Town of water, town of art… Everyone knows that Aix was built and has developed around this dual identity.
Aix en Provence is a city in the South of France. In the well-known and beautiful Provence. Aix en Provence is also Alexandre’s hometown. We were there in June 2009, and brought some photos and wish to share them with you.
Aix en Provence is a very beautiful city, and very old too. Aix (Aquae Sextiae) was founded in 123 BC by the Roman consul Sextius Calvinus, who gave his name to its springs.
Aix passed to the crown of France with the rest of Provence in 1487, and in 1501 Louis XII established there the parliament of Provence, which existed until 1789. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the town was the seat of the Intendance of Provence.
Aix is often referred to as the city of a thousand fountains. Among the most notable are the 17th century Fontaine des Quatre Dauphins (Fountain of the Four Dolphins) in the Quartier Mazarin, designed by Jean-Claude Rambot, and three of the fountains down the central Cours Mirabeau: At the top, a 19th century fountain depicts the “good king” René holding the Muscat grapes that he introduced to Provence in the 15th century; half-way down is a natural hot water fountain (34°C), covered in moss, dating back to the Romans; and at the bottom at la Rotonde, the hub of modern Aix, stands a monumental fountain from 1860 beneath three giant statues representing art, justice and agriculture. In the older part of Aix, there are also fountains of note in the Place d’Albertas and the Place des Trois-Ormeaux.
Here, all is colour and sensation: the light of the sky, the golden stone of the facades, the transparent green of the fountains, the shade of the plane trees,…
Aix en Provence is also famous because of Paul Cezanne, the painter, and the Montagne Sainte Victoire (Holy Victory Mountain). Almost from everywhere in Aix en Provence, we can see the mountain. Now, the area is well-known for its hiking paths. All around, we can admire the famous Cezanne’s landscapes, who painted them hundreds times.