Friday, May 20, 2011

Traveler Visits Le Suquet in Cannes

I took the day to explore some of the history of Cannes on the French Riviera. I headed up to Le Suquet, which is the oldest part of Cannes, located on a hill. Way up at the top is an old castle and church. This area has been settled since the 2nd century BC and Le Suquet was the site of a Roman outpost and Roman tombs have been found on the hill.

It is believed the name, Cannes, was derived from the word canna, which means reeds. The hill, Le Sequet, overlooked the marshes, which is where the modern city now stands.

There is the castle and the church!

An attack by the Saracens in 891, who remained until the end of the 10th century, threatened the insecurity of the Lérins islands (two large islands in the bay) forcing monks to settle on the mainland, at the Suquet. Construction of a castle in 1035 fortified the city by then known as Cannes.

There are beautiful views of the bay from up here...

Here is a bench in memory of Prince Leopold, the haemophiliac youngest son of Queen Victoria. The prince died in Cannes at the age of 31 in 1884. The bench is inscribed with this touching tribute, "Oft near to death, our loved son, passed to God's peace he loved to share. And liveth life and duty done, thy youth is sleepless in Heavenly care."

The tower! It's 109 steps up...

Some of the original steps. The tower was also used as a prison...

The view from the top of the tower...

Completed in 1648, Notre-Dame d'Espérance is a beautiful Provençal Gothic church. The church was named for one of fishermen's favorite saints, Notre-Dame d'Espérance, or Our Lady of Hope.

On my way back down Le Suquet, I came across this charming sign. Viva la France!

- Posted from the road on my iPhone!

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