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pictogram of the site

Sanctuary Notre-Dame des Fontaines

Chapel Notre-Dame des Fontaines is situated 4 kilometres East of the village of La Brigue. It was raised at the foot of the pass of Collardente joining Tende and Taggia and San Remo.

Var/South-Alps map

exterior view of the edifice

map of the edifice

In the xvth, the sanctuary Notre-Dame des Fontaines was not as isolated as it is today. Indeed, the important mule track of the pass of Collardente, leading to Liguria or he Riviera, passed alongside the chapel. Its fame brought many pilgrims from various regions (Liguria, Piedmont, Provence).

The first document about the chapel is probably a deed executed by a notary which mentions the managers of the building and which is dated from the 17th of November of 1375.

The edifice was built on irregulars springs of water to which people attributed many miracles during their resurgence. That explains the name of the sanctuary.
According to an old legend, the springs of la Brigue dried up, probably owing to an earthquake. As they could no longer water their fields, the peasants made the wish to erect a chapel to Virgin Mary, if she could bring back the water.
The springs started flowing again. The inhabitants of La Brigue thus erected a sanctuary to show their gratitude for this miracle.

The order of the decoration that covers all the inside of the building has certainly been made by the community of La Brigue, thanks to the pilgrims' donations.

Bibliography, Sanctuary Notre-Dame des Fontaines, La Brigue