Vence’s charming churches
Vence has the smallest cathedral in France, Notre-Dame de la Nativité. Built on the site of a Roman temple, the cathedral was completed in the 12th century and has several interesting features including intricate carvings, a 5th century Gallo-Roman sarcophagus, and a mosaic designed by the artist Marc Chagall which was added in 1979.
The Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs is also of note, with its unique stained glass windows and mosaics designed by the artist Jean-Michel Folon.
Just outside the town is another chapel, La Chapelle du Rosaire, designed by Henri Matisse and built in 1950. A fairly unprepossessing exterior belies a beautiful interior. White walls act as a canvas for the green, blue and yellow reflected forms of the stained glass windows. Matisse also painted elegant line drawing murals of Biblical scenes as well as designing other elements such as the altar, ornaments and even the priests’ robes.