Peille Tourisme
Peille, France

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Saint Martin Chapel


Located in the small village of Saint-Martin, Saint Martin Chapel is a modern chapel built from 1951 to 1952 and designed by Buzzi, an architect from Nice.
The overall space combines two dynamic shapes: on one hand, the nave with a large terraced and sloped roof that forms, on the entrance side, a large overhanging semi-circular awning made of precast rough concrete; on the other hand, in the axis of the space where the choir generally stands, a belltower made of local stone, with on top of it a hollow concrete arrow, each side of which is in the shape of a cross. The design of the altar is based on a large tree stump retrieved from the beaches of Nice. It is surrounded by two bay windows.
Two superb stained-glass windows adorn the side walls: to the north it features bright and contrasted colours, and to the south it displays more neutral grey tones. Maurice Chausse, professor at the Don Bosco school in Nice, made these stained-glass windows using an interesting translucent plastic material (TOLPLEX).

In 1956, Father Jacques Riousse moved into Saint-Martin Chapel, where he remained until 2004. He put into practice the teachings he had received in his youth at the Beaux-Arts of Amiens. His interventions are numerous: addition of stained-glass windows in the belltower, many sculptures and paintings, partition wall in the mezzanine area, creation of an artist’s workshop downhill from the chapel to the South, etc…

However, the parish archives tell us that in 1829 this chapel was in a state of disrepair and reduced to rubble, owing to lack of upkeep by its owners. The walls of the former chapel are still standing, despite successive conversions.
With an east-west orientation and of rectangular shape, it measures 8 meters by 4 meters, and 3.5 meters high approximately. The walls are 60cm thick.

More recently, a stele to the memory of Princess Grace, who enjoyed relaxing stays at the princely properties of Roc Agel and Fontbonne, both located in Peille’s territory, was erected on the parvis of Saint-Martin Chapel.

Useful Information
  • Located in the Saint-Martin-des-Lacs district between Peille and La Turbie, route de la Gorra.
  • GPS location : 43.767546,7.399700
  • Free visit
  • With an architecture mixing brutalism and futurism, the building was labeled “Heritage of the twentieth century” on March 15, 2007
  • Download the complete documentationHERE
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