The highest village in Europe ranked among the most beautiful villages in France, Sainte-Agnès takes place in the heart of the Alpes-Maritimes, on the heights of Menton. It is located at the limits of Peille, Castillon and Gorbio.
According to legend, the town would take its name from an Italian princess named Agnès, who would have taken refuge in a cave located not far in a big storm. But it is in the course of the Middle Ages that it really develops, especially with the construction of the castle on its rocky peak in the twelfth century. Long a coveted object of the Counts of Ventimiglia, Counts of Provence, Grimaldi or the House of Savoy, it was owned by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia from 1814 until its attachment to France in 1860. In the Second World War, its fort built in the 1930s was the last link in the Maginot line to stop Italian troops.
Mainly turned to tourism today, the village of Sainte-Agnès seduced by its setting, its architectural heritage, its craft activities but also by its cultural dynamism.
Located 800 meters above sea level on a rocky outcrop, the Sainte-Agnès castle offers incredible views of the bay of Menton and the Mediterranean. The remains of this ancient medieval castle have long been a nest of eagles impregnable by the enemies of the village. Shaved on the orders of Louis XIV, it was built on a former Roman castrum and still has a tower of the late tenth century. Next to it, the medieval garden blossoms with gentleness. Brought up to date, it was entirely created by the association of Painters of the Sun to discover several types of Mediterranean plants. We discover a garden of virtues, taste, smells or even a fountain of life.
While strolling in the village, you will also be able to admire the church Notre-Dame-of-Neiges with its tiles in glazed scales, the church Saint-Michel of Cabrolles, or the chapels of the White Penitents, San Sebastian, d Anna or Saint Pascal des Cabrolles.
The chapel Saint-Charles now hosts a museum run by the Painters of the Sun, including paintings by local artists, a collection of tools and old utensils and a collection of ceramics found on site at the time. Archaeological excavations.
Built in the early 1930s, the Sainte-Agnès military fort appears to rise from the hillside south of the eponymous village. Suspended on a rocky peak on the Franco-Italian border, it served to repel the Italian assaults during the Second World War. True underground city dug under the village, the building is equivalent to a building of four floors and burrows under more than fifty-five meters deep. It has more than 2000 m² of galleries and underground rooms and could accommodate 350 troops with all the modern standards.
Do not miss to discover the sources, fountains and wash-houses of Sainte-Agnès, or to appreciate the old communal oven. Walkers and outdoor enthusiasts can also visit the Borrigo waterfall that takes its source at the Col du Verroux.
Concerts are regularly offered at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Church.
Every 1st of May, Sainte-Agnès Art places with its exhibitions.
At the end of July, the lavender festival is an opportunity to enjoy many activities.
At the beginning of August, the commune proposes an exhibition of models.
Mid-August, place to the medieval festival with street performances, medieval animations and reconstructions of fights and scenes of everyday life. A giant treasure hunt and various workshops are also available.