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de menton montons en haut à sainte-agnès

Sainte-Agnès, considered the highest coastal village in Europe, rises 800 meters above the Mediterranean Sea.  C’est un village de littoral le plus haut d’Europe à une altitude de 800 mètres, est classé parmi les plus beaux villages médiévaux de France.  Furthermore, it is classified as one of 148 most beautiful villages by the French government.

Nestled atop a knoll (un piton rocheux) in the mountains above Menton, France, Sainte-Agnès is only 10 kilometers by road from the Sea and the Italien border and only 3 kilometers from the Sea as the bird flies.

Three reasons might draw the flâneur to Sainte-Agnès: the stunning panoramic view (le superbe panorama sur la mer Méditerranée), the beautiful medieval streets which serpentine along the side of the hill where the village rests (les pittoresques ruelles aux pavés anciens), and the ruins of the chateau and the garden (les ruines du château et son jardin).

The views from the ramparts are extraordinary.  One can look to Italy to the east and Cap Martin to the west and between a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea. (Click on a photo to see more.)

As one climbs or descends the narrow, cobbled streets of Sainte-Agnès, restored homes with beautiful doors and windows entice one to stop and wonder.  On tombe sous le charme discret et authentique des maisons médiévales blotties les unes contre les autres.  (Click on a photo to see more.)

Sainte-Agnès dates from the 11th century.  The chateau may have been built  around 1180, and razed on orders of Louis XIV.  Le château pourrait dater de 1180, et après les découvertes des fouilles de 1993, les assises de la tour remontent à la fin du Xe siècle ou au début du XIe siècle.  Le château a été rasé sur ordre de Louis XIV.  (Click on a photo to see more.)

A working medieval garden was created par l’association des « Peintres du Soleil ».  (Click on a photo to see more.)

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jim #

    Love those pictures Michael!!! The garden looks particularly inviting…looks like cherry trees in blossom? Not even close to that here…

    These pictures depict a place of great historic significance and stunningly beautiful…enjoy!!!

    Jim

    22/02/2014
    • Thanks, Jim. The train and bus rides to Sainte-Agnès is a story I wish I had time to tell. Including the exit when I witnessed a battle among 70 year old tourists wanting to get on a bus that had limited seating. I am seeing a number of places each trip where I stop and smell and listen and feel. Very calming and mystical in a way. Sainte-Agnès is one of them. Best to you.

      22/02/2014

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