September 24, 2011

The charming village of Grimaud

We had some time to before our train departed St Raphael for Paris, so we stopped to visit the charming perched village of Grimaud, with its cobble stoned streets and alleys, most of them pedestrian only, vaulted passages, carefully restored 16th - 19th century houses, flower pots on window sills, a few shops, cafés and restaurants - the setting was perfect.

The village is named after the Grimaldi family, still in power in Monaco, and was bequeathed to a Genoese nobleman, Gibelin de Grimaldi, by William the Good of Provence, in reward for his support in driving the Saracens from Provence in the 10th century.

The original intent of the "perched" village was to provide a view of the sea to watch out for possible invasions. At the very top of the village is a partially restored 11th century chateau, which originally had three enclosures and four enormous towers.  Much of it was destroyed during the 17th century wars of religion and later after the Revolution. 

The St Roch’s Wind Mill was built in the 17th Century, and was recently restored by the "Compagnons du Tour de France".

We were all charmed by this little village. It was everything I envisioned a hilltop French village to look like.

The Penitents Chapel dates from the 15th century.

Some people prefer the glitz and glamour of Monaco, but I much preferred the cobblestone streets, stone archways and flowering vines of Grimaud.

It was the perfect way to end our trip in the Cote d'Azur. You can view more pictures of our trip to Grimaud here.

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