Madone-du-Mont, old parish church

The Madone-du-Mont church is an isolated building on a small hill overlooking the valley of Lavina river. It is surrounded by a vast olive grove overlooked by the neighboring peaks.

Typology Building

Period Before 1380, XVII

Accessibility No

Visitable Yes

The Madone-du-Mont church was a parish church until the beginning of the eighteenth century.

Stricken several times since its construction in the eleventh century (according to its oldest known remains) the Madonna was raised at the beginning of the fourteenth, then at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and finally repaired / modified in the nineteenth century.

Located on a beautiful site of the Breil olive grove, the chapel shows Romanesque apses, gothic portals and a baroque bell tower around its three Romanesque naves with baroque decorations. Its harmonious volumes and its moving decorations bear witness to a poorly defined but obviously eventful history.

The Madone-du-Mont church has a basilica plan with a central nave and two collaterals. Three apses in a baking oven extend the three naves. High walls above the arcades that separate it from the collaterals support the frame of the main nave. Side bays at the top light this nave. The below collaterals are covered with frames in “shed”. They are lit by oculus at the top of each facade. The side tower rebuilt in the early seventeenth century is partly implanted in the south apsidiole that remains partially readable inside.

A semi-circular arched porch was built west of the central nave in the early 17th century. It was elevated by the creation of a small house around 1830. A masonry tank of the same period adjoins it to the north. A semi elliptical forecourt is located at the front of the side gate, north of the building.

Conditions of visit

By car: crossing the railway located north of the train station, on RD 6204 road, take the Avenue de l’Authion, then the Madone du Mont road. Parking in the immediate vicinity of the chapel.
On foot from the village: cross the Roya river by the bridge nearby the church, pass under the railway, turn right crossing the ravine. Follow Avenue de l’Authion above the plateau of the station to the fountain. Take the path on the left (stairs) which joins the Madone du Mont road. Continue up to the chapel.

Authorized and easy access, parking nearby.
Occasional public opening (events, parties).


Additional information


  • Balandier Patricia, La Madone du Mont, Monument Historique, Breil-sur-Roya, Alpes-Maritimes, Etude du monument, de son histoire connue, de son architecture, de ses décors et de ses dégradations. Association pour la sauvegarde du patrimoine bâti breillois pour commune de Breil-sur-Roya, 2015
  • Bodard Pierre et Passet Claude, Notre-Dame Du Mont, XI-XIXe S.: Huit Siècles d’Architecture Religieuse à Breil, Alpes-Maritimes. Collection Belisane, Nice, 1978.
  • Botton Charles, Histoire de Breil et des Breillois, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1996.
  • Poteur Catherine et Jean-Claude, Notre-Dame du Mont, L’ancienne église de Breil, Architecture historique des Alpes-Maritimes n°3, Association Castrum Alpes-Maritimes, 2001.
  • Thirion Jacques, Influences de l’Italie du Nord sur l’art roman de la Provence orientale, Actes 2e Congrès Historique Provence-Ligurie, Fed. Hist. De Provence, Aix, 1971.
  • Thirion Jacques, La Madone del Poggio, nouveaux regards, Nice Historique : Référence Numéro – 533 de l’année 2006.
  • Thévenon Luc, L’art du Moyen Âge dans les Alpes méridionales, Éditions Serre (collection patrimoines), Nice, 1983.

Useful links