Ruins of Castel Nuovo

Historical and natural site

duration of the visit
1 h 0 min
ruin
view point

A hill overlooking the sea and covered only with ruins, that's what's north of Nice in Châteauneuf-Villevieille. An abandoned village, complete with city walls and towers, is located here 200 meters higher and one kilometer away from the current village. The trip is also worth it for the view.

Photo by Mossot (source) under licence CC BY-SA 3.0 taken on the reference day 19 January 2021 and reproduced under the same conditions here. The reproduction is possible if the authors are named and this license is applied. (id5318)
sites photo

Chateauneuf ruins

Description

After a long period of prosperity, the residents of the lower village are forced to leave starting with the 6th century because of invading Lombards and Arabs. A new settlement, Castel Nuovo, is built on the ridge, the site is much easier to fortify and to defend. Over the course of several centuries, this new village has been repeatedly modified and adapted.

From the 17th century and finally with the Peace of Aachen in 1748, things quieted down in Europe and especially in Italy, to which the area still belongs at this time. The inhabitants settle again in the lower village around the Roman Villa Ventula. It is still there today. This is a good example of settlement history, which is caused by great uncertainties.

Photo all rights reserved © by André M. Winter. Photo taken 2011 during our field research for Provence-Guide.Net.
No reproduction is permitted without the written consent of the author. (id5316)
sites photo

St. Joseph chapel in Castel Nuovo

The area cannot be accessed by public transport. The nearest bus stop of line 19, La Poste, is in the Saint-Antoine district, north of Tourette-Levens. Check Zou! (only french). A path leads straight up to the saddle Col de Châteauneuf, passing through the hamlet of la Vignasse. It is almost 300 meters in hight, which are quite difficult.

If you want to reach the ruins on foot, it is better to plan a larger tour right away. Starting from Tourette-Levens, one can ideally include Mont Macaron. Starting from Contes, you can first go north to the Colla Bassa saddle.

Photo all rights reserved © by André M. Winter. Photo taken 2011 during our field research for Provence-Guide.Net.
No reproduction is permitted without the written consent of the author. (id5315)
sites photo

The ruins of Castel Nuovo

Access by car

The Col de Châteauneuf can be reached from either side of Nice. For the western approach, take the route via Saint-André-de-la-Roche to Tourette-Levens and turn right here to the saddle. For the eastern approach, leave Nice heading north via La Trinité to get to Contes, here on the left before the town center.

Parking site

The saddle Col de Châteauneuf de Contes is very wide and therefore a large parking lot. You have to park here in summer. In the off-season the old bumpy road up to the ruins may be open.

Short trail

Nature lovers go straight up from the saddle on the old road, not 100 meters further ahead the marked path branches off to the left, it leads to the ruins in the most direct way. This route is marked in orange on the map. There is another path on the east side of the hill that is good for the way back (red). The ascent of the ridge line is strongly overgrown.

You can also add a short hike to Mont Macaron to the south.

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Photo by Mossot (source) under licence CC BY-SA 3.0 taken on the reference day 19 January 2021 and reproduced under the same conditions here. The reproduction is possible if the authors are named and this license is applied. (id5317)
sites photo

Between the ruins of Châteauneuf

Photo by Edmond Mari (source) under licence CC BY-SA 4.0 taken on the reference day 19 January 2021 and reproduced under the same conditions here. The reproduction is possible if the authors are named and this license is applied. (id5319)
sites photo

The hill with the ruins of Châteauneuf in spring

Photo by Editions Giletta under licence PD taken on the reference day 19 January 2021 and reproduced under the same conditions here. The reproduction is permitted without a written consent of the author. (id5312)
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The abandoned medieval village of Châteauneuf around 1908

This tower is a dovecote. It was badly damaged by a lightning strike and was razed in the early 20th century. Below is the current situation.

Photo by Edmond Mari (source) under licence CC BY-SA 4.0 taken on the reference day 19 January 2021 and reproduced under the same conditions here. The reproduction is possible if the authors are named and this license is applied. (id5320)
sites photo

Chateauneuf ruins

Photo by Editions Martel under licence PD taken on the reference day 19 January 2021 and reproduced under the same conditions here. The reproduction is permitted without a written consent of the author. (id5313)
sites photo

In the abandoned village of Châteauneuf around 1910

Photo all rights reserved © by André M. Winter. Photo taken 2011 during our field research for Provence-Guide.Net.
No reproduction is permitted without the written consent of the author. (id5321)
sites photo

View from the ruins of Châteauneuf

Photo all rights reserved © by André M. Winter. Photo taken 2011 during our field research for Provence-Guide.Net.
No reproduction is permitted without the written consent of the author. (id5314)
sites photo

The ruins of Castel Nuovo

Note

The information about this site was collected with the greatest care in 2011. Nevertheless, all information is provided without guarantee. Should you find any errors, please contact the author of this site, thank you!

This page has been seen 55 times since 20 March 2024.