Aix-en-Provence is famous as the city of art and activities. The city hosts several tourist destinations that attract thousands of visitors every year. The city offers a fine blend of culture and modern-day life to fulfill all needs of tourists.
In 1980, Eglise Saint-Jean-de-Malte, the command centre was established by the military order of the Hospitaliers de St-Jean-de-Jerusalem. It is situated on the northern edge of the town between the Mazarin district and the Cours Mirabeau. After alterations and renovations in 1272 and 1646, it was converted into a church. The arrow shape of the bell tower connects it with the architectural style of the Popes of Avignon.Address: 24 Rue d'Italie, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
Situated in the north in the medieval part of the city, the Cathedrale Saint-Sauveur is a symbol of all architectural styles from the 5th to the 17th centuries. Built on the site of a former Roman forum and an adjacent basilica, it is the witness of Christianity that has been existed in Aix-en-Provence since the year 408. It has a richly decorated portal in the Gothic style with doors elaborately carved in walnut, the interior with tapestries of 16th century, and a 15th-century triptych showing King Rene and his wife on the side panels. It also has a Merovingian baptistery and its renaissance dome which is supported by original Roman columns.Address: 34 Place des Martyrs-de-la-Résistance, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
Inspired by Italian architecture, this building was founded between 1759 and 1761. The town architect George Vallon planned this building. A sculpture by Chastel on the north side represents the Rhone and the Durance Rivers which are remained the two main sources of Provence's prosperity. The south side features Place Richelme with its typical Provencal market decorated with fruits, olives, and cereals. It is a symbol for the trade of wheat and cereals in Provence.Address: 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
Fountain de la Rotonde is one of the characteristic features of the city. Erected in 1860, it was little neglected in the past. But after renovations, the bronze lions, striking manes, and the three pale and elegant statues of the fountain are attracting the crowd. The plentiful underground resources of the city are used for this fountain. At the night, the area gets crowded by the locals as well as the tourists who gather to enjoy the beauty and peace of the surroundings.Address: Place du Général de Gaulle, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
The Hotel de Ville is a building with classical and Italian-style decorations. It was built by the joint efforts of Pierre Pavillon and Jean-Claude Rambot, sculptors and architects from 1655 to 1670. The building has a beautiful wrought-iron entrance and staircase of honor that leads to the council room. It has richly decorated with some fine woodwork and tapestries. A clock tower erected in 1510 is also situated here. The square of this building is famous as place de l'Hotel de Ville which offers some picturesque view of the town.
Photo Credit: PD Photo
Tour to Aix-en-Provence can be divided into five parts namely the old town, Villeneuve, around the Cours Mirabeau, Mazarin quarter, and around the town center. Discover the treasures of the city by just walking around those panoramic areas offering breathtaking tourist spots full of cafes, restaurants, etc.
The old Town of Aix has an amazing network of narrow semi-pedestrian streets. These bustling streets are lined with a number of shops, restaurants, and cafes. The old town covers the area of Saint-Sauveur market town and the City of the Counts in the center of Aix. It has several tourist destinations like the Saint Sauveur Cathedrale, the Archbishop's Palace, the Clock Tower, the Townhall, the Corn Exchange, Hotel Boyer d'Eguilles, Law Courts, Madeleine Church, and many more.
Le Palais De Justice i.e. the Law Courts was founded on the site of the former Palace of the Sovereign Counts. This former palace was used as the parliament in the 16th century. It was rebuilt in 1832. The square of Law courts is a place for flea and antique markets that held 3 times a week.
The famous Townhall, clock tower are situated at this square. The town hall has a fine Facade in the Italian style, carved wooden doors, and an inner court.
L'église de la Madeleine i.e. **Madeleine church** is a 17th-century building that offers a number of religious paintings such as the Altarpiece of the Annunciation (1444).
Once the King’s gardens, the area of Villeneuve is situated opposite to the Law Courts. It was the key spot for an urbanization process at the end of the 16th century. It is famous for its fabulous mansions having richly decorated facades dating from 1590 to the end of the 17th century. The famous places of Villeneuve include Hotel de Carces, the Hotel de Maliverny, Panisse-Panis with rocaille decor dating from 1739, Hotel de Lestang-Parade, Hotel de Grimaldi-Régusse etc.
Once a street for horse-drawn coaches created in 1649, the Cours Mirabeau is one of the most popular and dynamic places in Aix town. This 440 meters long and 42 meters wide street connects the Mazarin quarter (new town) to the south with the old commercial town to the north and it has beautiful pedestrian sidewalks planted with double rows of plane trees. The famous La Rotonde fountain which is the most prominent attraction of the city is situated at one end of the street. The street also comprises three fountains, several cafes, and elegant mansions dating from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.
Mazarin Quarter is a maze of streets in a checkered pattern which was designed by the Archbishop Mazarin, brother of the Cardinal in the 17th century. Gradually the venue became the preferred home of the aristocracy of Aix. The quarter is developed around the two main areas namely Rue Cardinale and Rue du 4 Septembre. It has some fabulous tourist spots embracing the culture of Aix.
Built during 1715 and 1742 under the direction of Georges Vallon and by the Marquis de Cabanes who was president of the National Audit Office, the Hotel De Caumont now houses a Darius Milhaud Conservatory of music and dance.
The Arbaud Museum:
The museum named after his creator is situated in the townhouse built at the end of 18th century. The museum offers some collections of Provençal earthenware, numerous manuscripts and paintings.
Some other famous spots include OR Four Dolphins fountain, the Church of St Jean of Malta and the Granet Museum.
The Town Centre of Aix is wellknown for its architecture. It has several historical buildings, museums as well as some superb fountains of Aix.
La Place Des Cardeurs:
In the middle Ages, it was the Jewish quarter and now lined with numerous restaurants and cafes.
Situated 3 km to the north of the old town, in the direction of Puyricard, this place was the capital of Salyens, stormed by Sextius in 123 BC. The excavations carried out in 1946 traced an advanced civilization of Aix. The site has uncovered remains of ramparts, shops, warehouses and workshops laid out along a rectangular street pattern.
Museum of Old Aix:
Situated at 17 rue Gaston de Saporta in the Hotel d’Estienne de St Jean, it was built by Vallon during 1652-1724. It exhibits a collection of objects from the town’s past.
The Hotel de Chateaurenard (1654) at No.19 contains a superb example of staircase painted in trompe-l’oeil by Daret.
The Archbishop’s Palace:
Built at the far end of the square during 1650-1730, this palace is the former residence of the Archbishops of Aix. Decorated with an elegant Regency door, it hosts the International Festival of Lyric Art every year.
The museum of Tapestries:
A museum at the first floor of the Palace in the state apartments contains a rich collection of tapestries and furniture from the 17th and 18th centuries.
St Sauveur Cathedral:
It is the fine example of every architectural style existed from the 5th to the 17th century.
Place des Trois-Ormeaux:
The venue is famous for its 17th century fountain built on the site of a well.
The Thermes Sextius:
Next to the Tourreluque Tower built in 14th century, the present building of Thermes Sextius is situated on the site of the Roman baths of Sextius. Excavations carried out at this place have exposed a Roman thermal bath which can be seen from the entrance of the new thermal complex.
The Natural History Museum:
Located inside the Hotel Boyer d’Eguilles build in 1672, the museum exhibits a fine collection of dinosaur fossils from Sainte-Victoire Mountain.