Saint Tropez Tourist Attractions
The little port and well-known resort of St Tropez lies on the southern shore of the gulf of the same name at the foot of the eastern part of the Massif des Maures.
There is a large parking lot to the west of the town at the Nouveau Port.The settlement was known to the Greeks as Athenopolis; it was named Heraclea Cacabaris by the Romans. The present name is said to go back to St Tropez or Torpes, who was beheaded by the Romans and whose remains were discovered here. In the time of the Saracens the little coastal village was hard pressed but was able to recover and in the 15th C. became a republic.Very early on St Tropez was a meeting place for artists: Liszt and Maupassant stayed here; Paul Signac bought a house here (La Hune) and as a result a whole string of painters moved to St Tropez, so that at the beginning of the present century the village became rather like an artist's center (Matisse, Bonnard, Utrillo). From 1924 to 1938 the writer Colette lived inh er villa "La Treille Muscate" in St Tropez.After World War II, St Tropez developed into an extremely popular resort, particularly with prominent people, film stars and the newly-rich. In 1955 Roger Vadim made the film "Et Dieu créa la Femme" ("And God created Woman") with Brigitte Bardot in the principal role, while in the 1960s Gunter Sachs made "The Girls of St Tropez". However it must be said that the gloss which the wealthy brought with them has paled somewhat in the face of mass tourism, even if St Tropez is still a m agnet for the rich and beautiful.
High over the town of St-Tropez towers the Citadel, which was built between 1590 and 1607. In the gateway is a large modern relief by Paul Landowski, depicting a ship's cannon being made ready for action. Within the six-cornered fortress is the Musée de la Marine et de l'Histoire Locale (Museum of Shipping and Local History), in which there is a good reproduction of a Greek galley to be seen. From the battlements there is a good view of the Gulf of St-Tropez and the Massif des Maures.
The Old Town of St-Tropez is situated to the west below the citadel and is bordered on the other side by the harbor basin. Part of it has been laid out as a pedestrian zone where shops, boutiques and restaurants abound.Rue de la Citadelle leads down into the center; on the right in Rue du Portail-Neuf stands the 18th century church, in Italian Baroque style, in which can be seen a bust of St-Tropez and beautiful woodcarving (at Christmas time there is a fine Provençal crib).Northwest of the church near the harbor and the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall) stands the former Palais des Bailli Pierre-André de Suffren (1729- 1788), Bailiff of the Order of Malta and one of the most important admirals of the French fleet ("Scourge of the English"; his statue stands on the east side of the harbor). From here it is not far on the right to the Mole Jean-Réveille, enclosing the harbor on the north, from where there is a good view of the town's seafront. Luxury yachts in the harbor provide a splendid spectacle, especially when the regatta "La Nioulargue" is being held at the end of September and beginning of October.
Museum of the Anunciation
At the southern corner of the harbor basin in St Tropez (Quai de l'Epi) stands the former Chapel Notre-Dame de l'Annonciade (Chapel of the Annunciation, the Church of the White Penitents of 1510). It now houses the Musée de l'Annonciade, which contains the very remarkable collection of the Lyons industrialist Georges Grammont, pointillist and Fauvist paintings, the creators of which have worked in St Tropez - artists such as Signac, Derain, van Dongen, Rouault, Braque, Bonnard, Matisse and Maillol.
Address: Place Grammont, F-83990 Saint Tropez, France
Opening hours: Jun 1 to Sep 30: 10am-12pm, 3pm-7pm; Closed: Tue
Oct 1 to May 31: 10am-12pm, 2pm-6pm; Closed: Tue
Oct 1 to May 31: 10am-12pm, 2pm-6pm; Closed: Tue
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Ascension Thursday - Christian
Entrance fee: FREE
This is an annual religious procession and folk festival held in mid-May. The event honors Saint Tropes, and includes a parade in which his statue is carried through the streets. The less religious aspects of the festival include outdoor concerts, competitions, games, food and drink stalls, craft sales and public dances.
On the hilly and for the most part wooded peninsula 12km/7.5mi to the south of St Tropez, lies the picturesque hill village of Ramatuelle, which has many superb views, besides its fortified houses with imposing gates, surrounded by pine woods. In the tiny cemetery is the grave of the actor Gérard Philipe (1922-59).
Moulins de Pallas
To the northwest of Ramatuelle towers the 326m/1,070ft high Moulins de Pallas, named after the former mill situated on its southern flank. A narrow road leads to the top, from which there is a fine view across the whole peninsula of Cap Camarat, westwards to the Massif des Maures, southwestwards to the Bay of Cavalaire and northwards to the Bay of St Tropez. 5km/3mi beneath Ramatuelle, Cap Camarat extends into the sea; from its lighthouse there are more views over to the beaches of the bay of Anse de Pampelonne (to the north) and Plage de l'Escalet (to the south).
Coming from St-Tropez and passing Ramatuelle the D93 road enters a scenically very rewarding but winding stretch over the Col de Collebasse to the resort of La Croix-Valmer which lies like an amphitheater on the Bay of Cavalaire.
On the far side of the bay to the north of St-Tropez (14km/9mi) lies the port of Ste-Maxime, a popular holiday resort. In the church to the west of the harbor is a striking marble altar (18th C.) from the Carthusian Monastery of La Verna (in Italy). To the north-east of the little town there is the Sémaphore (signal station, 127m/417ft) with fine views. The Musée de la Photographie et de la Musique has on display a collection of over 300 musical instruments and phonographs.
Map of Saint Tropez Attractions