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La Turbie Is Little But Lovely

Post by Sharat | September 7, 2018 | See France Destination Guides | Comment
La Turbie Is Little But Lovely

La Turbie sits on the French Riviera a short distance away from Monaco. In fact, it is situated on the beautiful Grand Cornice Road that connects Monaco to Nice and is one the region’s most scenic highlights. The village itself is extremely lovely and has some wonderful views from the cornice. The main reason that people come to visit however is its spectacular Roman monument that dominates the village.

Exploring La Turbie

La Turbie dates back to medieval time and whilst it is small it remains beautifully preserved. La Turbie developed around the Roman monument and if you do visit, don’t just content yourself with seeing the monument, take the time to explore the village itself. In order to enter the village, you will have to pass through a medieval stone gateway where you will find some lovely medieval streets as well as a pretty village square in the centre which is home to a small chapel amidst a gaggle of colourful houses.

The church

You should pay a visit to the baroque style Church of Saint Michel which dates back to the 18th century where you will find a number of paintings and frescoes as well as a wonderfully decorated altarpiece. Of less interest to people who visit is the rest of La Turbie. There is a market that takes place on Thursdays but you won’t find anything more than cheap clothes which is in contrast to the traditional Provencal market that most people love.

Trophy of the Alps

The monument is known as the ‘Trophy of the Alps’ and dates back to the 6th century BC. It used to feature a gigantic statue of the Emperor Augustus sitting on top of a set of circular buildings that were surrounded by great columns which themselves stand on a large stone pedestal. The monument used to mark the boundary between the Roman Empire and the area controlled by Gaul. Not surprisingly the monument was designed to symbolise the imposing power of the Roman Empire as well as celebrate the victory of Augustus over Gaulish tribes.

Renovated monument

The statue unfortunately did not stand the test of time and its structure fell into disrepair and ultimately ruin over the intervening centuries. Much of the village it stands watch over was in fact built using the very same stone that was used to construct the monument. In the 20th century there was a renovation effort which has had a profound effect and recaptured some of the lost glory of the monument. The monument now sits in a small park and overlooks the sea.

Spectacular views

If you visit the monument, be sure to check out the small on-site museum which houses a scale model of the original monument. The views from the monument are spectacular and you will find it hard to obtain a better view of the French Riviera anywhere in France. On the left side of the monument you will find a belvedere where you can obtain some good views without having to fork out cash to pay for admission to the Trophy des Alpes.

La Turbie 08 by Ben Bowes, on Flickr

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