SAINT-PAUL DE VENCE - THE VILLAGE OF ARTS AND ARTISTS
Saint-Paul de Vence is situated about 20 km from Nice, in the department of Alpes-Maritimes of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. This medieval village is renowned for its contemporary artistic heritage and its artistic spirit.
The irresistible charm of Saint-Paul de Vence derives from an artistic tradition that can be traced back to many of the great visual artists of the 20th century: Miro, Matisse, Chagall, Picasso, Léger, and Folon.
The Maeght Foundation, the restaurant Colombe d'Or, numerous artists' studios, and their galleries along the main street of Saint-Paul de Vence make one especially appreciative of this very special place.
SAINT-PAUL DE VENCE: MAEGHT FONDATION
The Maeght Foundation was established in 1964. It houses one of most important European collections of paintings, sculptures, drawings and graphic works of the 20th century. Artists such as Bonnard, Braque, Calder, Chagall, Giacometti, Léger, Miro are well represented in the Foundation’s permanent collection.
Initially inspired and funded by Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, the Foundation is the product of close collaboration between a small circle of close friends of the couple: principal buildings were designed by the Catalan architect Josep Luis Sert, the external wall fresco "The Lovers" was created by Marc Chagall, the stained glass of St. Bernard Chapel and pelvis mosaic “Fish" were crafted by Georges Braque. The “creatures” of Joan Miro greet visitors upon their arrival. You, too, will be welcomed by all its "Characters", and later more than a dozen sculptures and ceramics of "Labyrinth Miro" will await you in the garden. A large collection of over 20 works by Alberto Giacometti is presented in the garden and also inside the building. Paintings by Matisse, Calder or Adami, Del Re, Lindner, Fountain de Bury, and additional works by Léger and Hyber round out this wonderful collection.
The Maeght Foundation is open every day, without exception:
- 10:00am-6:00pm October thru June;
- 10:00am-7:00pm July thru September.
Rates: Full price - 15 €. Groups of over 10 people, students, under 18 years - 10 €.
Children under 10 years - free. Right to photograph and film - 5 €.
The ticket office closes 30 minutes prior closing time.
Address: Fondation Maeght, 623 chemin des Gardettes, 06570 Saint Paul de Vence
Phone: +33 4 93 32 81 63
FINE DINING IN SAINT-PAUL DE VENCE
- "LA COLOMBE D'OR" - LEGENDARY RESTAURANT OF ARTISTS
The restaurant specializes in Provencal traditional French cuisine. Located at the entrance of the village opposite the Square of Petanque.
It is a gathering place for artists and art lovers alike. Remarkably, the walls of the restaurant “La Colombe d'Or” are covered with paintings by great artists such as Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Léger, Klein, Utillo, Caesar, Calder.
The restaurant is open daily for service in the morning, noon and evening.
Annual closing: from early November up to Christmas holidays.
Address: La Colombe d'Or, 06570 Saint-Paul-de-Vence
Phone: +33 4 93 32 80 02
SAINT PAUL DE VENCE: MEDIEVAL VILLAGE
The village watch tower dates from the 14th century. Known as the “Gate of Vence”, it was fortified in the 16th century. The bastion enclosure of Saint-Paul de Vence was built on the orders of François I during the 1540s.
SAINT-PAUL DE VENCE: “CHURCH SQUARE”
Within the Church Square (Place de l'Église), “must see” sites include the dungeon of the old castle, the Museum of Local History, the Church of the Conversion of Saint Paul, and the Chapel of White Penitents (Folon Chapel).
The dungeon itself is the only part of the castle which dates from the 12th century. It famously hosted Prestre Sebastien de Vauban, Louis XIV's military architect, François I, and the Count of Provence Raymond Berenger V. Since the 18th century, it has served as the town hall of Saint-Paul de Vence.
The Church of the Conversion of Saint-Paul de Vence was built between the 14th and 18th centuries, and features a mix of architectural styles common to both eras.
SAINT-PAUL DE VENCE: HISTORY MUSEUM
François I, Queen Jeanne, Vauban, Jean de Saint-Remy wrote the history of Saint-Paul. Historical figures made of wax from the workshops of the Musee Grevin of Paris are on display, dressed in period costumes. Such exhibits are housed in the Museum of Local History.
The History Museum is open daily:
- 11:00am-1:00pm and 3:00pm-6:00pm April thru September
- 2:00pm-5:00pm October thru March.
Annual closing for the entire month of November, December 25th, and January 1st.
Address: Place de l'église, 06570 Saint-Paul de Vence
Phone: +33 4 93 32 41 13
SAINT-PAUL DE VENCE: FOLON CHAPEL
The Chapel of White Penitents (Chapelle des Pénitents Blanc), was founded in the 17th century. The Penitents Brotherhood was in residence at Saint-Paul de Vence untill the early 1920s.
During the 2000s, the chapel was restored. Directed by Jean-Michel Folon its internal decoration works include stained glass, paintings, and mosaics. His beautiful work was created around the theme of the "gift."
Rates: Combined ticket for admission to the Folon Chapel and Museum of Local History - 1 ticket for 2 visits: 3 € full price, 2€ - discounted. Free for children under 6 years of age.
Ticket office located at the Museum of Local History, opposite the chapel.
Folon Chapel is open every day:
- 11:00am-1:00pm and 3:00pm-6:00pm April thru September;
- 2:00pm-5:00pm October thru March.
Annual closing the entire month of November, December 25th, and January 1st.
Adresse : Place de l'église, 06570 Saint Paul de Vence
Phone : +33 4 93 32 41 13
SAINT-PAUL DE VENCE: MARC CHAGALL
Marc Chagall lived in Saint Paul for nearly 20 years. The artist was inspired by the scenery of the region that was often reproduced on canvas. He spent the final years of his life in Saint-Paul de Vence from 1966 to 1985. He is buried in the local cemetery behind the “Gate of Nice” within the village.
The Maeght Foundation features a mosaic by Marc Chagall which is displayed on one of museum’s exterior walls. In Vence, a village near Saint Paul, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Nativity, built during the 4th to 11th centuries and into the 12th century. It contains on one of its walls another mosaic by Marc Chagall entitled, "Moses Saved from the Waters” («Moïse sauvé des eaux»)."
The collection of Marc Chagall’s paintings in the Museum of Nice, bearing his name and dedicated to his works, is arguably one of the most representative in the world.
NEARBY SAINT-PAUL DE VENCE
Vence, a village in the immediate vicinity of Saint-Paul, you can see one of the most famousworks of Matisse, entitled the “Rosary Chapel” (Chapelle du Rosaire), which was constructed in 1951.
It is worth noting that the “Rosary Chapel” was designed and built entirely under the direction of Matisse: architecture, furniture, stained glass windows.
The “Rosary Chapel” is open for visits:
- 2:00pm-5:30pm on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
- 10:00am-11:30am and 2:00pm-5:30pm on Tuesday and Thursday.
Mass on Sunday begins at 10:00am. Closed from mid-November to mid-December on holidays.
Address: 466, avenue Henri Matisse in Vence
Phone: +33 4 93 58 03 26