St Martin du Var

Situated north of the main Bellet area, there were also vineyards on the hills around the village.

St Martin, known as La Rochetta San Martino before annexation to France in 1860, then simply La Roquette, with 400 inhabitants. It became an independent commune in 1867.

Lying at a junction of the Esteron and Var valleys, and just below the Vésubie and Tinée, it was an important staging post for communities higher up the valleys.

Until the Var river was straightened and controlled by embankments in 1847-50, the whole valley was one wide river plain and a branch of the river ran through the centre of town (now it lies to the west of the railway line) as evidenced by the Avenue des Moulins, now in the town centre, but once lined with watermills on the edge of the village. The actual village was located higher up the hill away from the river. In the picture below, the line of houses in the centre leading from the river to the village along a patch of green is the avenue des Moulins.

view of village to river circa 1900
Confluence of the Esteron and Var rivers circa 1900

The village also had a large brick factory.

Brick factories in St Martin du Var
Brick factories in St Martin du Var

Vines were re-planted after phylloxera.



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