Éze, France

Éze is a small, walled-in, pedestrian-only town along the French Riviera. 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

2 Church of Our Lady of the Assumption Bell Tower in Éze, France

Éze is one of several perched villages along the French Riviera. The elevation provides wonderful views of the Mediterranean. The height also attracts lightening. There used to be an ornate dome on this limestone tower of the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption. But after repeated lightning strikes and renovations, it was finally removed.

The Church of Èze 5 La Placette, 06360 Èze, France

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

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

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

6 Fortified Walls and Buildings in Éze, France

People started living on the hill now known as Éze Village over 4,000 years ago. For centuries, it was attacked and claimed by several countries. Finally, in 1706, the army of King Louis XIV of France conquered it for the last time. You sense the history as you walk along the crooked and sloped alleys defined by fortified walls and stone buildings.

16-18 Rue Principale,06360 Èze, France

7 Artist Gallery in Éze, France

Éze 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 also the chance to see how the locals capture the beauty of the French Riviera in their art. You are bound to go home with an elegant souvenir.

7 Rue du Brec, 06360 Èze, France

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 Poterne. From there you wander up a labyrinth of cobbled walkways among galleries and perfume shops, restaurants with stunning views of the Mediterranean, gardens and the charming stone homes of the town’s 2,600 residents. Éze is a marvelous place to spend a few hours. As you trudge up the narrow passages, imagine always carrying everything you need up this steep hill.

1 Place du Planet, 06360 Èze, France

9 Jardin Exotique Garden Blooming Cacti and Succulents in Éze, France

At the summit of Éze is a dirt path leading to the three-acre Jardin Exotique garden. You will be amazed by what awaits you. These are some of the 1,000 species of succulents and cacti that have hugged the cliff edge since 1933. Most of the plants are identified on plaques. But you hardly have time to read them because you are mesmerized by the garden’s beauty. You will also be fascinated by the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea below you.

20 Rue du Château, 06360 Èze, France

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

11 Jardin Exotique Garden Rose and Anaïs Statues in Éze, France

Encircled by the ruins of a 12th century castle are the enchanting statues of Rose (left) and Anaïs. They are two of the fourteen Goddess Earth Statues. They are poised similar to actresses on the red carpet while attending the nearby Cannes Film Festival. Next to each sculpture 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

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

13 Scenic Elevated View of Mediterranean from Éze, France

Some people theorized Éze is named after Avisio, a town that was here in 96 AD. The Latin word means viewpoint or panorama. 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 Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. This peninsula was a playground for kings and the wealthy during the 19th century.

20 Rue du Château, 06360 Èze, France

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