medieval village of Saint Paul.
Quietly dominating the foothills a few miles from the Mediterranean.
The jewel of the Nice countryside.
It was by command of king Francois 1er
that St. Paul became a "Royal Town",
and noblemen's houses, ancient parchments
and the treasures of the Collegiate Church
bear witness to its historical significance.
In the 20th century, successive Modern
Art movements have left their mark upon
St. Paul. Many of the most famous painters,
poets and artists came to stay, and were
inspired by the outstanding quality of
its lights, its beautiful position, and
the simple pleasure of living here.
The lucky visitor who comes to this enchanting
spot will discover the Ramparts, the
Fountain and the Grande Rue - but also
a rich cultural and artistic heritage
out of all proportion to its size. The
Foundation Maeght is one of the most
splendid Museums of Modern Art in the
world, and there are local artists and
craftsmen, art galleries, the Town Museum
and the Museum of Local History celebrating
the great moments of St. Paul's past,
as well as lectures and concerts.
The first evidences of the existence
of Castrum of "Sancto Paulo" date
from 10th century, it is at that time
a large borough which importance will
keep increase all along the centuries.
Managed by Consuls, Saint-Paul enjoys
a great financial and administrative
autonomy. The nobility of Provence has
residence and pageantry there.
County-town of a Viguerie (somehow a
small county). as of the 1480s, Saint-Paul
is one of the most important strengthened
cities of Eastern Provence.
In 1537, France and Charles Quint wages
war for over 20 years, for protecting
the border of the Var, François
the 1st brings out the Royal Town again
and turns it into a bastionned city.
At the time of the great religious disorders,
then with wars of succession, until 1747,
Saint-Paul is one of the main fortified
towns of the catholic league. Saint-Paul
will have to open its gates to many visitors,
invaders or allied plundering. Massacres,
vandalism, scarcity, sow with ruins the
region, but Saint-Paul straightens out
and increases its importance..
On the eve of the revolution, "San
Pau" is with its apogee. In 1790,
it becomes county-town of district and
even a court of justice takes place within
Then successive regimes after the revolution,
withdraw bit by bit its privileges, its
proxies and its troops.
When Nice the rival, becomes French
in 1860, Saint-Paul is nothing any more
but one deserted and useless bastion
that will soon disappear from the maps
and the dictionaries.
However, the formidable tourist and artistic
rise in the very beginning of the century
will attract famous visitors, crowned
heads and constantly present painters,
in the ghostly maze of a city drowsed
for a century. Thus, about 1930 a chronicler
quotes, among the hosts of Saint-Paul:
prince Carol of Romania, George V, the
sultan of Morocco, Maeterlinck, Bernard
Shaw, Tristan Bernard, Roland Dorgelès,
Jean Giono, Signac, Max Jacob, Derain,
Picabia : Saint-Paul is now up to date.
Today, the village is entirely renovated,
the names on the door-knockers come from
everywhere. Here, after wars for centuries,
the universe was summed up for building
a tower of Babel, a nest of art and culture
without presumption and border.
Ingo von SAENGER