Aix-en-Provence: Wikis

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Coordinates: 43°31′52″N 5°27′14″E / 43.531127°N 5.454025°E / 43.531127; 5.454025

Commune of Aix-en-Provence

Blason ville fr Aix-en-Provence.svg
The coat of arms of Aix-en-Provence
Location
Aix-en-Provence is located in France
Aix-en-Provence
Administration
Country France
Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Department Bouches-du-Rhône
Arrondissement Aix-en-Provence
Intercommunality Pays d'Aix
Mayor Maryse Joissains-Masini (UMP)
(2008–2014)
Statistics
Elevation 173 m (568 ft) avg.
Land area1 186.08 km2 (71.85 sq mi)
Population2 141,200  (2005)
 - Density 759 /km2 (1,970 /sq mi)
Miscellaneous
INSEE/Postal code 13001/ 13100 or 13090
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Aix (French pronunciation: [ɛks], medieval Occitan Aics), or Aix-en-Provence (Provençal Occitan: Ais de Provença in classical norm, or Ais de Prouvènço in Mistralian norm, both pronounced [ˈajs de pʀuˈvɛⁿsɔ] or [zaj])[citation needed] to distinguish it from other cities built over hot springs, is a city in southern France, some 30 km (19 mi) north of Marseille. It is in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône, of which it is a sub-prefecture. The population of Aix is approximately 140,200.[1] Its inhabitants are called Aixois or, less commonly, Aquisextains.

Contents

History

Espariat street in Aix-en-Provence.

Aix (Aquae Sextiae) was founded in 123 BC by the Roman consul Sextius Calvinus, who gave his name to its springs.[2] In 102 BC its neighbourhood was the scene of the Battle of Aquae Sextiae when Romans under Gaius Marius defeated the Cimbri and Teutones, with mass suicides among the captured women, which passed into Roman legends of Germanic heroism.[3]

In the 4th century AD it became the metropolis of Narbonensis Secunda. It was occupied by the Visigoths in 477. In the succeeding century, the town was repeatedly plundered by the Franks and Lombards, and was occupied by the Saracens in 731 and by Charles Martel in 737. Aix, which during the Middle Ages was the capital of Provence, did not reach its zenith until after the 12th century, when, under the houses of Aragon and Anjou, it became an artistic centre and seat of learning.

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.

Current archeological excavations in the Ville des Tours, a medieval suburb of Aix, have unearthed the remains of a roman amphitheatre.[4]

Geography and climate

Aix-en-Provence is situated in a plain overlooking the Arc, about a mile from the right bank of the river. The city slopes gently from north to south and the Montagne Sainte-Victoire can easily be seen to the east. Aix's position in the south of France gives it a warm climate. It has an average January temperature of 5 °C (41 °F) and a July average of 22 °C (72 °F). It has an average of 300 days of sunshine and only 91 days of rain.[5] While it is partially protected from the Mistral, Aix does occasionally suffer from the cold gusty conditions it brings.

Unlike most of France which has an oceanic climate, Aix-en-Provence has a Mediterranean climate.

Climate data for Aix-en-Provence
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 10.6
(51)
11.7
(53)
14.4
(58)
17.2
(63)
21.1
(70)
25.6
(78)
28.9
(84)
28.3
(83)
25
(77)
20
(68)
14.4
(58)
11.7
(53)
18.9
(66)
Average low °C (°F) 2.8
(37)
3.3
(38)
5.6
(42)
8.3
(47)
12.2
(54)
16.1
(61)
18.9
(66)
18.3
(65)
15.6
(60)
11.1
(52)
6.7
(44)
3.3
(38)
10
(50)
Precipitation mm (inches) 48.3
(1.9)
40.6
(1.6)
45.7
(1.8)
45.7
(1.8)
45.7
(1.8)
25.4
(1.0)
15.2
(.6)
25.4
(1.0)
63.5
(2.5)
94
(3.7)
76.2
(3.0)
58.4
(2.3)
586.7
(23.1)
Source: [6]

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Main sights

Les Deux Garçons
Place de l'Hotel de Ville
The Cathedral Cloisters
La Rotonde
Quartier Mazarin

The Cours Mirabeau is a wide thoroughfare, planted with double rows of plane-trees, bordered by fine houses and decorated by fountains. It follows the line of the old city wall and divides the town into two sections. The new town extends to the south and west; the old town, with its wide but irregular streets and its old mansions dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, lies to the north. Along this avenue, which is lined on one side with banks and on the other with cafés, is the Deux Garçons, the most famous brasserie in Aix. Built in 1792, it has been frequented by the likes of Paul Cézanne, Émile Zola and Ernest Hemingway.[7]

The Cathedral of the Holy Saviour (Cathédrale Saint Sauveur) is situated to the north in the medieval part of Aix. Built on the site of a former Roman forum and an adjacent basilica, it contains a mixture of all styles from the 5th to the 17th century, including a richly decorated portal in the Gothic style with doors elaborately carved in walnut. The interior contains 16th century tapestries, a 15th century triptych, depicting King René and his wife on the side panels, as well as a Merovingian baptistery, its Renaissance dome supported by original Roman columns. The archbishop's palace (Palais de l'Archêveché) and a Romanesque cloister adjoin the cathedral on its south side.[8] The Archbishopric of Aix is now shared with Arles.

Among its other public institutions, Aix also has the second most important Appeal Court (Palais de Justice) outside of Paris, located near the site of the former Palace of the Counts (Palais des Comtes) of Provence.

The Hôtel de Ville, a building in the classical style of the middle of the 17th century, looks onto a picturesque square (place de l'Hôtel de Ville). It contains some fine woodwork and tapestries. At its side rises a handsome clock-tower erected in 1510.[9] Also on the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville is the former Corn Exchange (1759–1761) (Halle de Grains). This ornately decorated 18th century building was designed by the Vallon brothers. Nearby are the remarkable thermal springs, containing lime and carbonic acid, that first drew the Romans to Aix and gave it the name Aquae Sextiae. A spa was built in 1705 near the remains of the ancient Roman baths of Sextius.[10]

South of the Cours Mirabeau is the Quartier Mazarin. This residential district was constructed for the gentry of Aix by the brother of Cardinal Mazarin in the last half of the 17th century and contains several notable hôtels particuliers. The thirteenth century church of Saint-Jean-de-Malte contains valuable pictures and a recently restored organ. Next to it is the Musée Granet, devoted to European painting and sculpture.

Aix is often referred to as the city of a thousand fountains.[11] 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,[12] 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.

Education

The Institute of Political Studies

Aix has long been a university town: Louis II of Anjou granted a royal charter for a university in 1409. Today Aix remains an important educational centre, with many teaching and research institutes:

Aix also has several training colleges, lycées, and a college of art and design. It has also become a centre for many international study programmes.

Culture

Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Rheingold in 2006
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Music

Aix holds two significant musical events each year. These are:

Festival d'Aix-en-Provence

An important opera festival, the 'Festival international d'Art Lyrique' founded in 1948 which now ranks with those in Bayreuth, Salzburg and Glyndebourne. The current director is Bernard Foccroulle, director of la Monnaie in Brussels. The festival takes place in late June and July each year. The main venues in Aix itself are the outdoor Théâtre de l'Archévêché in the former garden of the archbishop's palace, the recently restored 18th century Théâtre du Jeu de Paume, and the newly built Grand Théâtre de Provence; operas are also staged in the outdoor Théâtre du Grand Saint-Jean outside Aix. Linked to the festival is the Académie européenne de musique, a summer school for young musicians with master classes by celebrated artists. Over the four year period from 2006 until 2009, Sir Simon Rattle's version of Wagner's Ring Cycle with the Berlin Philharmonic is being premiered at the Aix festival.

Musique dans la Rue

This takes place each year in June to coincide with the national 'Fête de la Musique.' There is a week of classical, jazz and popular concerts held in different street venues and courtyards in the city. Some of these events are held in the Conservatoire Darius Milhaud, named in honour of the French composer, a native of Aix.

Dance

The dance company Ballet Preljocaj of the French dancer and choreographer Angelin Preljocaj has been located in Aix since 1996. In 2007 it took up residence in the "Pavillon Noir", a centre for dance performance, designed in 1999 by the architect Rudy Ricciotti. The centre is one of nineteen of its kind in France, designated Centre chorégraphique national.

Museums and Libraries

Granet's "Pumpkin Harvest" at the Musée Granet

Aix has several museums and galleries:

  • Le Musée du Vieil Aix (Museum of Old Aix), housed in two period "hôtels particuliers" and devoted to the history and provencal heritage of Aix.
  • Le Musée d’Histoire Naturelle (Natural History Museum).
  • Le Musée de Tapisseries (Tapestry Museum), housed in the Archbishop's Palace and with a collection of tapestries and furniture from the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • Le Musée Paul Arbaud (Faïence/Pottery).
  • Le Musée Granet, a museum devoted to painting, sculpture and the archeology of Aix.[13] It recently underwent significant restoration and reorganization, prior to the international exhibition in 2006 marking the centenary of Cézanne's death.[14] Due to lack of space, the large archeological collection, including many recent discoveries, will be displayed in a new museum, still in the planning stages. The museum contains major paintings by Jean-Dominique Ingres (among which the monumental "Jupiter and Thetis"), an authentic self-portrait by Rembrandt and works by Anthony van Dyck, Paul Cézanne, Alberto Giacometti and Nicolas de Staël.
  • Le Pavillon de Vendôme, a 17th century mansion housing permanent and touring art exhibitions.
  • The Vasarely Foundation a gallery dedicated to the works of the Hungarian-born French abstract painter Victor Vasarely.
  • L'atelier Cézanne, a museum on the northern outskirts of Aix, constructed around the studio of Paul Cézanne, which can be viewed as it was at the painter's death.
  • Jas de Bouffan, the house and grounds of Cézanne's father, now partially open to the public.

Prior to 1989 Aix had several libraries, for example in the Parc Jourdan and the Town Hall. In 1989, many of these were moved to the Méjanes, an old match factory.

In 1993, the "Cité du Livre" was opened around the library. This has media spaces for dance, cinema and music, and a training facility for librarians. Adjacent to the Cité du Livre are the Grand Théâtre de Provence and the Pavillon Noir (see above).

Mont Sainte-Victoire

Mont Sainte-Victoire, Paul Cézanne 1882-5
Mont Sainte-Victoire, Paul Cézanne 1904-6

To the east of Aix rises Mont Sainte-Victoire (1011 m), one of the landmarks of the Pays d'Aix. It is accessible from the centre of Aix by road or on foot, taking the wooded footpath of Escrachou Pevou to the plateau of Bibemus.[15] It dramatically overshadows the small dam built by Emile Zola's father and was a favourite subject and haunt of Paul Cézanne throughout his lifetime. In the village of le Tholonet on the precipitous southern side of Mont Sainte-Victoire, there is a windmill that he used and beyond that a mountain hut, the réfuge Cézanne, where he liked to paint.

To the north, the mountain slopes gently down through woodland to the village of Vauvenargues. The Château of Vauvenargues that overlooks the village was formerly occupied the by the Counts of Provence (including René of Anjou) and the Archbishops of Aix before it became the family home of the marquis de Vauvenargues.[16] It was acquired by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso in 1958, who was resident there from 1959 until 1962, when he moved to Mougins. He and his wife wife Jacqueline are buried in its grounds,[17] [18][19] which are not usually open to the public. (Exceptionally the chateau is open to the public from April to September 2009 to coincide with Picasso exhibitions in the south of France.[20])

Mont Sainte-Victoire has a complex network of paths, leading to the priory and Croix de Provence at the summit, to the large man-made reservoir of Bimont and to the roman viaduct above le Tholonet.

Economy

Calissons, a specialty of Aix

Industries formerly included flour-milling, the manufacture of confectionery, iron-ware, hats, matches and the extraction of olive oil.[21]

Current economic activities include:

Transport

TGV viaduct over the river Arc at Roquefavour

A set of ancient roads radiate out from Aix to the surrounding countryside, the Pays d'Aix. There are also a large number of modern autoroutes connecting Aix to nearby towns. There are autoroutes northwards to Avignon and to the Luberon; southwards to Marseille; and eastwards to Aubagne and the Mediterranean coast of Provence; and to Nice and other towns on the French Riviera. Aix and Marseille are equidistant from the international airport of Marseille-Provence (MRS) at Marignane on the Etang de Berre. There is a frequent bus shuttle service from the main bus station in Aix. This shuttle also serves the nearby TGV station "Aix-TGV" at l'Arbois, in the middle of the countryside about 10 miles (16 km) from Aix.

At Aix-TGV the line from Paris branches to Marseille and Nice; it takes about 3 hours to get from Paris to Aix by TGV. Aix also has a railway station near the centre, but the single track line which connects Marseille to Aix, and from there to the Luberon and Briancon in the French Alps, is currently only partially in service during modernisation.[26] A frequent and rapid shuttle bus service for commuters operates between the bus station in Aix and Marseille. There are many other long distance and local buses from the bus station.

In the town itself, there is an inexpensive and efficient municipal bus service, including a dial-a-bus service ("proxibus"), a park-and-ride service and tiny electrified buses for those with mobility problems.[27] The central old town of Aix is for the most part pedestrianised. There are large underground and overground parking structures placed at regular intervals on the "boulevard exterieur", the predominantly one-way ring road that encircles the old town. Access to the old town is by a series of often narrow one-way streets that can be confusing to navigate for the uninitiated.[28][29]

As in many other French cities, a short-term bicycle hire scheme nicknamed V'Hello, free for trips of less than half an hour, has recently been put in place by the town council: and has been popular with tourists.[30] As well as overland routes, two "rivers" flow through Aix, the Arc and the Torse, but neither of them can remotely be described as navigable.

Miscellaneous

The local Aix dialect, rarely used and spoken by a rapidly decreasing number of people, is part of the provencal dialect of Occitan language. The provencal for "Aix-en-Provence" is "Ais de Prouvènço" [ˈaj de pʀuˈvɛ̃sɔ]. Most of the older streets in Aix have names in both Provençal and French.

Aix hosted the ninth International Congress of Modern Architecture in 1953.

Aix is the home town of the rugby union team Pays d'Aix RC. It played host to the All Blacks during the early stages of the 2007 Rugby World Cup.[31][32]

Ysabel, the tenth novel of the best-selling Canadian author Guy Gavriel Kay, was set and written in Aix.

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Aix-en-Provence is officially twinned[33][34] with the following seven cities (in alphabetical order):

In addition Aix has international cooperations, partnerships and exchanges with the following cities from all over the world: Oujda (Morocco) since 1997, Baalbeck (Lebanon), Bamako (Mali), Baton Rouge(USA), Coral Gables (USA), Philadelphia (USA) since 1998, Chaoyang (China), Foshan (China), Meguro (Japan) and Kumamoto (Japan).

People from Aix

Births

François Marius Granet
Hélène Grimaud

Aix-en-Provence was the birthplace of:

Famous residents

Gallery

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Population figures from INSEE
  2. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, article Aix.
  3. ^ cf Jerome, letter cxxiii, To Ageruchia, 8, 409 A.D.
  4. ^ Ville d'Aix-en-Provence : Le théâtre de la Seds : un trésor inestimable
  5. ^ Tourist office; the climate of Aix.
  6. ^ "Aix-en-Provence monthly weather". http://www.weather.com/weather/climatology/monthly/FRXX0001?x=0&y=0. 
  7. ^ Sarre, Claude-Alain (2007), Les Deux Garçons. Quatre Siècles d'Histoire au Coeur d'Aix-en-Provence., Université Aix, ISBN 2-903449-92-9 
  8. ^ Michelin Guide to Provence, ISBN 2-06-137503-0, pages 67-68.
  9. ^ Tourist office: Old Aix.
  10. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911.
  11. ^ Laurence Labrouche, "Ariane Mnouchkine: un parcours théâtral: le terrassier, l'enfant et le voyageur", L'Harmattan (1999), ISBN 2-7384-8022-5, page 66, "la ville aux mille fontaines"
  12. ^ Provence, Michelin Green Guide, Michelin, 1999, ISBN 0-320-03732-0 , page 69. The fountain was built in 1667.
  13. ^ Website of the Musée Granet.
  14. ^ "Reopening of the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence - The Art Tribune". The Art Tribune<!. 2007-08-20. http://www.thearttribune.com/Reopening-of-the-Musee-Granet-in.html. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  15. ^ Montagne Ste-Victoire, Aix-en-Provence, Gardanne, Trets, La Carte de Randonnée, 1;25,000, 3244 ET, Institut Géographique National 
  16. ^ Mairie of Vauvenargues, History and heritage (French)
  17. ^ O'Brian, Patrick (1976), Picasso: Pablo Ruiz Picasso : a Biography, Putnam, ISBN 88-304-0863-8 
  18. ^ Monday, Apr. 23, 1973 (1973-04-23). "Pablo Picasso's Last Days and Final Journey - TIME". TIME<!. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,945265-2,00.html. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  19. ^ Bruno Ely (2009), Château de Vauvenargues, ImageArt, ISBN 978-2-9534525-0-1 
  20. ^ Picasso exhibitions in the south of France, 2009
  21. ^ Histoire d'Aix-en-Provence, Edisud, 1977, ISBN 2-85744-237-8 
  22. ^ Parker, Robert (1996), The Wine Buyer's Guide, Dorling Kindersley, p. 488, ISBN 0-7513-0342-9 
  23. ^ Official website for Château Simone
  24. ^ Guide des Vins - Château Crémade
  25. ^ The Chocolaterie of Puyricard
  26. ^ Replacement bus service Marseille-Aix-Pertuis.
  27. ^ untitled
  28. ^ Aix-en-Provence, Plan Guide Blay-Foldex.
  29. ^ Map of central Aix
  30. ^ Ville d'Aix-en-Provence : V'Hello…Bougez dans Aix en toute liberté !
  31. ^ "Just Sport - New Zealand's Sports Network - What's Up : RWC 2007 Commentators Blog". Radio Sport. 2007-10-21. http://www.radiosport.co.nz/WhatsUp/Detail.aspx?id=1432. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  32. ^ "All Blacks dazzled by haka ballet - rugbyheaven07.com.au". Rugbyheaven.com.au. 2007-09-28. http://www.rugbyheaven.com.au/news/news/all-blacks-dazzled-by-haka-ballet/2007/09/28/1190486520975.html. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  33. ^ Association of twinnings and international relations of Aix-en-Provence
  34. ^ Mairie of Aix-en-Provence - Twinnings and partnerships
  35. ^ "Acordos de Geminação" (in Portugese). © 2009 Câmara Municipal de Coimbra - Praça 8 de Maio - 3000-300 Coimbra. http://www.cm-coimbra.pt/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=62&Itemid=128. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  36. ^ Perugia Official site - Relazioni Internazionali(Italian)
  37. ^ Jessula, Georges (2003), "Darius Milhaud, Compositeur de Musique", Revue Juive: 140–144, http://www.cairn.info/article.php?ID_REVUE=AJ&ID_NUMPUBLIE=AJ_361&ID_ARTICLE=AJ_361_0140#  Since their marriage in 1892, Milhaud's parents lived in the Bras d'Or in Aix-en-Provence, where their son grew up; however he was delivered at the home of his maternal grandparents in Marseille.
  38. ^ Milhaud, Darius (1998), Ma Vie heureuse, Zurfluh, ISBN 2-87750-083-7 
  39. ^ FullSIX (1972-12-22). "Franck Cammas - Profile". Cammas-groupama.com. http://www.cammas-groupama.com/en/franck_cammas/cammas/portrait/index.jsp. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 

References

Busquet, Raoul (1954), Histoire de la Provence des origines à la révolution française, Editions Jeanne Lafitte, ISBN 2-86276-319-5 

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Fountain in Aix
Fountain in Aix
Flower Market
Flower Market
Small Courtyard in Aix
Small Courtyard in Aix

Aix-en-Provence [1] is a city in Provence, a region in the south of France.

Understand

Aix-en-Provence (usually simply called Aix) is a small, classically Provençal town, famous for being home to Cezanne; the addition of the TGV (high-speed train) station has brought lots of vacationers from the north, and Aix has turned into a shopping town with high variety and representation considering its small size. Three universities and several French-language schools for international students produce a very strong student presence.

Aix has always been a rich city. There is a high contrast between Marseille (only 30 km and half an hour away). Whereas Marseille is one the poorest French cities (but still a unique and not to be missed town), Aix is perhaps one of the richest. People seeking for budget or popular places should continue to Marseille. Still, Aix has a lot to offer. It is a quiet, clean and comfortable city. The city center is mostly pedestrian and, though it is quite small (you can cross the center in 15 minutes by foot), offers long hours of nice walks. As in all Provençal towns, the city center consists of narrows streets, lined with interesting buildings from 17th century hotels to paved plazas.

Get in

By plane

Fly into Marseille or Nice. Marseille is nearer (just south), but budget airlines such as EasyJet prefer Nice. There is a navette (shuttle bus) that can take you from the airport to the bus station near the center of town.

By train

Aix has both a TGV and a regular station and is well connected both to the Paris - Marseille line and (via Marseille) to the Genoa - Nice - Barcelona line. The same shuttle that runs from the airport to Aix also services the Aix TGV station.

By car

If you come from anywhere up north you will most likely use the A7 motorway (Route du Soleil) that runs from Lyon to Marseille (whether you come from Switzerland or from the UK via Paris). At exit 27, take A8 (La Provencale) to Aix. From Spain, you'll take A9 (La Languedocienne), then turn onto A54 through the city of Arles (you might consider stopping there), then turn onto A7 and A8 respectively, as described above. From Italy, just take A8 passing Nice and all the posh Côte d'Azur resorts.

Avoiding toll roads can be slow but highly pleasurable, many of the routes nationales offer wonderful scenery that motorways can't deliver (save maybe some parts of the A8 east of Nice).

Parking in Aix can be quite difficult. There is at least one free car park but allow plenty of time to find a space (and the spaces can be quite tight to get into!).

Get around

Aix is a fairly small city and can be easily navigated by foot. The bus system is also very efficient and has numerous stops within the city as well as connecting Aix with nearby villages, towns, and Marseille. The city bus also runs to Carrefour Les Milles, a large shopping center. Discounted tickets for frequent bus users can be purchased at the main bus station, as well as bus schedules. The ticket office also sells discounted multi-pack tickets for the bus from Aix to Marseille and the new TGV station (located between the two cities).

See

Aix is famous for its fountains. The largest and most famous is on the Cours Mirabeau, the main avenue through town, as well as a moss-covered fountain which draws its water from a hot spring.

Along with searching out the dozens of fountains sprawled around the city, Aix is known for its architecture. The varied and often intricate doors are a key feature, as well as the bell towers. The bell towers throughout Aix-en-Provence, and Provence more generally, are made of wraught iron. This allows the strong winds of the Mistral to flow straight through them, since solid stone would be destroyed by the force of the winds.

The city market runs multiple days a week, but the largest and most colorful is the Saturday market which includes a flower market at the Place de l'Hotel de Ville and the main food market is at Place Richelme.

Do

Aix is a very quiet town, but if you really want to there can be many things to do. The more modern activities include bowling, billiards, pubs, etc. Another possibility is renting a bicycle for €10 for five hours and ride around Aix. This is a very good way to see the town that is outside the center. You can find many interesting places and buildings that you wouldn't have seen other wise. Be careful riding in the centre ville, since it is very crowded most of the time.

There is also a bus that leaves off the rotonde headed for St. Victoire and you get there in ten minutes. Pack a lunch and put comfortable shoes on to do a nature walk or to climb the mountain. At the top there is a monastery where you can stay over night, make sure to bring fire wood.

Learn

Aix is home to the Université de Provence Aix-Marseille I.

Buy

Aix has many major fashion boutiques, as well as a plethora of small clothing stores, perfumeries, and touristy souvenir shops. They are complemented by a few open-air markets in large squares, offering home made and grown goods and cafes.

Eat

Aix has an incredible number of restaurants compared to its small size. Most of them are gathered in a small area in the old city, between Place des Cardeurs and the Rotonde (Cours Mirabeau). Restaurants and bars on the Cours Mirabeau tend to be more expensive though, while some might be considered tourist traps, others are amongst the best places to eat in the city. L'Authentique is an excellent burger place in that area (walk past the Hermés boutique when heading towards the fountain, make a left at a wide open space, and it's the 3rd shop).

Emile Bec, which has five locations in Aix-en-Provence, is an excellent bakery.

Budget

"Chez Charlotte" on rue des Bernardines is a very good restaurant very famous for locals. It proposes simple and reasonably cheap French food in a friendly atmosphere. Around €15 for a usual menu.

If you really want to eat like a local and save a couple of euros the best place to eat is the many corner restaurants that offer Doner Kebabs. For four euros you get a "sandwich" wrpapped in a gallet or you can get it in a circular bread, that includes lettuce, tomatoes, onion, meat, french fries and be sure to ask for sauce blanche. This is very delicious and cheap. There are many restaurants that do their Kebabs differently so be sure to try

Aix en Provence is home to the erasmus students food of choice. Pizza capri located at the top of the Cours Mirabeau is perhaps the best pizza you will ever eat.

Mid-range

La Maison des Fondues offers a wide range of delicious fondues. The Normande, made with apple cider instead of kirsch, is lovely, and the Provençale is sublime.

Splurge

Le Clos de la Violette, in the northern part of the city near the excellent Villa Gallici hotel, is extremely deserving of both of its Michelin stars. The menu changes seasonally.

Drink

Like restaurants there are plenty of bars, pubs, night-clubs, etc... in Aix. A nice and relatively cheap place to have a drink is the Bar de La Mairie on Place de la Mairie.

  • PV-Holidays Adagio Aix en Provence Centre*, [2]

+33 1 58 21 55 84, The Aix Centre residence presents a perfect location to visit the French Riviera. Situated near the Place de la Rotonde and the famous Cours Mirabeau, this 4-floor residence nestles in the heart of the city of Aix en Provence - a peaceful setting, near shops and city attractions. Around €60 a night.

  • HOTEL DES ARTS* Tel (0)442381177 good Quality/Price in center aix en provence
  • Hotel Paul, [3].
  • Formule 1, [4].10 km
  • Etap Hotel, [5].10km
  • Ibis, [6].not center
  • Grand Hotel Mercure du Roi René, [7].
  • Novotel Beau Manoir les Trois Sautets, [8].
  • Novotel Pont de l'Arc Fenouillères, [9].
  • AquaBella (3 star hotel)
  • Courteissado [10] (3 star apartment)
  • Vendome-Rotonde [11] (4 star apartment)

Stay Safe

Aix is a safe city to visit, but crime does occur there. As with all French cities, tourists in Aix should be especially conscious of the risk of pickpockets and theft. Be aware of your surroundings. Do not leave valuables within view in parked cars. Exercise increased caution at night, and use the taxis that leave from the Rotonde fountain if you are returning to the outlying neighborhoods late in the evening. Avoid public parks after dark.

Do not wear shorts or a baseball cap - that is how you are known to be American. Otherwise, you'll be fine.

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Simple English

Aix-en-Provence is a city in the south of France. It has about 150,000 inhabitants.


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