Peille, French Riviera

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Peille is a perched village set atop a narrow rocky spur overlooking the Peillon Valley in the Prealps of Nice.

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Situation of Peille

Peille is situated on the D53 road which winds up and down in the Hinterland of Nice between Nice and Menton. The village lies at an altitude of 630 m above sea level.

Peille Situation Map


Peille: a bit of History

Peille - Place du Mont-Agel 04 © Mossot - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Peille – Place du Mont-Agel 04 © Mossot – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

One of the first written mention of the village dates back to 1029 under the name “Gaucelinus de Pilia“.

The territory administrated by Peille was quite large and included Peillon and notably Monaco until 1191 when it was lost to Genoa.

From 1388 to the French Revolution, Peille and the County of Nice belonged to the House of Savoy.

From 1814 to 1860, Peille was part of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia.

After the referendum of 1860, the whole region of Nice joined France.


The Village of Peille

Peille © Mossot - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Peille © Mossot – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

The centre of the village is made up of narrow streets and small squares bordered by old stone houses.

Peille has kept part of its medieval fortifications and the remnants of an old castle situated a little distance above from the village.

A few houses are worth mentioning: the 14th century courthouse also known locally as the “Palais des Consuls” or “Palais du Juge Mage“. Its façade includes an arched door and an ogival door above which are arched geminated windows with small columns.

Place du Mont-Agel 02 © Mossot - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Place du Mont-Agel 02 © Mossot – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Place du Mont-Agel 02 © Mossot - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Place du Mont-Agel 02 © Mossot – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Place du Mont-Agel and its old Gothic fountain in its centre is bordered by a house with loggia leading to rue Lascaris.

Place du Mont-Agel 03 © Mossot - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Place du Mont-Agel 03 © Mossot – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

On the very edge of the cliff stands the “Palais des Lascaris” built by the Lascari family in the 17th century.

Peille Church © Mossot - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Peille Church © Mossot – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

The Romanesque Sainte-Marie church from the 12th century is one of the oldest in the region. The sanctuary was made up from two adjacent chapels. The interior is ornate with ancient frescoes. The Sainte-Marie Church was the possession of the canons of Saint-Ruf in Avignon.

The St. Joseph Chapel and its bell tower on Rue Saint-Joseph date from 1722.

Palais Lascaris © Mossot - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Palais Lascaris © Mossot – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

In the middle of the village, the uncompleted 13th century chapel St. Sebastien was curiously converted into the Town-Hall of Peille in the 19th century.


English-French Vocabulary

(f) for féminin, (m) for masculin, (adj) for adjective and (v) for verbs

  • castle = château (m)
  • county = comté (m)
  • French Riviera = Côte d’Azur (f)
  • House of Savoy = Maison de Savoie (f)
  • mountain = montagne (f)
  • perched village = village perché (m)
  • Prealps = Préalpes (f,p)
  • village = village (m)

 

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About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

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