La Croix Valmer owes its name to the Roman Emperor Constantine who, on the way to Rome in 312 AD, saw a cross in the sky with these words : “In Hoc Signo Vinces” ( with this sign you will conquer’).
He immediately converted to Christianity and adopted the words on the cross. This historic event has been immortalized by the construction of a monument in the shape of a cross, set up near the roundabout in front of the Tourist Office.
The history of La Croix Valmer began during the Roman period. 125 years BC, Rome intervened to pacify the provençale region, which was then in the grip of fighting between the Celto Ligures and the Greeks of Marseille. The Romans established the “Pax Romana”, and the Mediterranean coast was transformed into a holiday resort favoured by the Roman families.
The Roman villa of Pardigon, built on 3500 square meters, was occupied by the affluent Roman gentry who cultivated grapes and olives to produce the region’s wines and olive products. Nearby were the farm buildings and workers’ houses as well as a maritime fishpond and a seaport. Pardigon was one of the biggest maritime villas on the Gallic coast.
Around 1882, on the way to Cogolin to buy silk, businessmen from Lyon decided to settle here, attracted by the landscape and the weather.
To facilitate transport, the famous "Train des Pignes" was created around 1890. Train services were reinstated after the war but were replaced by a bus service.
In 1895, the society "Domaine de La Croix", that owned vineyards, developed the domaine and built the winery. The Society was responsible for the construction of the village, with administrative buildings, a school, a church, a post office and the installation of electricity; a subsidy was granted for a doctor, which remained in place until 1922.
After having been called La Croix, La Croix de Cavalaire and La Croix des Mimosas, the village officially became La Croix Valmer in 1934, on the suggestion of both the first mayor and the Post Office, which wanted to avoid too many homonyms.
We cannot talk about the history of our region without mentioning the Second World War and the landings of the Allies in Provence, a time which still remains fresh in the memory of many of our fellow citizens.
From 1942 to 1944, La Croix Valmer was occupied by the Italians and then by the Germans. On August 15th 1944 at dawn, D-day of Operation DRAGOON, an impressive armada landed along the coast of the Saint Tropez peninsula.
La Croix Valmer was an excellent landing place (debarquement) and the troops staged through the village and Cogolin, in order to link up with Allied forces in Toulon and Marseille.
Actions speak louder than words, which is why, in La Croix Valmer, sustainable development is a collective action. It is in everyone’s interest to work at it on a daily basis.
We must learn to respect and protect our environment. This untamed nature is the richness we must protect for the future generations.