Can't you just imagine Rapunzel* singing from this window as her long, long hair trailed to the ground or picture the King's son waiting ever so patiently to climb up her tresses and ascend to her chamber?
Well, as I said earlier, it takes little imagination to picture Eze in the early centuries. This structure surely could belong in a fairy tale! Take a look at its stone walls and old shutters.
Throughout our rambling we noted flower-filled window boxes, restored historic buildings and lovely fountains which once served to supply the village with water.
*Story by the Brothers Grimm
This picture gives you further proof that this definitely was a village built on the heights. Where do these steps lead...hmmm? Someplace interesting, I'm sure!
The district where Eze is located has mild year round temperatures, making it ideal for growing bananas, oranges, lemons, dates and carob. I would think the villagers of ancient Eze had no difficulty growing similar crops. Early records show that the residents of the Chapelle de la Sainte-Croix made an income from selling carob leaves to silkworm owners.
The Phoenicians and the Romans both had a presence in Eze's past. A 12th century castle once sat atop a cliff overlooking the small town below. All that remains of the castle are its ruins, for it was demolished in the early 1700's.
As mentioned earlier, shops, restaurants and cafes are sprinkled about the narrow streets and pathways surrounding the point where the fortress once stood.
The Jardin Exotique can be found at the top, as well, and offers a spectacular view. There is an admission charge to this garden. We didn't have the time to see it when we visited.
The Eze Mountains undulate throughout the countryside, making a drive there quite appealing. All in all we thought a visit to Eze was a very scenic one.
Just one glance at this arched passageway brings to mind ladies-in-waiting and daring Lords in their suits of armor!
The fact that the medieval village of Eze sits on a high cliff, makes it quite obvious that its location would have been perfect for viewing any 'hoards' headed towards the castle fortress.
Although it was somewhat of a climb to the top, there were terraced areas along the way on which to catch one's breath.
I think very little imagination is needed to see this as it was in the 12th century.
After spending time marveling at the beauty of the village of Eze on Mt. Bastide, and then stopping to buy postcards by the dozens, we headed down the mountain to rejoin our tour bus group by the appointed time.
Just before reaching the bus parking lot we found the Tourist Information Office at the foot of the mountain on the Place du General de Gaulle. There looked to be a huge amount of printed information available but we could not find much in English when we browsed on our own and so I inquired at the desk. Without much fanfare I was handed only a couple of pieces of information, and unfortunately none which gave good descriptions of the sights here, none that explained thoroughly the history of Eze, and more importantly at the time, no good city map. Quel dommage!!
You may have better luck or find information in other languages which you will find useful. For me this tourist info. office was a bit of a disappointment.
NOTE: The restrooms are just outside and next to the info. office!!
Address given only as: Place du General de Gaulle, 06360 Eze Village ~ cote d'Azur, France
PH: 33-493-41-2600; FAX: 33-493-41-0480
Grasping just what comprises "Eze" is a little difficult as you will see/read references to "the village" and again as just "Eze", "haute Eze," or "Eze sur Mer." Unfortunately the information & materials available in English from the Tourist Office were neglible.
I had also seen a intriguing reference on a map to "Le Chemin Nietzche" and wondered what that was all about since our guide did not mention it that I recall. I found the information below in an edition of the "Parisvoice:"
"In addition to the ancient Eze-village and the newer town built outside its walls, there is a third Eze, this one far below and slightly to the west. Known as Eze bord de mer, it consists mainly of a small port and a cluster of private villas. Before the construction of the moyenne corniche, the middle road following the Mediterranean coast, the two levels of Eze were connected only by a steep path now called "Le Chemin Nietzche." It was named in honor of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who wrote the key portion of his work "Thus Spake Zarathrustra" during what he called an ascension fort rude from the train station in Eze bord de mer. Le Chemin Nietzche can still be walked today, though visitors arriving by train might prefer to take advantage of the shuttle bus service just started this year."
Another piece of the puzzle about Eze!
The inhabitants of "Haute" Eze or the Village of Eze had moved to this higher ground for safety and to thwart invaders. Naturally they tried to fortify their position and the now ruined castle by the series of high, rock walls and arched gateways which could be closed off.
As you climb Mt. Bastide to enter the haute village, there are at least two arched gateways before entering "La Placette," a small plaza that is the town's largest open space except for that which is in front of the "eglise" or church. It is also some of the most level ground on the mountainside.
At "La Placette" you can find small cafes have arranged groupings of tables with unmbrellas where you can have a meal or just drinks and a chance to enjoy the magnificent surroundings. Just off "La Placette" you can see the ascending steps that lead to the higher pedestrian passage and walkways on the mountain. Many visitors rested here before venturing on to climb the steep steps and passageways that were just up the steps and around the corner.
Also just under the archway you will find a postbox and a little bench to rest on or write postcards!
Fundation Maeght is excellent and there are also great views of the sea below from some of the terraces where art is also displayed outdoors.
Fondest memory: Dining at Colombe d'Or's terrace and laughing with my best friends in the world.
You MUST to take a walk through narrow streets and enjoy a beautiful view.
Don't expect some nightlife there. But it doesn't matter, Monte Carlo is 6 km from Eze.
It is beutiful place for wandering, waking up, taking coffe and coming in the late afternoon to take a walk through narrow streets and little shops, sit in the restorant......
Eze was the site of an ancient Ligurian oppidum, probably established by the Phoenicians and later occupied by the Romans. The original oppidum was on Mont Bastide, 1 km northwest of the current perched village.
Fondest memory: The Heraklean Way (later replaced by the Via Domitia) passed by Eze; there's a pillar somewhere on the Plateau de Justice, 3 km to the west. A Roman tomb can be seen at the Chapelle des Pénitents. art of the earldom of Nice and "Provence" until 1388, Eze went under the authority of the count of Savoy. Eze suffered French invasions from 6th century to 18th century. In 1792, before the creation of the Alpes Maritimes, Eze was a part of Monaco district, and was united to France in 1860.
The best part of discovering a village like Eze is its long and varied history. It is a place of many influences, and you can find remains of a Roman wall, medieval palaces, striking ironwork, and lovingly preserved stone houses and streets.
And then you come across a carved wooden door like like this. Takes your breath away.
Village 429 m high
Col d'Eze 508 m high
La Revere 650 m high
Inhabitants The "Ezasques"
Nb of inhabitants 2742
Fondest memory: Office deTourisme
Place du Gl de Gaulle
06360 Eze France
Tel : 33 (0) 4 93 41 26 00
Fax : 33 (0) 4 93 41 04 80
Favorite thing: If you want to visit some certain objects there but don't know where they are located in the town look at the map just before entrance to the town.
DON'T FORGET YOUR CAMERA!!!!
This is not a place to visit without a camera to capture all that surrounds you.
Forget what ever else you wish.. but don't leave home without your camera!!!!!
Favorite thing: Mix of gravel and pebble beach (I guess, as we could mostly see the algae). Read "Being a Beach Bum" tip on "Must See Activities".