin, the famous American writer, and Donald Pleasance, the British actor, had breathed their last, here at the village. The view of the scenic mountains and the sparkling Mediterranean is breathtaking.
The stone walls covered with vine, the fifteenth-century architecture, and sculptures, the narrow streets with cobblestones shaped with flowers will make anyone fall in love with this tiny and charming village.
Must visit in Saint-Paul de Vence
The village has several boutiques, art galleries, sidewalk cafes, and the famous hotel Colombe d’Or. Which hosted many greats of yesteryears and is still frequented by cultural icons of the present era? This tiny village at the southeastern region of France but the French Riviera has a lot to offer, here is a list of the best that Saint Paul de Vence had to offer:
Remparts de Saint-Paul de Vence
The historical monument dates back to the 16th Century. The old stone walls on which the Saint Paul de Vence village perched on encircles the town and offer close views of the magnificent medieval sculptures.
- The magnificent building designed by Joseph Lluis Sert, and it was established as a museum in the year 1964. The valuable collection of paintings, ceramics, and sculptures will transport one to a different world, the Miro Labyrinth and the sculpture garden located within the Foundation Maeght museum premises is worth visiting.
Cimetiere de Saint-Paul de Vence
- The cemetery of Saint Paul de Vence, in addition to house the grave of the famous painter Marc Chagall is located at one of the most picturesque locations of the village. The breathtaking views through the tall Palm and Cyprus trees make one witness the magic of the lights and colors bestowed on Saint Paul de Vence by nature.
- The ancestral home of the famous painter Auguste Renoir. He was a significant contributor to the Impressionist style and had spent the last twelve of his life in the house and located at Cagnes sure Mer, fifteen minutes away from Saint Paul de Venice. The museum offers a close look at the most intimate things used by the painter, like the brushes, paints, and the colors on the last palette. The house is surrounded by olive trees a hundred years old. The museum, unlike any other, had captured the time and essence of the hour when Renoir was still breathing.
The Rosary Chapel
- The building of architectural marvel is also known as the Chapelle du Rosaire or The Matisse Chapel. Located in the North of the village, the building was a gift from Henri Smile Benoit Matisse. The renowned French painter to Monique Bourgeois, a nun turned model, who had nursed Matisse, during his recovery from Cancer and became his close confidant. She later became a model for the dying artist. The building is an engineering marvel with a seamless blending of spirituality with style. The colors and the decor of the building are unforgettable for any visitor.
La Chapelle Folon
- The Chapelle Folon Church was built in the 17th Century and displayed the works of the Belgian artist Jean Michel Folon. The works were inspired by the Christian movement practicing penance for confession of sins. The moving works of art, sculptures, and medieval architecture is a treat for all.
Eglise Collegiate Saint Paul
- The Eglise collegiate is an ancient Church built in the 14th Century is one of the most ancient structures in Saint Paul de Vence. The old architecture transposed one into the medieval ages and delivered tranquillity.
Fontaine de Saint-Paul de Vence
- One cannot miss the iconic spots in the old town of Saint Paul de Vence. Built-in the late fifteenth century, it is the central fountain of Vence and has inspired many great artists. The old cafes and restaurants located at the square provide a soothing view of the ancient fountain decorated with the season’s best, water pouring from four outlets.
La Colombe D’Or
- Famous boutique Hotel and Restaurant are one of the most famous spots in Saint Paul de Vence. The Colombe d’Or Boutique Hotel and Restaurant has been the second home to greats like Pablo Picasso, Auguste Renoir, and Greta Garbo, to name a few. With works of the world-renowned painters donning the walls, the boutique hotel and restaurant breathes art. The restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine and lives up to its reputation. While in Saint Paul de Vence, a visit to this old joint is a must.
Three reasons for the popularity of Saint Paul de Vence
The beauty and the exotic location of this tiny hilltop village have been an inspiration to many great artists, literary thinkers, and cultural icons of times ancient and modern. No wonder many of the greats have visited Saint Paul de Vence and have fallen in love with this charming hilltop village, and wants to make a home here. The following factors are encouraging everyone to buy a villa here:
- Beauty and splendor: The vast blue Mediterranean at the backdrop and fertile valleys surrounding the rocky crags. The village perched on top of the ancient medieval walls epitomizes the beauty and splendor of nature.
- Real estate development: The competitive offers by real estate developers are attracting people from all walks of life to buy a villa in this exotic village. The affordable rates of villas with all modern facilities coupled with the breathtaking views are attracting more and more people to invest in real estate.
- Location and accessibility: The area of Saint Paul de Vence is one of the primary reasons which are encouraging more and more people to buy a home in this region of Provence. The part is well connected by road from all major hubs in the French Riviera, and Nice is a half an hour drive.