Higher & lower jurisdiction court
The palais du juge-mageis in the Colle neighbourhood. This imposing building, that still bears the remnants of the Romanesque style, currently under co-ownership, is a sturdy construction of three stories built on top of cellars. Its façade features Romanesque and Gothic arcades. Two twin windows are still visible, intricately carved in local Jurassic stone. The holes in the façade were used to place decorative elements made of faience.
The main entrance is on the north side of the palace; it features two large doorsmade of dimension stones; the left one is arched, whereas the right one is semi-circular. On either side of these two doors there were large and relatively low windows that have since been filled in. This official building probably stood alone originally; it was only when it was fell into disuse that new constructions started surrounding it to the south and west.
Mention should be made of a plaque mentioning that in the 12th century, by order of the Count of Provence, the Consuls of Peille gave the rock of Monaco to the Genoese, thereby amputating their territory of the part that reached the sea.
In the south façade, one can still see in the corridor of successive stables, fine ogival openings made of dimension stones that have been walled in.
All authors who have written about the palace mention an arched balcony, that has since disappeared and from which the magistrate, it is said, announced his sentences to the crowd assembled on the square. It does not appear that magistrates resided in the building. They came regularly to Peille, in this palace that was called “courtroom” until the end of the 19th century.
Unfortunately, there is no specific document relating to this magistrates palace, but we know it was frequented by lawyers from neighbouring towns over which Peille held higher and lower jurisdiction. The judge could even, if he felt so compelled, hand down enforceable death sentences in Peille. Thus, from the windows of the court, one could see the place where the sentence was to be carried out, the gallows.
- Located in the center of the village in the Colle district.
- GPS location : 43°48’10°N 7°24’49”E
- Free visit