Notre-Dame des Fontaines Chapel (Our Lady of Fountains)

ND des Fontaines Chapel is located on Mont Noir valley. It is surrounded by forest and adjoins the river that it overlooks on the right bank.

Typology Building

Period 1380 – 1600

Accessibility No

Visitable Yes

The earliest known mention of the chapel dates back to 1375.
The nave was enlarged in the 15th century and raised at the beginning of the 17th century.

A masonry porch was added in the early eighteenth century to house an altar for outdoor masses.

The chapel’s interior is entirely covered with murals: the choir and the walls of the nave with evangelical illustrations from the end of the 15th century (approximately 220 m²), the ceiling of the nave with allegories and Baroque decorations from the 18th century (about 100 m²).

The choir is Giovanni Baleison’s work. On the walls, there are scenes of the end of the Virgin’s life, the four evangelists on the ceiling, and the four doctors of the church under the double arch between the choir and the nave. Giovanni Baleison is linked to the international Gothic.

The peripheral walls of the nave, dated 1492, are Giovanni Canavesio’s work. The triumphal arch presents the life of the Virgin with Jesus as a child. On the sidewalls, 26 scenes illustrate the Passion of Christ. A vast fresco representing the last judgment covers the back wall of the chapel. Canavesio is linked to late Gothic with Renaissance aspects. The demons and torture machines of the Last Judgment recall the figures of Hieronymus Bosch, his contemporary.

Conditions of visit

From RD 6204 road in Saint-Dalmas de Tende, take D 43 road, pass the village of La Brigue, and then take D 143 road.

Authorized and easy access, nearby parking.

Periodical public opening

  • From 01st May to 30th September (except Thursday): 10am-12:30pm and 2pm-5:30pm
  • Rest of the year, inquire La Brigue’s tourist office.

A modest access fee contributes to the maintenance of the chapel. Guided tours by reservation.


Additional information


  • Arrouye Jean, La fontaine de sang de Notre-Dame des Fontaines, p. 115-120, Nice Historique no 269, Acadèmia Nizzarda, Nice, 1997.
  • Avena Benoît, Sozzi Lionello, Barucco Pierre, Notre-Dame des Fontaines. La chapelle Sixtine des Alpes méridionales, Borgo San Dalmazzo-Cuneo, edizioni Martini, 1989.
  • Avena Benoît, Sozzi Lionello, Barucco Pierre, Notre-Dame des Fontaines. La chapelle Sixtine des Alpes méridionales, réédition complétée avec la collaboration de Cavallo Zampedri Gabriella, Costamagna Henri, Sciolla Gianni Carlo, Centre d’études franco-italien des Universités de Turin et de Savoie, 2006.
  • Beauchamp Philippe, L’art religieux dans les Alpes-Maritimes, Édisud, Aix-en-Provence, 1993.
  • Beltrutti Giorgio, Tende et La Brigue, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1988.
  • Imbert Léo, La chapelle de la Madone des Fontaines à La Brigue et ses fresques, Nice Historique no 269, Acadèmia Nizzarda, Nice, 1997.
  • Pastorelli Liliane, La Brigue au Coeur, copyright Liliane Pastorelli, Editions Gomba, Nice, 1987.
  • Roque Paul, Les peintres primitifs niçois. Guide illustré, Serre éditeur, Nice, 2006.
  • Roque Paul, En suivant la route du sel. Nice, Peillon, Lucéram, Sospel, La Brigue. Retables & peintures murales, Serre éditeur, Nice, 2012.
  • Thévenon Luc, L’art du Moyen Âge dans les Alpes méridionales, Éditions Serre, Nice, 1983.
  • Thévenon Luc, Kovalesky Sophie, La Brigue, Morignol, Réaldo, Piaggia, Upega, Carnino, Notre-Dame des Fontaines, Éditions Serre, Nice, 1983.
  • Thévenon Luc, Giovanni Canavesio décorateur de Notre-Dame des Fontaines à La Brigue. Sources et influences, Nice Historique no 269, Acadèmia Nizzarda, Nice, 1997.