La Croix-Valmer, French Riviera

La Croix Valmer is a French commune located in the department of Var, in the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. The town is the result of a split in 1934 from the town of Gassin. The inhabitants are the Croisiens.

La Croix-Valmer is located at the foot of the Massif des Maures in Cavalaire Bay, halfway between Le Lavandou and Saint-Tropez. The Croisian climate is typical of the Mediterranean climate. Winter is mild, a few cool years. In summer, the heat is omnipresent and the sun is sunny.

The Emperor Constantine the Great, on the way to wage war against his brother-in-law Maxentius in 312 AD, is said to have had a vision of a cross in the sky stating “in hoc signo vinces” (by this sign you will conquer) at the location where La Croix-Valmer is now situated. On April 16, 1893, a stone cross was erected on the site where tradition holds this vision occurred. La Croix-Valmer became a commune on 6 April 1934, separating from the commune of Gassin.

The area has been inhabited since ancient times, as demonstrated by the discovery of remains such as prehistoric tools, cists, and the Roman farm of Pardigon (dating from the third century BC).

This legend remains anchored in the memory of the Croisiens. No proof of the veracity of this one could not be advanced, the doubt persists all the more since the roads of the region at the time were poorly adapted to the passage of the legions which had at their disposal the Aurélienne way (N 7) much more practicable.

In 125 BC, Rome intervened to pacify the Provençal region, prey to rivalries between the Celto Ligurians and the Greeks of Marseille. The Romans then established the “Pax Romana” and the Mediterranean coast became a vacation spot favored by Roman families to whom land was allocated. This is how many homes will emerge. This is the case with the Roman villa of Pardigon, which covers 3,500 square meters. The villa is the place of residence of the Roman notable who manages his wine or olive-growing domain. Nearby, agricultural buildings and workers’ housing as well as sea tanks and a seaport.

The April 16, 1893, a stone cross was erected on the very site where tradition fixes this appearance. The origin of the name of the Cross, however, predates the construction of this monument.

The district of La Croix-Valmer, dependent on Gassin, will become a municipality on April 6, 1934.

From 1940 to 1944, the city was occupied by the Italians and then by the Germans. At the end of the Second World War, the beaches of La Croix-Valmer were a Mecca for the landing of Provence. Allied troops will only transit there in order to reach the cities of Toulon and Marseille.

Culture heritage

Pardigon II archaeological site
The villa of Pardigon II knows its major occupation and development between the 1st and the 3rd century AD. Its abandonment is dated towards the end of the 5th century AD.

The first phase of discovery corresponds to a total reconstruction in order to develop a villa around the middle or during the third quarter of the 1st century AD, then to successive enlargements and modifications, which occurred until the 3rd century AD

The second phase marks a complete restructuring of the villa around the 4th century, with in particular the abandonment of the thermal wing. This set opens onto the central courtyard, then decorated with a rectangular ornamental pool, while three tanks, of which only the bottoms have been preserved, are arranged in the main body of the villa, indicating its transformation, at least partial, in agricultural space. A new, more modest thermal complex has been set up in the villa’s buildings. A tile oven is built to the south, outside the buildings. The villa was finally abandoned during the sixth century afterwards. AD

The ruins of the villa were very partially reoccupied during the 7th century. A large fireplace installed in a room close to the south courtyard delivered characteristic furniture made of modeled ceramic, mainly pots attested in contexts of the Merovingian period. The site was then deserted for several centuries.

During the late Middle Ages, the villa was used as a quarry for building stones and limestone. An oven is dug in the southern part of the villa, the retaining wall of which has been drilled with an orifice and the soil excavated to create a heating chamber. In front of the heating chamber and its surroundings, the contemporary levels have delivered a few ceramic shards dating from the 14th century which probably testify to the period of use of the oven.

Gallo-Roman Villa of Pardigon II
The construction of this villa is part of the eventful history of this period. The assassination of Julius Caesar at the ideas of March 44 BC led to the civil war where generals and supporters of power killed each other. Marc Antoine, lieutenant of César, arrived with his legions in Fréjus, faces the legions of Lépide, other lieutenant of César, governor of the south of Gaul (Narbonnaise) and of Roman Spain, camping in Cannet-des-Maures (Voconii forum).

The confrontation of these numerous Roman legions which could have endangered the Roman world was avoided by resorting to Cicero. A triumvirate divided the Roman territories between Marc, Lépide, Octave, the future Emperor Augustus. The latter first eliminated Lepidus and then Marc Antoine, who in the meantime had married Queen Cleopatra pharaoh of Egypt. Become sole master of the Roman possessions, he made reign the “pax romana” in all the Roman empire, erected Fréjus in military port, the second in importance after 0stie, the ships recovered with Cleopatra and Marc Antoine bringing peace in the Mediterranean and favoring trade in the Roman world.

Peace returned, the numerous legions were demobilized; the legionaries were given the title of Roman citizen, a nest egg and land to make a living from their exploitation, in particular in Gaul, always ready for revolt. The VIIIth legion (Legio Octava Norum), the legion of Augustus, was installed in the Moors and the Esterel, with Fréjus as local capital and it is in this context that the 6 to 8,000 men received land by drawing at lot of domain established by the Roman surveyors grouping lots of 700 meters side.

The Roman villas of La Croix Valmer, Cavalaire, Sainte-Maxime… were created, simple huts at the start, then structured and flourishing villas, successfully cultivating the vines which were the greatest economic wealth of this period. That of Pardigon II became with 3,600 m2 the largest of the maritime villas in the south of Gaul, still visible today.

Villa Turquoise
Located opposite the Charles Voli Room, this beautiful house welcomes in its main room photos retracing the history of the town, from its origin to the present day. You can admire its Belle Époque style, its tulip roof and its frescoes. The ceiling in the hall of honor is a marvel.

Villa Louise
Owned by the Rouyer-Warniers, a family of merchant-drapers from Reims, this property was donated in 1925 to the Hospices Civils de Lyon et de Reims, on condition that it be made an aerial for children in the above-mentioned cities. This house was initially managed by the Renée Sabran Hospital, annex of Giens and received children from all over France. In the hands of the provident fund of the Hospices Civils de Lyon, it still fulfills its role of welcoming children during school vacation periods.

Villa Les Bruyères
Property of the Dugueyt, built in 1915, it became in 1934 and until 1991, the school of the town. It now houses the workshops and other sports and cultural activities of the Maison des Jeunes et de la Culture.

Villa Couadan
Villa which overlooks Sylvabelle beach, beautifully decorated with its niche visible to the naked eye. It would have been built for Sarah Bernhardt.

Villa Andalusia
This villa, named Villa Thérèse (sister of Mr Majoux, original owner), was then sold to Germaine Roger, the illustrious director of Gaietés lyriques.

Villa Hallelujah
Building built between 1907 and 1909, on land acquired by the Estate, by Madame du Plessis de Pestre.

This imposing building, built at the beginning of the century, was in reality a hotel from 1906 to 1914. Establishment of a semi-medical nature, people come here for air cures: the hotel is then called Solarium. The war of 14-18 will see the cessation of all hotel activities. Then in 1923, the property was sold to the Joint Committee for Child Hygiene. Since 1969, the Medico-educational Institute has welcomed adolescents in difficulty.

Related Post

The Orange Grove
This building, built in 1900, was intended for the congregation of the Sisters of Nazareth. They will set up an orphanage there, but will soon abandon the management of this building. Sponsored by the Estate, it is integrated into the tourist industry: The Grand Hotel is born! The promotion made at the time around this establishment was most rewarding for the town.

The manor
Built before 1914, it was the property of Mr Chevallet. Called Villa Souvenir, it was bought by Doctor Vadella in the 1920s and renamed Le Manoir.

It is undoubtedly the most imposing monument in the town. This large house is used as a landmark for navigators (a fixed object on the coast serving as a benchmark). Steeped in history, this large building in turn had several names: Hôtel de Bon repos, Hôtel d’Angleterre then Hôtel d’Angleterre and Kensington or Grand Hôtel de la Côte d’Azur. Since 1963, it has served as a rest and convalescent home for priests, nuns and religious.

Natural heritage
Preserved nature is a source of wealth for future generations. Transmit a quality heritage, where nature, economic activities and the inhabitants can together, by reasoned management, evolve over time in perfect symbiosis.

Port Cros National Park
Cap Lardier closes Cavalaire Bay to the east. It is a very southern advance of the Saint Tropez peninsula, since located at the same latitude as Cap Corse. Its coast, granitic in the north, made of wild rocks in the south, is quite velvety, except towards the point Andati where the cliffs falling into the sea prohibit access, just like the thick maquis which covers it and reveals a multitude of different colors and scents.

It is here that we find a superb pine forest with parasol pines, in the Brouis valley, which delights all walkers with its spectacle of shimmering greens. Finally, a few unspoiled beaches punctuate this portion of the coastline and here is the towel which rubs shoulders with the typical flora of the dunes!

The vine, symbol of Provence, clay and fertile soil, mild and sunny climate enriched by the spray of the nearby Mediterranean, make this exceptional terroir, in the heart of the Saint Tropez peninsula, an exceptional heritage.

Chateau de Chausse
In La Croix Valmer, in a perfect Provencal setting and exceptional natural setting, the Château de Chausse covers 50 hectares, including 15 hectares of vines. The terroir of clay, phyllades and schist in sheets, characteristic of the Gulf of St Tropez, has a remarkable influence on the typicity of the wines.

Five grape varieties are grown: Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon for the reds, Cinsault and Grenache for the rosés, Rolle for the whites. The harvest is exclusively manual All the plots of the estate have been in conversion to Organic Agriculture since 2015 (certification in 2018). The wines produced are those that combine seduction, complexity and personality

Domaine de La Croix and La Bastide Blanche
The history of Domaine de La Croix is intimately linked to that of La Croix Valmer. Around 1882, by coming to place an order for silk in Cogolin, the silks of Lyon settled in La Croix Valmer. In 1895 the company of the “Domaine de la Croix”, built a cellar near the station. Around the Hameau de La Croix, a real administrative and economic life takes hold. Acquired in 2001 by the Bolloré Group, the estate covers 180 ha including 100 ha of vines and revives the excellence of Crus Classés Côtes de Provence. It took 8 years for the estate to complete its metamorphosis: a cellar born from the renovation of the old building, and the creation of underground cellars.

The Domaine de La Bastide Blanche, bought in 2001 by the Bolloré Group, has 15 hectares of vines. The entire estate has been renovated and now produces exceptional vintages. Nestled in the heart of a remarkable environment, a stone’s throw from Cap Taillat and a turquoise sea, the vines benefit from the local sunshine, spray, sandy soil and the shade of the pines.

La Madrague
La Madrague combines wine and art and invites you to discover the wines of the estate all year round by taking advantage of regular exhibitions by artists from the region. Acquired in 2007 by Jean-Marie ZODO, the 20 hectare estate is reborn. The terroir is authentic, traditional production and modern cellar. The area extends to Gigaro Beach.

The production is of very high quality and exceptional wines, which has won many medals in the field. In addition, in 2007, the field turned to organic farming. A family history: the cuvées take their names from the owner’s two daughters Claire and Charlotte; and more recently of his grandsons, César and Charles.

Fine sand and golden beach gradually descending into the water, secure and monitored area, local shops, backed by a protected area of the Conservatoire du Littoral, historic place steeped in history: Fancy a wilder nature and an authentic beach, with local services, supervised but oh so wonderful… Gigaro Beach, gateway to the 300 hectares of protected natural area at the Conservatoire du Littoral, worth a detour: Sylvabelle, Brouis, Briande

Gigaro Beach
This family beach is the last before entering the customs path and is considered the gateway to the Conservatoire du Littoral. It also has nautical activities, beach restaurants. 4 km from the village, this beach is equipped with a lifeguard station, supervised by lifeguards. Privileged access for people with reduced mobility.

Heraclea Beach
Of a more wild nature, this fine sandy beach benefits from a privileged exposure: the sunrises and sunsets are beautiful there… Limited space but of high quality, restaurant service on the beach.

Landing Beach
Strengthened by its history, this magnificent sandy beach offers you a breathtaking view of the large bay that shelters it. Two kilometers from the village. Water sports leaders, traders and restaurateurs will be happy to welcome you. A pontoon provides maritime connections for the Golden Islands and Saint-Tropez. Privileged access for people with reduced mobility.

Brouis Beach
Heaven deserves… put on your sneakers and bring a bottle of water. Haven of peace and serenity, learn to respect the preserved environment, at the heart of the Conservatoire du Littoral, surrounded by nature.

Briande Beach
All landmarks disappear… there remains only the immensity of the landscape to infinity, the ambient light, the beauty of Mother Nature and this breathless feeling and the secret of happiness in a way.

Sylvabelle Beach
More discreet, this beach is reserved for those who are not afraid to brave the few steps. Sheltered from the winds, nestled in a small cove, it will seduce you with its tranquility and brightness.

Provencal market
The market is a place and a moment of meetings and discoveries. Flavors and Mediterranean specialties will delight you: fresh and seasonal products, fruits and vegetables, local products, flowers, clothing… Every Sunday morning of the year, Place des Palmiers, welcomes many fairgrounds. In the shade of the pines, come for a walk and fill bags and shopping bags with a bit of Provence.

Night craft market
From the end of June to the end of September, the René Rinaudo Forum hosts a nightly craft market every Thursday. Take advantage of the sweetness found in the evening to discover Varois crafts over the stalls. Organized by the Association Animation Provençale, based in Ginasservis.

French Riviera
The French Riviera is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from Cassis, Toulon or Saint-Tropez on the west to Menton at the France–Italy border in the east, where the Italian Riviera joins. The coast is entirely within the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France. The Principality of Monaco is a semi-enclave within the region, surrounded on three sides by France and fronting the Mediterranean. Riviera is an Italian word that corresponds to the ancient Ligurian territory, wedged between the Var and Magra rivers.

The climate of the Côte d’Azur is temperate Mediterranean with mountain influences on the northern parts of the departments of Var and Alpes-Maritimes. It is characterized by dry summers and mild winters which help reduce the likelihood of freezing. The Côte d’Azur enjoys significant sunshine in mainland France for 300 days a year.

This coastline was one of the first modern resort areas. It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria, Tsar Alexander II and King Edward VII, when he was Prince of Wales. In the summer, it also played home to many members of the Rothschild family. In the first half of the 20th century, it was frequented by artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Francis Bacon,h Wharton, Somerset Maugham and Aldous Huxley, as well as wealthy Americans and Europeans. After World War II, it became a popular tourist destination and convention site. Many celebrities, such as Elton John and Brigitte Bardot, have homes in the region.

The eastern part (maralpine) of the Côte d’Azur has been largely transformed by the concreting of the coast linked to the tourist development of foreigners from North Europe and the French,. The Var part is better preserved from urbanization with the exception of the agglomeration of Fréjus-Saint-Raphaël affected by the demographic growth of the maralpin coast and the agglomeration of Toulon which has been marked by urban sprawl on its part West and by a spread of industrial and commercial areas (Grand Var).

Tags: France