Histoire et Légendes de Vence

October 24, 2023

A small 20 page booklet (and map) from 1954 with several “legends” about Vence in both French and English.

Steve & Carole in Vence - Histoire et Légends de Vence

It’s a bit of a stretch to use the word “history” in the title of this little booklet by Marie-Marcelle. What we actually have here is a collection of five very short “legends” about Vence, most of which are most certainly not true. They seem to be haphazardly chosen and thrown together, but still, it’s a fun read and maybe there is a grain of truth in a few of them.

The first legend tells the story of the Nerusii priestess Vencia, the priestess of Cybele, who single-handedly saved her town from a Roman invasion. It is said that the town was then named after her in gratitude and hence we now have the name of Vence.

Saint Veran is one of the two patron saints of Vence (along with Saint Lambert). He became the bishop of Vence in 451 and several miracles are attributed to him. The story we have here is a version of how he confronted an invading Wisigoth warrior and convinced him to pass by the town without destroying it. You can read more about Vence’s two patron saints and yet another legend in my article about the Procession of Saint Véran and Saint Lambert.

Charlemagne is, of course, one of the most famous figures in European history. The legend here recounts his visit to Vence in 776 and the “Rock of the Eagle.” It’s very short and doesn’t really provide much in the way of a story.

I’ve recounted the story of Queen Jeanne, her castle located just outside of Vence and her love affair with the young Aubépin in more detail on this site. A similar version is found in this booklet.

Finally, we have a tiny bit of history with some information about another famous Bishop of Vence, Bishop Antoine II Godeau, who served from 1638 to 1672. A small square in the old town is now named after him.

The booklet is quite short, just 18 pages of text. The first half tells these little stories in French and the second half in English. It includes a fold-out map which lists 20 hotels, 10 restaurants and 5 garages (along with other landmarks). It was published in 1954 by Brilli-Ferrando.

Note: It is not my intention to infringe on any copyright, I just want to make this information available to more people. I believe the copyright on this booklet has expired, but If there is any reason I should not be offering this download just let me know and I will remove it immediately.

   Download a high quality PDF of this booklet & map (83mb-zip file)
   Download a very good quality PDF of this booklet & map (7mb-zip file)

[click on any image to see sample pages]

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