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Éze: a medieval village overlooking the Côte d’Azur

This article is also available in: Italian

Located on the French Riviera, between Nice and Menton, the small medieval town of Éze (Esa) dominates the French Riviera from an altitude of over 400 metres, the town is famous for its wonderful views of the sea and the coast.

Divided into two inhabited centres: Èze-Village and Èze-sur-Mer (Èze-Bord-de-Mer). The old and picturesque part, perched on a hill, is the medieval village of Èze-Village, while along the coast is the seaside resort, founded at the beginning of the 20th century, of Èze-sur-Mer.

Inhabited by the Ligurians and then part of the Roman Empire, Èze in the Middle Ages became an autonomous lordship governed by the Riquiers, to then become part of the County of Savoy in 1388, remaining linked to the kingdom of Sardinia until the unification of Italy and to the cession to France, in 1860, of the area of Nice.


The medieval village of Èze-Village is surrounded by the remains of the wall along which there is a single access gate, inside, among the narrow and characteristic medieval streets, there are artists’ ateliers, artisan shops and shops, tourism is the most important sector of the town.

The village church (Église Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption) was built at the end of the 18th century by the architect Antonio Spinelli, has a neo-classical façade pierced by a bull’s-eye with double Corinthian columns, the bell tower flanking it is a two-level square tower. The interior of the church, with one nave, is in Baroque style and is very rich, on the sides there are some chapels.

On the top of the hill are the remains of the ancient medieval castle of Riquier, around the ruins there is a beautiful exotic garden (Jardin d’Éze) from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire coast below. The garden was created by Jean Gastaud after the end of the Second World War, there are specimens of cacti, agaves, aloes and other succulents.

The two villages of Èze-Village and Èze-sur-Mer are connected to each other, as well as by the main road, also by a very beautiful, but also very steep, footpath, which can be covered in about an hour, and which is known by the name of “Chemin de Nietzsche”, because it is said that Friedrich Nietzsche, along this path, had the inspiration to write “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”.


This article is also available in: Italian


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