Nary a photo exists of Saint-Tropez without a glimpse of this peach and coral church whose Italian Baroque-style bell tower rises above the village’s red tile roofs like a stalwart soldier.
The official name of the church is Eglise Notre Dame de l’Assomption and it was built in 1784 then enovated in 1990. Inside is the gilded bust of Saint-Torpes.
Legend has it that in 68 AD, the beheaded body of a Roman soldier named Torpes was washed ashore in Saint-Tropez in a boat, along with a rooster and a dog. When he was discovered by the villagers, they adopted him as their patron saint.
Today a bust, kept in the church, is paraded through the streets of Saint-Tropez for three days each May during the “Bravades,” an ancient (and loud) Provencal celebration dating to the 13th century.
During the celebration, local ‘bravadeurs’ dress in period clothing and blast their muskets through the streets.
The church is not open all the time, and I’ve yet to figure out when and why it is open on certain days. Check with the tourist office near Le Senequier.