Mouans-Sartoux, Alpes-Maritimes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France

Mouans-Sartoux is a French commune located in the department of Alpes-Maritimes in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region . The commune of Sartoux was combined with the commune of Mouans, to take the combined name of Mouans-Sartoux by order of Napoleon III on 28 March 1858.

A town with a rural tradition, the economy of Mouans-Sartoux has for a very long time been oriented towards agriculture (vines and olive trees). In the xviii th century, the breeding of silkworms was also an economic activity of Mouans. On the cadastre of 1738, mulberry trees are mentioned in various districts, and in particular in the district of Grand’Pièce, belonging to the lord of Mouans, a building, the silkworm is used “to pull the silk”. It operated until the 1940s. And more recently perfume plants (Jasmine, Rose de Mai). There are still a few flower fields near the Tour de Laure which is used to detect forest fires.

Mouans and Sartoux were two separate agglomerations: Mouans in the plain, while Sartoux was installed on the hill of Castellaras.

In 1199, the Cistercian Abbey of Notre-Dame-des-Prés was established in Sartoux. Originally Mouans and Sartoux constitute two distinct communities . Around 1350, like many villages in the region, Mouans and Sartoux were abandoned (insecurity, plague).

In the 15th century, the notary Etienne Jusbert became co-seigneur of Sartoux. It was in 1496 that Pierre de Grasse, then Lord of Mouans, brought sixty families of Figons from the region of Genoa in order to repopulate his territory and passed with them a deed of residence. It was at this time that the village was built.

In the spring of 1858, Mouans-Sartoux was officially born. Napoleon III united the two communities. In the context of the end of the Algerian war, a forestry hamlet was built in 1962 away from the city, intended for harkis families . This hamlet was sometimes called “the camp of Timgad”. It was inhabited until the early 1980s.

Since 1974, the different mayors have been keen on promoting environment-friendly actions. They notably bought a farm to grow organic vegetables for the school canteens and hired the farmer, which then has a public servant status, a unique fact in France.

More recently the town obtained 3 flowers in the Regional Competition of Cities and Villages in Bloom .

Historical heritage

The Fountains
The lack of water is sorely felt in the summer in the town. In 1873, the Municipal Council therefore decided to establish a fountain on the Church Square as well as a water concession for the Siagne Canal .

The Town Hall
The town hall building was built in 1859 . It replaces the old town hall located in the village which has become dilapidated. On May 13, 1866, the Municipal Council requested the creation of a post office . In 1868, this office was created rue de Verdun when the town was crossed by the railway . In 1887, after the construction of a school group, the post office was transferred to the ground floor of the town hall where the boys’ school was located. The motto in Provençal which you can see on the sundial means: ” May this hour be the best for all “.

Place Suzanne de Villeneuve
Suzanne de Villeneuve, widow of Pompée de GRasse, Huguenot (assassinated in 1588) who defended the village in 1592 against the Duke of Savoy, who came to chastise the inhabitants for their attachment to Henri III. This one destroyed the Castle. She forced to keep her promise to pay 4000 crowns to compensate him, after having pursued him in the plains of Cagnes. On the Place de l’Eglise, you can see two types of 15th century door frames on bourgeois houses with a cutaway arch.

The Castle of Mouans-Sartoux
In the heart of the Côte d’Azur, in a 16th century castle in the middle of a large park, a magical place devoted to contemporary art . Built at the end of the 15th century or at the very beginning of the 16th century, the Château de Mouans remained the property of Grasse until 1750 and then of Villeneuve. After the Revolution it passed to the Durand de Sartoux, then to the Peguilhan.

Throughout history he has known many misfortunes. It was besieged during the wars of religion; the then lord, Pompée de Grasse was a reformed. He was assassinated in his castle of Bormes in 1589. In Mouans, his widow resisted the siege of the Duke of Savoy in 1592. In 1707, during the War of the League of Augsburg, the castle was once again besieged by Austropiemontese troops. Its lord, Alexandre de Grasse, was seriously wounded there and the castle looted. During the revolution, the castle of Mouans suffered the fate of a good number of stately homes. It is the “good town of Grasse” which will largely destroy the castle of Mouans.

After having bought the castle at the beginning of the 19th century, the Durand de Sartoux family will rehabilitate it. Reconstruction work is being undertaken. It will be rebuilt according to the original plans. It will thus retain its triangular architecture, its three towers, its interior courtyard. Inaugurated in September 1990, the Espace de l’Art Concret, located in the castle of Mouans, was created with the aim of raising the broadest public’s awareness of today’s art.

The visitor will be able to admire in addition to the Castle acquired by the town, the fountains, the old chapel of Saint-Bernardin des Pénitents blancs, the town hall square and the church with their trees providing a welcoming shade, the flowery alleys with repainted facades old. Walks on the hillside or follow the marked paths in a countryside typical of the Mediterranean hinterland. The ideal climate that reigns in Mouans-Sartoux makes it possible to practice all sports according to the rhythm of the seasons. By the proximity of the sea, in Cannes, the town is just a few minutes from sea sports.

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The Train Station
Between 1911, between Cannes and Grasse, the first electrified track in France was laid (for testing). Renovated in 1998 to serve as a ” Maison des jeunes “, the station once again sees trains that ensure the connection Grasse-Cannes-Nice-Vintimille . Timetables available at the Tourist Office or 3635 every day 24/24.

The Wash House
It was built in 1730 . Women do their laundry and change the world at the washhouse. They take their laundry in a large sheet called ” Flourier “. The laundry is washed in a hole in the ground in front of the washhouse with water and ash. They rinse everything in the washhouse …

Religious buildings

THE Saint-André parish Church. When in 1496 Pierre de Grasse decided to repopulate the territory, he had a new village built near the rural Priory of Saint André. It is from this Priory that the new Church of Mouans will be built . Built at the end of the 15th century, it will keep Saint André as a surname. The Church has undergone many modifications over the centuries. One of the most important was the construction of the bell tower in 1760 .
Former chapel of St. Bernardine White Penitents, Rue Frédéric Mistral xvi th century Romanesque style: private. White Penitents.
Chapel of the Castellaras castle, alley of the Castle.

Cultural heritage

The Museum “Reflections of a rural world”
This ethnographic museum created in the former stables of the Château allows visitors to discover or rediscover the traditional activities of the Grasse region from 1900 to 1950. It has three exhibition rooms and was produced thanks to donations from families in Mouans, collected for several years by the Center d’Activités Culturelles Occitanes.

In the largest of the rooms, an oil mill has been reassembled, around it are presented various objects relating to oil, olive trees and vines, traditional economic activities of Mouans-Sartoux at that time. In the other room, it is the cultivation of the flower, of the perfume plant, which is presented. Large posters illustrate each of the activities, drawn from photos lent by the people of Mouans. The third room presents a kitchen and a bedroom of epoch which have been reconstituted, decorated with utensils which were used in the trades of the beginning of the last century.

The Concrete Art Space
A place without equal; an artistic and social project based on the encounter and dialogue between concrete art, contemporary creation and the public. Created in 1990, the Espace de l’Art Concret is a contemporary art center with a collection of abstract art, unique in France, the Donation Albers-Honegger.

The EAC was born from the meeting between two collectors, Sybil Albers and Gottfried Honegger, and the mayor of Mouans-Sartoux, André Aschieri. Sybil Albers and Gottfried Honegger wanted to make their collection accessible to the public. At first, it was deposited with the City of Mouans-Sartoux. In 2000, when the Espace de l’Art Concret celebrated its tenth anniversary, Sybil Albers and Gottfried Honegger donated their collection to the State, on the dual condition, on the one hand, that this unique ensemble in France is permanently presented in a building built for this purpose in the park of the castle of Mouans, on the other hand, that the strong scientific coherence of the project around concrete and contemporary art is guaranteed.

Since then, many additional donations have enriched the initial collection, coming from Sybil Albers and Gottfried Honegger, Aurelie Nemours, Gilbert and Catherine Brownstone. The new building for presenting the collection, designed by Swiss architects Gigon and Guyer, was inaugurated on June 26, 2004.

Events and festivities
Concerts at the castle (APAC / every summer)
At the beginning of October, each year, the Book Festival takes place over a weekend. Several marquees and spaces are thus arranged to accommodate hundreds of authors and publishers.
In May, the musical spring takes place. Organized by the OMAJ (Office Mouansois d’Action pour la Jeunesse), it remains in the same format as the music festival, that is to say in a multi-stage welcoming in the evening 1 to 4 groups.
The Levez de Rideau festival is an Amateur Theater festival organized by the “So-called” association.
Santons fair

Market of Organic Producers and Designers
Located at Place du Général de Gaulle and Place Jean Jaurès, Organic farmers’ market (fruits, vegetables, eggs, saffron, wines, spirulina, cheeses, citrus fruits, jams, etc.), Creators market (decorations, jewelry, sculptures, lighting, ceramics, textile accessories, paints, leather goods, wood, children’s universe, etc.).

Honey Market
The themed markets continue in Mouans-Sartoux, the “Provence honey market” will be held on Sunday August 9, from 5 pm to 11 pm, in the squares in front of the town hall. This year we are offering you a different formula from the Honey Festival, it will be a Provence Honey Market. You will be able to find several beekeepers and an animation around a honey, a chef and a recipe.

Natural space

MIP Gardens
garden mip00Magnificently installed in the heart of fields of perfume plants traditionally cultivated in the Pays de Grasse, the Gardens of the International Perfume Museum are part of the territory project led by the Agglomeration Community of the Pays de Grasse and thus become the conservatory of perfume plants from the International Perfume Museum in Grasse, a natural space witnessing the olfactory landscape linked to local agriculture.

Located at the foot of the aromatic city, these 2 hectare botanical gardens offer a delicious and fragrant stroll among fields of May roses, jasmine, orange trees, tuberose, violets and many others. At the same time, the Gardens of the International Perfume Museum give way to old-fashioned cultivation fields, faithfully reconstructed and maintained as naturally as possible. An opportunity to surprise flora and fauna preserved in their richness. In the evening, in the renewed freshness, the flowers exhale the maximum number of scents: it is an exquisite moment whose memory will remain for a long time in the olfactory taste buds and a privileged moment to feel closer to nature. The Gardens of the International Perfume Museum enchant the public with its botanical spectacle and its captivating fragrances.

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