La Garde-Freinet


In the 10th century, there were three settlements in the modern-day La Garde-Freinet: on the Miremer hill, around the Saint-Clément Chapel, and close to the hamlet of la Mourre.

However, the local people moved to the hill of Fort-Freinet in the 12th century for security reasons. This fort was very strategically positioned. By controlling access to the Vidauban plains from one side and to the Gulf of Saint-Tropez from the other, the fort provided an excellent vantage point over the surrounding area.

From the 13th century, the people of Fort-Freinet gradually made their way downhill, settling on the Col de la Garde mountain pass – which was easier to access and more suited to human habitation – hence the name of the new village, “La Garde-Freinet”. The remains of this historic site can still be seen today.


This colourful and gently lit village has always captivated artists with its exuberant nature, its proximity to the sea, its summer holidaymakers, and much more. A long list of painters, writers, actors and musicians have fully embraced La Garde-Freinet in all its glory.

  • Jeanne Moreau lived in Préverger for 22 years
  • Vanessa Redgrave and Tony Richardson had a house in Le Nid du Duc, where they often spent their summer holidays with family members, including Liam Neeson (son-in-law); David Hockney, whose famous painting “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) was sold at auction for an astronomical figure.
  • Serge Rezvani, a painter, writer and songwriter-composer-performer, used to live in La Béate.
  • Christopher Tolkien (son of J.R.R. Tolkien and the author of “The Lord of the Rings” series) lived in the house next to Saint-Jean Chapel
  • Bob Swaim, the American director and screenwriter, still lives in the village
  • Facundo Bo, an Argentinian comedian and painter, used to live in the village with his husband Peter Adam, a British journalist and writer who worked for the BBC
  • André Pousse, who started his career as a runner and cyclist before becoming an actor, used to live there and was burried in La Garde-Freinet Cemetery
  • Anna Karina, a famous actress, also lives in the village
  • Eugène Saccomano, a journalist, highly acclaimed sports commentator and author, is another notable ex-resident of La Garde-Freinet.
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