Marius Issert, the visionary mayor who rescued the ramparts

When the ramparts were decommissioned in 1870, the town counsellors of Saint-Paul de Vence quickly showed their interest in safeguarding the fortified patrimony of their Commune.

It was Henri Layet who, in 1872, was the first to take action by enabling the Commune to purchase the ramparts that would otherwise have faced certain demolition.

A few decades later, Mayor Marius Issert continued in the same vein. In June 1944, he and his Counsellors defended a project to classify and protect the bastioned ramparts as a « Historic Monument. »  He even added that it would be in the Commune’s interest that « the   countryside and crops that come right up to the foot of the ramparts should be carefully monitored.” Since February 20th 1945, the ramparts have been classified as “Historic Monuments” and have the protection that this implies.

A number of projects to highlight the value of the fortifications have since been undertaken by the municipality. In the early 2000s the facades of the South and Southwest facing ramparts were restored as part of an earlier Alcotra France-Italy Project.

Marius Issert wrote his memoirs: "Memoirs of a mayor 1945-1995".
This book is on sale at the Museum of Local History shop.

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