The architectural treasures of Aix which make the city, one big open-air museum. Aix-en-Provence boasts numerous diverse venues enthusiastic about cultural attractions, foundations and archaeological sites that testify to its rich heritage.
Granet Museum (Musee Granet):
Situated next to the church of Saint Jean de Malta in the old Priory of the Knights of Malta, Granet Museum is named after the painter Francois Marius Granet whose most of the creative work have been preserved here. It contains the permanent collection of works mostly by French painters of the XVIth to the XXth centuries and different schools of Dutch, Flemish and Italian art. The archaeological department of this museum offers a chance to learn about the origins of Aix and the Celto-Ligurian civilization of Entremont.
The Arbaud Museum:
The Vendome Pavilion is famous for the setting and the interior decor that describe the Aix residence of 18th century. The pavilion is surrounded by the beautiful French park. The venue hosts temporary exhibitions of modern works, namely in the field of digital imaging and new technologies regularly.
Museum of Old Aix:
Founded by Vallon, the Old Aix museum houses a collection of objects from the past. The collection here has resemblance with the traditions of Aix and its lands which is displayed in a magnificent townhouse of the XVIIth century. The artifacts include furniture, "santons" crib figures, costumes along with paintings screens and earthenware.
The Natural History Museum:
Located inside the marvelous Hotel Boyer d’Eguilles built in 1672, the museum exhibits a fine French collection of dinosaur fossils found around Sainte-Victoire Mountain. This museum was founded in 1838 which also offers a collection of fish, insects and fossilized plants found in the Aix region by Aix scientist Gaston de Saporta.
Website:Natural History Museum
A museum at the first floor of the Palace in the luxurious apartments contains a rich collection of tapestries and furniture from the 17th and 18th centuries. Since 1979, the museum also offers a collection of contemporary textile art and organizes temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art throughout the year. The performing arts, illustrated by maquettes, costumes, decor and documents on the history of the Festival of Lyrical Art can also be watched in the museum.
Established in 1975 to promote art and architecture of Aix, Vasarely Foundation is situated in the heart of Provence opposite to the Sainte-Victoire Mountain in Cezanne country. The building of Vasarely foundation was constructed in 1976 which is a piece of art in itself. Inspired by Bauhaus architecture, it has 16 impressive hexagonal units. The main attraction is a room dedicated to optical art that holds 42 life-size monumental works by Victor Vasarely, known as the father of "cinetism”. The artifacts displayed here are created with a variety of techniques (relief, painting and transparencies) and different materials (wood, metal and plastics). The venue hosts prestigious exhibitions all round the year.
Atelier des Lauves is truly a venue of memories marked with Cezanne's stamp. It displays the objects that were familiar to the painter. The studio also has an audio-visual room showing films and CD-ROMs. Cezanne worked here during the last four years of his life.
Les Milles Memorial Site:
It was the only camp in France used for internment, transit and deportation. Many German and Austrian people were interned here. The murals painted by interned artists remind the history of those interned people. The guided tours are offered by the Memorial Carriage Association. Also one can watch an exhibition on deportation inside the train carriage.