Chapel of the White Penitents (Chapelle des Pénitents blancs), dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria

Because of its height and the visibility of three of its facades, the chapel is a landmark on Biancheri Square.

Typology Building

Period Eighteenth, XXI

Accessibility Yes

Visitable Yes

The Chapel of the White Penitents of Breil was built at the end of the 17th century. His current decorations date back to the last quarter of the 19th century, after Breil’s attachment to France.

The bulbous turret and glazed tiles were added between 1840 and 1860 to the rear of the building.

Its classical facade is dated 1873. The two double fluted pilasters with Corinthian capitals, placed on powerful pedestals which frame it, support a large cornice in the antique, with neo-angels decorations of cherubs and foliage typical of the near Liguria.

A statue of St. Catherine is in a high niche on the front door. She carries the palm and at her feet stand the broken gear of her execution and the sword with which she was beheaded.

The rich polychromy of the frescoes of the vault is composed in trompe-l’œil, medallions, friezes, false marbles, floral motifs, and cherubs accompanying an allegorical vision of the saint and its symbols, typical of the second half of the 19th century.

The motto Hoc Unio Fecit, which appears in front of the the pediment is recalled under the vault.

The beautiful gallery decorated with foliage and the elegant ledge overlooks the room.

Conditions of visit

The Sainte-Catherine chapel is located on the main square of Breil, Biancheri square, next to the town hall and the tourist office, near RD 6204 road.
Authorized and easy access, nearby parking.
Occasionally open to the public, more frequent during summer (heritage days, events, exhibitions)


Additional information


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

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