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).
The roman villa of Pardigon, built on 3500 square meters, was occupied by the affluent Roman gentry and was one of the biggest maritime villas on the Gallic coast.
L’inconnue de Pardigon
In 1895, while digging on plots of land owned by “La Compagnie du Domaine de la Croix”, a large amount of pottery, marble debris and Roman coins were found. Local farmers would come at night to dig the soil, hoping to discover the famous hidden treasure that archaeologists were searching for. To prevent damages the company employed guards and the findings were placed in the hotels of Croix Valmer where everyone could help themselves. The only object that remains is a marble woman’s mask, placed in the office of the Director of the Domain. Obviously, it used to be part of a fountain. Historically, it was a tribute to the divinities of the white waters, to these young and beautiful naiads to whom the Romans attributed the abundance and the persistence of the sources. This woman’s mask is beautiful, the nose and part of the left cheek were bruised by the pick of the digger. Apart from the marble of Carrara, nothing is Roman in this sketch; the head of the young woman, the pupils of the eyes not apparent, its delicacy and measure, recalls the most beautiful Greek productions of the 1st century.
Domaine de la Croix
In 1895, the society “Domaine de La Croix”, that owned vineyards, developed the domain 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 and a subsidy was granted for a doctor.
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 1940 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.