One building to the next

The Sainte-Catherine d’Alexandrie Church


In 1551, the Cannet area had only one chapel dedicated to Saint-Joseph, situated in the heart of the Calvys hamlet. At this time, the White penitents' brotherhood (known as "Battus") is criticized for celebrating mass there, when the parish is located in Cannes.

In spite of this criticism and in view of the need for a church large enough to accommodate a growing population, the decision was made to build the Sainte-Catherine Church. Its construction was finished on the 6th of March 1556. The Sainte-Catherine hamlet immediately appeared around the small church, a population with a common religious life. This church was also at the root of the discord with Cannes that led to the separation of the two towns on the 9th of August 1774. It obtained parish autonomy in 1560, the earliest recorded baptism date of Le Cannet.

This small sanctuary has a captivating quality and authenticity. It holds a single nave with an apse, three lateral chapels and a quadrangular bell tower and recent vestibule. It would seem that the church was built in four successive stages: the primitive chapel, followed by the addition of a Southern and a Northern nave, and finally a porch in 1854.

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The Saint-Bernardin Chapel


In 1552, the White Penitents of the St Bernardin order, who were planning to build a chapel dedicated to their saint, were donated a piece of land next to the Sainte-Catherine Church. They therefore built their chapel there.

The two constructions merged into a single building, with two different bell towers. This chapel can be recognised by its 18 m high quadrangular bell tower, topped by a polygonal belfry and a dome covered in coloured tiles. Attached for a long time to the White Penitents' brotherhood, the chapel became the headquarters of the popular Sans-Culottes society of Le Cannet during the French Revolution. In 1924, the unused chapel changed vocation.

Registered on the French Supplementary Historic Monument List since the 29th of October 1926, it became in 1999 a venue for cultural exhibitions, contemporary art shows, photo exhibits...


The Sainte-Philomène Church


The Sainte-Catherine Church could no longer accommodate a once again growing population. Abbot Bovis, curate of Le Cannet, therefore decided to build a larger and brighter one.

Many Cannettans offered money or donations, but the town refused to contribute to the endeavour. Abbot Bovis therefore embarked on a tour of France in order to collect the necessary funds. On his return, he received a plot of land in the town centre. Construction work began on the 1st of October 1877, still without the approval of the local authorities.

Open for worship on the 2nd of April 1882, but only consecrated as a parish church in 1907, the building was christened Sainte-Philomène. This name was suggested to Abbot Bovis by Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney, known as the Curate of Ars, upon his return from a trip to Italy. The latter worked to spread throughout France the worship of Sainte-Philomène, only saint to be canonised with no historical knowledge of her life. According to tradition, she was found dead in Rome in 275 C.E. Her remains were discovered in 1802 in the town's catacombs, and are said to have caused many miracles.


The Saint-Sauveur Chapel


This old belfry off rue des Ardissons – named after one of the founding families of Le Cannet which came to settle in 1477 – marks the entrance of the district. The construction date of this old bell tower (or "Campanile") of Le Cannet remains unknown (the chapel was not present on the list of Pastoral visits conducted in the middle of the 17th century). It is thought to have lost its original aspect. It bell tolled to mark any important event: the tocsin warned of fires, called to arms and sounded the alarm in the case of any common danger.

Saved from probable ruin, the chapel was restored in 1989. All that remained was to provide it with a purpose worthy of its historical past and spiritual vocation. This was the main preoccupation of Tobiasse, world-famous contemporary artist, who made it a place of Ecumenism and chose the theme "life is a party" to illustrate this rebirth.

In the authenticity of his creative gesture, Théo Tobiasse told with vivacity and poetry a universal tale that would return this place to an atmosphere favourable to contemplation. He speaks of life, cohesive celebration, profound nostalgia, the spirituality of the soul. A tangle of colours structures this monumental composition. It conjures up the warm shades of the earth and the infinite blue of the sky. His triumphant and anxious stroke creates and sculpts powerful lines which unite fullness and breakage.

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The Notre-Dame-des-Anges Chapel


We owe the construction of this chapel to the testamentary disposition of a member of one of Le Cannet's founding families: Guillaume Calvy. It was thus built in 1557 to "honour God, Notre Dame des Anges and Saint-Crépin, in the vineyard of the lieu-dit Vallon de Malleys" (Saint-Crépin being the patron saint of cobblers, Guillaume Calvy's profession).

The church contains a poorly lit and rectangular nave, and a porch open onto the outdoors. The entrance of the porch is composed of a large arched doorway resting on moulded capitals. This type of porch, known as a "narthex", enabled the catechumens to follow the religious services without entering the church – the narthex of the Saint-Sauveur Chapel was destroyed on the 20th of November 1884 in order to widen rue Saint-Sauveur. Two low walls ending in pillars frame a little wooden gate that closes the porch at mid-height. Three arcades resting on moulded abacus pillars are carved into the lateral walls. The exterior of the nave is covered in an ochre coating, whereas the archway and pillars are coated in white.

Today, the chapel is used by the Orthodox Church. After the war, the Chavanne de Dalmassy and Cosmétatos families, town benefactors, began to conduct Christian and Orthodox services there. In order to carry on this tradition, on the 8th of September of each year, the chapel holds the nativity celebration of Notre-Dame la Vierge Marie. The Curate of the Parish of Le Cannet conducts the service in the presence of an archpriest of the Nice Greek Orthodox Church.


The Saint Charles de Rocheville Church


This district of Le Cannet grew dramatically at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the exploitation of its many quarries and lime kilns leading to an increase in its population. This situation preoccupied the Clergy: "(...) this village which is appearing cannot benefit from any religious assistance". The Sainte-Philomène Church was indeed a 45 min walk away. In view of this, a committee was formed in 1011, under the leadership of Abbot Bech, Mayor of Le Cannet, in order to build a church for "the moral good of the district". A plot of land was chosen in front of the stone quarry and the church was thus logically christened Saint Charles des Carrières (of the Quarries). On the 6th of May 1911 the first stone was laid, and 7 months later, on the 17th of December 1911, the church was officially inaugurated.

But with time, the largely catholic community of Rocheville became too numerous for the church. Abbot Galfré initiated its enlargement in 1940. The work began, and in order not to interrupt the people's worship, it was decided to build a new temple around the original one, which was not demolished immediately. Interrupted by the war, the construction was finished soon afterwards, in the fifties. The enlargement of the church was an impressive prowess and constituted a source of pride for many inhabitants, especially a certain Mr Simon who created the new building's dome.