Cathedrale Saint Michel SospelCathedrale Saint Michel Sospel Drone De Regard
©Cathedrale Saint Michel Sospel Drone De Regard|Drone de Regard

Art in chapels and churches

Art and soul

From the coast to the upper valley, religious art in the churches and chapels capture the rich history of the Menton, Riviera & Merveilles area: altarpieces, paintings, sculptures, trompe-l’œil, organs… you won’t know where to look! Uncover this treasure for yourself, you’ll be in seventh heaven!

The baroque route

The baroque route: great escapes for a half-day, full day or several days! Fall under the exuberant spell of Baroque like the counts of Savoie before you. The churches and chapels in Menton, Riviera & Merveilles are a sight for sore eyes! Artists’ creative genius was boundless in the baroque age: gilding, stucco, incredible trompe-l’oeil, light plays and contrasts. The best architects, sculptors and painters showcased their expertise for the Catholic Church. Experience heaven on Earth in the mountain landscapes in Breil-sur-Roya, La Brigue, Saorge, Tende and Sospel!

Have fun with history!

Use fun-filled resources to spice up your family outings. The B-roads Roya Bevera app makes the baroque child’s play. Pack your digital backpack!


Altarpieces at Saint Martin Collegiate Church in

La Brigue

An altarpiece is a vertical structure behind the altar adorned with painted or sculpted designs often with several sections: a diptych has two plates, a triptych has three and a polyptych has several parts. They are often jam-packed with different crafts: sculpture, gilding, painting etc. Saint Martin Collegiate Church in La Brigue is worth the detour. It has a fantastic legacy of 16th century altarpieces: the adoration altarpiece by Louis Bréa, the crucifixion one, the Saint Martha one, Saint Erasmus and the Our Lady of the Snows triptych by Sébastien Fuzeri. Religious wonders that you’ll never tire of!

Saorge Monastery,

a prime example of baroque monastery architecture!

The former Franciscan Saorge Monastery is now a writers’ residence overlooking the Roya Gorges. The beautifully preserved site is home to a baroque-style church. The cloister and refectory play host to stunning 17th and 18th century frescoes.

A beautiful terraced kitchen garden with spectacular views of the Bendola Valley! Cultural events bring it to life in summer.


Notre-Dame des Fontaines,

the Alpes-Maritimes’ Sistine Chapel

You’re in for a big surprise when you visit this chapel in a leafy haven of peace a few miles from La Brigue. Travel back in time 500 years! The atmosphere is magical, the experience is sensational: there’s no electricity. Frescoes by Canavesio and Baleison pop up like a comic strip when dark turns to light in the 220m2 site. They immerse you in the beliefs and superstitions of olden times in their naive depictions with a host of details designed to make an impression on people’s minds. The interior stands out for fear of the Devil and captures the late Middle Ages’ mindset. You won’t know where to look as your eye jumps between terrifying and symbolic scenes…

For an enlightening experience, join a guided tour with head lamps!

Expert advice

You can drive to the chapel or get there on a lovely footpath. And why not have a picnic by the mountain stream next to the fascinating chapel? Heavenly!