Patrimoine unique

From rue Cavasse to rue Saint-Sauveur, down an alley or a square, come discover vieux-Cannet through a varied, surprising and enriching walk. To be discovered:

The Tivoli

This garden was originally a field of olive trees and orange trees. These two trees – symbols of Le Cannet – are commemorated by the Olive festival and the many works of art evoking the orange tree. The name "Tivoli" is inspired by the Tivoli Gardens near Rome. It was also borne by a café established in rue des Orangers in the Prés neighbourhood in 1890. The project of building the square began in 1912 although the trees remained until 1950. Today, the garden is home to the Orangers kindergarten school, an open-air theatre, a nursery school and its children's library.


The Danys tower

Registered on the French Supplementary Historic Monument List since the 22nd of December 1941, it is located in the Danys hamlet. It was probably not built before the middle of the 16th century. It was mainly a tithe house, constructed by the Lérins monks.

Located on the route de Cannes, it was built to close the entrance to the town and is the oldest building of Le Cannet to have been preserved in its original state. This square building made of small stones is 9 meters high and 5.35 meters wide. Its walls are 0.68 meters wide at ground level. Its roof bears a series of nine machicolations. Its square door, which has been walled shut, was situated 3 meters from the ground and was reached by a ladder. Its new door is positioned at ground-level and accessed via front steps. Its façade faces rue de Cannes. Its defensive role is recalled by its very few openings and the presence of machicolation.

One day he was in town, Prosper Mérimée asked an old woman the name of the tower. The woman, who only spoke Provençal, answered: "Ah Moussu! Es habitado per aqueu brigand d'Agnelin s'enebrio chasque jou." (Ah Monsieur! That's the house of that rogue Agnelin, who gets drunk every day). Prosper Mérimée dared not ask her to repeat her answer. But as he thought he had heard a word resembling "brigand", he named the tower "Tour des Brigands", as it is sometimes still known today.


The Town Hall – The Bellini hall

Victor Joachim Gassier was born in Barcelonette (in the Southern Alps) and made his fortune in Mexico. At the beginning of the 20th century, he carried out a series of real estate transactions in Le Cannet. Shortly after the construction of his house Villa Les Mimosas, he commissioned, in 1902, the building of the Hôtel des Anges, on an adjacent plot he had bought from the Société Foncière Lyonnaise. The plans of the house were drawn by architect James Warnery, who worked on behalf of the Barcelonnettes (immigrants originating from Ubaye) implanted on the Côte d'Azur. The building, with its use of mosaics on the façade, is typical of the time. The hotel was bought by the town in 1933 by the Mayor Maurice Jeanpierre who wished to provide his expanding town with a town hall worthy of its reputation.

The Town hall's most visited room is the wedding room, known as salle Bellini. Five of Bonnard's paintings representing Le Cannet's joie de vivre are displayed there. Like the entire painter's work, these paintings are sincere, spontaneous, gay and colourful. Bonnard himself says that his life's work was born from the wealth of impressions and sensations he accumulated at a time when nothing seemed to indicate that he would be a painter.


The Calvys tower

Situated in the heart of the Calvys hamlet and dating back to the 16th century, it bears the name of the first family from Val d'Oneille to arrive at Le Cannet in 1441. It was here that business transactions were held: the purchasing of the harvest and all other negotiations. The small square of rue des Prés welcomed donkeys and mules carrying baskets of local produce.
This tower was the stage of a historical episode of Le Cannet: in 1707, Abbot Ardisson, leading the inhabitants of Le Cannet, repelled an attack by the imperialists, hiding women and children inside the tower. During the Revolution, the tower was sold as national property and remained private property ever since.

The seal of the Lérins Abbey reproduced on the door of the Calvys tower around 1940 is a testimony of the influence of the Lérins monks who were the owners of Le Cannet since 1000 CE.


The wall of the Peynet lovers

This timeless fresco painted onto the façade of an old house is an almost obligatory stop for all newly-weds. It lights up the street, symbolising Le Cannet's joie de vivre.

Co-created by fresco painter Guy Ceppa in 1990, it is a metaphor of love symbolised by a couple of young lovers flying over the Garden of Eden which is inspired by the town of Le Cannet. Raymond Peynet, an honorary citizen of the town, painted the fresco as a gift to all newly-weds: a moment of poetry for their honeymoon.

He conjured up his lovers while waiting opposite the Valence bandstand in 1942. It was in their honour that his friend Georges Brassens wrote his famous song "les bancs publics".


The place Bellevue

It was originally christened "place Mercier Lacombe" in 1855, out of gratitude for the Prefect of the Var region's gift of 1000 Francs for its enlargement. Then in 1870, on a proposal by city councillor M. Charles Cessin, it was renamed place Bellevue. It was only in 1896 that it became such as we know it today. As "it was Le Cannet's only square and its surface area of approximately 300 m2 was insufficient in view of the town's population", the city council voted in favour of these improvements.


The "oranger du patrimoine"

This monumental fresco, created by B. Amooghli Sarraf in 1990, honours the 140 founding families of Le Cannet come from Val d'Oneille (at the request of the Lérins monks) to repopulate the area that had been decimated by the plague during the 15th century. This fresco displays the genealogical tree of these families whose names appear on glazed tiles.


The false windows of rue des Calvys

These unusual paintings remind us that in olden days, taxes were calculated based a building's number of openings (windows, doors). People of limited means, unwilling to reveal their poverty to their neighbours, had false windows painted onto the façade of their house. In order for the illusion to be complete, they would even set metal fittings onto the trompe l'oeil.


The old City hall

Up till 1933, the Town hall was situated at n° 396 of rue Saint-Sauveur. It stood out due to its bell tower and clock that used ring out every half hour to regulate the distribution of water for field work between the various families of Le Cannet. It was essential to organise the field work at a time when most Cannettans were farmers. Today the building's bell tower keeps count of the passing hours.


The Place des Paramideaux

The houses lining place des Paramideaux form rows of "Rampart Houses" or "Bastides", which used to ensure public safety. They are organised around a small square. In Provence, a Bastide is a fortified country house. This repopulation method was implemented by the Lérins monastry as part of an urbanization project for "New Towns".


The rue des Voûtes

This winding street was built at a time when urban areas were densely built up. The houses were constructed directly onto large blocks of rough stone. The door lintels bear sculpted Malta crosses, a symbol of the Order of the Hospital. The monks abandoned the street's priory and settled next to the Sainte-Catherine d'Alexandrie Church.