Menton Basilique Saint MichelMenton Basilique Saint Michel Drone De Regard
©Menton Basilique Saint Michel Drone De Regard|Drone De Regard


Baroque land

The Riviera, Menton & Merveille area is packed with baroque gems that epitomise the locals’ love for this exuberant art form in the valleys and on the coast. The buildings take centre stage: gilding, stucco, light plays and contrasts whilst the churches’ baroque organs are treasures that remind us that the movement was a musical one too. You get a full-on baroque experience here!

The baroque movement,

an exciting history

The baroque style appeared in mid-16th century Italy and stood out as a break away from classicism. The Roman Catholic church saw it as a reaction to protestant solemnity with the aim to touch the worshipper’s soul, awaken the senses and inspire emotion. It was the dawn of a new architectural and aesthetic era. Elevated and tragic baroque gave its all to religion.

Did you know?

The word baroque originates from the Portuguese term “barroco” meaning “a flawed pearl”.


Saint-Michel-Archange Basilica in Menton,

the beating heart of baroque

This jewel of baroque art was built in 1639 and overlooks the old town from its 53m high belltower, the symbol of Menton. Step inside and feast your eyes on trompe-l’œil paintings by Cerrutti-Maori in the main vault and an amaranthine Genoa damask that captures the building’s baroque heritage.

Follow the guide down Menton’s “memory lanes”: a guided tour of shaded squares and narrow lanes to experience Menton old town’s baroque side!

Saorge Monastery,

a unique example of baroque monastery architecture!

Franciscan monks founded their monastery on the edge of Mercantour in 1633 in a leafy haven overlooking Roya’s village and gorges. One of the last examples of baroque monastery architecture!  Soak up the baroque yet understated atmosphere true to the Franciscan order: frescoes depicting the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, allegories of the virtues, sundials and trompe-l’œil showcasing the cloister and refectory. The church has all its original features. Feast your eyes on the stunning sculpted woodwork!

Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption or Tende Collegiate Church,

a cathedral past

The former cathedral is a catholic church in the heart of Tende old town. Once you’ve stepped through the eye-catching Tende green stone door set in the red walls, you’ll see that this Gothic interior stands out for its 18th century baroque design. Altarpieces and altars celebrate saints including Saint Eligius, patron saint of mule drivers. A great experience paired with the Museum of Wonders!