Set of hamlets, chapels and road of Berghe Inférieur and Supérieur (Lower and Upper Bergue)

Route de Berghe (Berghe Road): narrow road with laces stacked in the steep slope of purple schist.
Hamlet of Berghe Inférieur: Group of buildings stacked on the steep slope of a rocky ridge, near the agricultural valley of Céva.
Hamlet of Berghe Supérieur: Group of buildings following the contours under a rocky massif.

Period XVII, XX

Accessibility No

Visitable Yes

The first known mention of Berghe (archives of Ventimiglia’s diocese) relates to a chaplain who officiated there in 1644. In 1699, three heads of families were located according to Saorge’s census. The distinction between the two hamlets came later. The attributes “Lower” and “Higher” do not reflect the altitude, but the distance from Fontan.

With the hamlet of Granile (Tende), further north, the two Berghe hamlets overlook on the right bank the narrow gorges of Roya, known as Berghe and Paganin, and are located under the winter snow line. They were served by trails skirting the gorges of the Roya or coming from them, and others leading to barns and pastures further west.

Berghe hamlets were only accessible by a carriageway in 1946. The road project dated from the end of the 19th century, but was always delayed, especially by the conflicts. At the end of the Second World War, thirty German prisoners of war were put at the disposal of the Bridges and Roads (Ponts et Chaussées – French public construction organization) to speed up the completion of the work.

The two tight groupings of buildings present a beautiful insertion in a hilly landscape mixing forests, gardened terraces and rock walls.

The church of Berghe Superieur (Notre-Dame de la Merci) was rebuilt after 1781. Similarities of styles suggest that the Berghe Inférieur’s Chapel (Notre-Dame du Rosaire) is also from the second half of the 18th century. These are two interesting examples of rural rustic Baroque chapels in the region.
In 1871, Fontan was separated from Saorge to become an autonomous town with Berghe hamlets.

Conditions of visit

From RD 6204 road, take RD 42 road. After a series of laces cut into the purple schist of Fontan, the road arrives to Berghe Inferieur then continues towards Berghe Superieur bypassing a valley.
The road is often single lane, with widening for crossings. Plan for rear-steps when crossing and use the horn.
The road passes on top of the hamlet of Berghe Inferior, where a parking lot is located. It ends before entering Berghe Supérieur, by a parking lot.
By the hiking trails, several possible paths from the valley or the hamlet of Granile (Tende).
Pedestrian access only, from the car parks, located at the entrance of the hamlets.
Access throughout Berghe Inferieur and part of Berghe Supérieur reserved for valid people because of the internal escarpment.
Free access to the hamlets. Churches’ daily public opening in the summer.


Additional information


  • Botton Charles et Gaber Jean, Histoire de Saorge et Fontan, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 2009.
  • Allaria Olivieri Nino, Berghe : Une page d’histoire, Magazine Le Haut-Pays, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, n° 37, 1996.
  • Koot Olivier, Une randonnée en Moyenne Roya : Le circuit de Berghe, Magazine Le Haut-Pays, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, n°72, 2008.
  • Marage Gilberte, Restauration de l’église de Berghe Supérieur, Magazine Le Haut-Pays, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, n°68, 2007.
  • Meytral Jean-Louis, Berghe Inférieur, Magazine Le Haut-Pays, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, n°69, 2007

Useful links

Non documenté.