Established in 122 BC, Aix-en-Provence—a former spa town, as evidenced by its numerous fountains—gets its name from “Aquae Sextiae”. In Latin, “aquae” means water and “Sextiae” signifies the Roman General Sextius who founded the city.
When King René settled there in the 15th century, the city became the capital of Provence and was fully restored.
Today a city of art and culture, Aix-en-Provence was able to wonderfully preserve its rich cultural and architectural past.
A simple walk through the city is spellbinding, with its mansions, its narrow cobbled streets in provençale colors, and the ambiance of its bustling teraces.
Explore Aix-en-Provence with a guide
Aix-en-Provence is overflowing with details hidden on its buildings, with history, with monuments and fountains, all waiting to be discovered. Walk in the footsteps of Cézanne, stroll along the Cours Mirabeau and enter the mansions. Make an appointment at the Office of Tourism with one of the tour guides—approved by the Minister of Culture and Communication.
Upon tasting the sweet treat, she finally smiled and asked the artisan: What do you call these delicacies? “Di calins souns” (i.e. “they are hugs”), he replied in Provençal.
Thus the calisson was born, a union of flavors comprised of a wafer topped with a thin paste of ground sweet almonds, candied melon, and candied orange, and covered with royal icing.
– Fruits and vegetables: every day at Place Richelme; local producers on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at Place des Prêcheurs.
– Flowers: Place de l’Hôtel de Ville on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays; Place des Prêcheurs on all other days.
– Flea markets, antiques, rumage sales, handmade items: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at Place de Verdun.
– Textiles: Tuesdays and Thursdays at Cours Mirabeau and Saturdays at the Palais de Justice.
– The Vendôme Pavilion
Listed as a historical monument, the Vendôme Pavilion is a former mansion that features contemporary art and photography exhibitions. The French garden, reconstructed to look exactly as it used to, is now a public park that is definitely worth a vist.
– The Hôtel de Caumont – Art Center
The Hôtel de Caumont is a former mansion located in the Mazarin quarter. After a comprehensive renovation, the hotel regained its former glory with the colors and materials used in the 18th century in France’s most beautiful homes. This art center features two temporary exhibitions per year and continuously shows a film about Cézanne’s life.
– The Saint-Sauveur Cathedral
This cathedral was built over the course of 2,000+ years, and due to the various overhauls it underwent throughout the centuries, its brings together a multitude of architectural styles.
It houses highly valuable religious artwork.