With its incredible exterior, the bell-tower, the coloured cobbles of the parvis arranged to form the Grimaldi’s coat of arms and the “rampes Saint-Michel” (a series of flights of stairs) the “Basilique Saint-Michel” is a rare jewel of baroque art. More than 100000 tourists come to see the site every year.
The construction of the Basilica begun in 1640 under the reign of Honoré II, but took several centuries to be completed. The façade was then renovated in the 19th Century adding typical decor of the period such as smooth columns with ionic and corinthian capitals.
Saint-Michel Archange was proclaimed a Basilica in March 1999, by decree of Pope Jean-Paul II. This title, given for eternity, was in reward for the dynamism of the pastoral life and liturgy of the church.
The Menton Music Festival is held on the parvis of the Basilica every year in august.
A little further on, “La Chapelle des Pénitents-Blancs” (White Penitents Chapel) offers a more ornate façade : pinnacles, friezes, garlands of flowers...