Saint-Pierre Collegiate church in Six-Fours

Historical and cultural site

duration of the visit
15 min
church
view point

Site history

The village of Six-Fours, known as Six-Forts during the Middle-Ages, was the property of the abbots of St. Victor of Marseilles during the 11th century.

In the 13th century, the Six-Fours priory was one of the most important in the region. Since then, a bell tower has spanned the east wall and the Romanesque nave. It has a square shape

Set at the top of a 210-metre hill, Six-Forts was protected by two, then three solid walls and served as a refuge for neighbouring populations during the numerous invasions of Barbarians from the north and Saracens from the sea. St. Pierre collegiate church is the sole remnant of the old fortified village. Thanks to the discovery of a baptistery and ruins of an extremely ancient chapel its origins are now known to date back to the 4th and 5th centuries of our era (it was undoubtedly built on the site of a Greek acropolis, then a Roman temple).

Photo all rights reserved © by André M. Winter. Photo taken 2022 during our field research for Provence-Guide.Net.
No reproduction is permitted without the written consent of the author. (id6351)
sites photo

Collégiale St. Pierre church

An east-west orientated Romanesque church built in the 11th century contained the former buildings. During the construction of the Gothic church, the priory and part of the left aisle as well as the Romanesque north wall were destroyed.

The north-south orientated Gothic church with six chapels, added in 1608 in order to increase the church's capacity, was built on the ancient priory. It was consecrated in 1634 and made a Collegiate church 20 years later. During the 18th century, the village's inhabitants descended gradually onto the plain below and the village's administrative centre was transferred 1790. The military fort was built in 1875 on the site of the destroyed former village.

The Romanesque part, oriented east-west, is 25 meters long and 16 meters wide between the aisles. The height is almost 10 meters. It was built of grey-blue limestone from Évenos.

The church bears the Romanesque style in its architecture: dark, massive, in the shape of a Latin cross with two slightly trapezoidal chapels with narrow and curved stained glass windows. Its barrel vault gives the whole an impression of calm and perfectly balanced power.

Access by public transport

The Fort of Six-Fours and the Church are situated on a green hill between Six-Fours-les-Plages and La Seyne. The most useful bus line is number 70 of Réseau Mistral. It departs from Toulon train station and also stops at La Seyne Six Fours train station. From here head south of the station and turn left, cross the tracks and continue straight until you get to La Gare bus stop.

Get off at the Pont du Brusc stop, go ahead to the roundabout and turn right here up the Chemin du Grand Chrestian.

The other terminus of line 70 is Plage de Bonne Grâce between Six-Fours and Sanary. From here, get off at the Gabois stop, go ahead to the roundabout and turn left up Chemin du Grand Chrestian.

Short trail

The Chemin du Grand Chrestian climbs in a straight line. When it turns left to go down, continue straight on a set of stairs between two driveways. At the next intersection, turn right onto Chemin de la Garrigue. We reach one of the hairpin bends of the Montée du Fort where we continue to climb. At the next crossroads straight ahead to the church.

This access has a height difference of 170 meters and the ascent takes about 30 minutes.

Photo all rights reserved © by André M. Winter. Photo taken 2022 during our field research for Provence-Guide.Net.
No reproduction is permitted without the written consent of the author. (id6350)
sites photo

Map of the Church of Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens in Six-Fours

Access by car

La Seyne and Six-Fours are confusingly constructed. The main axis of the D559 runs between the beaches of Six-Fours to the west and the town of La Seyne to the east. Several roundabouts line this axis. The Montée du Fort street is signposted for Collégiale St. Pierre and Fort de Six-Fours. It goes uphill to the military fortress and the church.

Photo all rights reserved © by André M. Winter. Photo taken 2022 during our field research for Provence-Guide.Net.
No reproduction is permitted without the written consent of the author. (id6353)
sites photo

Romanesque vaults of the Collegiate Church of St. Pierre

The car park lays under the military fort

Photo all rights reserved © by André M. Winter. Photo taken 2022 during our field research for Provence-Guide.Net.
No reproduction is permitted without the written consent of the author. (id6352)
sites photo

St. Pierre collegiate choir

The Fort of Six-Fours

At the end of the 19th century, the Navy acquired the old fortified village of Six-Fours, completely leveling it and building the fort from 1875. Today it is a communications center for the French Navy and serves as the command center for the nuclear-armed Air Force.

Access and photos are prohibited.

Photo all rights reserved © by Alex Medwedeff. Photo taken 2022 during our field research for Provence-Guide.Net.
No reproduction is permitted without the written consent of the author. (id6349)
sites photo

View of the Rade de Toulon bay from the Collégiale St. Pierre

View from the hexagonal tower

Passing the fortress and descending to the first bend in the road, one comes to a ruined tower. From here you can also see well to the south and south-west.

For those who came up on foot: descend along the road to find the ascent path in the third hairpin bend.

Photo all rights reserved © by Alex Medwedeff. Photo taken 2022 during our field research for Provence-Guide.Net.
No reproduction is permitted without the written consent of the author. (id6355)
sites photo

Six-Fours and Îles des Embiez islands

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Photo all rights reserved © by Alex Medwedeff. Photo taken 2022 during our field research for Provence-Guide.Net.
No reproduction is permitted without the written consent of the author. (id6356)
sites photo

Hole in the ruined hexagonal tower under the Fort of Six-Fours

Photo all rights reserved © by André M. Winter. Photo taken 2022 during our field research for Provence-Guide.Net.
No reproduction is permitted without the written consent of the author. (id6354)
sites photo

Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens church in Six-Fours-les-Plages

Note

The information about this site was collected with the greatest care in 2022. Nevertheless, all information is provided without guarantee. Should you find any errors, please contact the author of this site, thank you!

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