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Accueil > Cultural stays > Baroque sights & monuments on the French Riviera



EGLISE SANCTA-MARIA IN ALBIS  - BREIL SUR ROYA

This vast and luminous church is laid out in the shape of a Greek cross, completed by four side chapels. Its baroque decoration was carried out from the late 18th century to the mid-19th century, in a style typical of the rococo period. Don't miss : the murals, the altar-pieces surrounded by fine stuccos, the polychrome marble balustrade in front of the high altar, the organ and its magnificent polychrome wood casement.

EGLISE NOTRE-DAME-DE-LA-NATIVITE  - CLANS

Classified as an historical monument, the present church was built in 1680. The Baroque style is to be found in the liturgical furnishings - an oak wood communion table dating from the 18th century, an early 18th century ceramic fountain from Biot and sacristy panelling dating from the 15th century.

EGLISE NOTRE-DAME DE L' ASSOMPTION  - EZE

Situated at the heart of the famous "eagle's nest", the church stands out from the village's medieval architecture because of its classic façade, characterized by a row of colossal pilasters and pierced by its bull's eye window. The interior offers a variation on the successive communicating areas comprising the nave, chancel and sanctuary.

EGLISE NOTRE-DAME DE LA VISITATION  - FONTAN

Built from 1632 onwards, this church with its rectangular layout has a narrower nave and an altar-piece for "Souls in Purgatory". One especially notices its soaring bell-tower crowned by an onion-shaped peak of gleaming tiles.

COLLEGIALE SAINT-MARTIN  - LA BRIGUE

Originally of the Lombardian Romanesque type, this church was "barocified" in the 17th and 18th centuries. Notice the vault over the chancel adorned by a "Gloria to the Holy Sacrament", the high altar and its woodwork, the retables of the Virgin Mary and the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges altar-piece. Don't miss : the Penitents' Chapels, Chapelle de l'Assomption (Baroque exterior) and Chapelle de l'Annonciade, particularly original with its founded façade and plan combining the rectangle and the ellipse, characteristic of many Baroque churches in Liguria.

EGLISE SAINT-MICHEL ARCHANGE  - LA TURBIE

Completed in 1777, this church has a richly decorated interior with equally rich furnishings. Don't miss : the high altar, featuring 17 different kinds of marble, the communion table of onyx and agate, the Saint-Pierre triptych to the right of the chancel.

EGLISE SAINT-PIERRE AUX LIENS  - L'ESCARENE

Inseparable from the two Penitents' chapels, this church was built in the 17th century by Jean-André Guibert and his successors. The sobriety of its architecture with a single nave and flat ceiling is embellished by magnificent stucco decoration.

EGLISE SAINTE-MARGUERITE ET SAINTE-ROSALIE  - LUCERAM

Built at the end of the 15th century at the top of the village, its façade was restyled in the 17th and 18th centuries with the addition of an onion-shaped bell-tower. The church's interior is a real museum containing a treasure of religious objects in silver and gold. Also worth noting, the altar-pieces and rococo plasterwork decors.

ENSEMBLE BAROQUE SAINT-MICHEL  - MENTON

Like the Cathedral at Sospel, the Baroque ensemble in Menton is a stage-set for community life. Side by side, one finds the Basilica, the religious heart of the community, and the Penitents' chapels which represent the lay corporations. A particularly theatrical flight of steps with double ramps brings one to the square. This square, or "Parvis", provides a sumptuous backcloth for the Festival of Chamber Music held each summer.

BASILIQUE SAINT- MICHEL  - MENTON

A fine example of the talent of 17th-C. Ligurian architects, this Basilica surveys the Old Town, which itself forms a baroque neighbourhood. Inside, trompe-l'oeil paintings signed by Cerrutti-Maori adorn the central vault, and a purplish Genoese damask, brought out on special occasions, emphasizes the building's baroque style.

PALAIS LASCARIS  - NICE

Nice's most important aristocratic residence. Transformed into a Museum and restored by the Municipality, it presents visitors with a superb reconstitution of the residence of a local nobleman, complete with impressive stairwell, reception rooms, state-room.

CHAPELLE DE LA MISERICORDE  - NICE

Chapelle de la Miséricorde, a baroque masterpiece on Cours Saleya in the Old Town of Nice, this chapel belonged to the high brotherhood of Black Penitents. Its rich decoration is immediately striking, though that's just a veil for the magnificent architecture, the basic design. Everything here is movement, dynamics, light, lyricism. According to art historians, this is one of the ten most beautiful baroque buildings in the world.

EGLISE DU GESU (JESUS)  - NICE

Eglise du Gésu (Jésus)- Rue Droite : built between 1612 and 1642. Originally a chapel belonging to the Jesuits, who turned it into a monument testifying to the art of the Counter-Reformation for the entire County of Nice, which had an influence on the re-building of the region's main religious buildings in baroque style.

CATHEDRALE SAINTE-REPARATE  - NICE

Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate - Place Rossetti : one of the major examples of early Roman baroque art in Nice. Its construction lasted over a century, from 1650 to 1757. The entire building has preserved its original decoration. The ten or so chapels inside the cathedral belonged to wealthy families or corporations responsible for its decoration and up-keep.

EGLISE DE L'ANNONCIATION / EGLISE SAINTE-RITA  - NICE

Eglise de l'Annonciation or Eglise Sainte-Rita - Rue de la Poissonnerie : one of Nice's oldest churches, completely restructured in the 17th century. Thanks to recent restoration, the chapel now reveals all the magnificence of its baroque decor.

MONASTERE DE SAORGE - ANCIEN COUVENT DES FRANCISCAINS  - SAORGE

Situated at the far end of the village, the façade of this 17th-C. convent is preceded by a porch with balustrades and onion-shaped bell-tower. The church is in true baroque style : the refectory still has its 17th-C. decorative paintwork and the cloisters are adorned with 18th-C. frescos illustrating the life of Saint Francis of Assisi.

EGLISE SAINT-SAUVEUR  - SAORGE

Ravaged by fire, this 15th-C. church was, like many others in the County of Nice, "barocified" in the 18th century. Outside, one notices the onion-shaped bell-tower and varnished tiles, inside, a very fine decor comprised of trompe-l'oeil paintings and painted stucco motifs.

PLACE SAINT-MICHEL  - SOSPEL

The Place Saint-Michel is one of the finest architectural and scenographic ensembles in the County of Nice. Paved with black and white pebbles, it is dominated by the ancient Cathedral, utterly captivating for the monumental aspect of its façade and frontage. Flanked by the Grey and Red Penitents' Chapels, it was built in the 17th and 18th centuries on the site of a Romanesque church, of which only the bell-tower has survived.

EGLISE SAINT-ETIENNE  - ST ETIENNE DE TINEE

Dating from the 18th century, the church is caracterized by a plan which surprises by its vast, complex interior and indicates late to end Baroque. Certain decorative features are Rococo.

EGLISE SAINT-MARTIN-ET-DE-L'ASSOMPTION  - ST MARTIN VESUBIE

This Baroque building has a square bell tower with a stone spire and a Renaissance style facade. The interior recalls Guibert's "Roman" style, a style that also to be found in the Sainte-Croix chapel of Saint-Martin-Vésubie, the churches of Lantosque and the Sospel cathedral.

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