Wednesday, November 27, 2013

St. Paul-de-Vence

After spending most of the morning wandering through the wonderful modern art at the Fondation Maeght, I decided to walk the extra half mile up to the perched village of St. Paul-de-Vence. One of the oldest medieval villages along the Cote d'Azur, it became a favorite stop for many of the early 20th century artists who both lived and painted here. Matisse became seriously ill while living in the village. He was nursed back to health by the Dominican nuns and in his gratitude, designed the interior of a chapel for them, the  Chapelle du Rosaire. Marc Chagall lived here and is buried in the village cemetery. St. Paul is a must-see for tourists visiting the area. In fact as I wandered its narrow, cobbled streets, I ran into a family I knew from my bed and breakfast and my friend, Greg with his sister and sister-in-law. Everyone wants to see St. Paul! Both the cemetery and its collegiate church, the Church of the Conversion of St. Paul reflect the proximity to Italy with loads of Italian names on tombstones and ornate Italian woodworking in the church.
Ornate wood carving in the church

Not so typical, though, is this stone carving of a skull on an 11th century sepulcher....

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