Over the centuries Vence has had a strong Christian presence as evidenced by the multiple chapels throughout and around the town. There are at least fifteen chapels that still stand and can be easily visited. Sadly, most of them are not open to the public on a regular basis so you may not be able to go inside. However, several feature grilled window panes in the door so you can at least get a peek of the interior. A couple are no longer even functioning as chapels at all and have been turned into garages.
Most of these chapels (though not all) date back hundreds of years. The chapels themselves have not changed a whole lot, though the areas surrounding them certainly have. At least one chapel which can be seen in these postcards, the Chapelle des Pénitents Noirs, has been torn down. Lost forever to make room for the tramway built in 1911 that connected Vence with the coast.
What surprises me here is the lack of representation of many of the chapels. I realize this is a fairly random sampling of postcards, but still with over 350 of them you’d think it would be a pretty good sampling. There are no postcards of Chapelle Sainte Elisabeth, Chapelle Saint Lambert or two of the oldest chapels in town, Chapelle Saint-Pons and Chapelle Saint Crépin. There’s only one postcards of the Chapelles du Calvaire which I would have thought would have been quite popular.
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All postcards are from the collection of Howard Shakespeare unless otherwise noted.
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Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs (The White Penitents Chapel)