The village of Saint Paul de Vence owes its iconic appearance mainly to its medieval town walls.
The walls were built in the 1640s on the orders of François I. At that time, the village needed to be better secured and a kilometre-long circuit of bastioned fortifications, which followed the contours of a rocky spur, seemed the ideal choice.
Saint Paul de Vence Town wall is the first ever bastion fortification in France designed by a French architect. The architect was Jean de Saint-Rémy, a military general, artillery commander and an expert in urban fortifications.
The construction of the ramparts had a huge impact on the village and its inhabitants. Dozens of houses had to be demolished and more than 400 inhabitants were forced to move away. These people then founded villages in the surrounding area, such as La Colle-sur-Loup or Roquefort-les-Pins.
The walls were declared a historical monument in 1945 and the town can never be imagined without them again.