22 July 2010

The Parvis of Prince Honoré III

This is the parvis of the Basilica. Parvis means 'square in front of the church. '

In 1757 Honoré III of Monaco used white and black pebbles to create the mosaic which represents weaponry and the Grimaldi's coat of arms. The curved 'H' signifies Honoré III. Menton, of course, was ruled by the Princes of Monaco until the French revolution.

After centuries of feet, the tops of some of the pebbles are worn totally flat. The photo below was taken very near the entrance to the church.

On the other hand...a few years ago we had massive flooding in Menton and the rampes (the steps leading up to the Parvis) and also perhaps the parvis itself, had to be restored. The flooding had lifted many of the pebbles. So perhaps the reason the tops of some pebbles are perfectly flat isn't the effect of centuries of wear but of fairly recent renovation and brand new cut stones. I prefer to think it was caused by feet over the centuries!


  1. Beautiful photo and view. I don't think I've ever seen cobblestones worn so flat as these.

  2. Wonderful. The view in the first shot is so beautiful. And the flatness of those stones fills me with awe.

  3. What a peaceful looking spot. I love how you framed this photo--the yellow of the buildings contrasting with the blue sea, and the mosaic in the center. I also like the well-worn cobblestones showing us their age. Lovely.

  4. Anonymous22 July, 2010

    Good photo and even better backstory. Hope you're staying cool Jilly!
    manhattan beach, california

  5. Thanks for the smaller photo. The top one makes the mosaic look so flat and the stones below show it so differently. Amazing.

  6. Such a beautiful place!

  7. Holy bleep. Ain't nothin' looks like that around these parts.

  8. Anonymous23 July, 2010

    Jilly, am I right in thinking this is where these concerts take place?

  9. Alex

    Right. The stage is built up above the steps of the church and there is raised seating all around. The police keep the motorbike noise down and no cars are allowed on the road in front during the concerts. They are great.



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