Aix En Provence
In southern France, only 30km away from Marseille, the beautiful Aix en Provence waits for visitors. Lovely old fountains will enrich your state of mind, while the colored and aromatic fruits and flowers will make you believe that you have just reached the French nirvana. Aix en Provence surely deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful cities not only in the French region of Provence, but in France too.
The historical capital of Provence has a beautiful architecture, proof being all the artists who took their inspiration from it, including Paul Cezanne, who painted some of his masterpieces right in the Provencal landscapes, or Stendhal, Mistral or Zola.
As a further influence, the city has developed itself as an important educational centre, hosting a military academy, universities, an institute of political studies, as well as a language school for foreign students, called L'Institut d'Etudes Françaises pour Etudiants Etrangers. Based on agriculture and academia, Aix en Provence holds two major musical events each year: Festival d’Aix en Provence and “Fête de la Musique”.
When it comes to the French cuisine, nothing can really describe it at its highest values. Aix en Provence is famous, when it comes to food, for the calisson, which is a confectionery made of sweet almonds and crystallized fruits. This tasty and magnificent gourmet specialty goes back in time to 1473, but the first official calisson factories were built in the 19th century. Following this line, in the 20th century, Aix en Provence has become the world capital of almond trade.
Discover the major places to visit when coming to Aix en Provence, together with their stories and particular charm.
The museumsThere are a few museums and art galleries that surely deserve being visited while you’re in town. Since this is the city of Paul Cezanne, his near town studio can be visited anytime, and there’s even a special Cezanne tour, which you can follow by looking for the “C”s point marks in the streets.
The most important museum in Aix en Provence is the Granet museum, a huge space of 4,500m2 housing some of Cezanne’s most important paintings, as well as well other masterpieces of Giacometti, Paul Klee, Mondrian or Picasso. The city has other museums, which worth being visited are the Natural History Museum, the Tapestry Museum, or the Museum of Old Aix.
The Cours MirabeauThe Cours Mirabeau is the city’s centre of the centre. This three-aligned avenue represents the true spirit of Aix and will surely like you, due to all its bars, restaurant, coffee shops and bookshops. Large plane trees go along with the streets while the visitors enjoy a well-deserved shade in the hot summer days.
Here is situated the mist famous brasserie in Aix, called Deux Garcons. With houses bordering the avenue and with beautiful fountains along it, this is by far the most renowned zone in Aix and the most popular one.
The Cathedral of Holy SaviourAlso called Cathédrale Saint Sauveur, the Cathedral of Holy Saviour is built on the place of an ancient Roman Forum and it combines architectural styles starting from the 5th century until the 17th.
Here, the Gothic style merges with the Merovingian baptistery, with the Romanesque cloister or the Renaissance dome. This is a wonderful cathedral, situated in the north of the medieval par of Aix, which definitely needs to be visited while you are there.
The FountainsAlso called “city of fountains”, Aix en Provence is literally full of fountains, some of them being situated right in the Cours Mirabeau, like The Great Fountain, built in 1860, or the Fountain of 9 Cannons, built in 1691.
There’s a hot-water fountain, dating back in 1734, moss-covered, with 35C degrees springs. Other famous fountains in this city are King René's Fountain and Fontaine des Quatre Dauphins, built in the Mazarin District the Place des Quatre Dauphins.
The Mazarin DistrictIn the south area of Cours Mirabeau, an old and incredible district tells its stories. Its houses are built in the 17th century, and it includes the Granet Museum, a 13th century church, called Eglise St-Jean-de-Malte, and a Paul Arbaud Museum.
Hotel du VilleWith its picturesque square, Hotel du Ville is an old building, dating back to the classical style of the 17th century, which looks over the city with clock tower built on one of its sides.
Tags: provence, hotels provence, provencal, aix en provence, france, travel france, travel
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