Saorge is a commune located in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region)

Part of the county of Nice (kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia) until 1860, Saorge was attached to France following the Treaty of Turin.

Its inhabitants are called the Saorgians. It neighbors Breil-sur-Roya and Pigna are in the province of Imperia in Italy. The old hilltop village has the characteristic of having two independent and unconnected road accesses (except pedestrian).

The village is a member of the association – “The most beautiful villages of France“.

Tourism and main attractions

  • The Monastery of Saorge, former Convent of the Franciscans: the Notre-Dame-des-Miracles convent was founded in 1633 by the Reformed Observantine Franciscans or “Recollets.” Its construction was completed around 1660, and the church in 1681, thanks to a donation from the town. It is located at the top of the village in a beautiful environment of olive trees and is classified as a historic monument. The church, in Italian Baroque style, has a porch topped with balusters and a bulbous bell tower covered with polychrome tiles.

  • In 1092, the inhabitants of the village of Saorge handed over the Chapel of Sainte-Marie del Poggio to the abbey of Lérins. Built in the Romanesque style, it is completed by a six-story bell tower of Lombard construction, built, in 1511, by the Saorgian community. The interior is rich in 15th century frescoes and altarpieces attributed to Giovanni Baleison. It is owned by a family and classified as a historic monument.
  • The Saint-Sauveur church: the church was rebuilt after a village fire in July 1465, at the end of the 15th century. It is made up of three naves, separated by columns with gilded Corinthian capitals. It was re-vaulted in 1717 and restored in 1718.

  • Remains of fortifications. There remain some elements of the rampart which protected Saorge. In Fort Saint-Georges, there are the remains of the medieval castle that protected the valley.
  • The Devil’s Bridge on Cayros.

  • The remains of the castle of Malmorte (or A Malamorte), to the southwest. There must already have been a Roman construction as proven by the discovery of a votive stone on the site in 1680. This Roman construction must have been used to prevent incursions of the Ligurians from the interior towards the coast.
  • Washhouse adjoining the Fontana de Mèdge.
  • Fountain of Mèdge.

How to get to?

From Paris: 9 hr 50 min (1,001 km) via A6 and A7

From Marseille: 3 hr 14 min (268 km) via A8

From Nice: 1 hr 15 min (68.2 km) via A8

From Toulouse: 6 hr 15 min (630 km) via A8

From Monaco: 1 hr 14 min (57.3 km) via D6204

From Andorra: 8 hr 10 min (757 km) via A8

From Madrid: 13 hr 44 min (1,335 km) via A-2

From Moscow: 34 hr (3,059 km) via E30/M1

From Belgrade: 13 hr 21 min (1,324 km) via E70

From Istanbul: 24 hr (2,272 km) via E70

From Bern: 7 hr 2 min (609 km) via A6/E717

Main information

Area: 86,78 km2

Population: 440

Coordinates: 43°59′18″N 7°33′11″E

Language: French

Currency: Euro

Visa: Schengen

Time: Central European UTC +1

See also France travel guide

See also Spain travel guide

See also Pyrenees travel guide

See also Andorra travel guide

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