Chapel of the White Penitents, known as the Holy Annunciation and the Ascension of the Lord

The chapel of the Annunciation is located on a small square below the square of the old cemetery of the collegiate church, it is integrated into the continuous urban fabric of Cotta street.

Typology Artwork, Building

Accessibility No

Visitable Yes

The Brotherhood of the Most Holy Annunciation, the White Penitents, known as Confraternita dei Discipline, was founded around the middle of the 15th century.

The chapel of the Brotherhood of White Penitents was consecrated in 1621 (date appearing on the door of the sacristy). The present room was built against the small initial oratory, which serves today as a sacristy. It is dedicated to the Most Holy Annunciation and the Ascension of the Lord.

The nave with three bays covered in cross vaults was decorated with late seventeenth – early eighteenth century baroque rococo taste.

A triptych altarpiece in carved and gilded wood that occupies the entire width of the chapel surmounts the altar. The central panel is framed by twisted columns adorned with plants, themselves framed by characters in the position of caryatids supporting an entablature adorned with foliage and cherubim. The broken curvilinear pediment carries lateral angels.

A gallery, which covers the first bay of the nave, has benches with desks in an amphitheater.

Next to the chapel, in the old oratory, 15th century frescoes illustrating the Passion of Christ have recently been discovered and unveiled. There are several panels whose themes and the bill recall the work of Canavesio. Other panels made by another artist, before or after, complete the cycle of the Passion. It shows a desire to depict in detail the ornamental wealth of society of the fifteenth century: costumes, horses, armor.

The facade of the chapel was recomposed by gathering the old oratory’s and the new chapel’s under a single triangular pediment. However, it shows an asymmetry related to this juxtaposition of rooms having their own openings.

The baroque bell tower is topped with a bulb on pseudo-lantern octagonal, covered with lauzes scales.

Following the attachment of Tende to France in 1947, the statutes of the brotherhood were reworked, and it is under French association status, that the members perpetuate the place’s maintenance.

Conditions of visit

Pedestrian access through the alleys of the village of Tende. Parking near RD 6204 road, outside the historical village.

The access to the chapel, on one level, is dependent on a sloping lane, parking is possible on the outskirts of the historic village.

Occasional public opening (heritage days or on request)


Additional information


  • Banaudo José, Les merveilles des chapelles de Tende, Magazine Le Haut-Pays n°53, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya,2002..
  • Banaudo José, Tende : Au temps où les chapelles étaient des chefs d’oeuvres en péril, Magazine Le Haut-Pays n°58, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 2003.
  • Beltrutti Giorgio, Tende et La Brigue, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1988.
  • Ortolani Marc, Tende 1699-1792, Destin d’une autonomie communale, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1994.

Useful links

Non documenté.