Inside the beautiful pastel-colored townhall of Menton, an equally gorgeous room draws romantic souls from all over France. ‘La Salle des Mariages’ is the wedding hall of the city, and as well as offering an alternative venue to the local churches for couples to declare their love, it is a wonderful destination for people with an affection for stunning murals and interiors.
The French artist, poet, writer, and filmmaker Jean Cocteau was a frequent guest on the French Riviera, and when he attended the Classic Film Festival in Menton in 1955, he was delighted by the experience. He developed an attachment to Menton, and on request from the mayor, Cocteau decorated the town’s wedding hall. Hailed as a masterpiece of its kind, the artist created a magnificent setting and everything was designed by the master’s hand. From the murals depicting eternal lovers in a meandering line to the wooden doors patterned with diamond points and the bronze candelabra, Jean Cocteau was given carte blanche to create a hall befitting the concept of matrimony on the Côte D’Azur.
On accepting the commission, Cocteau stated that he was “tired of ink and the table”, and so he pledged himself to this new grandiose endeavour. On the end panel in the hall, the blue and white colours represent the flag of Menton, and the yellow and orange shimmers of the sun signify the greatness of a wedding and romantic love, in a light-filled and dreamlike vision. The iconic interior, combined with the story of its decoration, has made La Salle des Mariages one of the most sought-after wedding halls in France, and a charming pearl for local residents and visitors alike to delight in.