Registered as a Historic Monument since 1929, the Saint-Hospice Chapel was built in the 11th century on the ruins of a sanctuary. It owes its name to a Benedictine monk, named Hospitius, who lived in a tower around the year 575 in total destitution, inflicting heavy penances on himself to deserve heaven.
Legend has it that when the Lombards invaded the coast, as the monk had predicted, one of them wanted to kill the hermit but his arm was suddenly paralyzed.
Out of respect for the hermit's calm, the barbarians let him live. Several miraculous healings are attributed to him, of a deaf and dumb man, a blind man, a woman prey to demons.
A bit of History...
The oldest mention of the Saint-Hospice chapel dates back to 1075.
Centuries later, in 1615, the chapel is in the center of an ancient fort built by Charles-Emmanuel I of Savoy to protect itself from looting during the attempted French invasion.
In 1655, the chapel was enlarged and equipped with an altar giving it the appearance we know it today.
The fort of Saint-Hospice was destroyed in 1706 on the orders of Louis XIV, and later, during the revolutionary period, the chapel was damaged. It was only in 1826 that it was reopened for worship.
The portico dates from 1826. The chapel was once an important place of pilgrimage and counted up to 140 ex-votos, which have now disappeared.
Inside you can admire paintings by the painter Louis Marchand des Raux that retrace the life and miracles of Saint Hospice.
In 1903, an imposing bronze statue, 11m40 high, adjoining the chapel, depicting the Virgin carrying the Child Jesus, was offered by a merchant from Nice for the realization of a vow. It is the work of the Italian sculptor Tranquillo Galbusieri.
The commune of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, with the help of the Heritage Foundation, has launched an appeal for donations to restore the chapel.
The commune of Saint Jean-Cap-Ferrat is planning numerous works including the restoration of all roofs, waterproofing and defective parts of the framework.
As regards the external facades, complete restoration of the facades of the chapel, the porch, the presbytery, the peripheral walls and the retaining walls.
For the interior façades: restoration of all plastering and treatment against humidity. The resumption of the joinery. Upgrading of the electrical system and installation of ventilation.
After the restoration of the chapel, the commune of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat wishes to set up cultural exhibitions as well as musical events such as recitals and classical music concerts.
In addition, the chapel will be included in the guided tour circuit "Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, its history and legend". The inhabitants and tourists of the region will thus be able to fully enjoy the restored chapel and its surroundings.
12, Chemin de Saint-Hospice,
Tel: 04 93 76 08 90
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator