Éze, France

Éze is a small, walled-in, pedestrian-only town. Its few paths all lead toward a peak with an exotic cacti garden and spectacular views of the Mediterranean.

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1 Bridge of the Devil Viaduct in Éze, France

Legend explains that a shepherd asked the Devil to build a viaduct across this ravine in exchange for the soul of the first living creature that crossed it. When the Devil complied, the shepherd threw a stick so his dog would run for it and satisfy the debt. Or you can believe that it took over three years to build this eight arched, 262 foot span of the Moyenne Corniche coastal road.

6 Place du Général de Gaulle, 06360 Èze, France
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2 Church of Our Lady of the Assumption Bell Tower in Éze, France

Eze is considered one of the perched villages along the French Riviera which affords it wonderful views of the Mediterranean. However, height also attracts lightening and after the dome on this limestone bell tower was repeatedly struck, it had to be removed from the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption.

The Church of Èze 5 La Placette, 06360 Èze, France
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3 Church of Our Lady of the Assumption Altar in Éze, France

A statue of the namesake for the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption sits above the altar in the nave of this Roman Catholic church that was consecrated in 1772. Above her are marvelous frescos in the dome and semi-domes that are bathed in light.

The Church of Èze 5 La Placette, 06360 Èze, France
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4 Church of Our Lady of the Assumption Chapel Painting in Éze, France

The side chapels in the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Éze, France, are beautifully decorated with paintings of saints on canvas and stucco. Next to the Virgin Mary with Child in the heavens is St. Francis of Assisi and below him wearing the mitre (bishop’s hat) is Saint Gratus of Oloron, the protector of crops. Depicted on the left is the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian.

The Church of Èze 5 La Placette, 06360 Èze, France
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5 Church of Our Lady of the Assumption Window & Roof in Éze, France

Éze feels like a medieval village perched high on a hill and isolated from modern times. The centerpiece is the Neo-classical bell tower of the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption with its simple yet elegant design. In this detail you can appreciate its bright ochre coloring, the elliptical grille in the half circle window, and the terra cotta, fired clay roofing tiles.

The Church of Èze 5 La Placette, 06360 Èze, France
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6 Fortified Walls and Buildings in Éze, France

Since people started living on the hill now known as Eze Village over 4,000 years ago, it has been attacked and claimed by several countries. Finally, in 1706, the army of King Louis XIV of France conquered it for the last time. But you can almost feel its history as you walk along the narrow passages that are defined by fortified walls and stone buildings.

16-18 Rue Principale,06360 Èze, France
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7 Artist Gallery in Éze, France

Eze, France, is a commune of very talented artists. In their boutiques they display paintings, ceramics glasswork, leatherworks and other unique handicrafts. Each new terrace not only offers you a respite from your uphill climb but the chance to see how the locals capture the beauty of the French Riviera in their art.

7 Rue du Brec, 06360 Èze, France
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8 Labyrinth of Cobbled Walkways in Éze, France

No cars are allowed in the tiny, perched village of Éze. The only entrance is through a 700 year old arched gate called the Poterne. From there you wander up a labyrinth of cobbled walkways among art galleries and perfume shops, restaurants with stunning views of the Mediterranean, gardens and the charming stone homes of the town’s 2,600 residents. It is a wonderful way to spend a few hours but I can’t imagine carrying everything you need up these narrow passages.

1 Place du Planet, 06360 Èze, France
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9 Jardin Exotique Garden Blooming Cacti and Succulents in Éze, France

These are just some of the 1000 species of succulents and cacti that have hugged the edge of a cliff in Éze, France, since 1933. A dirt path winds you up a hill through the three acre Jardin Exotique garden. Most of the plants are described on plaques. Buy you hardly have time to read them because you are mesmerized by their beauty and fascinated by the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea below.

20 Rue du Château, 06360 Èze, France
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10 Jardin Exotique Garden Isis Statue in Éze, France

Isis was an ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility who was worshiped as the perfect mother and wife. Jean-Philippe Richard sculpted his vision of the pregnant Isis because one legend claims she gave the town of Éze its name. This statue is one of several elegant Goddess Earth Statues that grace the garden called Jardin Botanique d’Eze.

20 Rue du Château, 06360 Èze, France
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11 Jardin Exotique Garden Rose and Anaïs Statues in Éze, France

Surrounded by the ruins of a 12th century castle are the beautiful statues of Rose on the left and Anaïs. They are two of the fourteen Goddess Earth Statues that are more poised than any starlet attending the nearby Cannes Film Festival. Beside each is a three-line poem. The one for Anaïs ends with, “A woman, I am.” They are sculpted from earthen clay which the artist Jean-Philippe Richard calls “dust of stars.”

20 Rue du Château, 06360 Èze, France
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12 Jardin Exotique Garden Mediterranean View from in Éze, France

Imagine staying at a boutique hotel with a magnificent view of the Mediterranean splashing against the shores of the French Riviera while behind you is a garden filled with blooming plants and graceful statues. You just described the Château Éze on the right below the clay tile roof. Now you see why some people call this spot the eagle’s nest.

20 Rue du Château, 06360 Èze, France
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13 Scenic Elevated View of Mediterranean from Éze, France

Some theorized that Éze is named after a town that was here in 96 AD called Avisio which means viewpoint or panorama in Latin. Éze sits 1,400 feet high on the eastern edge of the French Riviera. On a clear day you can see the famous resort towns of Saint Tropez, Cannes and Nice. This photo’s view of the Mediterranean extends as far as a peninsula that’s home to Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, a playground for kings and the wealthy in the 19th century.

20 Rue du Château, 06360 Èze, France
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14 Cliffside Cemetery in Éze, France

Outside the walls of the medieval Éze Village is a very tiny cemetery that’s reached through a rusted, broken gate. It has a few mausoleums partially built into stone walls while other decrepit grave stones and markers cling to a narrow path that could be washed down the cliff in a good rain.

Èze, 06360, France
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