Alpes-Maritimes (06420) Population: 64 Altitude: 628 m
Marie is perched on a high peaked plateau overlooking the Tinée Valley. The village is very nicely restored, with rebuilt stone walls and cobblestone streets and steps. Vaulted passages through the buildings include the ancient stone lintels, and the sound of fountains and under-street running water is everywhere in the village. The village "lavoir" has gothic pillars, and some of the houses have "lauze" roofs, a dark red schist (schiste rouge).
The château-fort (now private) was mentioned in 1066. It belonged to the Grimaldis in the 14th century and was rebuilt in the 17th century. The olive-wood statue of the Virgin Mary in the 17th-century church also has a story. Weighing 400 kg, it was carried on the backs of men from Nice to its namesake village in September 1777.
Getting There. Eighteen km up the Tinée valley (from the Pont de la Mescla), the D58 turns right for the 3-km trip up to the village. Much of the road is very narrow (one-car wide), but local drivers are cautious and the visibility is often good.
The hotel-restaurant "Le Panoramique" is open all year. Rooms wee around 30 euros, and a September menu had Daube de Sanglier Pate Fraiches (wild boar stew with fresh pasta). The restaurant's enclosed terrace is actually perched on the side of the cliff overlooking the Tinée river below.
tel: (33) 493 02 03 01; fax: (33) 493 86 05 07
Mill, Oven, Still
The old olive-oil mill is restored, in a neat building on the hillside just below the village. You can see a bit of the waterwheel through an opening in the side of the building. The village communal oven (four communal) has also been restored, and the old still is still there and still working.
The communal playground is also down below the village, beside the mill. Equipment for the kiddies includes a bright-colored slide going down over a terrace, teeter-totter, merry-go-round and jungle-gym.
History of Marie
First record, 1066 Maria.. The name, and the founding, of the village comes from a hermit who built a chapel in honor of the Virgin, and did "healings".
Medieval: Founded by a hermit, Marie was ruled by the Rostaing de Valdeblore and then by the Grimaldi de Beuil at the end of the 14th century.
Aug (4th Sun) - Fête votive (with procession of the Virgin):
• GPS: 44.031324, 7.134889
IGN (1/25,000) #3641 OT "Moyenne Var"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #9 "Mercantour"
The GR52A (Grande Randonnée) passes between St. Sauveur-sur-Tinée, Rimplas and Valdeblore a few km to the north.
Hikes marked on the balise #63 by the parking lot are:
Chapelle St-Roch (1 km east)
Clans (5 km south)
St-Ferréol (1 km south)
Circuit de Marie
Chapelle Ste-Anne (3 km northeast)
Vacherie de Marie (5 km northeast)
Col de la Madeleine (5 km northeast)
Mont Viroulet (4 km northeast)
The balise #63 beside the stream channel has marked:
Petit circuit de la Lauzetta
Pointe de Clamia (2 km north-northeast)
Col de la Séréna (4 km north-northeast)
Valdeblore (7 km northeast)