Èze ("Eza" in Italian) is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France, not far from the city of Nice.
The area surrounding Èze was first populated around 2000BC as a commune situated near Mount Bastide. The earliest occurrence of the name "Èze" can be found in the maritime books of Antonin as a bay called the St. Laurent of Èze. The area was subsequently occupied by not only the Romans but also the Moors who held the area for approximately 80 years until they were driven out by William of Provence in 973.
By 1388 Èze fell under the jurisdiction of the House of Savoy, who built up the town as a fortified stronghold because of its proximity to Nice. The history of Èze became turbulant several times in the next few centuries as French and Turkish troops seized the village under orders from Barbarossa in 1543, and Louis the XIV destroyed the walls surrounding the city in 1706 in the war of succession of Spain. Finally in April 1860, Eze was designated as part of France by unanimous decision by the people of Eze.
Èze has been described as an “eagle's nest” because of its location overlooking a high cliff located 427m above sea level on the French Mediterranean. The high elevation enables the village and the light ochre church within (Notre Dame de l’Assomption built in 1764) to be seen from afar. Inside the church, an Egyptian cross acts as a reminder that the roots of the village date back to the time of the Phoenicians, when they erected a temple there to honour the goddess Isis.
Traditionally, the territory of the Principality of Monaco was considered to begin in the Èze village (outskirts of Nice), running along the Mediterranean coast to Menton, on the present Italian border.
Eze has a year-round warm climate providing, bananas, dates, carob trees, lemon and orange trees.
Bono, lead singer of U2, owns a villa in Èze with the band's lead guitarist, The Edge. The band filmed music videos in Èze for "Beautiful Day" and "Electrical Storm" in 2000 and 2002, respectively.