Saint-Michel Basilica

Menton, France

Saint-Michel Basilica is a Baroque jewel with its incredible exterior, the bell-tower, the coloured cobbles of the parvis arranged to form the Grimaldi’s coat of arms and the “rampes Saint-Michel” (a series of flights of stairs).

The construction of the Basilica begun in 1640 under the reign of Honoré II, but took several centuries to be completed. The façade was then renovated in the 19th Century adding typical decor of the period such as smooth columns with ionic and corinthian capitals.

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Details

Founded: 1640
Category: Religious sites in France

More Information

www.tourisme-menton.fr

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Vitalie Crudu (10 months ago)
The Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel was built according to the wishes of Prince Honoré II of Monaco. He wanted a "big and beautiful church to Menton" and made this wish by the Genoese architect Laurent Lavagna. Construction began May 27, 1619, but the real work only began in 1639. In 1653 the monument was officially over and under the cult of Saint Michael the Archangel. It is May 8, 1675 that the bishop of Ventimiglia dedicated this church while the prince Ludwig I was there. A bell tower 53 meters high was built in 1701 by architect Emmanuel Monaco Cantone. It was not until 1819 that the facade was completed in the style of the seventeenth century. Originally this church building was a church, and do not acquire the title of Basilica in March 1999, following a decree of Pope John Paul II to reward the church Menton for its dynamism. In 2006, the square was renovated of 170m ² with no less than 250,000 pebbles! It took a year of work to meet the methods implemented in the eighteenth century is taken into account to implement the central motif. This baroque church welcomes every year more than 100,000 tourists who come to admire its facade, which restored its square are represented the arms of the Grimaldi and its impressive ramp. Finally, in summer, at least in August, the front of the Basilica hosts the Classical Music Festival of Menton.
Melvine Lilechi (2 years ago)
Quite a peaceful place to be.
Vedat Odacı (2 years ago)
The Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel was built according to the wishes of Prince Honoré II of Monaco. He wanted a "big and beautiful church to Menton" and made this wish by the Genoese architect Laurent Lavagna. Construction began May 27, 1619, but the real work only began in 1639. In 1653 the monument was officially over and under the cult of Saint Michael the Archangel. It is May 8, 1675 that the bishop of Ventimiglia dedicated this church while the prince Ludwig I was there. A bell tower 53 meters high was built in 1701 by architect Emmanuel Monaco Cantone. It was not until 1819 that the facade was completed in the style of the seventeenth century. Originally this church building was a church, and do not acquire the title of Basilica in March 1999, following a decree of Pope John Paul II to reward the church Menton for its dynamism. In 2006, the square was renovated of 170m ² with no less than 250,000 pebbles! It took a year of work to meet the methods implemented in the eighteenth century is taken into account to implement the central motif. This baroque church welcomes every year more than 100,000 tourists who come to admire its facade, which restored its square are represented the arms of the Grimaldi and its impressive ramp. Finally, in summer, at least in August, the front of the Basilica hosts the Classical Music Festival of Menton.
Ugo De Menton (2 years ago)
Another must to visit in Menton! A great place in August for live classical concerts for 3 weeks!
Abdallah Bseirani (3 years ago)
We really enjoyed visiting this old basilica in Menton, France. It is being repaired and one should climb many steps to reach it. But it was worth it. We liked it so much that we came back and attended mass on Sunday. It was in French. I was able to follow the mass as I speak French. It is located in the old part of the city, which means we walked quite a bit in the old city and it was very interesting.
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Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.