Alpes-Maritimes (06740) Population: 3,033 Altitude: 410 m
Chateauneuf-Grasse is a perched medieval village with buildings of light provençal colors. Chateauneuf-Grasse is quite picturesque on its hilltop, only a few km northeast of Grasse and close beside the populated area around Opio and the commercial area of Pré-du-Lac.
Inside the old village is a change of pace, as there's no commerce and no shoppers. The only village activity of that sort is the médiathèque, and that's very well done. The libriary (bibliothèque) part has three floors of books, including a floor for childrens' books, and a section of English-language books. The "média" part has 15 computers for online activities.
Chateauneuf-Grasse has a good number of narrow streets for wandering and exploring, most paved with a decorative strip of flagstones up the center. The house facades are a mixture of the older-style stone-and-mortar and those surfaced in the brighter provençal colors. The town hall (mairie) is in a peach-orange with blue-grey shutters. Beside the mairie is another colorful building with trompe-l'oeil windows on the one end that perfectly match the real windows on the front.
The English writer and actor Dirk Bogarde lived in Le Pigeonnier in the hills of Chateauneuf-Grasse in the farmhouse Le Pigeonnier in the 1970's and up to 1983.
History of Chateauneuf-Grasse
First record, 1153 Castrum de Castello, Castro novo
Celto-Ligurian: The ruins of the dolmen of Pierre-Haute were located to the northeast [we haven't found it].
Medieval: A local population grew here in the 5th century at Brusc (2 km southeast) with the building of a church and baptistery. A few centuries of invasions troubled the area until the feudal system took over around the 11th century, and the large basilica was built then at Brusc.
In the 12th century the Lords of Opio built a new castle on the highest point in the area, the site of a previous oppidum. This castle became known as the Chateau Neuf d'Opio, and people began moving close for protection.
In the 13th century, relations between Opio and the New Castle of Opio deterierated to the point where the higher point broke off from Opio and became independent. The communal boundary included the site of Brusc with Chateauneuf-Grasse.
Notre Dame du Brusc had suffered during the Wars of Religion, and in the 17th century it was rebuilt.
In the 19th century (1822) the commune of Clermont was attached to Chateauneuf by royal decree. In 1830 the hamlets of Bergiers detached from Chateauneuf and attached to the commune of Rouret.
Tel (Mairie): 04 92 60 36 03; Fax: 04 92 60 36 00
• GPS: 43.674977, 6.975579
IGN (1/25,000) #3643 ET "Cannes, Grasse, Côte d'Azur"