A showcase for arts and crafts
Near the boules square, peek through the windows of Manufacture de Tapis and listen carefully: you will hear the rhythmic murmur of the looms turning the ancestral expertise of the workers into unique rugs, carpets and floorcoverings. Two streets further on you have the opportunity to visit one of the most famous of Cogolin’s pipe makers. These works of art carved out of briar wood are engraved by hand with a silver cockerel, the town’s emblem. And what do we do in Cogolin with cane from Provence? We make reeds for saxophones, clarinets, oboes and other wind instruments. We could also mention glassware, antiques and local produce, and how can one resist - of all things - a tart: the famous tarte tropézienne, the one and only, a favourite with gourmets and made in Cogolin from a top secret recipe.
A rich heritage to discover
The charm of this picturesque village is best discovered on foot, strolling through the streets to the top of the hill: arched passages, porches in serpentine or volcanic rock, the clock tower, Saint-Sauveur church and sundial, and Saint-Roch chapel all bear witness to a fascinating past. And if you push open one door? Try the Sellier residence to see first class sculpture, painting and photography exhibitions. Then pull on your magical “seven league” boots and discover another side to the village, where nature is all around you. From the botanical footpath (Négresse district) to the Mole Valley, the bush in Hermitan to the vines on the Giscle, Cogolin hides her treasures well – and that’s not all…
Cogolin: gateway to the Gulf
For Cogolin is a municipality which extends as far as the sea; indeed it is home to one of the biggest harbours in the Gulf. The marina embraces Port Cogolin and the Marines, totalling 2,000 moorings, its quay lined with boutiques, boats for hire and restaurants. And then there is the beach at the end of the Gulf, with Saint-Maxime and Saint-Tropez as the backdrop facing each other to guard the entrance. Those who love the open sea can be found here in summer for the Festival de la Mer and in the autumn for the Salon de la Plaisance. In between, make a date with the water sports centre for a spin on an Optimist.
Culture in action
Cogolin is an active town all year round, a subtle alchemy of cultures and lifestyles, with a range of events designed for a wider public. Take for example the Corso Fleuri, “trendy” concerts, dance shows, comedy, sporting events like the Balade VTT du Coq for mountain bikers, and culminating in the Salon Trans’Arts, which brings monumental sculptures onto the streets. Without a doubt, Cogolin is well worth a detour !
A little history
Legend has it that a boat from Pisa in Italy, bearing the body of the Knight Torpès, washed up in 68 on the shores of what is now Saint-Tropez. Then, along with its other unfortunate passengers, a cockerel and a dog, it ended up in a swamp surrounded by reeds; the cockerel flew off and landed in a field of flax. And so it was that the cockerel and the field became Cogolin, and the cockerel its emblem. Over the centuries, the village endured the history of Provence, the counts then the Wars of Religion.
A stroll round the streets behind the town hall; the first parish church was built in the 11th century; the current St Etienne and St Sauveur church has a central nave from the 15th, and on the left another one built in several stages during the 16th. Saint Roch Chapel, the Clock Tower (Tour de l’Horloge), in front of which is the site of a drawbridge. Note the importance of local craftsmanship (reeds for musical instruments, pipes and carpets). Vineyards; and last but not least the coastline
Place Bellevue with its orientation tableau where, on a clear day, there is a panoramic view of the village and Gulf of Saint-Tropez. Rue des Moulins, not far from an artists’ studio, alludes to the five windmills that once existed in Cogolin. On the coast, from the harbour master’s office in the Marines, uninterrupted views of the gulf and surrounding hills
A stroll in the village
From the Tourist Office, go left into Rue Jean Jaurès; Place de la République, Hôtel de Ville and the memorial; take Rue du 8 mai 1945; Place de l’Abbé Toti, the church’s Renaissance doorway is carved from serpentine, the other is bubbly volcanic basalt. After the fountain (serpentine basin), take Rue Nationale for the old village with its many porches; at n°46 a beautiful bourgeois residence (17th century) with serpentine porch. At the Portail Bas, turn left under the lava stone archway; Place Bellevue, then Rue du 19 mars 1962; and the second Saint-Roch chapel (19th), as the showroom on the right was the first Saint-Roch church (17th), later sold as national property and converted into a barn.
La maison Sellier, which owns showrooms. Saint Roch Chapel, the Clock Tower (Tour de l’Horloge), in front of which is the site of a drawbridge.
Note the importance of local craftsmanship (reeds for musical instruments, pipes and carpets).
A stroll round the streets behind the town hall; the first parish church was built in the 11th century; the current St Etienne and St Sauveur church has a central nave from the 15th, and on the left another one built in several stages during the 16th.