La Brigue travel guide

Photo of La Brigue

Visit La Brigue (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France)

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La Brigue is a village in a picturesque riverside setting just south of Tende and north of Menton in the Alpes-Maritimes department of France.

Originally part of Italy, La Brigue was annexed to France as part of the Treaty of Paris in 1947.

Exploring La Brigue

Although it seldom seems to appear as more than a footnote in travel guides the large village of La Brigue is very attractive with steep rocky hills rising either side, has several important monuments, and a visit is recommended when you are in the region.

Start on the bridge across the river in the center of la Brigue, with nice views along the houses and river valley. At one end of the bridge a small square contains a statue, a chapel and a church.

The most important of these is the 14th century Church of Saint-Michel, in roman style with a baroque facade and much larger than you might expect in such a small village, containing various frescoes and paintings of interest.

Beyond this square the old town of La Brigue contains some picturesque houses and a square next to the river with arcaded buildings, while above the village you can see the ruins of the 15th century Chateau Lascaris.


Sanctuary of Notre-Dame des Fontaines

Frescoes from Notre-Dame des Fontaines

Follow the road to the east of La Brigue and after a few kilometres you reach a small unassuming chapel in the woods called the Notre-Dame des Fontaines.

The peaceful setting and simple design of the chapel gives little clue to the interior, which contains a very impressive series of frescoes painted in the 15th century by an artist called Canavesio.

These frescoes are the major attraction for the village and the chapel is sometimes referred to as the 'Sistine Chapel of the Alps'.

Attractions nearby

While it is possible to drive from La Brigue to Notre-Dame des Fontaines a better way to appreciate the location and countryside is to follow the path between the two.

Following the river upstream, you will also see various oratories and a medieval bridge en route. This route is called the Chemin des Oratories and the return walk takes about two hours.

Other highlights along the Roya valley include Tende, Saorge and Sospel - Tende also provides access to the numerous ancient engravings in the Valley des Merveilles.

You can find more travel ideas in the Alpes-Maritimes guide and the Provence guide.

See also Find La Brigue hotels

Photos of La Brigue

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  • arcades
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  • colourful-street
  • houses-mountains
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  • notre-dame-fontaines
  • riverside

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Within the eastern Mercantour National Park, Tende is a very unspoiled and traditional mountain town with an extensive historic centre

Tende guide


The village of Saorge is spread along a high ridge, with dramatic views to the Tende Valley

Saorge guide


One of the most impressive towns in the Upper Roya valley, Breil-sur-Roya has several sites of particular interest

Breil-sur-Roya guide


Between Menton and the mountains, the river and fortified bridge are a very scenic part of the town of Sospel

Sospel guide
Sospel cathedral

Sospel cathedral

The cathedral in Sospel is an impressive example of baroque architecture in a small town

Sospel cathedral guide


Castellar is a small 15th century village in the hills above Menton with various historic monuments to see

Castellar guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Alpes-Maritimes

Address: Brigue, Tende, Nice, Provence, 6430, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 44.063056, longitude 7.616944

Plan your visit to La Brigue, Alpes-Maritimes

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Saorge Monastery: national monument (10 km)
  • Cirque du Gelas: site of natural beauty (20 km)
  • Caires de Cougourde: site of natural beauty (23 km)
  • Sainte-Agnes: most beautiful village (32 km)
  • Menton: secteur sauvegarde (33 km)
  • La citronneraie: remarkable garden (33 km)
  • Serre de la Madone: remarkable garden (33 km)
  • Palais Carnolès: remarkable garden (33 km)
  • Coaraze: most beautiful village (34 km)
  • Trophy of Augustus: national monument (39 km)
  • Col de la Lombarde: site of natural beauty (40 km)
  • Tete de Chien: site of natural beauty (41 km)

The French version of this page is at La Brigue (Francais)