Le Bar-sur-Loup is a medieval village located in the hinterland of Grasse. It deserves a visit not only for its panoramic views of Gourdon, the Gorges and the Valley of Loup but also for its very ancient houses, squeezed against each other around the Castle and the Church and its old streets where one can circulate only on foot.
The parochial church of St Jacques le Majeur is a monument of Roman and Gothic styles, which construction occurred between the XIIIth and the XVth century. It houses an altarpiece of late XVth century by the painter Louis Brea, which lived in Nice, and “Dance of Death”, painting on wood of the XVth.
A legend explains that the Count of Bar having given a ball in the middle of Lent, the guests fell dead. The “Dance of Death” was painted to commemorate the Divine punishment. It shows the Death, equipped as an archer, which kill the dancers with arrows. The souls out of the mouths of corpses, in the form of small naked figures, are weighed in the balance held by St. Michael, at the feet of Christ, and are precipitated into the jaws of a monster who represents the entrance to Hell.
The castle of Bar sur Loup also saw in 1722 the birth of Francois-Joseph Paul, Count of Grasse. This one became famous, at the behest of Louis XVI, as a lieutenant general of the naval forces. He went to the rescue of American fighting against the British for their independence and played an important role in the Battle of Yorktown bringing in 3000 men to support Washington, Lafayette and Rochambeau and resisting an English fleet to resupply the fort of Yorktown.
In the last century, Celestin Freinet was the pride of Bar sur Loup for its educational pedagogy that he began in the village from years 1920 to 1930 and then later in the village of St. Paul de Vence.
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