A Monk Draws Water in the Courtyard – Nice, France (circa 1920)

The beautiful city of Nice is older than any written documents – it enters into the histories of the Greeks (4th century BC) and the Romans.


Since antiquity, the rich and powerful have visited this sunny resort on the Mediterranean coast – now, the French Riviera.


Monuments of ordinary French village life survive, however, as exemplified by the monastery named in this souvenir postcard.

Cimiez is a quiet neighborhood of Nice.  

Benedictine Monks established a monastery there in the 9th century.

The original buildings were razed during military occupations of the 16th century, and Franciscan friars re-established the monastic community when peace was restored.

A museum on the site traces the monastic life at this place from the 9th century until today.


During the French Revolution, the Church property was seized as a hospital, but restored to the friars in the 19th century.

(Henri Matisse and Raoul Dufy are buried in the cemetery of the Monastery.)

The face of the postcard is an original painting of an elderly monk drawing water from a well within the courtyard of the monastery.

I cannot identify the artist who created the tender scene; the postcard was printed in France and published by Levy Fils & Company of Paris.

The postcard was not mailed, but an inscription on the reverse tells a story.

Annie acquired the postcard as a souvenir of her trip to the Riviera in 1921.

(The postcard may be as much as ten years older than the date of Annie’s visit.)

At a later time, the postcard came into the possession of Nancy Darling, who (still later) presented it to her brother. Jason.

Thus, the postcard changed hands several times before Jason received it.

Jason seems to have been pleased by the gift from Nancy, as the postcard has been preserved in excellent condition for a century.


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