Have you ever heard of Saint Paul de Vence ? It is a magnificent medieval village, nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the southern Alps. Residents and visitors alike love the unique, artistic culture of the village. It is a magical place waiting to be discovered. Interested ?
Saint-Paul de Vence: a magnificent historic village
Saint Paul, despite being only 7 km2 in size, has a rich history that dates back millennia. To find evidence of this ancient city, one must go back to Antiquity. The ancient settlement was protected by the natural defences of the steep hills that rise above the village. The security provided by the plateau de Puy was what prompted the first tribes, also known as an “oppidum”, to build their village. The few remaining homesteads would become a bustling community over the centuries. Saint Paul was located at the border of France’s medieval marches in the 14th Century.
The Counts of Provence took control of the village through a plebiscite after they recognised its strategic and political importance. The village’s past can be traced back to this period, as the walls that protect the Porte de Vence and the Esperon tower today are imposing. The village was ready for conflict in the Italian Wars two centuries later. King Francis I, aware of the danger from abroad, decided to make Saint Paul a fortress and erect immense defensive bastions around it. This turbulent period is what gave the village its strong medieval character. Much of the local architecture was renovated and redecorated in the 17th and 18th centuries. The church of Saint Paul was the first to be renovated. Next came the impressive townhouses.
We can fast-forward to the 1950s. Marius Insert, the former mayor of Saint-Paul, and his people would wake up at dawn to see the beaches in their neighbouring villages. Their goal? To collect pebbles from Villeneuve-Loubet or Cagnes-sur-Mer and to decorate Saint-Paul’s streets. They are still here, charmingly decorating many streets of Saint-Paul, not least the rue Grande.
A charming village offering a wide range of luxurious properties
Saint-Paul de Vence is full of character. It’s not surprising that luxury homes have sprung up in this charming town, which has a mix of old military tradition and natural beauty. These properties have a unique medieval charm while others are typical French countryside, rustic Provencal. There are also many modern buildings.
Despite being in a variety of locations, these properties all have one thing in common. They are all prestigious homes with breathtaking views and are located within easy reach of the most beautiful parts of the village.
Saint-Paul properties are carefully assessed before being placed on the market. You can rest assured that these luxurious homes are comfortable and well-furnished. John Taylor is available to help you if you are interested in purchasing a luxury villa at St Paul de Vence.
A paradise for the painter
St-Paul de Vence’s cobbled streets will give you the feeling of being in an open-air museum. You’ll often come across colourful murals at unexpected places. Also, you might stop and look through the windows of a workshop or as they are being painted on the streets. So it’s not surprising that Saint Paul has been home to many artistic movements since the 19th century.
In the 1920s, it was the natural beauty and abundance of the surrounding area that attracted painters to the village. The village’s beautiful scenery, including its cobblestones and flower-lined hills and clear view of the horizon and sea, was immortalized on canvas. It is a paradise for artists, thanks to the bright sunlight that shines on it. This is why artists like Chaim Soutine and Marc Chagall, Raoul Dufy, Raoul Dufy, Raoul Dufy, and Chaim Soutine have all made it their home.
These artists used to frequent the Robison cafe which is now the Colombe d’Or Hotel. Anyone who walks through the hotel’s door will be rewarded with a gallery filled with artworks signed and signed by these artists. Some of the works are hereby Picasso and Matisse, both of who were also inspired by Saint-Paul’s stunning scenery.
The illustrious Maeght Foundation
The Maeght Foundation is a focal point for art, culture and art in the village. It was established by Aime Maeght, a well-known art merchant, and many artists that he knew.
After their son, Bernard’s death from leukaemia, Maeght and Marguerite dedicated a large space to artistic expression in the village. Josep Lluis Sert was entrusted with the design of the building. They invited their fellow artists to decorate it with contemporary and modern artworks. The Foundation is home to pieces by many talented artists, including Joan Miro and Georges Braque, Balthus and Alberto Giacometti, Balthus, Fernand Leger, Alexander Calder and Fernand Leger. Their creative talents are on full display. The building’s halls are decorated with their works, and the exterior of the building is an art piece in itself.
The names of the halls have nothing to do with the collections inside, but they are a tribute to those who helped to create the Foundation.
A home for artists, poets and actors
It was only a matter of time before other artists started to follow the lead of Saint Paul’s painter. Many people who first visited the village to enjoy a short vacation would later decide to make it their home. This cultural vibrancy has attracted many investors and entrepreneurs to Saint Paul ever since.
Film stars were the next generation of artists to visit this Provencal village in the 1950s and 1960s. They would always stop in Saint-Paul, regardless of whether they were heading to Cannes or Nice’s Victorine studios. It was here that Yves Montand, a star of French cinema, got married and settled down for a while.
Jacques Prevert would also eventually settle in Saint-Paul de Vence. Andre Cayatte, Henri-Georges Clouzot and Henri-Georges Clouzot were even attracted to the village by its medieval charms.
Pierre Laffite, Andre Verdet, and Mylene Farmer are just a few of the other big names who can trace their roots back to Saint Paul. Yet, despite their different backgrounds, all of them were drawn to the small village with its stellar reputation. They would fall in love with the village’s natural surroundings and its fascinating culture and history, just like many others.
James Baldwin, a writer, lived here for almost 20 years. Paul Frere was a former race driver who made it his home until he died in 2008. It’s up to you, however, to decide if Saint Paul is worthy of its reputation for drawing the elite (along with many others, of course span>
This picturesque village overlooking the Mediterranean is ideal for people who want to express themselves and those who prefer a simpler lifestyle. The many luxury properties were designed with your happiness and have been furnished to make it easy. You will see why so many artists chose to call Saint Paul home.
Saint Paul de Vence is located near the Cote d’Azur, which is a great place to buy an apartement !