Chapel of the Black Penitents (Chapelle des Pénitents noirs), known as the Mercy (La Miséricorde), dedicated to Saint-Claude

The chapel is located along Louis Périssol street, among private houses.

Typology Building

Period XVII

Accessibility No

Visitable Yes

The chapel of the Black Penitents is oriented to the East, its south side facade, where the door is located, runs along the street.
It was built during the second half of the 17th century, outside the walls of the medieval village, and still presents its Baroque stucco interior decoration.

The nave has a large central span, framed by two short spans with cross vaults, in the front (choir) and back (platform).

The rich rococo altarpiece is on the apse wall, behind the stepped altar, separated from it by a kind of high choir. The statue of the saint is in the central niche.

Above the entrance gate is inscribed 1873, which could be the late modifications date.

As it is often the case in the Roya valley, the later under the vault painted frescoes are composed of an allegory and geometric or trompe-l’oeil decorations. At Saint-Claude chapel, the grounds are surrounded by a starry sky surrounded by friezes, neogothic inspiration, appeared towards the end of the XIXe century. The presence of an allegory of the Virgin of Mercy is consistent with the devotions of the Black Penitents.

A wooden stand and pulpit were probably added in the 19th century.

Conditions of visit

The medieval interior of Saorge is not drivable. The large northern car park is accessible by RD 38 road from RD 6204 road in Fontan. A small quickly saturated southern car park is accessible by RD 138 road starting from RD 6204 road, south of the village.

The access to the heart of the medieval village is reserved for valid people because of the alleys in strong slopes and numerous steps to cross.

People with reduced mobility can be placed on the turning area of the south entrance of the village, after the retirement home, which allows access to the chapel without steps and with moderate slopes. Parking at the village’s entrances.

Periodical public opening (displayed library schedule and available in town hall)


Additional information


  • Botton Charles et Gaber Jean, Histoire de Saorge et Fontan, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 2009.
  • Thévenon Luc et al., Pénitents des Alpes Maritimes, Editions Serre, 2008.

Useful links

Non documenté.