The Eagle’s Nest

Eze, the Village in the Sky

Our last morning in Nice we picked up the hire car for the next leg of our trip to Marseilles then promptly headed the opposite way east to the village of Eze.

Tip for travelers, public transport is a bit patchy to Eze, but if you’re up for it take the SNCF train to Eze bord de mer and hike up Nietchze’s trail to Eze.

The walk from the car park up to the village takes you round in sort of a clockwise curve through the village which wraps around the exotic garden, that in turn surround the ruins of the pinnacle fortress.

Hmm…which should we take, the path to the left or the path to the right? We took the right hand and continued our walk along the Rue Principale.

Which took us to the Place le Planet, with loquat and apricot trees, and a somewhat hard to ignore fountain.

The fountain, Eze’s only, dates back to the 1930’s when Sam Barlow a expatriate American composer had it installed. Before this the locals collected water in two cisterns or brought the water up from the valley.

On the other side of Planet square is the entrance to the Riquier house.

Galina is looking at the chapel of the white penitents on the right (its the oldest building in the village). The white penitents were a brave lot, their order was formed to tend to those afflicted by the plague.

As the right hand path again, in the form of the rue de la Pise.

Medieval window with a… medieval window box (thank you, thank you, you’ve been a wonderful audience). Though actually I think that window box might be a later addition.

…And a very small but saintly member of the permanent residents.

Walking through the narrow streets and precincts you can forget that your actually standing on a mountain peak, until you round a corner and are given a glimpse of the sea below, and the toe curling gulf of sky around you.

Looking west towards Cape Ferat, that’s Eze-sur-mer in the bay immediately below with the Basse Corniche winding through it.

You can see straight away why this is such a great strategic position, and why Eze has changed hands (often violently) so many times in the past.

The exotic botanical garden of Eze, filled with desert cacti, succulents and grasses the garden terraces rise upwards from the village until they reach the foundations of the old pinnacle fortress.

And heading back down again, when it rains in Eze there must be a torrent of water coursing down these narrow streets.

The 18th century church Our Lady of the Assumption, designed by the Italian architect Antonio Spinelli in the italian baroque style of the time, the church has fallen on hard times nowadays and is slowly falling into genteel rot and ruin.

The pulpit with outstretched arm holding a cross. In the ancient church a priest was supposed to hold out the cross while preaching. However apparently that got a little tiring, or the sermons a little longer, so the carved arm holding aloft the cross from the pulpit was introduced. As this was a jesuit church I’m not sure whether that might have had anything to do with the length of the sermons. 🙂

Next stop Aix-en-Provence for lunch then Marseilles for dinner.

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