Stepping back in time in Aix-en-Provence
Posted on February 01, 2013 by sguese
In 1409, Aix-en-Provence came to be. The Provencal town may have grown a great deal since that time,
but it still possess that endless class deep in Provence. Its 17th and 18th century mansions line up alongside plane tree shaded boulevards and public squares. This prestigious student hub has also drawn in the famous, from painter Paul Cézanne to novelist Émile Zola.
Many come to Aix-en-Provence to follow the Cézanne Trail, a collection of stops in town showing where the famous artist ate, drank, studied and painted. Perhaps providing the most insight into the painter is his last studio, Atelier Paul Cézanne. The studio remains very much as it was at the time of the artist’s death. His tools and still-life models are still strewn about the studio space. You can also visit Badtide du Jas de Couffan, the former family home where Cézanne began painting as a young man.
The Cézanne sightseeing continues to the Musée Granet. The museum is home to nine important works by the artist. It also holds pieces by Picasso, Léger, Matisse, Tal Coat and Giacometti. Musée Granet features 16th through 20th century Italian, Flemish and French collections.
The Big Cathedral
Aix-en-Provence’s Cathédrale St. Sauveur was built between 1285 and 1350. It holds a Romanesque nave, dating back to the 12th century. You can also see chapels from the 14th and 15th centuries along with a 5th century sarcophagus.
The Fountains and their Neighborhoods
Aix-en-Provence is known for being fountain-filled, best seen on Cours Mirabeau. Here fountains ripple and the cafes are plentiful. You might even sit down at the same table writer Emile Zola and artists Paul Cézanne used to occupy. Both were known to hang around Cours Mirabeau. Another neighborhood you won’t want to neglect while in town is the Mazarin quarter. The neighborhood litters in 18th century mansions and wrought iron balconies. Throughout the fountains and neighborhoods of old Aix-en-Provence, stepping back in time doesn’t seem so unrealistic.
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