Judging by the numbers of tourists – especially Germans – that I ran into while in Grimaud, on the Côte D’Azur in France, this must be one of the most-visited villages in France! That must also be one of the longest sentences I’ve ever managed to write …
I first visited Grimaud in 1989 as an 18-year-old exchange student, when I spent a year in Belgium. My host family owned a house surrounded by woods and olive trees on the outskirts of the village in the hills. It was to this house that I recently returned. Honestly, I had never heard of Grimaud, whose fortifications date back to the 11th century and which overlooks it’s significantly more famous neighbour, St. Tropez, on the coast.
The castle, now partly restored, was built in the latter half of the 12th century, destroyed during the French “Wars of Religion” in the 16th Century, then rebuilt, destroyed and rebuilt again over the next few hundred years.. The town has a rich religious history, which included the presence of the Knights Templar. Four churches remain: the town’s main 12th-century Roman-Provençal Church of Saint Michel, the 11th-century church of Notre Dame de la Questa, the 15th-century Penitents’ Chapel and the 18th-century St Roch’s chapel.
But the town’s major attraction must be its beautiful, typical Provençal streets and homes. It also hosts a weekly market and many concerts up in the shadow of the “château”.
Herewith my view of Grimaud, medieval village in the hills of Var, France.