Jewel of the city’s religious heritage, the Notre-Dame de la Nativité Cathedral, a classified historic landmark, built from the 11th century onwards, was the headquarters of the diocese of Vence.
Built on the site of a Roman temple, later a Carolingian church, it reflects with its architecture and furniture the incredible richness of Vence’s heritage. The interior is made up of five naves. You can see a Gallo-Roman sarcophagus from the fifth century, called “tombeau de Saint Véran”. On several columns and in the Saint Sacrement Chapel you can admire the magnificient Carolingian carved plaques with stunning tracery decors.
On the first floor you can admire a remarkable collection of wooden polychrome statues as well as the stalls (only open from July to September), an excellent example of wood sculptures in the 15th century in Provence.
On the left side of the entrance, is the Tour Saint Lamber dating from the 12th century. At the back, Place Godeau, former cemetery of the parish, offers an excellent view over the Romanesque chevetof the cathedral and its bell tower decorated with crenellations (13th century). Over the centuries the different buildings of the bishopric were attached to the cathedral.
A must-see : the Baptistery decorated with a mosaic by Marc Chagall (1979) representing Moses saved from the water. With this touching gift, the artist (who lived in Vence from 1950 to 1966) wanted to represent the joy of baptism.