Var (83440) Population: 1,793 Altitude: 366 m
Seillans is a very ancient village nestled back against the base of a forested mountain, looking out to the south across the lower valleys.
It's located in the eastern Var, beside the popular village of Fayence, and about a half-hour drive west of Grasse.
Seillans is one of the Most Beautiful Villages (Plus Beaux Villages) of France. Market day Wed.
The D19 road (Route de Bargemon) from Fayence passes in the plain at the south entrance of Seillans close to the Notre-Dame de l'Ormeau chapel and then narrowly through the bottom of the village, directly beside the tiny "Placette de la Route". This square, with accompanying fountain and lavoir is completely shaded from morning to night by its gigantic plane tree, whose leafy branches stretch out to cover the entire square and even across the road.
From this bottom square, Seillans stretches up through narrow, cobblestone streets that pass between ancient buildings and other lovely squares to eventually reach the Saint Léger church at the top. In between are small, shaded squares with fountains. At the Place du Thouron, a trio of very ancient plane trees shades the ancient stone fountain, which is surrounded by outdoor restaurant tables. Further up near the top, another shaded square with a bubbling fountain and an outdoor café is located beside the ancient Porte Sarrasine (Saracen door). The view from this square is out over a valley to the green hills to the east.
The painter-sculptor Max Ernst and his wife Dorothea Tanning visited here often, and finally settled here in 1964 to live the last ten years of his life.
There is one borie located in the woods just south of the village.
Tourte de blettes - This small quiche-like tart made from a white beet (blette) is the speciality of Seillans. It's baked in a large rectangle, with individual pieces cut for sale or consumation.
The perfumeries of Seillans were located a short way up in the hills outside the village. Dating back to 1883, these went out of business only a few years ago.
• Bernard Pellicot - built the Fort de Notre Dame-de-la-Garde at Marseilles;
• Colomb de Seillans - author of the prose comedy "La Gageure du Village", performed in 1706 in Paris for the king;
• botanist Gaston Bonnier (1853-1922);
• Max Ernst (see above);
• Princess Di and Fergy vacationed here in July 1996.
• In 1888, Queen Victoria visited Seillans to see the Vicomtesse de Savigny, founder of the famous perfumery of Seillans.