Declared a National Monument in 1944, the Cathédrale Notre Dame de la Nativité (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Nativity) sits in the center of the village. With the small Place Godeau (once the parish cemetery) to the east and the larger Place Clemenceau (home to the city hall), to the west, the cathedral is one of the most visited landmarks in Vence. Noticeable for its diverse architecture and design it features Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque characteristics, all tangled together for a rather unique look that works surprisingly well. It’s the smallest cathedral in all of France!
I can see the top of the bell tower, decorated with its 13th century crenellations, peeking over the rooftops of the old town when I look out the window of my small home office here in Vence. Said to be built on the site of an ancient Roman temple dedicated to Mars and Cybele, parts of the current cathedral date back to the 11th century. A Merovingian church most likely existed on the same site sometime during the 5th and 6th centuries, to be followed by a Carolingian church during the 9th and 10th centuries.
In this section you’ll find postcards with photographs of both the exterior and the interior of the Cathedral.
If you have any questions about any of the cards featured here, if you see any errors or if you would like more information, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All postcards are from the collection of Howard Shakespeare unless otherwise noted.