Category Archives: Charming villages in Provence

The Vino con Vista Village of Saint Paul de Vence is an Artists’ Enclave in Provence

A section of the walls around Saint-Paul de Ve...

A section of the walls around Saint-Paul de Vence, Alpes-Maritimes department, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The cemetery of Saint-Paul de Vence, Alpes-Mar...

A replica of The Thinker in Saint-Paul de Venc...

A replica of The Thinker in Saint-Paul de Vence, Alpes-Maritimes department, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Saint-Paul-de-Vence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Saint Paul, Alpes Maritimes, France

Image via Wikipedia


Saint-Paul-de-Vence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Saint-Paul (Saint-Paul de Vence) Fran...

English: Saint-Paul (Saint-Paul de Vence) Français : Saint-Paul (Saint-Paul de Vence) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Saint-Paul de Vence is a village in southeastern France. It is one of the most beautiful villages in Provence. Saint-Paul was founded in the 9th century which makes it one of the oldest medieval towns in the French Riviera.


Saint Paul de Vence


Statue: St. Paul de Vence

The exceptional light and quality of life has inspired famous artists, painters, writers and poets. There are many charming shops and art galleries selling unique items in this lovely town.

It is one of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera, it is well known for its modern and contemporary art museums and galleries such as the Fondation Maeght which is located nearby.

The Foundation is an exceptional example of the integration of art, architecture, and Mediterranean landscape. Fondation Maeght is a museum dedicated to 20th century modern and contemporary art. The Foundation is situated in a garden decorated with outdoor sculptures and exhibits works of Joan Miro and Alberto Giacometti. In July 1964, the Fondation Maeght was inaugurated by André Malraux. It was the joint creation of Aimé and Marguerite Maeght.

Completed in 1964, the iconic building of the museum, designed by Catalan architect Josep Lluís Sert, houses the collection of Marguerite and Aimé Maeght, which comprises artworks by modern and contemporary masters such as Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Alberto Giacometti, Fernand Léger, Joan Miró, Valerio Adami, Ellsworth Kelly, and Antoni Tàpies.

Image result for st paul de vence Marc Chagall 

Image result for st paul de vence fondation maeght


Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Place Général de Gaulle

Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Place Général de Gaulle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a golden Vino con Vista opportunity. Stop at one of the cafes for lunch and have some chilled Cotes de Provence Rose wine with your “Plat du Jour”. This wine region is between Nice and Aix-en-Provence. Try some Domaine Gavoty or Domaine Richeaume.




Marc Chagall lived in Saint-Paul from 1966 to 1985.

Chagall : laid-table-with-view-of-saint-paul-de-vance-1968

You can visit Marc Chagall’s grave in the cemetery.

Image result for st paul de vence  Marc Chagall's grave in the cemetery

Saint-Paul has always promoted art and creativity. Some of the other well known  artists who  flocked to Saint-Paul include: Matisse, Soutine,  Renoir,  MiróSignac and Modigliani. The galleries and shops are filled with artistic displays and inspired merchandise.

Image result for st paul de vence  The Chapel of Saint-Charles and Saint-Claude chapel

Image result for st paul de vence  The Chapel of Saint-Charles and Saint-Claude chapel


Scrutinize the village map as you enter the town through the Vence Gate (Porte de Vence). Pay attention to the “Historic Monument” markers as you stroll within the ramparts and meander through the charming maze of streets








The love the Provencal style Grande fountain on Rue Grande. Rue Grande is a former Roman Road. The fountain was built  by Martin Melchior, a stonemason in the village. It  is one of the most famous fountains in France and it has  inspired many painters and photographers.


Fountain in St. Paul de Vence

The Collegial Church of the Conversion of St. Paul was erected in the 12th century in early Gothic style and is dominated by its square bell-tower that was reconstructed in 1740. The church occupies the highest point of the village. It houses some treasures including twelfth century gold pieces, reliquaries and a scroll signed by King Henry III. It also contains the relics of St. Clement. The church was originally designed in the style of a basilica, with a semi-circular apse and a single nave. The chevet and the arched beams in the main nave date from the beginning of the 14th century.


Collegiale Church in St. Paul de Vence

The entrance leads to four chapels: St.  Clement (a masterpiece of baroque art), St.  Mathew, the Chapel of Mary of the Rosary and the Chapel of the Souls in Purgatory with an altar from 1677.  The church’s treasures include precious items of silverware, reliquaries and a parchment dating from 1588. In the Chapel of Saint Clement, there is a beautiful painting of St-Catherine of Alexandria in a magnificent red cloak with her sword by Tintoretto.








This church has an extraordinary collection of paintings representing The stations of the Cross. These paintings depict the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus.








I was also impressed with the lovely light fixture that reminded me of Gaudi’s Altar of Christ ascending into Heaven in the Sagrada Familia  Cathedral in Barcelona. I wonder if this was the inspiration for the altar in Barcelona?



Some of the other sacred churches are : (1) Saint-Michel (12th century) located within the cemetery;

Image result for st paul de vence  Saint-Michel (12th century) located within the cemetery

(2) Sainte-Claire Chapel (16th century) dedicated to the patron saint of Saint-Paul, standing opposite the entrance to the village;

(3) Notre-Dame de la Gardette (also called Chapelle Saint-Georges) gets its name from a place that served as a refuge for the inhabitants during the Middle Ages;

(4) The Chapel of Saint-Charles and Saint-Claude chapel (17th century);

Image result for st paul de vence  The Chapel of Saint-Charles and Saint-Claude chapel

Image result for st paul de vence  The Chapel of Saint-Charles and Saint-Claude chapel

(5) the Chapelle des Pénitents with an amazing three-sided bell-tower, dating from the 17th century is located between the Place de l’Eglise and Rue Cassette. In front of the Chapelle Saint-Charles-Saint-Claude there is a painting by Marc Chagall “Le couple au-desssus de Saint-Paul” which depicts a couple embracing above the town with a bouquet of flowers. In front of the chapel Notre-Dame de la Gardette you will find another Marc Chagall painting “La Table devant le Village” with a table set in front of the town.

Image result for st paul de vence  the Chapelle des Pénitents


Marc Chagall “Table in front of the Village”

Marc Chagall “Couple above St. Paul”

St. Paul watches over the entrance of his Church

Roman aqueduct can still be seen from the chapel circuit. Supported by brick and limestone arches, the aqueduct channelled water from natural springs to the mills and washhouses. Queen Jeanne, Countess of Provence, gave her permission for the community of Saint-Paul to use the water in 1349.


Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @



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