Roman Catholic Diocese of Grasse

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Cathedral of Antibes (Notre-Dame-de-la-Platea)
Grasse Cathedral (Notre-Dame-du-Puy)

The former French Catholic diocese of Grasse was founded in the 4th or 5th century as the diocese of Antibes,[1] it was originally suffragan to the Archbishop of Aix, and then to the Archbishop of Embrun.[2] The bishopric moved from Antibes to Grasse in 1244, it remained at Grasse Cathedral until the French Revolution. It was suppressed by the Concordat of 1801, its territory passing to the diocese of Nice.


The city of Antibes was a colony of the Greek city of Massilia (Marseille), the Romans included it in the Alpes Maritimae. In church organization, Antibes belonged to the Province of Alpes Maritimae, whose Metropolitan was the Archbishop of Aix,[3] its Metropolitan later, before 1056, became the Archbishop of Embrun.[4]

The first known Bishop of Antibes is Armentarius who attended the Council of Vaison in 442.

Louis Duchesne[5] considered it possible that the Remigius, who signed at the Council of Nîmes in 396[6] and in 417 received a letter from Pope Zosimus,[7] may have been Bishop of Antibes before Armentarius.[8] Ralph Matheson, however, believes that this Remigius was Remigius of Aix.[9]

On 19 July 1244, Pope Innocent IV transferred the seat of the diocese from the port city of Antibes to the interior city of Grasse, due to a depopulation of Antibes and the repeated attacks of pirates, propter insalubritatem aeris et incursus piratorum.[10]

In 1181, King Idelfonso of Aragon granted Bishop Fulco of Antibes the seigneural rights over the city of Antibes.[11]

The cathedral of Grasse was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and was supervised by a Chapter composed of (originally) five dignities (Provost, Sacristan, Archdeacon, 'capiscolo' [Scholasticus] and Archpriest) and four Canons (one of whom was designated the Theologus), the office of Provost, however, was abolished on 30 July 1692.[12] The office of Archdeacon of Grasse was established by Bishop Bernardo de Castronovo on 16 May 1421.[13]

The diocese of Grasse was suppressed by decree of the Legislative Assembly of France on 22 November 1790.[14]

The arrondissement of Grasse was separated from the diocese of Fréjus in 1886, and given to the bishopric of Nice which since unites the three former Dioceses of Nice, Grasse and Vence.

Bishops of Antibes[edit]

  • c. 442: Armentarius[15]
  • c. 506–c. 529: Agroecius[16]
  • c. 529–541: Eucherius[17]
  • 549 – 570 x 573: Eusebius[18]
  • c. 573 – c. 585: Optatus[19]
  • 614: Eusebius[20]
  • c. 647–653: Deocarus[21]
  • 788: Autbertus[22]
  • [828: Heldebonus][23]
  • [930: Aimarus][24]
  • c. 987 – 1022: Bernardus (I.)[25]
  • 1026 – c. 1050: Heldebertus (I.)[26]
  • 1056 – c. 1088: Gaufredus (I.)[27]
  • 1089 – 1093: Aldebertus (or Adelbertus II.)[28]
  • c. 1110 – c. 1135: Manfredus Grimaldi[29]
  • 1143: Gaufredus (II.)[30]
  • 1146–1156: Petrus[31]
  • 1158–ca. 1165: Raimond (I.)[32]
  • 1166–1177: Bertrandus (I.)[33]
  • 1178–1185: Fulco[34]
  • 1186–1187: Guillaume (I.)[35]
  • 1188–c. 1195: Raimond (II.) Grimaldi[36]
  • 1199: Olivier[37]
  • c. 1208–c. 1211: Bertrandus (II.)[38]
  • c. 1212–c. 1215: Guillaume (Gausselin) de Saint-Marcel[39]
  • 1218–1245?: Bertrand d'Aix, O.P.[40]

Bishops of Grasse[edit]

from 1245 to 1505[edit]

1450 Dominique de Guiza[57]

from 1505 to 1791[edit]

1588–1598 Georges de Poissieux[63]
[François Verjus][73]
[Jean Balthazar de Cabanes][74]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David M. Cheney,, Grasse (Diocese), retrieved: 2017-06-12.[self-published source]
  2. ^ Gallia christiana III, p. 1145.
  3. ^ Gallia christiana I (Paris 1716), Notitia provinciarum (unpaginated prefatory matter).
  4. ^ Gallia christiana III, Instrumenta p. 179.
  5. ^ Duchesne (1907), Fastes épiscopaux I, p. 101 n. 2. Duchesne is certain he was not bishop of Aix.
  6. ^ C. Munier, Concilia Galliae, A. 314 – A. 506 (Turnholt: Brepols 1963), p. 51.
  7. ^ Nothing in the letter indicates Remigius' diocese. Friedrich Maassen (1870). Geschichte der Quellen und der Literatur des canonischen Rechts im Abendlande bis zum Ausgange des Mittelalters (in Latin and German). Erster Band. Gratz: Leuscher & Lubensky. p. 955.  Zosimus was pope only in 417 and 418.
  8. ^ In 1890, Louis Duchesne (1890). Mémoire sur l'origine des diocèses épiscopaux dans l'ancienne Gaule (in French). Paris: Daupeley-Gouverneur. p. 35.  is clear that the first known bishop of Antibes was Armentarius.
  9. ^ Ralph W. Mathisen (1989). Ecclesiastical factionalism and religious controversy in fifth-century Gaul. Washington DC USA: Catholic University of America Press. pp. 23, 56–57. ISBN 978-0-8132-0658-5. 
  10. ^ Gallia christiana III, p. 1145. Paul Sénéquier (1902). Grasse: notes à la suite de l'inventaire des archives communales (in French) (third ed.). Grasse: Imprimerie E. Imbert. p. 46.  gives a date of 19 July 1243, but the Pope was not at Genoa in 1243; he was at Anagni awaiting his coronation.
  11. ^ Tisserant, p. 114.
  12. ^ Gallia christiana III, p. 1160-1161. Cf. Ritzler-Sefrin, V, p. 211 note 1. In 1752 there were 5 dignities and 10 canons, according to Ritzler-Sefrin, VI, p. 228 note 1.
  13. ^ Gallia christiana III, p. 1169. The terms of the decree were revised on 4 March 1422.
  14. ^ Sénéquier, p. 46.
  15. ^ Armentarius was present at the Council of Vaison in 442. Gallia christiana III, pp. 1146-1147. Gams, p. 554 column 2. C. Munier, Concilia Galliae, A. 314 – A. 506 (Turnholt: Brepols 1963), p. 102: ex provincia secunda Narbboninsis civit. Antipolyt. Armentarius episcopus.
  16. ^ Agroecius took part in the Council of Agde in 506, and he was represented at the provincial councils of 524 (De Clercq, p. 46) and 528. He did not appear, though summoned, at the Council of Carpentras in 527, for which he was censured. Munier, p. 213: Agricius in Christi nomen epsicopus de Antipole subscripsi. De Clercq, Concilia Galliae, A. 511 – A. 695 (Turnholt: Brepols 1963), pp. 47, 50. Duchesne, p. 288 no. 2.
  17. ^ Eucherius was present at the Council of Orange on 3 July 529 (De Clercq, p. 64), the Council of Marseille on 26 May 533 (De Clercq, p. 85), the Council of Orléans on 23 June 533 (De Clercq, p. 102), and at the Council of Orléans on 14 May 541 (De Clercq, pp. 143, 146). Duchesne, p. 289 no. 3.
  18. ^ Eusebius was represented by the Deacon September at the Council of Orléans of 28 October 549 (De Clercq, p. 160). He was also present at the Council of Arles on 29 June 554 (De Clercq, p. 172).
  19. ^ Optatus was present at the Council of Paris on 11 September 573 (De Clercq, p. 214), and was represented at the Council of Mâcon in October 585 (De Clercq, p. 249). Duchesne, p. 289 no. 5.
  20. ^ The second Eusebius was present at the Council of Paris in 614. De Clercq, p. 281. Gams, p. 554 column 2. Duchesne, p. 289 no. 6.
  21. ^ Deocarus was present at the Council of Chalon-sur-Saône (Cabilonense) in 650. De Clercq, p. 309. Gams, p. 554 column 2. Duchesne, p. 289 no. 7.
  22. ^ Autbertus was present at the false Council of Narbonne in 788. J.-D. Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, editio novissima, Tomus XIII (Florence: A. Zatta 1767), p. 824. Duchesne, p. 289 no. 8.
  23. ^ The name of Bishop Heldebonus appears as signatory of a charter of 828, though his diocese is not named. It is assumed that he was Bishop of Antibes because the charter granted land to the monastery of Saint Vincent of Lerins, which was in the diocese of Antibes, but two other prelates also sign, Archbishop Notho of Arles and Archbishop Benedictus of Aix. Heldebonus' see is a matter of conjecture. Gallia christiana III, p. 1149. Gams, Gams, p. 554 column 2, doubts that he was a bishop of Antibes.
  24. ^ A search by the editors of Gallia christiana could produce no evidence for this name. Gallia christiana III, p. 1149. His existence is also questioned by Gams, p. 555 column 1, using both italics and a question mark.
  25. ^ Bernardus: Gallia christiana III, pp. 1149-1150.
  26. ^ Adelbert' uncle Rodoaldus was Count of Antibes. Gallia christiana III, pp. 1150-1151.
  27. ^ Geoffroy: Gallia christiana III, p. 1151.
  28. ^ Aldebertus is attested in 1089 and 1093. The dates of his episcopacy are uncertain. Gallia christiana III, p. 1151. Gams, p. 555.
  29. ^ Manfredus is attested in 1110 (not 1100) and as late as 1134. Gallia christiana III, pp. 1151-1152. Gams, p. 555. Tisserant, p. 106.
  30. ^ Gaufredus (II) (Geoffroy) is attested only in 1143 by a document of donation. Gallia christiana III, p. 1152. Gams, p. 555 column 1.
  31. ^ Pierre: Gallia christiana III, p. 1152-1153. Gams, p. 555 column 1, gives his date of death as 11 March 1155.
  32. ^ Raimond was already serving as bishop in 1158; his date of accession is not recorded. The latest reference to him is in 1163. Gallia christiana III, p. 1153. Gams, p. 555.
  33. ^ Bertrand was the recipient, on 5 August 1166, of the generosity of Berengarius III of Provence through the grant of two castles. He is attested as late as September 1176. Gallia christiana III, p. 1153-1154. Gams, p. 555 column 1.
  34. ^ Fulco (not Fredolus or Franciscus) was already in office in 1178. He participated in the Lateran Council of Pope Alexander III in March 1179. J.-D. Mansi (ed.), Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, editio novissima, Tomus XXII (Venice: A. Zatta 1778), p. 465. Also in 1179 Fulco subscribed a treaty between the municipal authorities of Grasse and the city of Pisa. Tisserant, pp. 112-113. Gallia christiana III, pp. 1154-1155. Gams, p. 555 column 1.
  35. ^ Guillaume is attested in 1186. Gallia christiana III, p. 1155.
  36. ^ In 1188 Raimond obtained a bull of protection from Pope Clement III. He ratified a land transfer in 1192. Gallia christiana III, p. 1155-1156.
  37. ^ On 3 February 1199, Bishop Olivarius granted Guillaume, Abbot of Notre-Dame de Pratis, permission to build a church in a place called Sartolis. Gallia christiana III, p. 1156.
  38. ^ Bertrandus (not Bernardus) is attested c. 1 November 1208 and 18 December 1211. Gallia christiana III, p. 1156. Gams, p. 555 column 1. Eubel, I, p. 267.
  39. ^ Gallia christiana III, pp. 1156-1157. Gams, p. 555 column 1. Eubel, I, p. 267.
  40. ^ Bertrand died in December 1246. Gallia christiana III, pp. 1157-1159. Gams, p. 555 column 1. Eubel, I, p. 267.
  41. ^ Raimond was Bishop of Grasse by 3 January 1247. On 8 February 1253, the Archbishop of Embrun was ordered by Pope Innocent IV to receive the resignation of Bishop Raimond. Gallia christiana III, p. 1160. Tisserand, p. 110. Eubel, I, p. 267 note 3.
  42. ^ Pons: Gallia christiana III, p. 1161. Eubel, I, p. 267.
  43. ^ Gallia christiana III, p. 1162. Guillaume de Barras: Eubel, I, p. 267.
  44. ^ Pons: Gallia christiana III, p. 1162-1163. Eubel, I, p. 267.
  45. ^ Lantelmus: Gallia christiana III, p. 1163-1164. Eubel, I, p. 267.
  46. ^ Guillaume was the Procurator of King Charles II of Sicily in the Roman Curia. Guillaume's bulls were issued on 25 October 1298. Gallia christiana III, p. 1164. Eubel, I, p. 267.
  47. ^ Gaufredus' bulls were issued on 15 July 1299. Gallia christiana III, p. 1164-1165. Eubel, I, p. 267.
  48. ^ Ademar de la Voulte was previously Bishop of Limasol (Crete) (1367–1374). He was transferred to Grasse on 9 October 1374, he was then transferred to the See of Marseille on 1 June 1379 by Pope Clement VII (Avignon Obedience). Eubel, I, pp. 267, 330, 367.
  49. ^ Bishop Artaud had previously been Bishop of Forli (1372–1379). He was appointed to the diocese of Grasse by Urban VI (Roman Obedience), and the appointment was confirmed by Pope Clement VII (Avignon Obedience) on 1 June 1379, he was transferred to the diocese of Sisteron on 2 May 1382 by Clement VII. In 1404 he was transferred to Arles. Eubel, I, pp. 253, 267 with note 9, 454.
  50. ^ Thomas of S. Marco di Puppio (diocese of Arezzo), he is called bishop-elect in a document of 21 July 1382. Eubel states that he was transferred to the diocese of Orvieto in 1388/1389; this would have been a titular appointment, since Orvieto was in the hands of Urban VI. Gallia christiana III, pp. 1167-1168. Eubel, I, p. 267 with note 10.
  51. ^ Milo Provana was provided with his bulls on 5 March by Pope Clement VII (Avignon Obedience), and died in October, while still in the Curia in Avignon. Eubel, I, p. 267.
  52. ^ Jacques Graillier went over to the Roman Obedience. Clement VII tried to remove him from the diocese of Grasse by naming him titular Bishop of Sidon (Lebanon), but Jacques refused to leave Grasse. A successor, Pierre Bonnet, was appointed on 29 February 1392, on 31 January 1392, Queen Maria, duchess of Apulia and countess of Province, ordered her officials not to obey Bishop Jacques, but to expel him from her domains. Gallia christiana III, pp. 1168-1169. Eubel, I, p. 267, note 11.
  53. ^ Bonnet: Gallia christiana III, pp. 1168-1169. Eubel, I, p. 267, notes 11 and 12.
  54. ^ Bernardo de Castronovo was appointed by Pope Benedict XIII (Pedro de Luna) on 22 June 1408. He took part in the Council of Pisa, which began in May 1409; in 1411 he belonged to the obedience of John XXIII. He died on 4 September 1427. Gallia christiana III, p. 1169–1170. Eubel, I, p. 267.
  55. ^ It is claimed that Guillaume de Guezi was already in office in 1448 and died on 24 November 1451, which would make nonsense of the materials concerning Pierre de Forbin, Dominique de Guiza, and Isnard de Grasse. Gallia christiana III, p. 1171.
  56. ^ Forbin was granted his bulls on 17 June 1450. Eubel, II, p. 161.
  57. ^ Dominique de Guiza was granted his bulls on 16 September 1451, according to Gallia christiana III, p. 1171. Françoise Hildesheimer; Pierre Bodard (1984). Les Diocèses de Nice et Monaco (in French). Paris: Editions Beauchesne. pp. 60–61. ISBN 978-2-7010-1095-3. 
  58. ^ Isnard de Grasse was granted his bulls on 15 November 1451. Eubel makes Isnard the successor of Pierre de Forbin, not recognizing Dominique de Guiza. Isnard was the first Abbot Commendatory of Lerins. Isnard died on 26 June 1483. Sénéquier (1902), p. 51. Eubel, II, p. 161.
  59. ^ Georges Doublet, "Augustin Grimaldi, évêque de Grasse, abbé commendataire de Lérins, seigneur à titre viager de Monaco (1479–1532)," Recueil de mémoires publiés pour le cinquantenaire (1862–1911) de la Société des Lettres, Sciences et Arts des Alpes-Maritimes, 1er fascicule, (Paris-Nancy: Berger-Levrault 1914), pp. 3-47.
  60. ^ Benedetto Tagliacarne was a native of Sarzana, and had been secretary of the city of Genoa. He was Perceptor of the sons of King Francis I of France, whom he accompanied into captivity in Madrid (1526–1530) after the Battle of Pavia, he was Abbot Commendatory of Fontfroide (Narbonne) and of Nantueil. He received his bulls on 11 February 1534, he died on 18 October 1536. Eubel, III, p. 205 with note 7. Peter G. Bietenholz; Thomas Brian Deutscher (2003). Contemporaries of Erasmus: A Biographical Register of the Renaissance and Reformation. Volume III. University of Toronto Press. pp. 305–306. ISBN 978-0-8020-8577-1. 
  61. ^ Eubel, III, p. 205.
  62. ^ Deodel was also Abbot of Cruas on the Rhone. He was preconised on 13 March 1570 In 1585 he led the defense of the abbey against the attacks of the Protestants, he died in August 1588. Camille Dreyfus; André Berthelot (1886). La Grande encyclopédie: inventaire raisonné des sciences, des lettres et des arts (in French). Tome treizième (13). Paris: Lamirault et cie. p. 510.  Gallia christiana III, p. 1176-1177. Eubel, III, p. 205.
  63. ^ Poissieux was appointed bishop of Grasse in 1588 by Henri III, and after his assassination the appointment was confirmed by Henri IV. But since Henri IV was a Huguenot and a heretic, Pope Sixtus V refused confirmation of Poissieux. Sixtus died in August 1590, and, after three ephemeral popes, Clement VIII acted by decreeing the union of the dioceses of Grasse and Vence, with the combined diocese in the hands of the Bishop of Vence, Guillaume le Blanc (14 February 1592). Poissieux resigned on 13 February 1598 in favor of Étienne Le Maingre de Boucicault. Gallia christiana III, p. 1177. Paul Sénéquier (1902). Grasse: notes à la suite de l'inventaire des archives communales (in French) (third ed.). Grasse: E. Imbert. pp. 52–53; 74; 129. 
  64. ^ Le Blanc, once a Privy Chamberlain of Sixtus V, had been Bishop of Vence since 1588. He died on 29 November 1601. Gams, p. 651. Eubel, III, p. 328.
  65. ^ Étienne Le Maingre de Boucicault was Grand Aumonier to Marguerite de Valois from 1595. He was nominated bishop of Grasse by Henri IV on 8 April 1598, but Clement VIII refused him his bulls; Guillaume le Blanc was the legitimate Bishop of Grasse, though the Privy Council declared the union of the two dioceses to be an abuse on 21 November 1601. In 1600 Boucicault became royal Aumonier, he was finally granted his bulls on 24 March 1604, and consecrated bishop of Grasse on 30 March 1604. Gallia christiana III, pp. 1179-1180. Senequier, p. 53. Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 196 with note 4.
  66. ^ Grasse-Cabris was Abbot commendatory of Lenfourchure, la Rivoure, le Thoronet, and Nogent; Prior of Tignet; and Conseiller d'Etat. He was nominated bishop of Grasse by King Louis XIII on 20 April 1624, and confirmed on 15 September 1625, though he was below the minimum age for consecration and required a dispensation, he resigned in 1628, never having been ordained or consecrated. He became a military and administrative figure in the government of Louis XIII and Louis XIV. Gallia christiana III, p. 1180. Sénéquier, pp. 74-75. Marquis de Grasse, "Jean de Grasse-Cabris (1600-1691)," Annales de Provence 8 (Aix-en-Provence 1911), pp. 99-113. Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 196 with note 5.
  67. ^ A native of the Auvergne and former Aumonier of the King, Jean Guérin was granted his bulls by Pope Urban VIII on 4 March 1630. He was consecrated a bishop by Gilles de Souvré, Bishop of Auxerre, he died in Grasse on 7 April 1632. Gallia christiana III, p. 1180. Sénéquier, p. 75. Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 196.
  68. ^ Villeneuve-Thorenc was nominated by King Louis XIII on 14 June 1632. He was preconised (approved) by Pope Urban VIII on 20 December 1632, and consecrated at Aix by the Archbishop, Louis de Bretel, on 8 March 1633, he died at Grasse on 3 May 1636 at the age of 35. Doublet, L'ancienne cathédrale de Grasse, p. 6. Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 196.
  69. ^ René Kerviler, Antoine Godeau, évêque de Grasse et de Vence (Paris: H. Champion 1879). Godeau was one of the most celebrated habitués of the Hôtel de Rambouillet, where he was nicknamed "Julia's dwarf" on account of his small stature.[citation needed] Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 196.
  70. ^ Bernage had been a Canon of Notre Dame de Paris and an Aumonier of the King. He was preconised on 23 November 1653 by Pope Innocent X, he died on 6 May 1675. Gallia christiana III, p. 1181. Sénéquier, pp. 75-77. Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 196 with note 9.
  71. ^ Born in Arles in 1630, Louis Aube de Roquemartine had been Provost of the Cathedral Chapter of Arles for six years. He obtained a licenciate in Civil and Canon Law on 27 November 1675, he was nominated to the diocese of Grasse by King Louis XIV on 16 September 1675, and preconised (approved) by Pope Clement X on 16 November 1676. He was transferred to the diocese of Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux on 25 May 1682. Gallia christiana III, p. 1182. Ritzler-Sefrin, Hierarchia catholica V, p. 211, with note 3.
  72. ^ Le Comte was preconised (approved) by Pope Innocent XI on 13 July 1682. He died on 6 September 1683, according to Gams, p. 555 column 2. Ritzler-Sefrin, V, p. 212 with note 4.
  73. ^ Verjus was nominated by Louis XIV, but due to the bad relations between France and Rome over the Four Gallican Articles, his bulls of preconisation and installation were never issued. In November 1685 he was transferred to Glandèves, but did not receive bulls for that See either. Gallia christiana III, p. 1183.
  74. ^ Jean Balthazar was nominated by Louis XIV in place of Verjus in 1685, but he likewise failed to received bulls from Pope Innocent XI. Gallia christiana III, p. 1183.
  75. ^ Verjus' brother Louis was Comte de Crécy, and his brother Antoine was a Jesuit. He had been Provost of Grasse. Verjus was renominated to the diocese of Grasse in 1686, but did not receive his bulls as long as Innocent XI lived. Pope Alexander VIII was no more friendly. He was finally preconised (approved) by Pope Innocent XII on 24 March 1692, he died on 17 December 1710. Jean, p. 197. Gams, p. 556. Ritzler-Sefrin, V, p. 212 with note 5.
  76. ^ Born in Aix-en-Provence in 1653, the son of Jean, vicomte de Troyes and President of the Parliament of Provence, Mesgrigny held a licenciate in Canon Law (Paris). He was a lecturer, guardian, definitor, and visitor at various times for his Order, on 5 April 1711 he was nominated bishop of Grasse by King Louis XIV. He was preconised on 19 October 1711 by Pope Clement XI, and consecrated in Paris on 20 December, he died on 2 March 1726. Jean, p. 198. Ritzler-Sefrin, V, p. 212 with note 6.
  77. ^ Born in Fréjus in 1668, Anthelmy had been Provost of Fréjus. He was consecrated in Paris by the Archbishop of Aix, Charles de Vintimille, on 12 January 1727, he died in Grasse on 21 October 1752. Jean, pp. 198-199. Ritzler-Sefrin, V, p. 212 with note 7.
  78. ^ Saint-Jean de Prunières was born in the diocese of Gap in 1718, and held a licenciate in Civil and Canon Law (Valence). In 1791 he fled into exile at Savillian in Piedmont, and then in 1794 he moved to Bologna, where he died in 1797. Jean, p. 199. Ritzler-Sefrin, VI, p. 228 with note 2.


Reference works[edit]



 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGoyau, Pierre-Louis-Théophile-Georges (1911). "Diocese of Nice". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. 11. New York: Robert Appleton. 

Coordinates: 43°39′28″N 6°55′29″E / 43.6579°N 6.9247°E / 43.6579; 6.9247