Roquebrune-Cap-Martin photo roqueb_cm001.jpg (9 k) Roquebrune village is a medieval village perched on a rocky outcrop high over the Mediterranean. It's located between Monaco and Menton, east of Nice. The old village is dominated by the 10th-century chateau-fort that seems to grow massively from the rocks (photos 2, 3, 4).

location map for Roquebrune-Cap-Martin area map
Dept: Alpes-Maritimes (06)

Nearby: | Beaulieu-sur-Mer 18 km | Eze 14 km | Gorbio 12 km | Menton 1.2 km | Monaco 9 km | Nice, France 22 km | Saint Jean-Cap-Ferrat 23 km | Sainte Agnes 10 km | La Turbie 12 km | Villefranche-sur-Mer 21 km |

Hotels near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin: | Roquebrune-Cap-Martin | 1.2 km Menton | 9 km Monaco | 12 km Turbie | 14 km Eze | 18 km Beaulieu-sur-Mer | 21 km Villefranche-sur-Mer |

It's a picturesque village with narrow streets, stepped-streets, stone steps, one-person-wide walkways and deep vaulted passages. There are lovely little squares and fountains here and there, wrought-iron balconies and other charming discoveries. Roquebrune-Cap-Martin is both a tourist town and a residential town. The newer village houses are neatly and discretely integrated.

The main square of the village (photos 3, 4), tucked in between the chateau and a high protective rock, has a great view; in the evening you can watch the sun setting over Monaco, far below. This is where the statue of La France Triomphante stands.

The 18th-century Ste-Marguerite church (photo 5) is restored with lovely Provencal ocres and ambers, with the patterned tile steps and wrought-iron railings in front. Check the statue over the marble doorway carefully: its shadow is a painted trompe-l'oeil, giving a feeling of light to this perpetually shady little corner.

Follow one of the paved paths down the hill east of the village center (to about where photo 2 was taken) and you pass one of the oldest known olive trees in the region, the over 1000-year-old millenaire tree.

Playground

There's a playground at the top, above the chateau, beside the school. School access to the playground is rather unique, through a buried-pipe tunnel.

Chateau

The 10th-century chateau at the top of the village withstood many sieges over the century. It was restored in the 13th and 15th centuries, and again recently, in the 19th century.

Place William Ingram

Entry: about 2 euros

Closed: Nov-20 Dec.

Cap Martin

Cap-Martin, within the commune of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, is a beautiful wooded peninsula on the Mediterranean, just below the perched Roquebrune village. The train station is down here, along with the beach, some campsites and shops. The peninsula itself is largely covered with very expensive walled estates, some dating back to the 19th century and the Belle Epoque.

History

Name

First record, 1157: Rocabruna

Prehistoric: The Grotte du Repaire (grotto) contained a collective Bronze-age burial tomb. At the rocky edge of the sea, in Cap Martin, important prehistoric animal bones and paleolithic remains have been discovered.

Gallo-Roman: Some Roman milestones and inscriptions have been discovered here.

Medieval: Roquebrune was ruled in the 13th century by the lords of Vintimillia, and was disputed between the Count of Genoa and the Counts of Provence. In the 14th century, Charles Grimaldi obtained control for the Count of Genoa, then declared possession directly for the Grimaldis. Although the Duchy of Savoy had sovereign authority of the region from 1448, Roquebrune remained with the Grimaldis for the next five centuries. In 1848, Roquebrune was declared an independent town, no longer ruled by the Principality of Monaco or Menton. In 1860, Roquebrune was attached to France.

Office de Tourisme

Tel : 0493 35 62 87; Fax: 04 93 28 57 00

Web: www.roquebrune-cap-martin.com

Email: office-du-tourisme.rcm@wanadoo.fr

Dates

Every June - Fete de la Musique
Every Aug - Procession vôtive
Every Sep - Foire à la brocante
Gala du Mimosa: March
Festin des Genêts: June
Fête de Roquebrune: beginning Aug.


Other Sites

Prehistoric

Saint Roman Grotto - Grotte de Saint Roman

This grotto at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin has 120 m developed. Another grotto of the same name is located below the Moyenne Corniche, with 60 m developed.

[This was an old reference we found in technical guides; we haven't found where the grotto is located - beyond]

Vallonnet Grotto - Grotte du Vallonnet

This grotto was occupied by man about 1 million years agon. It's the oldest inhabited grotto known in Europe, even though no vestiges of humans has been discoverd there.

Not open to the public. Owned by the State, and excavations are ongoing.

Transportation Roquebrune-Cap-Martin

Train

A railway station at Cap-Martin, on the seaside below the old village, is on the main Nice-Monaco-Italy line, with frequent year-round service.


Sports

Aviation

Cycling

Diving

Paragliding

Sailing

Swim

Tennis

Hiking

• A short, steep hike from the center of the old village takes you up to Mont Gros (690 m) to join the GR51 (Balcony of the Côte d'Azur). The GR51 goes north along the top of the hills to Gorbio and Ste-Agnes, then circles back down to its end at Menton, on the coast.
• Also north of the village, several trails branch off from the GR51, offering loop hikes while passing through rugged mountains, beautiful forests and ancient villages.
• To the west, the GR51 goes by St-Martin de Peille, then on to Tourrette-Levens and Aspremont before crossing the Var river.
• A coastal trail (sentier du littoral) follows along the very edge of the sea from Pointe de la Veille, around the Roquebrune bay and Cap Martin.

Lodging - Hotels