History & Culture in Mougins
The hilltop of Mougins had been occupied since the pre-Roman period and was eventually absorbed into the spread of the Roman Empire. Much of the centre of the 'old' village dates back to the 11th to 15th centuries.
In the 11th century the Count of Antibes gave the Mougins hillside to the Monks of Saint Honorat (from the nearby Îles de Lerins just off the coast of Cannes) who continued to administer the village until the French Revolution. During this period, Mougins was a fortified village surrounded by ramparts and parts of the medieval city wall still exist as well as one of the three original ancient gate towers (Porte Sarrazine).
Today this charming little village is best known for its gastronomy and the artists that it has attracted over the last 100 years. Picasso lived the last 12 years of his life here (1961–1973) until he died, in a house next to the chapel of Notre Dam de Vie to the south east of Mougins. Picasso's studio was in the old village in a building that is now the tourist office.
It's strong culinary history is due to great chefs such as Roger Vergé and Alain Ducasse, who have both managed restaurants in the village. Both were synonymous with the restaurant L'Amandier, which is situated in the heart of the old village. This restaurant still exists today and is housed in an important ancient building, as during the Middle Ages this was the court house of the Monks of Saint Honorat, before becoming an almond mill in the 18th/19th centuries. Mougins hosts the annual 'International Gastronomy Festival of Mougins', or 'Les Étoiles de Mougins', an international gastronomic event taking place every September in the village.
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