Set between sea and scents, Mouans-Sartoux used to be a farming village (olive trees, jasmine and rose crops for Grasse perfumeries) that gradually opened to trade and crafts.
Explore the historic town center, starting at one of its two squares shaded by plane trees, to admire the large, antique-style fountain and handsome church with a baroque facade in pink and blue.
Take a relaxed stroll in the peaceful, narrow streets with flowers on every other windowsill and colorful facades in blue, yellow, and pink, then return to the square to quench your thirst on a café terrace.
Visit the city’s 16th-century château and contemporary art museum.
- The Château de Mouans-Sartoux: Built between the late 15th and early 16th centuries by Jean de Grasse, the Château de Mouans (its original name) remained the property of Grasse until 1750, before possession was passed to Villeneuve. Like many other seigneurial residences, it was partially destroyed during the French Revolution. In the early 19th century, the Durand de Sartoux family restored the edifice, taking care to preserve its original triangular architecture, three towers, and inner courtyard. It has been the property of the city of Mouans-Sartoux since 1988 and is a listed historic monument. Today, with the advent of the “Espace de l’Art Concret,” it has become a contemporary art center of international repute.
- Jardins du MIP (International Perfume Museum Gardens): Centifolia rose, jasmine, tuberose, lavender, geranium, broom, orange tree – perfumes are first born in plants from here and afar. At the unique Jardins du Musée International de la Parfumerie, discover and smell these botanical species, plants that have provided the raw material for perfume for centuries. Built around an old canal and agricultural basin, the site spans 3.5 hectares. Take a guided tour through the gardens and discover why these plants produce a fragrance as you discover them in groups based on their olfactory notes: citrus, floral, woody, spicy, fruity, musky, etc. Improve your understanding of ecosystems, insects, scents, and history.
- L’Espace de l’Art Concret: The contemporary art center inside the Château de Mouans-Sartoux has several sites dedicated to Concrete Art and the legacy of that movement. The Albers-Honegger gift, a cubic edifice by Swiss architects Gigon & Guyer, houses a permanent collection unlike any other in France, with more than 600 works by major artists. The chateau also has a dedicated space for temporary exhibits and special rooms for educational activities, essential to raising the awareness of the widest possible public to the art of today.
THINGS TO DO & SIGHTS TO SEE:
• Jardins du MIP (International Perfume Museum Gardens)
• The Château de Mouans-Sartoux
• Espace de l’Art Concret contemporary art center
• Suzanne de Villeneuve square
• Saint André church
• The old washhouse
• The “Reflets d’un Monde Rural” (“Reflections of a Rural World”) museum
• Media library/La Strada movie theater
• Horseback riding
KEY ANNUAL EVENTS:
April: Honey festival
June: National music festival (Fête de la Musique)
June: Pottery festival
July and August: Nuits Estivales du Château summer concert series
September: Gourmet market
October: Book festival
November and December: Provencal Christmas-crèche figure (santon) fair
Tuesday & Thursday (Place de la Mairie) : Food - Clothes - Provencal market