Breil-sur-Roya, town

The whole site “village – Casté – Saint-Antoine” is located in a rocky meander, on the left bank of the Roya. The site, historically chosen on defensive criteria, is geographically bounded by the river and two cliffs located on both sides of the rocky ridge. The village developed on the western side of this ridge.

Period Before 1380

Accessibility No

Visitable Yes

In the eleventh century, the community of Breil was subservient to the Counts of Ventimiglia, as well as the Roya area, whose suzerain was the Marquis de Suze.

Casté refers to the site of the old feudal castle. The houses located south of the village and its narrow streets are the oldest parts of the village. We can observe here and there earlier remains of fourteenth century walls, and the town’s original enclosure.

The village grew on the western slope of Castle Hill. The east slope, which was included inside the ramparts, has remained occupied by an olive grove on terraces where we can see the chapel Saint-Antoine and the medieval gate “Genoa”. It is a space of relaxation – walk encircled of the remains of the rampart skirting the Roya.

Characterized by a high density (narrow inner lanes and 4-5 level buildings), the village is surrounded by the river and the rocky ridge of Casté.

Most of the buildings are older than the 18th century. The foundations of many of them predate the fifteenth century, and some were subject to elevations late nineteenth or early twentieth century. This was the time when colored coatings began to decorate the facades.

The streets that run through the village from north to south are interconnected by “couréous”, sloping passages, often stairs.

Two classified historic monuments are located in the village (The whole Santa Maria in Albis Church – Chapel of Mercy, and the Chapel of St. Catherine), and two monuments are visible southeast of Casté.

Conditions of visit

The village of Breil is bordered by RD 6204 road
Easy access, parking in the village and right bank of the Roya. Some streets have steps, accessible only to valid people.
Permanent public access to the village. Buildings are mostly privately owned.


Additional information


  • Botton Charles, Histoire de Breil et des Breillois, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1996.