Alpes-Maritimes (06250) Population: 13,014 Altitude: 250 m
Mougins has retained the shape of its origins, and some vestiges of its Medieval heritage, but it lacks the maze of narrow streets found in most other little perched villages of the the South of France. You get the best idea of the circular shape of Mougins village from a map (free at the Office de Tourisme) or the enamel-tile plan of the village [Photo 2].
You don't really need a map to tour the old village, though, because just wandering the streets tends to bring you around in a circle to your starting point anyway.
The Porte Sarrazine [Photo 12] is the best remnant of the Medieval fortified walls of that earlier era.
The Rue de l'Eglise, bordered on one side by a narrow stepped canal [Photo 9], slopes up to the 11th-century Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur church — with recent remodelling in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Mougins Commercial Center
The fortified hilltop of Mougins Village isn't really a village, but the center-piece of the commune of Mougins.
The commercial center of the town is mainly the section of shops along the to the west, and the adjacent Tournamy section just to the north. These two areas are joined by a roundabout (traffic circle) at the entrance/exit of the Cannes-Grasse limited-access highway. There's a supermarket here and a small strip-mall. The Ave de Tournemy is the old route between Grasse and Le Cannet, and is lined with shops and businesses of all kinds.
Othere areas of the commune of Mougins contain housing estates, including the relatively modern hilltop "village" of Mougins-le-Haut.
Famous Sons & Fellow Travellers
Mougins seems to be most proud of native son Commandant Amédée-François Lamy, born here in Feb 1858, and died at the battle of Kousséri (Chad) in April 1900. Fort-Lamy in Chad was named after him a few days after his death — renamed N'Djamena in 1973.
Not precisely a "favorite son" because he wasn't born here, yet Picasso is forever linked to Mougins. In 1961 Picasso moved to the hilltop mas at Notre-Dame-de-Vie, just beside the 12th-century chapel of the same name [Photo 17], across the valley about a km from Mougins village. The night of 8 April 1973, died at his home here. He was taken the next day to his chateau at Vauvenargues where he was buried.