Aix-en-Provence (fr. Aix-en-Provence) is a city and commune in Southern France, about 30 km north of Marseille.
The city of Aix-en-Provence has a remarkable architectural heritage within its historic centre, especially regarding the periods of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. With 156 historic monuments classified or registered under the Act of 31 December 1913 on historic monuments (including nine fountains and 75 hotels), the city of Aix-en-Provence is ranked seventeenth in France in terms of number of historic monuments.
Aix-en-Provence has more than 150 mansions dating from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, making it the second city in France (after Paris) by the number of mansions.
The city of Aix-en-Provence holds the City of Art and History label. It previously held the City of Art label.
Aix-en-Provence has two stars in the Michelin Green Guide.
The Saint-Pierre cemetery in Aix-en-Provence is home to the last resting place of many personalities from the art world: Paul Cézanne, Darius Milhaud, Auguste de Forbin, Joseph Villevieille, etc.
Tourism and attractions
- Saint-Sauveur Cathedral. Triptych of the Burning Bush (altarpiece of King René) by Nicolas Froment; altarpiece of the Legend of Saint Miter (fourteenth century); tapestries: Life of the Virgin and of Jesus (end of the fifteenth century). Saint-Sauveur cloister: end of the twelfth century. The roof formed is supported by arches. The twin columns, the foliage or historiated capitals give a lot of elegance to the construction.
- Church of the Madeleine. Located on the Place des Prêcheurs, the current building dates from the end of the nineteenth century, succeeding several constructions since the thirteenth century, and is currently closed for restoration.
- Church of the Holy Spirit. This church was built from 1706 to 1728 by the Vallon brothers. The sculptures and decorations were made from 1726 to 1728. Mirabeau’s marriage was celebrated in this church.
- Church of Saint-Jean-de-Malte. Located near to the Cours Mirabeau, it is the first Gothic church in Provence.
- Notre-Dame de la Seds Church. The current building dates from 1853 and is the work of the Aix architect Henri Révoil. This church is built in a Romano-Byzantine style.
- Church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste du Faubourg.
- Chapel of the Oblates.
- Convent of the Preachers of Aix-en-Provence.
- Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption Church in Puyricard.
Rich in buildings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries mainly, Aix-en-Provence attracts many tourists by the quality of the buildings that adorn the streets of the city centre. The town hall, built between 1655 and 1678 by Pierre Pavillon, whose facade inspired by Italian palaces borders one of the sides of the Place de l’Hotel-de-Ville and its clock tower, crowned with a campanile, attract the eye when entering the historic centre.
We must also visit the Place d’Albertas, the neoclassical-style courthouse, built after the Revolution on the ruins of the former count’s palace, the Tourreluque, a tower dating from the fourteenth century, the only vestige of the medieval walls, but there are also many mansions, such as the Hôtel d’Estienne-de-Saint-Jean (rue Gaston-de-Saporta) or the Hôtel de Castillon (eighteenth century, 21, cours Mirabeau).
The Place des Quatre-Dauphins, in the heart of the Mazarin district, designed in the seventeenth century by the Archbishop of Aix-en-Provence Michel Mazarin, located at the intersection of the rue Cardinale coming from the Saint-Jean-de -Malte and rue du Quatre-Septembre, leading to Cours Mirabeau, surrounded by mansions, such as the Hôtel de Boisgelin, the Hôtel du Baron de Saizieu, the Hôtel Dugrou, the Hôtel Dedons de Pierrefeu, which offer testimony to the architecture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Aix.
In the outlying districts, modern buildings are also worth a visit, such as the Black Pavilion, hosting the national choreographic center, directed by Angelin Preljocaj. Outside the city, there are many historical monuments, such as the Saint-Pons bridge or the Trois-Sautets bridge. Around this bridge, one can notice the old infirmaries built between 1564 and 1671. They now house a hotel.
Located right next to the Saint-Jean-de-Malte church, built in 1671. The museum has an annex located in the Chapel of the White Penitents a few streets away from the main building. A huge collection of paintings and objects of art.
The Tapestry Museum consists of a large collection from the former archbishopric. There are tapestries executed in Beauvais in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, some of which were made after Bérain, as well as a series of nine panels from the life of Don Quixote, and four other panels made after Leprince.
Old Aix Museum
It has collections of costumes, earthenware, and puppets, reconstructing life in Aix-en-Provence under the Ancient Régime, as well as in the nineteenth century.
The Hôtel de Caumont – Art Center
Located at 3, rue Joseph Cabassol, it is a one-minute walk from Cours Mirabeau. It is open daily.
Natural history museum
The natural history museum, founded by the geologist Henri Coquand in 1838, is a museum installed since 1950 in the prestigious Boyer-d’Éguilles hotel, a historic monument dating from the seventeenth century, in which the famous Aix botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort stayed. Every year, it welcomes 30,000 visitors who come to admire its imposing palaeontological, zoological and ethnographic collections.
In the city centre, you can also visit the Pavillon de Vendôme, a former private mansion housing the Pavillon de Vendôme-Dobler museum.
The Paul-Arbaud museum, for its part, offers archaeological collections.
Finally, in the outskirts of the city of Aix-en-Provence, the Vasarely foundation is in Jas-de-Bouffan, built in 1973 on plans by the artist Victor Vasarely. Its facade, a succession of huge black or white circles, is characteristic of his work.
Cuisine, gastronomy and restaurants
Aix cuisine is Provencal and Mediterranean cuisine characterized by the important use of fresh products: fish, vegetables, fruits. Therefore, we consume most of the Mediterranean cuisine and, in particular, pesto soup, Provencal stew, pied packets and aioli.
The real specialty of the city, however, is a confectionery known as “calissons d’Aix.” These calissons are made from almond paste flavoured with melon and candied orange, which have been the town’s specialty since the seventeenth century.
The best restaurants are in the Old Town.
The famous flower market of Aix, can be found at the Place de l’Hotel de Ville on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning.
Address: Place de l’Hotel de Ville, Aix-en-Provence, 13100
Marche du Palais de Justice:
This weekly market offers the most excellent varieties of vegetables, fabrics, and antiques.
Address: 1 Place des Prêcheurs, Aix-en-Provence, 13100.
If you want to buys gifts, cards or chocolate, the center of town is the place to visit. The entire center is one big shopping moll.
Transport and how to get to?
Aix-en-Provence is mainly served by the Marseille Provence airport in Marignane.
Aix – Les Milles aerodrome is used by travel aviation associations or by business jets. It can accommodate ATR 42s as well as light jets. Its track measures 1,615 m.
The Center en Route de la Navigation Aérienne Sud-Est is located in Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence is served by two railway stations:
Aix-en-Provence center which welcomes TER PACA trains traveling between Marseille and Pertuis or Gap;
Aix-en-Provence TGV, 18 km from the city center on the Arbois plateau, on the LGV Méditerranée.
Aix-en-Provence is served by the A8 and A51 motorways. Aix-en-Provence is located on European routes 80 and 712.
Shortest distance by car:
From Menton (tolls): 2 h 16 min (207 km) via A8
From Monaco (tolls): 2 h 12 min (199 km) via A8
From Beaulieu-sur-Mer (tolls): 2 h 14 min (185 km) via A8
From Villefranche-sur-Mer (tolls): 2 h 13 min (183 km) via A8
From Nice (tolls): 1 h 57 min (176 km) via A8
From Cagnes-sur-Mer (tolls): 1 h 44 min (164 km) via A8
From Antibes (tolls): 1 h 49 min (162 km) via A8
From Cannes (tolls): 1 h 43 min (149 km) via A8
From Mandelieu-La Napoule (tolls): 1 h 25 min (140 km) via A8
From Fréjus (tolls): 1 h 19 min (118 km) via A8
From Saint-Raphaël (tolls): 1 h 25 min (121 km) via A8
From Sainte-Maxime (tolls): 1 h 23 min (122 km) via A8
From Saint-Tropez (tolls): 1 h 43 min (122 km) via A8
From Cavalaire-sur-Mer (tolls): 1 h 51 min (128 km) via A8
From Toulon (tolls): 1 h 1 min (83.4 km) via A50 and A52
From Nîmes (tolls): 1 h 24 min (109 km) via A54
From Marseille (tolls): 39 min (33.2 km) via A7 and A51
From Avignon (tolls): 1 h 4 min (88.8 km) via A7
From Montpellier (tolls): 1 h 50 min (154 km) via A54
From Sète (tolls): 2 h (183 km) via A9 and A54
From Agde (tolls): 2 h 13 min (208 km) via A9
From Pézenas (tolls): 2 h 15 min (210 km) via A9
From Béziers (tolls): 2 h 23 min (220 km) via A9
From Perpignan (tolls): 2 h 59 min (303 km) via A9
From Argelès-sur-Mer (tolls): 3 h 19 min (330 km) via A9
From Collioure (tolls): 3 h 23 min (338 km) via A9
From Narbonne (tolls): 2 h 30 min (243 km) via A9
From La Baule-Escoublac (tolls): 9 h 43 min (1,050 km) via A62
From Saint-Nazaire (tolls): 9 h 40 min (1,036 km) via A62
From Nantes (tolls): 8 h 59 min (972 km) via A62
From Saumur (tolls): 7 h 56 min (842 km) via A71 and A7
From Les Sables-d’Olonne (tolls): 9 h (960 km) via A62
From Cognac (tolls): 7 h 21 min (747 km) via A62
From Angoulême (tolls): 7 h 15 min (745 km) via A62
From Eauze (tolls): 5 h 26 min (519 km) via A61 and A9
From La Rochelle (tolls): 7 h 48 min (809 km) via A62
From Rochefort (tolls): 7 h 26 min (781 km) via A62
From Saintes (tolls): 7 h 3 min (745 km) via A62
From Arcachon (tolls): 6 h 33 min (683 km) via A62
From Royan (tolls): 7 h 31 min (748 km) via A62
From Biarritz (tolls): 6 h 35 min (691 km) via A64
From Saint-Jean-de-Luz (tolls): 6 h 38 min (697 km) via A64
From Bayonne (tolls): 6 h 24 min (679 km) via A64
From Dax (tolls): 3 h 32 min (363 km) via A61 and A9
From Lourdes (tolls): 5 h 22 min (557 km) via A64
From Pau (tolls): 5 h 36 min (574 km) via A64
From Périgueux (tolls): 6 h 23 min (665 km) via A20
From Bordeaux (tolls): 6 h 2 min (631 km) via A62
From Toulouse (tolls): 3 h 49 min (390 km) via A61 and A9
From Carcassonne (tolls): 3 h 1 min (298 km) via A9
From Andorra (tolls): 5 h 38 min (479 km) via A9
Area: 186 sq. km
Population: 142 500
Time: Central European UTC +1
Coordinates: 43°31′35″N 5°26′44″E