BEST OF PROVENCE
364 pages
Français
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BEST OF PROVENCE

-

Obtenez un accès à la bibliothèque pour le consulter en ligne
En savoir plus
364 pages
Français

Description

"Made for English-speaking people looking for good tips and good addresses in Provence. "

Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 07 novembre 2018
Nombre de lectures 4
EAN13 9791033193241
Langue Français
Poids de l'ouvrage 62 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page €. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Exrait

2019
English edition
best of
Provence
www.petitfute.uk.com
Digital version
best of Provence
FREEwww.oti-delasorgue.fr
L806564_2C.indd 1 01/08/2018 12:40:38PUBLISHING
Collection Directors and authors : Dominique AUZIAS
and Jean-Paul LABOURDETTE
In collaboration with Véronique DARDOIZE, Céline OUDOT Welcome toand Joanna MANCA
Authors : Pauline PRATELLI-RUGIERO,
Pascale VINCENS, Anne-Claire VELUIRE, Marjorie MODI,
Camille GRIFFOULIERES, Sarah-Louise PEIGNE, Provence!
Isabelle DREZEN, Sandrine DUMAS, Céline ANSELMO,
Marie-Pierre CREON, Laura GUILLAUD-MARTINEZ,
Nicolas WECKER, Hervé PUGI, Audrey MAUBERT,
Albane LEVEQUE THOMINE-DESMAZURES,
Gérard BERNAR, Johanna MANCA, Fabienne AUSSERRE, Made for English-speaking people looking for good tips Véronique DARDOIZE, Jean-Paul LABOURDETTE,
Dominique AUZIAS and alter and good addresses in Provence, “Best of Provence” by
Publishing director : Stephan SZEREMETA Petit Futé is a practical guide that will help you find
accomPublishing team (France) : Elisabeth COL, Silvia FOLIGNO
modation, restaurants and organize visits and outings.and Tony DE SOUSA
Publishing team (World) : Caroline MICHELOT, Provence is well known by gastronomy lovers, with tasty
Morgane VESLIN, Pierre Yves SOUCHET, Jimmy POSTOLLEC local produce and sunny mediterranean dishes, but there and Elvane SAHIN
is also an extremely rich cultural heritage; you will discover
STUDIO
castles, abbeys, churches, natural sites, museums, and Studio Manager : Sophie LECHERTIER
assisted by Romain AUDREN countless other attractions.
Layout : Julie BORDES, Sandrine MECKING, You will no doubt be captivated by this bright and colourful Delphine PAGANO and Laurie PILLOIS
Pictures and Mapping management : Anne DIOT place where lavender scents fill the air, like many artists
WEB such as Van Gogh and Cézanne were. Whether you are
Web Director : Louis GENEAU de LAMARLIERE alone or with family, looking for a green holiday, or an
Web management and Development : Nicolas GUENIN, urban stay in one of the region’s main cities, Provence Caroline LAFFAITEUR, Adeline CAUX and Mickael LATTES
Community Manager : Cyprien de CANSON has something to offer you: varied landscapes, charming
and Andrei UNGUREANU towns, small perched villages and a wild nature that you
NATIONAL PUBLICITY can explore by foot or bike.
Local publicity management : Michel GRANSEIGNE Provence is also craftsmen, festivals, cultural and
Customer relations management : Vimla MEETTOO
and Manon GUERRIN culinary events, markets where you can find delicious
Heads of National Publicity : Caroline AUBRY, local products…
François BRIANCON-MARJOLLET,
With this guidebook, Petit Futé has done everything Perrine DE CARNE MARCEIN and Caroline PREAU
possible to give you a selection of addresses gathering INTERNATIONAL PUBLICITY
Heads of Publicity : Jean-Marc FARAGUET, must-sees and hidden treasures for a successful stay.
Guillaume LABOUREUR assisted by Queeny MENSHAN
Welcome to Provence!CIRCULATION AND PROMOTION
Sales promotion Director : Bénédicte MOULET
assisted by Aissatou DIOP
Sales Manager : Jean-Pierre GHEZ assisted by Nelly BRION
Press and sponsor partnership management :
Jean-Mary MARCHAL
ADMINISTRATION
Chairman : Jean-Paul LABOURDETTE
Administrative and financial Director :
Valérie DECOTTIGNIES
Human Resources Director : Dina BOURDEAU
assisted by Sandra MORAIS and Eva BAELEN
Information and Technology Manager :
Briac LE GOURRIEREC
Accounting : Jeannine DEMIRDJIAN, Christine TEA
and Adrien PRIGENT
Collection : Fabien BONNAN assisted by Sandra BRIJLALL
and Vinoth SAGUERRE IMPRIMÉ EN FRANCE
Reception : Jehanne AOUMEUR
n PETIT FUTÉ BEST OF PROVENCE 2019 n
Les Nouvelles Editions de l’Université
18, rue des Volontaires - 75015 Paris.
& 01 53 69 70 00 - Fax 01 42 73 15 24
Internet : www.petitfute.com
SAS au capital de 1 000 000 E - RC PARIS B 309 769 966
Cover : Valensole © MaxTopchij
Printing : IMPRIMERIE CHIRAT - 42540 Saint-Just-la-Pendue
Finished printing: October 2018
Legal deposit : 22/10/2018
ISBN : 9791033193210

To email us, type the surname (lowercase)
followed by @petitfute.com
Write to the editor : info@petitfute.comSUMMARY
n DISCOVER PROVENCE n n FROM PLACE TO PLACE n
Must-sees ................................................ 10 Bouches-du-Rhône................................... 60
Bouches-du-Rhône ...............................10 Alpilles .......................................................60
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence ................. 60Vaucluse ...................................................16
Aureille .................................................. 74Nature .......................................................17
Les Baux-de-Provence ....................... 75
Geography ...............................................17 Châteaurenard ................................... 84
Fauna and flora ......................................21 Eygalières ............................................. 85
Eyguières .............................................. 87Economy .................................................. 25
Fontvieille 88History .....................................................27
Maussane-les-Alpilles ....................... 92
Heritage and traditions ........................... 30 Mouriès ................................................. 95
Traditions and way of life ...................35 Noves ..................................................... 98
Paradou ................................................ 98Local gastronomy.................................... 40
Saint-Etienne-du-Grès ...................... 99The crespeou ....................................... 40
Salon-de-Provence .......................... 100Local produce .........................................42
Montagnette ........................................ 104Alcohol and spirits ................................48
Tarascon ............................................. 104Fairs and markets ..................................49
Barbentane 108
Sports and leisure 50 Graveson ............................................ 109
Festivals and events ................................ 53 Rognonas ........................................... 111
Traditional regional festivals .............53 Camargue ............................................. 112
The Fort Saint-Bénézel, Avignon.
© BERTL123 - ISTOCKPHOTO★★★HOTEL & APPART’ HOTEL IN CHALET
Rooms - Rooms-Suites - Apartments
Covered car park - free WiFi
Le village
05320 LA GRAVE - LA MEIJE
Muriel, Philippe and their team
Tel : +33 (0)4 76 79 97 97
Fax : +33 (0)4 76 79 97 63
www.panoramic-village.com
518566_1.indd 1514139_1.indd 1 24/05/2018 15:18:235/5/17 9:35 AMArles ..................................................... 112 Oppède et
Saint-Martin-de-Crau ..................... 134 Oppède le Vieux ................................ 308
Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône ........... 135 Mont Ventoux ...................................... 310
Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer .............. 135 Bédoin ................................................. 310
Marseille and the coastline ............. 146 Carpentras ......................................... 314
Marseille ............................................. 146 Comtat Venaissin ................................ 319
Aubagne 187 Pernes-les-Fontaines ....................... 319
Cassis ................................................... 190 Saint-Didier ....................................... 322
Gémenos ............................................ 197 Venasque ............................................ 323
La Ciotat ............................................. 197
Pays des Sorgues ................................ 325
Saint-Victoret .................................... 202
L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue .......................... 325
Aix-en-Provence Fontaine de Vaucluse ...................... 330
and pays d’Aix ...................................... 203
Les Dentelles de Montmirail .......... 333
Aix-en-Provence ............................... 203
Beaumes-de-Venise ......................... 333
Vaucluse................................................. 231 Gigondas ............................................ 334
Avignon 231 Orange ................................................... 337
Avignon .............................................. 231 Orange ................................................ 337
Pays de Châteauneuf-du-Pape ...... 264 Pays de Sault ........................................ 341
Châteauneuf-du-Pape .................... 264 Sault .................................................... 341
Courthézon ........................................ 271
Pays de Vaison-la-Romaine ............. 344
Luberon ................................................. 274 Vaison-la-Romaine .......................... 344
Ansouis ............................................... 274
Rasteau ............................................... 348
Lourmarin .......................................... 278
Enclave des Papes .............................. 349Lauris ................................................... 285
Richerenches ..................................... 349La Tour d’Aigues ............................... 288
Valréas ................................................ 350Apt ....................................................... 291
Visan .................................................... 353Bonnieux ............................................ 298
Roussillon ........................................... 307 Index ..................................................... 354
repérez les meilleures visites
intéressant Remarquable Immanquable Inoubliable
direct access to the beach visually impaired disability take away
bar mental handicap room service
laundry motor disability ftness room
air conditioning garden or park playroom / tv
nightclub games modern sanitary
cash machine washing machine / laundry water sports
drinking water bicycle rental
tennis
horse riding grocery store
archerysmoking area airport shuttle
waterslidenon-smoking fshing
fanftness indoor swimming pool
toilet drainminiature golf outdoor heated pool
hard of hearing disability outdoor pool sailing5
Terrace at the foot of Palais des Papes,
during Avignon festival.
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Palais des Papes.
© SIME MUST-SEES
It is no coincidence that Provence is the region that attracts people who are eager to visit this preserved nature every
the largest number of French and foreign tourists. With year. Old stones lovers also find their account with no less
three national parks, four regional parks and almost than 1 800 buildings registered as Historic monuments.
twenty natural reserves, there are tens of thousands of Here are those that should not be overlooked.
Bouches-du-Rhône
castle on one side and the valley on the other remains. Les Baux-de-Provence
Dismantled under Richelieu’s order, the vestige will let
Les Baux-de-Provence (Occitan: Lei Bauç de Provença) is a you imagine life in the middle Ages. Note that the site
commune in the Bouches-du-Rhône department with a offers many picnic areas and you can attend some really
spectacular position in the Alpilles mountains, set on top impressive demonstrations of catapult firing from April
of a rocky outcrop that is crowned with a ruined castle to September, during the weekend, public holidays
overlooking the plains to the south. Its name refers and school holidays. Seeing these imposing machines
to the characteristics of the site where it is located: in with evocative names (trebuchets, couillard, bricole and
Provençal, a bauç is a rocky spur. Aluminium or bauxite balliste,…) in action are worth a visit. As for the medieval
is named after the village, as it was first discovered there duel (at 12 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm), this historical and
by geologist Pierre Berthier in 1821. humorous show will let you discover the use of weapons
and techniques of medieval combat. Endeavour to take the CHÂTEAU DES BEAUX-
booklet in the form of a treasure hunt if you are visiting DE-PROVENCE with your children for it will enable them discover the Grand-Rue history and the site in a fun and enriching way.LES BAUX-DE-PROVENCE & +33 4 90 54 55 56
www.chateau-baux-provence.com OFFICE DE TOURISME
message@chateau-baux-provence.com DES BAUX-DE-PROVENCE
Open all year. Open from 10am to 5pm in January, February, Maison du Roy
November and December. From 9.30am to 6.30pm in March Rue Porte-Mage
and October. From 9am to 7.15pm in April, May, June and LES BAUX-DE-PROVENCE & +33 4 90 54 34 39
September. From 9am to 8.15pm in July and August. Adult: www.lesbauxdeprovence.com
E10 (E8 without entertainment). Child (from 7 to 17 years Open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 5pm; the weekend
old): E8 (E6 without entertainment). Last entrance with and public holidays from 10am to 5.30pm. Closed on
audioguide, 1: 00 before the closing of the site. Ticket December 25th and on January 1st.
combined with special rate to visit the Careers of Lights and The welcome is always warm and professional, in spite of
the Castle of Baux-de-Provence. Guided tour (with your own the many daily visitors. Many relevant information that
guide or guides of the Tourist Office; booking required). Shop. will make your stay unforgettable. And if you want to
This powerful medieval fortress bears witness to a prepare your stay beforehand, the website abounds in
turbulent military past punctuated by repeated assaults. practical information and in downloadable documents,
The solid dungeon proves that Provence was desired by including the application e-balade.
many. The Saracen tower is named after its orientation
towards the south, from where the Saracens arrived. FontvieilleOnly the Paravelle tower overlooking the courtyard of the
LES MOULINS
Office de tourisme
FONTVIEILLE FONTVIEILLEFlag and shield & +33 4 90 54 67 49
Free.Provence inherited the coat of arms of Charles I of
Best known among the mills is, of course, the Alphonse Anjou in the 13th century. It consists of a golden
Daudet mill, but three other beautiful and interesting mills lily on an azure blue background, above which
in Fontvieille should also be noted. First of all the Tissot-you can find a red label (thread which descend
Avon mill, built in the early nineteenth century. But also small pinnacles). Some people prefer the colors
the Sourdon mill, which is located on the small hill on the of Barcelona, stripped blood and gold, inherited
right as you climb up the allée des Pins. Finally, the Ramet from the period of Catalan domination in the 12th
mill, built at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and 13th centuries.
located between the Daudet mill and the Tissot-Avon mill.s
e
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DICOVR PROVNC
Must-sees 11
Identity card
wPopulation: 3,726,555 inhabitants.
w Density: 185 inhabitants per square metres.
w Size: 21,552 square kilometres.
w Prefectures: Marseille, Digne-les-Bains, Toulon and Avignon.
w Sub-prefectures: Barcelonnette, Castellane, Forcalquier, Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Istres, Brignoles,
Draguignan, Apt and Carpentras.
w Number of municipalities: 623.
w Local departments: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône, Var, Vaucluse.
w Main rivers: Durance, Rhône, Verdon.
Excavated from 1921, the Glanum site located at the Saint-Remy-de-Provence
exit of Saint-Remy led to the discovery of many relics
that mark its history since antiquity. Its exemplary LES ANTIQUES
town planning is characterized by many religious and Route des Baux-de-Provence – D 5
civic monuments. A housing environment protected SAINT-RÉMY-DE-PROVENCE
by fortifications dating from the Iron Age reveals & +33 4 90 92 05 22
the occupation of the site from the first millennium www.saintremy-of-provence.com
BC. One can still see the great monuments arranged At the entrance of the archaeological site
along a central street but only a part of the city of Glanum.
was discovered. Research work is still carried out Open all year. Free.
on the site.Located outside the city in the direction of
Baux-deProvence, the Antique are two monuments unmissable.
In Antiquity, they marked the entrance to the town of Parc ornithologique du Pont-de-Gau
Glanum, near via Domitia. They consist of a triumphal
arch and a monument improperly called “mausoleum”, PARC ORNITHOLOGIQUE
which was not probably used as tomb, but rather DE PONT-DE-GAU
memorial. As you can read on the explanatory panels, Route d’Arles
the mausoleum of Julii dates from years 30-20 before SAINTES-MARIES-DE-LA-MER
BC. It was built by the brothers Sextus, Lucius and & +33 4 90 97 82 62
Marcus Julius in honour of their Caius father and their www.parcornithologique.com
grandfather. Its architectural characteristic makes it info@parcornithologique.com
unique: it consists of a base decorated with bas-reliefs, Closed on December 25th. Low season: open every day
topped by an arch will quadrifrons and a tholos (a round and public holidays from 10am. High season: every day
temple). As for the arc de triomphe, it was built at the ys from 9am. Until the sunset. Free for
end of the reign of Augustus or the beginning of under 4-year-olds. Adult: E7.50. Child (from 4 to 10 years
that of Tiberio, near the "mausoleum" of Julii which old): E4. Guided tour.
is former for him with fifty years. It evokes the Situated 4 km North of Saintes-Maries, on the road
conquest of Gaule by Caesar. Recently restored, these to Arles, this park is originally a family creation.
two monuments found all their brightness. Nearby Since 1949, when the first aviaries were exposed
2car park. on 6,000 m  by André Lamouroux, the park which
is now run by the son and his children spreads on
SITE ARCHÉOLOGIQUE DE GLANUM 60 hectares. Two walks through ponds and swamps
Route des Baux-de-Provence – D 5 are offered. The first one, very wild, called the North SAINT-RÉMY-DE-PROVENCE path, offers a quite complete vision of the diversity
& +33 4 90 92 23 79 of Camargue. An ideally placed observatory allows
www.site-glanum.fr discovering teals, mallards, shelducks and gooses o at leisure. We can also see a beautiful density of
Low season: open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm. prey birds, herons, rails, big beaks and migratory or
High season: every day from 9.30am to 6.30pm. Free for sedentary fine beaks, accompanied with coypus. The
under 18-year-olds. Adult: E7.50. Child (from 18 to second path sneaks between two ponds where a big
25 years old): E4.50. Group (20 people): E6. Tourism colony of pink flamingos which can be approached
label & Disability. Access to the manual armchair with very closely. Between both, a large place used for
easier guide. Ticket parking at with dimensions entry educational purposes, illustrated by big descriptive
site. Children welcome (educational workshop). Guided and attractive boards, and also a succession of aviaries
tour (by reservation). Catering facilities. Shop. sheltering wounded or handicaped large-sized birds.Must-sees 12
located in a protected and wild environment, can be seen Marais du Vigueirat
after crossing the numerous swamps including that of
Grand Fangassier, with campers, huts, horses at a gallop, THE VIGUEIRAT MARSHES
bikes, kites… A whole disparate and popular universe Village de Mas-Thibert
which creates a unique atmosphere! A very nice site for ARLES & 04 90 98 70 91
the whole family. However, know that a large section marais-vigueirat@espaces-naturels.fr
of the beach allows naturism.Tourism & Handicap Label. Regional Nature Park Values.
You need to follow a trail on foot to reach the Marais du
Vigueirat. This preserved natural area, part of the Coastal Marseille
Conservatory located between Grand Rhône and Plaine
FORT SAINT-JEAN de Crau, allows you to discover the flora and fauna of the
er201, quai du Port (1 )Camargue. Several educational courses free and open
MARSEILLES & 04 84 35 13 13access from sunrise to sunset. Ludic 500 course entirely
Access through the shopping Panier on stilts, the Cabanes trail allows you to walk along the
or the tower of the Roy René.water to discover all the secrets of this natural space.
Open Wednesday to Monday from 11am to 6pm. High The Palunette path, 2.5 km long, borders the Vigueirat
season: Wy ty fro 7pm. Night canal: the opportunity to discover different species of
Friday until 10pm (doors closing at 9.15pm). Only the birds through an observatory. The ethnobotanical path
entrance of the exhibitions of MuCEM are paying.takes you, on an area of one hectare, to explore different
Fort Saint-Jean is one of the oldest monuments environments their and how they are linked to man.
of Marseille and deserves a visit for the exceptional Guided visits are available, as well as visits by carriage.
panorama of the city that it offers. Well camped at the
entrance of the Old Port, facing the Prado, it has been Camargue rehabilitated since 2013 and integrated into the whole
This large plain of alluvia enclosed by the two arms of new MuCEM (Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the
the Rhone and the Mediterranean sea, presents mosaic Mediterranean) to which it is connected by an imposing
landscapes having an exceptional wealth. In the north, bridge overlooking the water. You can visit its garden
man implemented his mark with the exploitation of salt, area and various courtyards and terraces free of charge.
fishing and, afterwards, the culture of vineyard, cereals and On the other hand, the exhibition rooms that it houses
rice growing (Camargue is the main source of production have a paying access as for those of the MuCEM itself.
of French rice). To discover a more authentic Camargue, This fort was built in the 14th century on the order of the
you have to go further south: dominated by sansouire, this Roy René, to protect the city and the port of attacks that
vast argillaceous space, flooded with the least rain, which could come from the sea. At the time of the Crusades,
becomes a complete desert during summer drought, as this citadel sheltered the hospital headquarters of Saint
John’s order, later became the Knights Templar. But it is well as the ponds and the swamps, merging and forming
under Louis XIV that it acquired its current proportions. a fragile and invaluable ecosystem. Thus it isn’t rare to
Whether it is for its rich history, its spectacular panorama see pink flamingos spreading their wings, purebred small
or exhibitions that it houses, Fort Saint Jean is a place white horses of Camargue wallowing or a herd of bulls
that cannot leave anyone indifferent.feeding quietly. It is at the edge of the pond of Vaccarès,
towards the pond of Fangassier and the side of the estate
MUCEM – MUSÉE of Cacharel, so you will have the occasion to admire many
DES CIVILISATIONS different kinds of birds. Choose to ride a horse half a day
D’EUROPE ET MÉDITERRANÉE at the start of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, the capital of
Esplanade du J4Camargue and the 2nd larger town of France in surface, e7, promenade Robert-Laffont (2 )it is the best way to watch the beauty of the fauna and
MARSEILLES & 04 84 35 13 13admire the magnificent beauty of the wilderness.
www.mucem.org – reservation@mucem.org
Metro Old Port or Joliette, tram Républiques/
Beauduc ladies and on foot. Bus No. 82, 60 and 49.
With parking.
PLAGE DE BEAUDUC Closed on Tuesday, on the1st of May and on the 25th of
PORT SAINT-LOUIS-DU-RHÔNE December. Open Wednesday to Monday from 11am to
Part of the beach is reserved to the naturists. 6pm (from November to April), from 11am to 7pm (from
Here is a paradise that must be earned. 14 kilometres May to June and from September to October) from 10am
separate Salin-de-Giraud from the beach! The history to 8pm (from July to August), Friday night until 10pm from
of Beauduc began in late 1930s, when gradually, and the beginning of May to end of August. Free up to the age
thanks to the paid leaves, the numbers of visitors to the of 18 (and for the recipients of minimum social benefits,
site, which is until now mainly visited by fishermen of persons with disabilities and the person accompanying
Martigues, widens to recreational fishing and holiday. them and professionals (newspaper, lecturers, researchers,
If the first huts were built during the creation of this sea MCC, ICOM/ICOMOS, artists’ house and so on). Adult:
ford in the middle of the 18th century, there were at the E9.5. E5 reduced rate (for the 18-25 years and
end of 1960s, about a hundred installations, which then teachers). Labelled Tourism & Handicap. Guided tour.
benefited from a certain tolerance. The new laws on Catering facilities. With changing facilities. Workshops,
the coast imposed some destructions. The huge beach, live performance and cinema. With Maupetit bookstore.s
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Fort Saint-Jean.
Opened in June 2013 on the occasion of Marseille 1853. In Roman-Byzantine style, the building consists of
Provence 2013, the MuCEM, Museum of Civilizations of a low church composed of a vaulted crypt that houses a
Europe and Mediterranean, has become one of the most polychrome crucifix (of the sixteenth century) and mater
visited monuments in Marseille! Consisting of two sets, dolorosa style of Carpeaux sculptor. The high church, the
the building, signed Rudy Ricciotti, and the military fort sanctuary is dedicated to the Virgin and full of ex-votos
Saint-Jean, forbidden to the public until this renovation, from the ground to the ceiling. The ascent is difficult
the MuCEM is a real architectural gem. It is at the same especially the summer, but a visit to the Bonne Mère is
time a free walking place with spectacular views of the inevitable. The descent by the flowered du Roucas blanc
Phocéean city and the sea, and a place of exhibitions. neighborhood is also worth a look.
To see absolutely!
Massif des Calanques BASILIQUE NOTRE-DAME-
DE-LA-GARDE The famous massif of the Calanques stands near
eRue Fort-du-Sanctuaire (7 ) Marseilles, and goes from Callelongue to Cassis and
MARSEILLES & 04 91 13 40 80 deserves to be discovered by the path of the GR 98b,
www.notredamedelagarde.com created in 1973, or by sea from Cassis.
contact@notredamedelagarde.com Made of impassable walls succeeding narrow and
vertigiBus 60 from the Vieux-Port. nous brooks, this limestone mass owes its current edges
Low season: open from 7am to 6.15pm. High season: from to the marine level rise, 10,000 years ago, at the end of
7am to 7.15pm. Attention, last parking is closed at 7pm in the ice age. After the Bec de Sormiou (where the Cosquer
winter and at 8pm in summer, all the vehicles must have cave and its cave paintings were discovered in 1991) and
left this one before closing. Free. the Cap Morgiou, discover for example the Sugiton creek,
The symbol of the city par excellence. Well-known place or the most beautiful of all, the In-Vau creek where cliffs
from the whole city, the "Bonne Mère" is the embodiment of red rock, decorated with pines, overlook waters of
of the inhabitants of Marseille and appreciated by casual absolute purity. It is the perfect place to stop and swim. If
guests. The lookout surrounding the Basilica offers stunning you’re lucky, you might see a Bonelli’s eagle, the emblem
views of all the surroundings which will convince even of this site… After having gone past to Port-Pin, you
the least pious of us. Picking in 147 m over the town, the will finish your tour in Port-Miou, where you can find
GardeHill has always been an observation post. In order to small boats and sailboats moving according to the winds.
protect Marseille from the armies of Charles Quint, François As much beauty natural which now protected within the
I built it there and a fort designed to ensure a good legal first Europe marine and terrestrial peri-urban national
defense of the city in 1524. The foundations of a first chapel park created in 2012. It should be said that this
excepdating back to 1214 form the core of the military building. tional natural heritage features a remarkable biodiversity
The hill remains sacred and the chapel is regularly honored with no less than 140 animals and vegetable terrestrial
with royal visits over time. In the nineteenth century, the species, as well as 60 marine species. If you are lovers
aging sanctuary is not be large enough to accommodate of scuba diving, you can admire the sea beds in red and
all its visitors. Monseigneur de Mazenod then decides to yellow colours, in coral and the gorgons colors that
build a much larger building on the existing building. The covers the rocks where seahorse, girelle peacock and
works, entrusted to the architect Esperandieu began in sea hatpin urchins creep.
© LAWRENCE BANAHAN – AUTHOR’S IMAGEMust-sees 14
The arenas of Arles.
Arles FONDATION VINCENT VAN GOGH ARLES
35ter, rue du Docteur-Fanton
LES ARÈNES D’ARLES ARLES & 04 90 93 08 08
(AMPHITHEATER) contact@fvvga.org
Rond-point des Arènes Closed of the Foundation from September 1st to September
ARLES 20th, 2014. Open Friday to Wednesday from 11am to 7pm;
& 04 90 49 38 20 Thursday from 11am to 9pm. Free for under 12-year-olds.
www.arenes-arles.com Adult: E9. Child (from 12 to 26 years old): E4. Shop.
contact@arenes-arles.com In 2014, after four years of work and a superb architectural
Open all year. Low season: every day from 10am to 5pm. achievement, Fondation Vincent Van Gogh reopened its
High season: every day from 9am to 7pm. Adult: E6.50. doors to the public, with the inaugural exhibition "Van
2Activities. Gogh live!" ". Over nearly 1,000 m , according temporary
Apparently inspired by the Coliseum of Rome, slightly exhibitions, original paintings and drawings of the Dutch
older, the Arena were the pride of Arles for nearly four master and contemporary art creations rub shoulders.
centuries. This temple of games could welcome up to This year, for example, you can admire, from April 21 to
21 000 people, crowding up to see the gladiators fight October 28, the exhibition entitled: “Soleil chaud, soleil
to death or even reconstructions of hunting scenes. After tardif” during which works by Van Gogh and also by
the fall of the Empire, the arenas were transformed into Picasso will be exhibited. As for the building, it alone
fortress with the construction of four towers, about two is worth visiting.
hundred houses and even two chapels. It is finally on the
MUSÉE DÉPARTEMENTAL initiative of the writer Prosper Mérimée that this unique
DE L’ARLES ANTIQUE place is classified as "Historical Monument" in 1840. Its
Presqu’île du Cirque-Romainprime function, to welcome major events,is still valid: the
Roman games of the 1st century give way to bullfights ARLES & 04 13 31 51 03
www.arles-antique.cg13.fr – info.mapa@cg13.frorganized during the two Féria, annually. The arenas,
Open all year. Wednesday to Monday from 10am to 6pm. went through a vast plan of restoration and development
(the works lasted 10 years and cost 25 million euros), Night: all first Fridays of the month until 8pm. Closed
and since July, 2013 got back their original brightness. on January 1st, May 1st, November 1st and December
25th. Group (10 people): E5.50. Permanent collections From an architectural point of view, the amphitheatre is
21 meters high with two levels of 60 arches in full round + temporary exhibition: E7.50. Perollections:
arch, separated by massive posts of rectangular section. E6. Guided tour.
With a main line of 136 meters in length and a small Inaugurated in 1995, this modern building designed by
axis of 107 meters, the amphitheatre of Arles is slightly the architect Henri Ciriani houses the pre and post-Roman
bigger than that of Nîmes, and occupies the twentieth archaeological collections of the city. Different themes
rank among those of the Roman world. are discussed in individualized spaces and cover the
© CYRIL BANAe
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Must-sees 15
period from Prehistory to late Antiquity (from 4th to 6th held in summer, on Tuesday and Thursday morning. And
century), through Protohistory and Haut-Empire. A must also, it welcomes numerous festivals like the International
for fans. The museum presents in model the majority of meeting of photography, the music festival of the South
the city monuments in their initial construction. Three or even that of the péplum movie. The first two ones takes
elements structure the visit, the marble statuary of the 1st place in July, the last one in August.
century, the mosaics and the collection of early Christian
sarcophagi. Set on the edge of the Roman circus, the The Sainte-Victoire Mountainmuseum, large and accessible to people with reduced
mobility, also houses an archaeological research institute. LA MONTAGNE
It is also here that you can see the famous bust of Caesar SAINTE-VICTOIRE found during excavations in the Rhône. AIX-EN-PROVENCE
Free. THÉÂTRE ANTIQUE
Located east of Aix-en-Provence, the Sainte-Victoire Rue de la Calade
mountain, rises to 1,011 m high (Pic des Mouches). This ARLES & 04 90 49 36 74 / 04 90 18 41 20
gigantic wave of limestone towers above the surrounding www.arlestourisme.com
countryside on 18 kilometres to go and flirt with the ot-arles@arlestourisme.com
department close to Var. If its northern side gently goes Closed on January 1st, May 1st, November 1st, December
down in a series of plateaux towards the plain of Durance, 25th and on certain days. Low season: open Monday to
the southern side and its dizzying precipice on Vallée de l’Arc Saturday from 10am to 5pm. High season: every day
testify to an eventful geological history. It is on the side of from 9am to 7pm. Intermediate schedule in mid-season.
this high wall that the Roman consul Caius Marius pushed Adult: E9. Reduced rate: E7. Ticket also gives access to
the Teutons and the Cimbres in 102 BC: the mountain then the Amphitheater. Free for under 18 year-olds.
finds its name, that of Victoire. Sanctified at the Middle The antique theatre dates back to the 1st century BC is of
Ages by Christians, it was renamed Sainte-Venture, before Augustan style. It is part of a vast urbanization project with
taking its current name in the 17th century, derived from two other constructions: the Arc du Rhône and the Forum.
its Provencal patronym: Mont Venturi mount. Paradise of It covered an over 102 meters diameter, and contained
hikers and nature lovers (there are 900 flowering plants, 33 rows of terraces from, of which a large part disappeared,
27 mammal species and 126 different bird species), the and its outside wall had 3 rows of arches richly decorated
with monumental statues. Auguste’s statue is kept in the massif would have been paced up and down, according
to a study published in January 2011, by 930,000 people museum of Arles and of classical Provence, and Venus of
between March 2009 and March 2010! Sainte-Victoire is Arles at the Louvre Museum. Fortified during the Middle
Ages, witness of the Tour de Roland, there were parasites also known to have inspired the painter Paul Cézanne
houses as well as the Jesuits College and a convent of the who dedicated nearly a hundred canvases to it. It is the
one which has immortalised it who still speaks about it sisters of Mercy which had been developed within its wall.
Plundered for its materials, it is rediscovered only in the best: "Look at this Sainte-Victoire. What an impulse, what
17th century, but the real excavations only began in 1828. a pressing thirst for the sun and what melancholy in the
Completely restored, the site is clearly more functional and evening when all this weight falls down… These blocks
offer new attractions: Roman games demonstrations are were fire. There is still fire in them."
Sainte-Victoire Mountain.
© MURIELMust-sees 16
Vaucluse
The Luberon, majestic mountain, a millennial world of Le Palais des Papes human life and history, has remained virtually intact.
The massif stretches gently over 60 km from east to PALAIS DES PAPES
west. Lourmarin’s combe, the only natural passage AVIGNON & 04 90 27 50 00
crossing the massif, divides it into two parts. In the www.palais-des-papes.com
west, the Petit Luberon widened by ravines and gorges, information@ot-avignon.fr
does not exceed 700 m. As for the Grand Luberon, it Open all year. From September 1st to November 1st, from
extends to the east and roll out its massive and softer 9am to 7pm; from November 2nd to end February from
slopes that culminate in the Mourre Nègre at 1,125 m 9.30am to 5.45pm; in March from 9am to 6.30pm; from
and includes a wide sloping ledge: the Claparèdes April 1st to June 30th from 9am to 7pm; in July from 9am
plateau. Created in 1977, the Luberon regional natural to 8pm; in August from 9am to 8.30pm. Free for under
park stretches from Villeneuve (04) to Cavaillon and 8-year-olds. Adult: E12. Pupils E6.50. Reduced rate:
the Coulon Valley to the Durance Valley, protecting E10. Visit completed with the Avignon bridge: E14.50,
72 municipalities. Land bitter and shaped by the reduced: E11.50. Free Audioguide. Children welcome
winds, the Luberon has the strange power to worry (instruction required for the strollers). Guided tour. Shop.
when the fall of day arrives, like seduce when the No pets allowed.
sun shines high. It is all this set of history of history With over 650,000 visitors a year, the Palais des Papes is
mingled with fortunes and misfortunes that the Park one of the ten most visited monuments in France. It is
has been protecting for 30 years. All of these ochre a true symbol of the Church’s influence on the Christian
landscapes, orchards as far as the eye can see, green West in the 14th century, this monumental masterpiece of
hills, small villages of perched stone make it a dream 15,000 m² is the largest fortress of the Middle Ages and the
place.largest Gothic palace in Europe. Built in less than twenty
years, from 1335, the palace – listed on the World Heritage
List by the UNESCO – is mainly marked by two popes, Mont Ventoux
Benoît XII and Clément VI. Later occupied by the Legates
and Vice-legates from the 15th century and transformed LE MONT VENTOUX
into a barracks until 1906, it has since then experienced Open all year. Free.
several restoration works. Offering countless incomparable 1912 m, 25 km long and 15 km wide! Classified as a
riches on an architectural and pictorial aspect, visitors “biosphere Reserve” by UNESCO, its sides combine all
will experience all the splendour of the papal court. It types of Nordic Mediterranean climates, constituting an
requires about one hour to visit more than twenty-five extraordinary wealth of flora and fauna. For example,
places: the ceremonial halls, courtrooms, chapels with depending on the season and altitude, you can discover
magnificent frescoes of the famous Matteo Giovanetti and the Candolle Iberis which from June to August grows
the private papal apartments. The monument also offers on the gravel of the summit, the beautiful poppy from
regular cultural events throughout the year. Thematic Greenland (July), the very rare Martagon lily on the
and educational exhibitions, themed tours and concerts north side at the end of summer or the Fabre Niveole
are organized. During summer, a large art exhibition that exists only on the south side (it blooms a week
occupies the Grande Chapelle while the performances in early May). Being a unique site, this majestic white
of the Avignon Festival, created by Jean Vilar in 1947, pyramid blown by the winds two-thirds of the year, is
takes place in July in the Cour d’Honneur of the palace. stride across each year by hundreds of cyclists wanting
to conquer the slopes, trying to repeat the exploits of
climbers of the Tour de France. Once at the top, their Regional Natural Park of Luberon
efforts are amply rewarded: on a clear day, the “bald
LE PARC NATUREL RÉGIONAL DU LUBERON mountain” offers views of the Provence, from the Alps
to the Mediterranean, to Massif Central and Cevennes. 60, place Jean-Jaurès
APT & 04 90 04 42 00 Note that snow remains at the top for about 140 days
www.parcduluberon.fr per year. Enough to install a ski resort, that of the
communication@parcduluberon.fr Serein mountain, on the north side. With its 12 km
Maison du Parc du Luberon, in Apt, is open Monday to of alpine ski tracks and seven kilometres of Nordic
Friday from 8.30am to 12pm and from 1.30pm to 6pm skiing, it offers the unique opportunity to enjoy the
and Saturday morning in high season. joys of skiing under the midday sun!s
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NATURE
Provence has many different landscapes. The coves palette. This nature is rich and contrasted shelters
of Marseilles with large widerness of Camargue, characteristic species: pink flamingo, Bonelli’s eagles,
via the blue purple Carpets of the lavender of the Hermann tortoise. A fragile ecosystem still beautifully
plateau of Valensole. this region is a real painter’s preserved.
Geography
inspired Denis Coulomb’s movie, there in Cacharel on the Climate
banks of the Vaccares, the story of a beautiful white horse
w Average temperatures: the region experiences and its little master Falco, a young boy enjoys freedom
both  warmth and freshness with two climates and large spaces! On the way back up north, you reach
(Mediterranean and mountain). The Mediterranean the Alpilles those ones that even inspired painters like
climate is characterized by excellent sunshine, a very dry Van Gogh, the Enfer valley with its Baux-de-Provence’s
summer and an irregular and concentrated rainfall regime ruined castle, Saint-Rémy and its cypress trees which
over a reduced number of days. The mountain climate fetched the mistral days in the steel blue sky. But soon,
comes down to more abundant precipitation and good you will reach Avignon and its ramparts bordered by the
winter sunshine. Compared to the plain, temperatures are Rhône when the popes had made it their home. Now
on an average of 6 degrees below. Example: the annual let’s hit the small roads which to the southern part and
average temperature in Toulon is 15.9 °C (23.9 °C in July, go through the Luberon: ochred land, dry hills full of dried
9.3 °C in January). The annual average temperature in stone bories(small huts) and summer festival lands. Hop!
Manosque is 12.6 °C (22 °C in July, 4.5 °C in January). Step over the Durance and already come down the line of
Sainte-Victoire mountain so dear to Cézanne’s heart, the w Sunshine: the region enjoys excellent sunshine,
painter. The no less famous Picasso chooses to finish his the best of France. Example: 2,981 hours of sunshine on
life there at its foot in Vauvenargues. Aix-en-Provence, average in Marseille, 2,896 hours in Avignon, 2,868 hours
the beautiful city of the good king René will impress you in Manosque and 2,887 hours in Toulon.
with its fountain chants, its centenary plane trees, city of
w Wind: the main wind is the mistral whose speed can water and art, one of the most charming cities in France.
go beyond 110 km/h. Prevailing wind in the north-west, You’re not at the end of the journey, there’s still the perched
it follows the Rhône as if it is attracted by the south, then villages of the Var, the abbeys, the peninsulas covered by
bypassing the middle Provence, it moves towards the vineyards, the country of Manosque and Forcalquier, there
east, sparing the Côte d’Azur. It has its rhythm, blowing where the hussars climb on the roofs, this Provence is that
for a limited number of multiple days of three, except if it of Giono, the outdoor writer par excellence the one who
rises at night. In the region of Avignon, which is the most has painted so well the portraits of the local people here.
affected, it blows between 120 and 160 days a year, with Then the Ubaye valleys and the nearby mountains of the
a speed of 90 km/h per gust on average. Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.
Reliefs Rivers and valleys
From the earliest days of history, Durance and Rhône,
despite whims and violence have allowed Provence of Characteristic landscapes
seeing the successful economic development.There’s not only one but many Provences! The Marseilles
region is that of Pagnol, theTreille hills beneath the majestic w The Durance. With glaciers and permanent snow
Garlaban. Here are the calanques and their steep cliffs covering the Alps, sometimes cascading at the bottom
between Cassis and Marseille around the Grande Bleue of the deep gorges, sometimes in deep-silver meanders
and the Mediterranean. As for the Blue Coast, these are in the plains, Durance is one part of Provence addressed
only sandy beaches surrounded by pine trees along the by Giono was and remains over the centuries the major
footpaths of the customs officers. We are towards Carry-le obstacle to communication between districts and
departRouet and the small family resorts of nearby fishing harbors. ments along its river.
Step over the pond of Berre and you are already on the way Its source comes from the Hautes-Alpes which is above
to Arles, the Camargue capital. This is another Provence that Briançon, goes through the department of
Alpes-deof Frédéric Mistral that of this beautiful Arles neighborhood Haute-Provence throughout its length and reaches the
that always made itself hope. In a few steps away, under a point called "Cadarache" after receiving many affluents
blazing sun, the country of Crin-Blanc will welcome you. including the Verdon and having travelled 280 km. With its
Remember that beautiful history of the 1950’s that had large field stone bed ranges between 500 m and 2,000 m.e
NatuR 18
The lavender route
The lavender route is one of the most authentic and picturesque initiatory paths. In France there is a long
history, memory and a know-how linked to lavender, there are witnesses and actors who made the Lavender
Routes of yesterday and today. Various thematic journeys will allow you to discover them: by bike, foot,
motorbike, or through wellness stays (lavender spa, essential oils sauna), or painting courses etc.
You can travel across the lavender lands from Vercors to Diois, from the Haute-Provence to the Verdon, and
between the Ventoux, the Luberon and the Lure. Seven free circuits to discover sceneries and scents that will
take you to the heart of the lavender flowers, with 150 actors and witnesses of lavender!
During your tour, be sure to bring back a small bag of lavender to perfume your wardrobes, as any true
Provençal would do, or an essential oil bottle. Its unique scent will fill the whole house with fragrance. You
should note that almost 30 tons of essential oils are produced each year in the region. They even enjoy a
Protected Designation of Origin label since 1981. However, this production has been reduced to one third
since 2005, due to a bacteria which causes serious damage to the plantations. France has thus lost its
leadership to Bulgaria. This is why lavender is sometimes replaced by lavandin, much less fragile and with a
slightly stronger camphor smell. Almost 1000 tons of essential oils are manufactured each year.
w Mirabeau’s lock. The transverse Mirabeau valley in the basket for the region” are often now replaced the tray
south Luberon has been a selected strategic point all these without the blue violet-coloured lavender in season.
years for the passage of this river, terribly ill-balanced. The Albion plateau located between three departments
Over the centuries, numerous writers have described its (Vaucluse, Drôme and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) is
torrential character and have established its bad reputa- well known with the 1960’s introduction of air base
tion for ever. An old saying cursed “the Mistral, Parliament 200 and 18 nuclear missile silos. In the 1990s, missiles
and Durance as the three scourges of Provence”. were dismantled and silos were broken. The air base
It will be domesticated well after the Revolution, thanks to 200 was renamed “Quartier Maréchal Koenig” and has
the colossal Serre-Ponçon dam and will serve as a commu- currently hosted 1,000 legionnaires. the National office for
nication route until the middle of the nineteenth century. aerospace studies and research has also installed a
monitoring satellite system (the only operational in Western
Plateaux Europe). Also known for its cultivation of lavender, the
Albion plateau is mainly directed towards agriculture Tens of thousands of hectares of alluvium deposited
2 (honey, spelt, caprine and sheep farming) and tourism by rivers over 500 m height and 800 km : here is the
Valensole trays (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence). The downy (green camping, hiking, the lavender tour and so on).
The Canjuers plateau, south of the Verdon Gorge (Var) oak trees grow there in north, green oak trees grow well
in low altitude. Some almond trees grow at the edges that the Canjuers camp managed by the Army has been
of the fields, relics of savings gone at the end of the hosted since 1970. It is the largest shooting range in
nineteenth century. The grains that have called it “bread continental Europe.
Borie in a field of lavender.
© VINCENT FORMICAThe Rhône
19
w European Gateway to the Mediterranean went up or down the river, free of any constraint. The
It was by the Rhône Valley that the Mediterranean trade was flourishing and Beaucaire, in the Gard, is
world and its civilization conquered Western Europe. the meeting points of merchants who from July 21 to
28 organized a fair every year from the beginning of Extended to the north by the Saône Valley, in easy
communication with the east (Rhine Valley and the 14th century.
Danube) by the Burgundy gate, with the north west by w Monks, Brotherly Brothers
the valley of the Seine, the valley of the Rhône was the The monks built the strongest and most important
major commercial route of Prehistory and Antiquity. It bridges; those of the Romans having collapsed several
was the road of amber to the south, amber used for times. There were four between Lyon and the sea
jewelry, and the route of bronze to the north. to cross the river: the famous Saint Bénezet bridge
The Rhône valley is a natural way of penetrating the (known as Avignon), 1,000 meters with 23 arches,
civilization of which Cretan, Phoenicians and Greeks was built at the end of the 12th century. Several times
benefited. The Gauls also used the Rhône for their rebuilt, he has regularly defied the Rhône colliery,
commercial convoys that crossed the country from which finally was right about half of this building in
north to Marseille within 30 days. the 17th century. The other three bridges, those of Pont
The conquerors introduced new plants and products. Saint-Esprit, of Guillotière in Lyon (replaced by a more
This is how the vineyard moved to Champagne. Wheat, modern one in 1950) and Vienna, were all built in the
the party of Provence, earned all of France. 13th century.
Legend has it that Christianity approached in Gaul, wIts flow ratein Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, with Marie-Jacobé and The average flow of the Rhône, in the order of Marie-Madeleine, two Christians close to Jesus, who 3 th1,800 m  per second at the mouth, is poor (48 world fled the persecution in Palestine, with Sara, their black rank). However, if we relate the flow quantity to the servant. That is why this plac became a pilgrimage surface area of the watershed (area drained by the river place. From the Camargue, Christianity went back to 2and its tributaries), i.e. 97,800 km  (more than three the valley of the Rhône to the great dissatisfaction thtimes of Belgium), the Rhône is 16 in world rank.
of the Romans, who regarded it as the forbidden 3The floods of 1840 and 1856 reached 12,000 m  per religion. Religious peace was restored at the end of second. The last two large floods, causing the river the 3rd century. Lyon, Vienna and Arles became major 3to exceed its alert coastline (more than 9,500 m  per
Christian cities. A new civilization was born. second in Beaucaire), date back to 1993-94 and 2003.
In the 14th century, the valley of the Rhône enjoyed At the height of the latter, in December 2003, the flow an international since Avignon would be the capital of 3to Beaucaire reached 11,500  х m  per second, the 2nd Christianity for 69 years (from 1309 to 1378). highest flow in its history! The overflows of the Rhône
w A border and its tributaries affected thousands of people and
In 1302, Arles was capital of a kingdom that was part of many major communication infrastructures are cut
the German Holy Roman Empire. The Rhône became a to traffic like the A7, the A47 or the A 54, submerged
border: countries in the west are of Empire (of Emperi), by the waters of the Petit Rhône for 11 days between
countries in the east are from France (of Réaume or Arles and Bellegarde. Today, the river is navigable
Riaume). Several centuries would be necessary for the from the sea to Lyon. However, traffic remains modest
reconciliation of both shores, where cities and twin due to the recent completion of the waterway (1980)
cities look at each other with concern despite their and the delay in the development of a large-scale
fortified castles. But boatmasters worried a bit that the waterway route linking the Rhône to Rhine by Saône
banks were of "Réaume" or "of Emperi", their rowboats and the Doubs.
Travel guides
on more than
700 destinations
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offered to buy
any paper guidee
NatuR 20
Today, in the heart of this crater, vineyards are grown! Plains
140 ha of château Beaulieu vineyards, place of production The Comtat venaissin which is so well known a
of excellent AOC coteaux-d’aix-en-provence wines.“the gardens of Provence”, vaste plain where orchards,
vineyards and vegetable crops grow and is surrounded
Caves and potholesbetween Rhône and Durance, the Ventoux mountains,
The cave of Thouzon also called the Fairy caves is located in the dentelles of Montmirail and the Vaucluse montains.
Vaucluse. It is the only natural underground site designed The Crau plain is a stony plain and a desolate for more
for tourism in this department. The cavity opens around than 20,000 ha. Ancient confluence of Durance and
230 m in length. A multitude of "sinus" stalactites charac-Rhône, it is the alluvial cone. On the edge of this plain
terize it. They can reach 2 m with a diameter of 3 mm.extends the Camargue and its 750 km, all its sparkling
Calanques are full of caves, quite easy to get to and some ponds as a mirroring where the pink flamingos are
not so easy or inaccessible (try to ask some information reflected, where you can see the bulls and the white
from the Tourist Office ). One of the best known caves horses in large herds frisking about.
is the one of Cosquer. Discovered in 1991 by the diver
Henri Cosquer, this cave is accessible by a tunnel of 175 m Summits and passes long of which its entrance is immersed at 37 m deep. This
In the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence Alps, the alpine foothills subsea cavity is settled by several dozen works painted
culminate at 3,000 m (especially in Ubaye upper valley and engraved about 27,000 and 19,000 years ago. It is
and all passes nearing or having reached 2,000 m of inaccessible for public but fortunately a virtual tour is
altitude. This is where one of Europe’s highest roads is: offered online (www.culture.gouv.fr).
the road D 64 which reaches 2,802 m of altitude above
Bonette col (2,715 m). Forests and woodThe snowy peaks of these reliefs compartmentalize the
The Provençal forest covers 35% of the region land’s landscape with narrow valleys covered with pastures,
area covered of hardwood, softwood and coniferous aggressive torent and winding between the cliffs.
trees. Oak and pine trees are the two most represented In the Bouches-du-Rhône, there are the Alpilles, small
species. Among the main forests are those of Luberon arid mountain areas that extend on a east-west axis for
(250 ha), Maures (100,000 ha), the Ventoux mountain about 25 km from the Rhone to the Durance Valley. This
and Tanneron in the Var also called the yellow forest range does not exceed 500 m of altitude.
because mimosas are mainly noticeable.Further south, the Trévaresse hill where troglodyte
But let us focus on two atypical forests in Provence: the dwellings and a templar’s chapet are settled. 15 km beech forest in Sainte-Baume (mentioned above) and the long between Lambesc and Venelles, its average altitude cedar forest in Luberon. Implanted under Napoleon III in is approximately 350 to 400 m high with 502 m at its 1862, this plant species from the Moroccan Atlas allowed to highest point. The Sainte-Victoire so dear to Cézanne, rehabilitate the heights of the massif which devastated by that one is 1,011 m at its highest point. The Star barrier the pasture of sheep herds. Nature has now taken the place which closes Marseilles to the northeast orients 779 m it rightfully deserves and it is on about 250 ha that extends above the sea. And finally Sainte-Baume of which two the majestic cedar forest that covers the small Luberon.highest peaks are the Joug of Aigle and the signal of
the Béguines which 1,148 m at their highest point. The
Lakesgrotto of Sainte Mary Magdalen is located in its beech
forest, the holly place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages. w The Serre-Ponçon lake is an artificial lake within the
In Vaucluse, the Ventoux mountain (well known as the limits of the Hautes-Alpes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
"giant of Provence" or the Bald Mountain) with the white departments. It is the second artificial lake in Europe by
peak and desert with 1,912 m at its highest point. And the its capacity (1.272 billion of cubic meters) and the third
2Luberon massif with 1,125 m altitude (Mourre-Nègre). by its area (28.2 km ).
This massif is over 60 km long.
w The Berre pond (Bouches-du-Rhône) is the largest In the Var, the Maures and Estérel mountains, rising
brackish water range in Europe with its 20 km long and respectively to a height of 771 and 618 meters above
its 16.5 km wide in west of Marseille. It is around this sea level, reflect the emerald-green colour of their pine
lake that the numerous Berre-l’Etang and Fos-sur-Mer forests in the Mediterranean, cork oaks and massifs with
refineries have been established . Among the 10 munici-bright yellow-coloured mimosas.
palities bordering the pond those of Istres, Saint-Chamas,
Berre-l’Etang and Martigues have developed their shore
Volcanoes and suitable for water sports.
Provence is obviously not the Auvergne. Vast craters w The Bonde pond (Vaucluse) is the largest fishing
should be missed! However, there have been volcanic lake in Luberon. Apart from bathing, the canoeing, fishing
formations linked to the drift from Corsica to the or paddling are offered.
southeast. The Evenos village located in Var is built on a
w The Sainte-Croix lake (Var) is located at the foot of volcanic pillar. The entire houses of the historic village are
the Verdon gorges. It extends over an area of 2,200 ha. built of volcanic rocks, contrasting with the constructions
Surrounded by a spectacular landscape, it has become of the neighborhood villages. Another trace of a volcano:
a very popular tourist attraction.that of Beaulieu, near Aix-en-Provence. It is a volcano
in "hollow", an old oval-shaped crater filled with lava, w The pond of Vaccarès over more than 6,500 ha is
having faced a volcanic eruption17.5 million years ago. the largest of all camargue ponds. Its depth less than 2 m e
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DICOVR PROVNC
NatuR 21
makes it the ideal place and food for migratory birds that Beauduc is unavoidable to practice kite-surfing and
and a living place for pink flamingos. windsurfing. Think about bringing something to drink
and eat on site. The place is truly like a desert.
The Morgiou and Sormiou cassis: they are certainly among Marshes
the most beautiful beaches on the coast. Laying on the
w The Vigueirat marshes in Camargue. This beach is here also a good occasion. You can access it on
protected natural area located between Grand Rhône foot (or at some times by car).
and Crau plain allows you to enjoy the camargue flora The Saint Clair and Fossette beaches, in Lavandou, are
and fauna. There are more than 2,000 animal and plant amazing: fine sand and crystal clear waters await you…
species or more than half of the bird species which
w Islands and archipelagosexist in France.
Many archipelagos are located near the Bucco-Rhodanian
and Var’s coasts: Île Verte, île du Levant, ‘île de Porquerolles Coast (see the heading “Immanquables”)… But also the Frioul
archipelago, which is one of the 111 districts of Marseille. w Sea, ocean
It gathers four islands, including the famous château d’If. From Var to Camargue, the Mediterranean Sea flows
They have many coves for bathing and offer an unique near the coast of Provence. This natural border is only
view of Marseille and Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde cathedral. a succession of beaches with fine sand, cassis and cliffs
As for the Bendor island, located near Bandol, it was (the highest of Europe are located in Cassis), small marina
bought and arranged by Paul Ricard, the creator of the and fishing harbors. Insensitive to variations, with a
pastis. From a surface of about 7 ha, this always private tidal range of 25 cm on average, and with an average
island houses hotels, a Congress palace, restaurants, temperature of 23 ° C in summer, the Mediterranean is
shops, a yacht club, an international diving center and of course the ideal place for bathing. Be aware, however,
beaches. For a very luxurious holiday…off the coast, you can reach 500 m deep within 1 km
of the shore. w Harbors
The port of Marseille: first French port, first port of w Beaches
the Mediterranean and fourth European goods traffic Beauduc beach: You can reach it after a few hours in the
port with 100.3 million tons processed. Every year, middle of Camargue’s natural park. It is like you have a
desire of going “to the end of the world” , but at the arrival, 2 million visitors go to Corsica, Sardinia, Algeria, Tunisia
the sand, as far as we can see, and the light that emerges or Mediterranean cruises from there.
well worth it. Heaven is worth it after all! You can enjoy The port of Toulon: main French naval base, it contains
the sea and beach without fear of being glued with other most of the naval action force including theCharles de
people and, for sea and beach lovers, you should know Gaulle aircraft carrier .
Fauna and flora
voice: “Les brousses du Rove (goat from Rove in English), Wildlife my God! they are so good with some sugar!”
w Mammals w Reptiles
There are two symbolic animals in the region of Arles: Let’s mention the amazing gray lizard that Provencals
the Mérinos d’Arles sheep, exclusively raised on the Crau call “limbert”. It is an animal of a forty cm long, an
plain, and the bull. Two breeds of bull are represented: excellent climber and swimmer, as well as its cousin,
the first one, the Camargue breed is a small and light the ocellated lizard, the biggest lizard of Europe with
animal (1.20 m for 250 to 350 kg) with lyre horns, its 80 cm long. Both are as fugitive as the small green
intended to animate Camargue bull-races (no killing) lizard of the walls. You should not forget the tarente
but also the meat of this animal is often used in butchery or gecko lizards that choose old house walls to seek
(it is also the first beef’s meat that has obtained a CDO the warmth of the sun or, in the evening, they hunt
(Controlled Designation of Origin)). the second one, with delight insects gathered near any light spot. This
the Spanish breed, a much stronger animal is intended hunt is possible thanks to the microscopic hair, curved
for bullfighting. in hooks, that allow them to use the least roughness
In Marseille, the Rove goat dominates. It is a direct even on a vertical wall or a glass.
progeny of prehistoric animals, with large flattened The turtle of Hermann is also found in Provence and
horns, one of the features of these species. Their breeding particularly in Var. A terrestrial turtle, colored in black
is now almost located in the local Rove, the northwestern and orange, now considered as endangered animal and
suburb of Marseille, where their milk is collected for the its protection is the purpose of a national restoration
elaboration of small cheeses in very special cylindrical Plan. It lives in underbush and remains threatened by
form. Old people from Marseille remember, in their fires, animal bites, but also… by the lawn mower blades
childhood, before the war, that friendly rural women because it is not rare to see it sneak into the gardens. The
traveled through the streets of the city, their basket on turtle Village in Gonfaron has a clinic to care for them
the arm, covered with a white linen and said with a loud before releasing them.e
NatuR 22
w Birds the end of the eighteenth century about thirty species
Birds are also the privileged hosts of the region. There of fish caught on the coast of Arles in the region of Gras
are several species which come to spend the winter du Rhône. The same species are found in Provence
in Provence. There are others that come from warm rented from Quiqueran de Beaujeu in the middle of the
countries to spend a few months here: rollers and sixteenth century.
bee-eaters. Two pure wonders in amazing colors. The From Sorgue, we can shoot ombles chevaliers fish,
first one is the bird you would find in children’s tales: trouts, eels and crayfish. In the freshwater marshes
electric blue, turquoise… It can be admired during of Arles region, we fish carps, pikes, tench, perch,
its long stations on an electric wire near its hunting gudgeons, barbel, eels. In the Rhone river, the same
grounds, where it dives on one of its prey: big insect, varieties as in the marshes, with the sturgeon are
small reptile or frog. Its semi-circular flight has to identified.
be admired with the exceptional brightness of its Salt water ponds and the sea provide also a variety
plumage colors. It looks like this bird is conscious and of fish. In the Camargue ponds and the Bourg
proud of its beauty. plan, there are sea breams, wolve fish, turbots and
The second one, the bee-eater, is perhaps more remar- quantity of other fish; in the fishery of the Caronte
kable: red, yellow, turquoise and green, the whole is pond, there are mullets; in those close to Berre,
bordered by black color. This one is called by Provencals there are eels; all along the coast, we can see fin tuna
“African hunter”. It is astonishing in flight where ups traps.
and downs alternate in the dive. It does not fit with w Insects
its nickname because its appetite for caught insects Let us in particular admire the cicada, a symbolic insect
is insatiable, especially when the little birds request in Provence: Symphonic orchestra passing our hills,
some food. They are installed in a nest, in a berm or a sometimes deafening but so typical. It is the male that
soft cliff, beginning with a tunnel up to 2.50 m, leading produces this characteristic song called cymbalization. As
to a circular earth pit. soon as the temperature is high enough (about 25 °C), the
While walking in the Luberon, you may have the chance male sings to attract the female. Just as typical, but less
to meet an Egyptian vulture, with its white plumage pleasant: it is a mosquito that must be wary in summer,
with black fringe and its bald head like all vultures. It is especially in Camargue. Here is the arabi, a small insect
unique to find the sheep, dead rabbit or reptiles crashed of 2 to 3 mm that is raging. Only the female bites: to
on the roads because he’s a real scavenger. escape its bites, you must use and abuse lemonella and
The most noble bird is Bonelli eagle, a characteristic dress with clear clothes.
species of dry rocks and garrigues of the Mediterranean
ecosystems. It resides in these wild landscapes to Florareproduce and escape his predators whose the principal
one is the man. It is not necessary to follow the weather reports every
Paradoxically, the enthusiasm for hiking, photogra- night to realize that Provence is truly a different world.
phic hunting, climbing, paragliding, which has made From the north to the south, Dévoluy, Ventoux, Lure
man closer to nature, has also led man to disturb mountain, the Alpilles, Luberon, all mountains that
the life of these rare and particularly fierce species. are part of the last Pyrenean and Alpine plating, except
Currently, this magnificent white bird with gray wings Alpilles mountains, form a barrier to snow and weather
is particularly protected and its nesting areas are kept coming from the north. The result is a particular climate,
secret. different from the temperate and continental climates.
Passing from the mountains to the shores, it is worth the Mediterranean climate is sometimes very mild and
admiring the magnificent bird, the pink flamango. Host of sometimes outraged and brutal. But here, the wind
the Camargue ponds and the Languedoc shoreline, it owes changes everything and we should know what kind of
his astonishing plumage to the abundant consumption wind it is. The mistral.
of a pink shrimp that it searches for by filtering the vase All these elements lead to the development of an
with its curved beak with slats. extraordinarily diverse flora from Greenland poppy,
At night, we can also observe many hibouens and owls, which is discovered on the rocky flanks of Ventoux,
especially the Grand-duc, that becomes famous thanks and the date palms, mimosas and eucalyptus of the
to Marcel Pagnol in Le Château de ma mère. Provence Mediterranean shores.
also has a very large number of bats. Vespetilions with w Trees, bushes
ecstatic ears, great musins, Cestoni moloots, Nathusius When we talk about classical Provencal flora, it is
pipistrelles… chiroptera are particularly present in the the olive tree that comes in mind. This tree, which is
Alpilles, where 19 species are identified on the 26 existing deemed immortal, would have appeared in the region
European species! in its wild form, called “oleastre”, 14 000 years ago.
Finally, Marseille would not be entirely Marseille without Fossilized leaves were found from -8,000 years in
its Gabian birds that come to chirp on roofs of buildings. Roquevaire, at the gates of Marseille. In Corsica, it was
In 2010, 12,000 of these birds were identified. Their name part of the original island’s flora, on which vanneries
means goéland in Provence. containing the nuclei of the Fourth Millennium before
w Fish our age, were exposed. Nowadays, if you still find wild
The sea, rivers and streams, ponds and marshes offer olive trees, it is grown mostly for the manufacture
a considerable number of fish. Pierre Veran reports at of olive oil.e
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The fig tree is also symbolic of the Mediterranean basin, Parks and natural reserves
where it has been cultivated for millennia. It was its
w National Natural Parkslimits that an old Provençal said: “The North starts with
The departments of Var and Alpes-de-Haute Provence the last fig tree, kid.”
have the two national natural parks of Provence. Let us not forget the cypress, this black companion of
That of Port Cros, which includes 700 ha of lands and the cemeteries that we often plant in isolation, near the
1,300 ha of sea. You can find an exceptional flora there: sheds or houses, because it has the reputation of moving
602 terrestrial species, 500 species of algae and a fauna devilry. We still have the pine trees of all varieties, the
rich with 144 bird species and 180 fish species. And that scots, the micoquas, the mimosas and we have the
of Mercantour, which extends to the Alpes-Maritimes almost main trees in Midi.
and which charms more than 800,000 visitors every w Rare flowers and plants year, for its hiking, mountaineering or ski touring trails.
They are thirsty six to eight months a year, but they In 2012, Calanques National Park came into being. It
are very abundant often in their winter flowering: the is Europe’s first peri-urban park and encompasses the
romarins are blue in January and February. The thyme, coastal massifs cut out of calanques, the sea tongues, the
the laurel-sauce, the sage, are the ingredients of a bunch hills, as well as a vast marine area including submarine
of herbs. These “herbs from Provence”are found in the canyons on seven towns mainly including Marseille, La
natural state on the hills. Ciotat and Cassis. 8,300 ha of lands and 43,500 ha of sea.
Other specific plant: the lavender from Haute-Provence
w Regional Natural Parksis perfumed and everything is blue-violet at the end of
There are four of them. That of Camargue, the oldest one, June. Landscapes carved by rows of plantings, as far as
which houses one of the largest reserves of wetlands the eye can see, embody the authentic image of Epinal in
in Europe.Provence. These spicy flowers release an unique fragrance
The PNR of the Alpilles, the most recent one, has a rarely that we even use now in cuisine. Thus, bold chefs offer
observed singularity: it mixes with wetlands and fertile ice cream and creams with lavender!
areas. The Alpilles regional natural park thus consists of Let’s also talk about wild fennel, irreplaceable to grind
25,000 hectares of farmland and 400 kilometers of canals, a wolf or a sea bream and to fragment country-style
proof of the recognition of a generous land.soups, bouillabaisse and pastis. There are still many The PNR of Luberon extends over the departments of species that flourish on the Provence land (there are Vaucluse and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, that is 77 towns.
nearly 5 000 varieties of flowering plants!): the summer It stretches over 170,000 ha, from Cavaillon to Villeneuve, leucojum, myrtle, broom, caper shrub, reeds… on both sides of the mountain of Luberon. In 1997, it
w Underwater Vegetation was also admitted by the UNESCO in the global network
Foot hiking is strongly recommended but what is truly of biosphere reserves. The park is thus recognized for its
unmissable is the underwater tour. It is a better way economic and social dynamism (agriculture, agri-food,
to admire the splendor and richness of the seabed by livestock and beekeeping) correlated with maintaining
snorkelling. Near the Marseille cassis, for example, the biodiversity and preserving the living environment.
seabed is red and yellow, with the colors of the coral and The RNP of Verdon is built around 5 artificial lakes
purple sponges lining the rocks. (Chaudanne, Castillon, Sainte-Croix, Quinson,
GréouxWarning, fish and plant species are protected. Fishing Esparron) and the Verdon gorges which attract more
is prohibited. than 700,000 tourists each year.
Pedal boats in the Gorges du Verdon
© VINCENT FORMICAe
NatuR 24
Three other regional natural park projects are Gardens
currently underway: that of Mont Ventoux and that of
Among the most beautiful or original gardens of Provence, Maures.
we may mention:
w Nature Reserves
w Albertas Gardens: classified as a historical monument, In addition to its national and regional natural parks,
they have illuminated Bouc-Bel-Air since 1740. The gardens Provence is the richest region in terms of nature
combine the Italian tradition of the Renaissance and reserves and biosphere. There are 11 national nature
the spirit of the garden, "in French style", as Le Nôtre reserves (Camargue, Ecrins, Crau, Archipel de Riou, in Versailles has explained. Still owned by the Albertas geological reserves of Haute-Provence and Luberon,
family, the gardens have been preserved and maintained Maures…), 4 regional nature reserves (La Tour du in the same way for nearly 3 centuries. Organized as a Valat, Partias, Saint-Maurin and La Poitevine-Regarde
theater, with lateral walks framing a succession of terraces, Venir) and 3 biosphere reserves (Camargue, Luberon, the gardens are really beautiful. The 17 jets bassin is one of
Mont Ventoux). the masterpieces of the fountains art in France.
w Borély Park: This park of Marseille city, located in Wildlife parks
the VIIIth arrondissement, near the Prado beaches, and
w The Zoo of La Barben: ostriches, rhinoceros, bears Corniche, extends over 17 ha. It includes a vast English
and other mammals, more than 120 animal species live garden, French style garden, rose garden, botanical
on the 33 ha of this exceptional site, that is 9 km of trails Edouard-Marie Heckel garden, and a traditional Chinese
to pace up and down! garden offered by Shanghai city. In the heart of the park is
the Borély castle, built in the eighteenth century by a rich w The Tropical Bird Garden: This zoological park,
Marseille family. Listed as a historic monument, the castle located in La Londe-les-Maures, dedicated to tropical
has benefit extensive renovation works to host the Musée birds offers on 6 ha an exceptional collection of exotic
des Arts Décoratifs et de la Mode museum since mid -2013.birds, in aviaries distributed along the alleys. From the
1990’s, the park has been hosting botanical collec- w Vestiges garden: still in Marseille, this garden near
tions, including succulent and other plants from arid the Bourse center, lives up to its name. In 1967, during the
regions. The collections of agaves, yuccas, dasylirions, construction work of the mall, important archeological
nolines became among the most important in France. remains were identified: Greek fortresses in Marseille,
Participating in various international programs for the the funeral enclosures and part of the old port built
defence of species, carrying out research activities in between the third and the first century B.C.
aviculture/ornithology and horticulture/botany, the w La Louve garden: This poetic garden, located in
garden now has a dual purpose of acclimatization Bonnieux, is favourable for meditation. Arranged in
center and genetic reserve. many spaces, on a succession of terraces, it combines
w The ornithological park of Pont-de-Gau: located mineral and plants to a perfect harmony and pays tribute
to Provencal vegetation. The stone balls and pebbles from 4 km from Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, this park is spread
Durance are surrounded by garrigue plants.over 60 ha. Two walks through ponds and marshes are
offered. The one, which is very wild, called northern w The former abbey from Valsaintes garden: away
trail, offers a fairly complete vision of the diversity of from Simiane-la-Rotonde commune, terraced garden winds
the Camargue. A well-placed observatory allows you on the rocky outcrop, where the former abbey of Valsaintes
to discover at leisure teals, mallards, selducks and was installed. There is a collection of 400 varieties of roses
geese. You can also see a beautiful density of birds and a hundred varieties of corms. Many Mediterranean
of prey, herons, rails, gros-beaks and fine migratory plants, including the olive tree, should not be forgotten.
or sedentary fine beaks, accompanied by coypu. The w Baudouvin gardens: at the foot of Coulon mount, second trail winds its way among two ponds occupied in La-Valette-du-Var, the estate, the Baudouvin gardens
by a large colony of pink flamingoes that can be approa- includes cleanliness garden (alley of trees, flower-beds
ched very closely. of boxwood , monumental fountain) and foliage garden
w The butterfly garden: this first French site entirely dedicated to tropical plants. We can find on the terraces,
dedicated to local butterflies is located in Digne- citrus plantations, a "solar orchard" whose photovoltaic
les-Bains. In guided tour only, visitors are guided poles provide electricity, flower crops and vegetable gardens
in the garden by guides who share their knowledge and an experimental garden dedicated to hosting
exhibiunder ideal observation conditions. This site is famous tions or etation… Coming from the source of
for its richness in butterfly species (135!) from April Foux, water is pervasive in this area. It feeds various basins
to September, representing more than half of the and fountains that flow in channels, waterfall on wall,
French fauna on 1 ha. feeds drop by drop gardens, asparagus, brumiser plant…e
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ECONOMY
Provence underwent the same social changes just like other dynamic and occupies a great part of the land. The use
localities of France: the agriculture and manufacturing of new varieties, irrigation, adaptation to major market
decreased in favour of the service sector. However, they trends, agricultural organizations, shipping infrastructure
managed to maintain their business: it’s still one of the most (national interest markets), the cooperative system,
productive agricultural regions of France, market-garden everything indicates a high technology sector. A large
crops (fruit and vegetables) and wine, and its industry is part of the French fruit and vegetable production is from
maintained. Tourism remains its main source of wealth. here, as well as a large proportion of wine production.
w Each person has its own specialty. Each region has
its own specialty: cattle farming in the high mountains, Agriculture
sheep and especially lambs on average mountain, where This remains a very important economic sector. And
orchards have been developing for fifty years; lavender for good reason: the variety of soils, the control of
irriand lavendin on Vaucluse, Saint Christol, Valensole gation and sunshine have allowed the development of
highlands, the regions of Digne and Forcalquier. In low various cultivation: gardening, wine-growing, livestock
Durance and Comtat, channels kingdoms, cypress and farming… Nowadays, Provence is moving to specialized
poplar hedges, greenhouses, fruits and grapes occupy and intensive agriculture which would provide a livelihood
much of the agricultural used area. The vineyards and for approximately 180,000 people.
fruit trees are the features of interior Provence, such as
w The Mediterranean trilogy. All the Provencal flowers, vegetable crops and pig breeding mark the urban
space is marked by the Mediterranean trilogy: cereals, peripheries of the coast. In the extreme west, Camargue
vineyards, olive trees associated with breeding and as cattle, rice, vineyards, tomatoes and asparagus, on the
far as possible with fruit trees. Priorities are dictated by Crau plain, we can see sheep and hay.
local conditions. From the sixteenth century, dominants
have been noticeable. cereals plants are grown in the
IndustriesRhone and the lower Argens valleys; shrubs plantig in
the Aix basin and around Salon; vineyard in Crau and Provence has long suffered, in its industrial development,
around Marseille. After 1550, the mulberry planting from the relative absence of raw materials. But its
geograis widespread and continues to disappear today. Rice phical location (accessed through the Mediterranean,
was only a curiosity at that time. The development and the Rhône, the motorways…) and the development of
specialization movement continued in the seventeenth activity parks that combine research, training center and
century. There is no noticeable change in the seventeenth assistance in implantation such as Agroparc (Vaucluse),
century, but a genuine regionalization of agriculture specialized in agri-food, aeronautics, etc., have allowed
seemed to be drawing up. Agriculture in Provence is the installation of many companies.
© IRÈNE ALASTRUEY – AUTHOR’S IMAGEy
eCONOM 26

Marché au poisson sur le port de Marseille.
It is in Vaucluse that large groups such as Liebig- region in the 1990’s. Now, they have caught up. Like those
Campbell, Ducros-Mc Cormick, Gyma, Florette-Soleco, related to real estate (promotion, transactions and so on)
Midi Conserves have settled… The Bouches-du-Rhône that now have caught up the national level. But if the
also have great names such as the Pernod-Ricard group, tertiary-sector entreprise are growing in number, they
 nd2 World Wine and Spirits Group, Orangina or Haribo. also have a significantly lowest survival rate than the
Provence produces 70% of tomato concentrates, 45% of average of other French regions.
pasta and 25% of cooked dishes in France.
Among the 250 aeronautical companies, we can mention TourismEurocopter and Dassaut Aviation. Almost 30,000 people
It is its main economic engine. Once again, the diversity work in this sector. Not to mention the petrochemical
of its landscapes and its pleasant climate make it one of complex in Marseille-Fos, the center of Cadarache
the favorite destinations of French and foreign tourists. In which will host the experimental ITER fusion reactor
2010, there were 35 million visitors to the Paca region. (which should be operational in 2020), the refineries of
Despite the crisis, tourists still meet expectations with Fos-sur-Mer, Martigues, Berre-l’étang, and Gardanne’s
218 million overnight stays recorded in 2010. With thermal power plant. The Provençal industry comes out
68.4 million overnight stays, Var wins the title of the on top, thus, the first French petrochemical platform and
highest peak.the first agri-food region in southern France.
Each year, tourist consumption is estimated at almost
EUR 10 billion (EUR 14.6 billion for the year 2013 thanks
Tertiary sector to the Marseille-Provence 2013 effect). This means that
Over-represented, the tertiary sector represents 79% of everything is done to meet the expectations of
holidaythe business park of the Paca region and it makes use makers: from high-end to the most popular tourism.
of eight employees out of ten. It includes businesses The hotel park is invested, city centers are renovated,
connected with trade, transport and above all with museums, the offer of leisure activities is multiplied,
tourism (see below), in conjoction with the service major works are launched (Musée des Civilisations de
development related to businesses and the person. This l’Europe et de la Méditerranée in Marseille for example).
sector has an important creation of businesses rate: retail A total of EUR 978 million was invested in 2009. Nearly
services and trade have 12.3% and 10.2% rate of creation EUR 60 million of investment in specific sectors such as
(as compared to 10.3% and 8.8% respectively at national pleasure, cruises, museums and monuments is added
level). Business services were under-represented in the to this.
© GIANCARLO LIGUORI _ SHUTTERSTOCK.COMs
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HISTORY
It must be one of the oldest populated regions in Europe. Antiquity
The location of Provence with its wide façade overlooking
The Greeks, conquerors of indigenous, enjoy conflicts. They the Mediterranean sea, and the passage of Rhône, this
use Romans forces to help them maintain their position. waterway is truly essential to connect the Northern
Rome finds a good opportunity to secure the road that and Southern part of Europe and the witness of
signifileads to Spain, a country that it has already conquered. In cant historical event through centuries and thousands
122 BC, Consul Caius Sextius Calvinus seized the capital of of years.
Salyens, Entremont, and established a few kilometers from
there, near a thermal spring, a camp that quickly becomes a
Prehistory city: Aquae Sextias, the "Sextius waters" (Aix-en-Provence).
The Roman presence will accelerate with the arrival of It would appear that Provence and its borders are
clasJulius Caesar. The Provincia Romana, which will gave its sified among the Europe’s oldest inhabited regions as
witness frequent scholarly surveys and house searches. name to Provence, will gradually fall under the dictator’s
The oldest inhabitant in cave known in Europe is located directionship, which attacked Marseille in 49 BC.
one Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in the Alpes-Maritimes Unfortunately, Caesar was not just an excellent general;
and more specifically at the cave of Vallonnet where in rivalry with Pompeea for the government of Rome,
he thought that military successes would give him more a human presence there is known to occur there at
power on the peninsula. He was right, but the Roman 950,000 B.C. Let us skip a step to 150,000 years and
we find ourselves in the cave of Escale in Saint-Estève- world became involved in this murdering struggle, taking
Janson, a small town located near Aix-en-Provence part in either of the protagonists; Massalia choosed to
where the Homo erectus have already known how support Pompeea, the defeated and lost the conflict.
to make a fire. In mid-upper Paleolithic, hunters- The whole political and economic situation droped after
these events, Caesar never forgave easily! the city of Arles, gatherers testify their existence by leaving a few
very faithful, became the capital of Provincia Romana.remains, many of them elsewhere, of their rocky
settlements or even their dead buried. The human The Pax Romana era, which began at that time and
being switches to a sedentary lifestyle between the extended over three centuries conquered the region,
5th and 6th millennium , the ceramic and agropastoral promoted the development of trade and the arts. The
activities begin to appear. Courthezon situated in main roads succeeded eachother: the Domitian road, a
part from the Spanish border, along the Mediterranean Vaucluse is the oldest Neolithic site in France. It was
dated to the 6th Millennium before Christ. For the (Ambrussum site near Montpellier), crosses the Rhone
first time, its inhabitants who left caves and shelters in Arles or Ernaginum (Saint-Gabriel), and follows the
to settle in plain and build huts, rearing livestock and current national 100 by Apt (Colonia Apta Julia), Sisteron
cultivating. These first Provençal inhabitants already (Segustero) and Briançon.
involved as their distant descendants would do, to It bears the name Domitien Aenobarbus, his initiator
whose memory is preserved by the Embarbe à Céreste sheep breeding. The multiplication of small towns
can be seen in the 3rd millennium. tower (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence). Also for the Aurélienne
Many oppida mark the iron age. Many of these are road of Menton in Bordeaux by Fréjus, Aix, Arles and
known from the Coudounéu farm in Lançon or the Baou Narbonne. Many of the fragments have been reached
Roux near Roquefavour, to the Cloche or Constantine until today, like the beautiful Flavien bridge near the
on the heights of the Berre lake. Around 600 years B.C, pond of Berre, at the gates of Saint-Chamas. It was not
the Emperor Aurélien who gave his name to the path, but Massilia (Marseille) emerged with the arrival of a group
of Marseille settlers (Greek town of Minor Asia), then C. Aurélius Cotta, who had developed his plot in 241 B.C.
looking for opportunities in the shipping tin needed to It is sure that in a peaceful country, with easy
communithe bronze factory. The small Marseille fleet is established cations, the pleasant life develops, we build, we achieve,
in the deep Lacydon inlet with the agreement of the and we settle: the entire Provençal environment is located,
indigenous people. and we live on a daily basis among these remains.
Counters were created very quickly: Nikaia (Nice), The famous Panem and circenses(bread and games) is
Théliné (Arles), Agathea (Agde) and so on. At the illustrated near Arles ˇ: Barbegal’s Roman milling near
same time as the trade, the Massilia city develops Fontvieille (discovered by Fernand Benoît) are not far
cultural and educational foci that the intellectual away from Arles and the ancient theater of Arles. Nearby,
elite of the time is drained to it. If it had not had such the beautiful city of Glanum, in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence,
radiation, it could not have in the fourth century was a privileged place whose gate was marked by a
BC to launch Euthymenes expedition to the Niger splendid arch of triumph and a mausoleum: they are
Delta, along the coast of Africa and especially that of known under the name, the Antiques. There is the Orange
Pytheas searching for a possible passage to the Black arch of triumph, those of Cavaillon or Carpentras. The
Sea to open perhaps another road of amber and tin, thermal baths were part of everyday life, you can see
two years of effort in vain. them in Arles or Gréoux (Alpes-de-Hautes-Provence).y
HIstOR 28
Let us not forget the theater of Orange or Vaison-la- if external peace was about to be restored, the various
Romaine, where, under the directionship of Father noble region could fight among themselves to set their
Sautel Joseph, a whole city was born. We only lend to preponderance.
rich people, as we say, and in our region all the bridges Provence was therefore torn between the counts of
are Roman; we believe that this opinion is somewhat Toulouse or Provence and then the house of Aragon
exaggerated, but we can still give them without hesitation and that of Anjou, not to mention the Albigeois crusade
the fatherhood of Julien bridge on the Calavon near Apt, (due to the vathar heresy) that did not remotely affect
our region. The Crusades must not be forgotten in the Ganagobie bridge near Lurs in Haute-Provence, and
above all the Vaison bridge on the Ouvèze. these battles. They were a huge source of wealth for
At the same time, the apparition of Christianity, coming the Midi because the shores of the Mediterranean
and especially Marseille were the all nobles’ ports of from Palestine, spreads very quickly throughout the
embarkation in France and Europe: The English, the Roman Empire. Does the legend not want Marie-Jacobé
and Marie-Salomé, two Christians close to Jesus, to Flemish and the whole Germanic Empire participated
in these wars and passed through the Midi, buying arrive with their servant Sara in
Saintes-Maries-de-lanot only their entrance but a lot of equipment which Merto to flee the tyranny in Palestine? In any case, the
was supplied to them by some wise traders and all evangelization is experiencing explosing growth and
local companies. It is clear that all of these lords who the bell towers are built up by the hundred at Maximin
had seen new constructions and different lifestyles and Marie-Madeleine paths to Sainte-Baume, Marthe
wished to transpose them upon their return and in in Tarascon, Lazare and Victor in Marseille, where the
their daily lives.establishment of an abbey, facing the ancient city of
From there came out of the earth a flowering of military Massilia, announces an exploding growth. of this religion
castles but also pleasant. All the heights were flowered and culture.
which explains the presence of these invisible wall section The Saint-Victor abbey, founded in the fifth century,
on the hills where the crows were swirling. Oppède, is the source, and its still standing walls welcome the
Buoux, Boulbon, Roquemartine are just abandoned and Chandeleur ceremonies or the music festival.
desolate and for the Baux? All contrasts end up here: a
wild site, romantic ruins and the evocation of the fighting The Middle Ages "of a race of eagles, never dominated which at the tip
After the great fear of the year Mil, the fields bloom of its wings has taken up the summit of all heights"as
with admirable abbeys and moving small Romanesque- Frédéric Mistral presented them. In the same site, you
style countryside chapels, directly from Roman-style will dream of these classes of Love which were held by
monuments. Everyone knows at least their reputation, the beautiful ladies, Bertrande and Etiennette, Douce or
the “Trois Sœurs cisterciennes de Provence”. The Gersende in this language "that once the queens have
austerity sought by Saint Bernard pairs perfectly spoken and our shepherds have only understood it up
with the very simple geometrical-shaped sobriety to now", always dixit Frédéric Mistral.
of these abbeys that cannot in any way be ignored And Provence is covered with these charming castles:
during a trip or a stay in Provence: Sylvacane near their condition varies according to the chance that they
Aix-en-Provence, Sénanque is hidden in a deep ravine had to meet a lover of their site who restored them or
on the commune of Gordes and finally the Thoronet stayed in a family that accepted them. Haphazardly,
near Brignoles in the Var perhaps the most beautiful this is Lourmarin, Barbentane, the Empéri in Salon,
of the three. During a visit to this cloister, it must not Tarascon, Ansouis, La Barben, Vauvenargues, Valbelle
be forgotten to stop at the washbasin of the monks, near Brignoles, Entrecasteaux and the Tour d ‘Aigues.
rare building of the Middle Age which disappeared
in the other monuments. On the abbey side, there From the Renaissance is also Montmajour near Arles. It is one of the most
charming setsof the monastic architecture by its to the Revolution
situation, on a basement rock, ancient island at the In 1482, after the death of king Rene, Provence is
heart of the marshes that the monks dried themselves connected with France. It’s undoubtedly the special
by constructing drainage channels prior to the abbey. rebellious character of this region which did not surrender
The most Romanesque-style cloister is a reminder of to goodwill of the king of France. After the request of the
that of Saint-Trophime in Arles. States of Provence, Charles VIII is committed in 1486 to
Some abbeys, we go to the churches. As for Arles, we maintain the privileges of Provence and proclaiming
will join the ancient abbey of Saint-Gilles of which the its union with the Crown without "whatsoever
suborrichly carved gate also reminds that of Saint-Trophime. Of dinated". Consequently, the elites will not cease to defy
course, this second millennium artistic explosion tallies the royal power. During the period of religious wars,
with some great historical upheavals. at the 16th century, it is not by chance that Provence
The country and its inhabitants ended the insecurity, accommodates many Protestants, very often constant
sometimes of horrors and massacres for hundreds of years by its elites, not insensitive to their ideas… In the next
due to major invasions. Along with the religious construc- century, the Parliament denied to record the royal edict
tions initiated by the powerful spiritual movement of the preventing the States of Provence to raise the tax to the
monistic communities, a civil and military architecture is profit of the agents of the Crown… Between 1635 and
developed needed to the fighting of chiefs. Unfortunately, 1720, it is not less than 266 insurrections which burst in y
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DICOVR PROVNC
HIstOR 29
Provence! Richelieu then Mazarin muzzled rebels, the two the middle of the ports, on an ancient site illustrating
cardinals were not prepared to miss this opportunity on perfectly the vocation of the city.
the Mediterranean… However, the French revolution But the capital of Provence is not the only one to enjoy this
gave an occasion to Provence to start to rebellion: Wasn’t prosperity. In Fontvieille, in the Alpilles, the exploitation
Marseille renamed "the nameless village" in 1794? of careers intensifies. These white stones cross continents
and oceans, because they correspond to the style of
construction of the period: the Haussmannian style. Revolution in the 21st century A few kilometers from there, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence,
The Second Empire was a good time. Technology was whose wealth is linked to seed trade, is the first town of
a great help to agriculture: the creation of numerous the Bouches-du-Rhône to dispose of electricity in 1899.
irrigation channels in Comtat and Provence develops
a host of vegetable crops that the new railway, brand
Nowadaysnew, will deliver at high speed in the Parisian region.
This same railway at the service of Marseille carried After the collapse of the Empire and during the Third
traditional industrial products everywhere: soaps – whose Republic, the industrialization continues. The hard work
manufacture in Marseilles dates back to the 13th century in soap and sugar can industry is accomplished by the
by a process involving olive oil and marine salt – and many immigrants attracted by the city’s prosperity:
olive oil, produced in the city by about fifty oil mills, Italians in the 1900’s or 20 years later by the Armenians.
to which the stearine mill and the start of the work of Both nationalities, two decades later are assimilated
vegetable fats must be attached that the ships of the first by Marseille as well as by all those the ones which
shipping companies import from the Africa coast. Not throughout the ages have formed the population of
to mention the sugar of the Saint-Louis refineries (the the city. Two elements of daily life have facilitated this
only ones in Midi de France) and the Tileries of Marseille. assimilation: first, the bocce and lawn bowls invented at
These flourishing activities led to the modernization the beginning of the century that conquered the whole
of Marseille: The Imperial street (now the Rue de la planet, the second, football, played for over a century
République) separates the old wind mill from the ones (the Olympique de Marseille was founded in 1899!).
of Carmes and rue Colbert. The beloved neighbourhoods The First World War stopped, as all in France, sustainable
between Belsunce and Canebière, where picturesque economy, even though the shipbuilding and the first oil
names such as Pierre-Qui-Rage had remained but which refineries around Berre lake were emerging in the 1930’s.
were also the starting point of the harsh revolts of 1848. Nine years later, France was back at war. After the debacle
It doesn’t matter! New ones will appear! Clean water in 1940, Provence, in unoccupied zone, it would be one of
were drawn from the Durance to supply the city of the essential areas of the Resistance. In 1942, this is where
Marseille. For the passage of this water, the aqueduct Jean Moulin was drafted in organizing the ranks. Two years
of Roquefavour is built (inspired by the bridge of the later, the landing on August 15th,1944 remained one of
Gard and, again today, the largest stone aqueduct of the major returns of World War II. After the widespread of
the world with its 400 m long and its 83 m high!) and the Thirty Glorieuses, Provence would experience a long
on the Longchamp Hill, a vast water tower flanked by a time in the wilderness like the rest of France, marked by
gallery semi-circular and two Calissanne stone bodies was high unemployment. But the growth of tourism boosts
erected: museums of fine arts and natural sciences. The the economy. Thanks to the diversity of its landscapes with
architect of Roquefavour was Franz Mayor de Montricher, the climate and the rich of its heritage, Provence becomes
that of the Longchamp Palace, Esperandieu, to whom the favourite French and foreign tourist destination.
we also owe the basilica Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, the Every year, more than 35 million holidaymakers host in
Virgin or the "Bonne Mère", as Marseille inhabitants the Midi. Some definitely. For Provence, it is also one the
would call it colloquially. highest migratory balance of regions. At the instigation
In the same Romano-Byzantine style, Esperandieu of competitiveness centers to lead in new technologies,
also signed the cathedral Notre-Dame-de-la-Major. the agri-food, aeronautics but also major shipyards such
Large, decorated with brilliant mosaics reinforcing as Euroméditerranée (of which act 2 is currently under
its Mediterranean character, it has found its place in way), Provence looks forward to a promising future.
Unusual and secret Provence: listen to its history
while walking with Jean-Pierre Cassely
Caught by the Sunday syndrome, Jean-Pierre Cassely, a guide-lecturer, offers outings which include carpooling
and a convivial lunch, during which the towns visited will open the doors of places which are usually closed to
the public. Besides recurrent outings such as “Le jour où la Provence trembla” (the day when Provence shook)
or the dance of Bouffets in Château-Arnoux, you can visit Forcalquier, Lorgues, Lambesc or the Grand’Terre
where the Dominici case took place. Information and registration on www.provence-insolite.org and info@
provence-insolite.org
& 06 07 32 10 31 HERITAGE AND TRADITIONS
Provençaux are quite enthusiastic since they are defenders Marie Mauron also marked her pen and talent for Provence
of their heritage, whether it is natural or cultural. Many forever. Staying in Saint-Rémy, in the heart of the Alpilles,
sites are protected and preserved in order to keep their she wrote La Provence au coin du feu, La Camargue des
authenticity. The inhabitants also endeavour to perpetuate Camarguais and Les Lampions des fêtes.
the often secular traditions in memory of their grandfathers After Rhone, the Camargue and the Crau, here we are
and also to satisfy the curiosity delighted by "the estranger". on the road to the coastal Provence, Marseille and its
surroundings where we welcome Marcel Pagnol. A native
from Aubagne, he will always be admired by Marius Cultural heritage and the Sous le Vent islands. He was the one who has
activated all this small people in Marseille. Fanny the
Literature shy, and the thundering Caesar, with his homeric angers,
Provencals, since the arrival of the Phocians on their are yet able to find such sweet words by talking about
la petite Zoé book. "Honor is like matches, it only serves shores, are all Homer children, and this filiation has
once…" "It is another part of Pagnol work, which does certainly developed an extremely rich and varied
literary production that many local people can covet. not talks about Marseille ( sometimes it talks a little
Three great currents of thought and style, defined by about), these wonderful memories of childhood and
the charming Manon des Sources, all mixed with the sun geographic spaces of the region can be distinguished
of the hills and his childhood holidays. All its readers, in all these works.. The Rhone plain, at the exit of the
Comtat Venaissin and to Camargue, is dominated by wherever they are from, know Garlaban or les barres du
the genius of Frédéric Mistral genius. His passion suits Saint-Esprit bulk and cancel the Les Bartavelles restaurant
for these vast lands where the sun and wind dominate. in their holiday projects…
Today, under the guidance of Carrese and Izzo, the Del He is one of the first people tolearn about his own
Pappas, Delfino or Gouiran have known, each in their region, and his first work Mireo (written at 25 years),
was honored by Lamartine: "A great poet was born to own way and with their own style, sometimes even
us… a country was described in a book, there is a virtue very funny, that the Marseille polar makes the joys in
in the sun. "Who does not know Alphonse Daudet and cinema as well as on television, They combine detective
novels with the life of Marseille and surrounding areas.his Lettres de mon Moulin book? All the malignancy, the
joy of a land are found in his little tales, like jewelry that And here we are, hill after hill, moving away from the
cinema has popularized: Le Curé de Cucugnan, L’Elixir du coast to the hinterland where, passing the Aix countries
Révérend Père Gaucher… There are more poetic works: and Brignoles, we reach theHaute-Provence. By the way,
Les Etoiles, more interesting: Le Secret de maître Cornille in the Lourmarin plain, we find the delicate talent of
or Les Vieux. However, if you want to leave the stories Henri Bosco tells us about these nuanced and tranquil
and steep in a poetic and a little unreal atmosphere, read landscapes in his works: L’Ane culotte et surtout Le Mas
more interesting stories and enjoy the pages called "en Théotime More severe will be those of the first mountains:
Camargue".. There is something unusual within. If these Luberon, Lure, Vaucluse plateau. This is where you will
meet the country’s poet. Jean Giono. His entire life and all pages have seduced you, take Le Malicroix of Henri Bosco
in the library shelves. It is a fantastic novel full of dreams his works took place here, in these beautiful landscapes
and mysteries that take place in an island of Camargue. but in the often harsh climate. They are the decoration
On the Route of Arts and Delicacies
of Provence
Initiated by the Chamber of Trades and Crafts (in French,Chambre de métiers et de l’artisanat) in the
Provence-Alpes-Côte d ‘Azur region, the Route des Arts et Gourmandises fair invites you to discover the best
addresses of Provence through the know-how of passionate artisans. With local traditions and innovations,
these men and women, ambassadors of the living heritage of Provence, open their workshops for a
moment of sharing. These craftsmen, working on materials such as wood, metal, glass, textiles or leather,
and practicing skills in sweet products such as pastry chefs, ice cream makers, bakers, chocolate makers,
liquorists, nougat makers…) and also experts in savoury food production (caterers, butchers, sausage
makers…) will welcome you with pleasure all year. Nine routes are offered to you from Avignon to the south
Luberon, on the country of Aix to the Alpilles, passing the country of Aubagne and Mont Ventoux.
www.artsetgourmandises.fr
or follow the Route on www.facebook.com/laroutedesartsetgourmandisesdeprovencee
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of most of his books and you will find their atmosphere
in a large part of the works as following: : Colline, Que
ma joie demeure, Manosque-des-plateaux make you live
in these solitudes that you find on Hussard sur le toit or
his last work L’Iris de Suse.
Let us not forget Baumugnes novels who inspired Marcel
Pagnol films. In short, all his books focus on that country.
The same applies to Pierre Magnan, , in a completely
different collection and that is one of his great qualities:
write in the Giono landscapes (who was his teacher in
literature) without imitating or copying him a peasant
humor that Giono never emphasizes. His detective novels
are not always contemporary. They sometimes take
place in the last centuries, adding a point of change and
extraordinary to eternal current events. They catch you
and you will leave them only on the last page, often after
an apotheosis stage such as Barles thunderstorm in Les
Courriers de la Mort or the fire of Montbrun Castle in La
folie Forcalquier that some hold for his best novel. His
character Chief Laviolette adds good mood to his stories
and it is nice to find him over the pages like over the times.
We should not leave Haute Provence without greeting a
great old man, perhaps the founder of a whole school:
Paul Arène, from Sisteron, friend of Mistral and Daudet Native of Aix, Cézanne feels well near the Rotunda,
to whom he generously helps, in the writing of Lettres Aix-en-Provence.
de mon Moulin, and which was even, and despite him,
his nigger, grace, or because of Ms. Daudet who took him out with strength and beauty on their paintings. Follow
away and left their common works only under the name in the footsteps of Van Gogh, Cézanne, Braque, Dufy, of her husband… in his tales and novels, he designated Matisse, Picasso and many others. Traveling a separate his hometown under the name: Canteperdrix. It could be
universe, seen by painters with different and opposing found in his many stories Contes et Nouvelles de Provence,
styles, which shows the impact of a place on art, and on filled with joviality and malice of their author, entitled
men who are deemed to be non-standard today. Follow Jean des figues.
in their footsteps to the places that inspired them, not to An author who could be described as universal because,
forget to take a more than attentive look at their paintings beyond a regionalist situation, it is the eternal of the
made in the region.human soul that he describes us as the other authors
to whom we must show respect and humility towards w Vincent Van Gogh, Arles and the Alpilles. The story
our great elders. of this nomadic giant with cut ear is the work of a Provence
lover who thought that the future of art irremediably went
Painting through these places so filled with generosity and love. An
art, painting, which was his only way to completely express Provence and its natural miracles had an extraordinary
himself and which took an extraordinary turn during his impact on the minds of many artists who came to the
visit in Arles, then later in Saint-Rémy. He thus appeared region to feel this tranquility, this so colorful and so singing
suddenly in Arles, in 1888, with this artistic certainty enchantment, which make the strength and singular
and he magnified the city and its most lively corners. The character of the region. A rather rebellious mentality that
superb The Night Café is of this majestic caliber with warm the inhabitants of the many picturesque villages, all of
and intimate colors that pushes his admirers to go to the which thumb their nose at nature, have always wanted
place of this café which still makes the Arles’ residents to preserve. Is this the character that these painters
happy. But, conscious of his troubles, he was interned in came to seek? We do not have any common answer, but
Saint-Rémy in Saint-Paul de Mausole’s asylum (which still one thing is sure, it is that they have been many, and
exists and which can be partly visited). His mental agitation still are, to crisscross Sainte-Victoire, Mont Ventoux, the
and his helping genius, he could only make up his mind Alpilles, Gordes and many other places still looking for
to paint the beautiful fields of wheat, olive trees and this a charming singularity of the land, its so thrilling colors
art of living so peaceful and sunny with raw and strong and aromas. A total drunkenness that made these masters
crazy to make them paint monumental paintings that colors that gave paintings with evocative names of First
Steps, The Siesta, Les Paveurs, Champ d’Olivier le soir, the are worth a small fortune today. Provence in painting, a
beautiful way to show that culture has a resounding effect Starry Night or Irises His swirling style is now inebriating
on the art of living in Provence, a human art in which we all those who love painting and we begin to discover
delight with respect. A poignant tribute made public by an unusual Provence at the tip of Van Gogh’s brushes, a
the talent of these painters passionate about an area they Provence for which he is famous and which has allowed
have tried to understand or simply receive by bringing it him to completely live on his art.
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What is less known in this story is the more personal part w L’Estaque of Braque, Dufy and Cézanne. The site
of this passion, which allowed the author of Sunflowers causes an emotion that painters from diverse horizons
to be figured out, understood in the deepest part of his – impressionists, fauvists or others – tried to put on
being, feeling his slightest torments and paint them. For canvas. The small harbor of L’Estaque, proudly installed
the Saint-Rémoise period offers an extraordinary range of in the hollow of Nerthe, keeps an eye on Marseille which
self-portraits of the master, all of which have a different is growing and entering the modern era. He remained
trait expressing perfectly the variations of a man so full of equal to himself, peaceful and sunny. This is what painters
his art. Forever and ever. Provence reigns supreme in the like Paul Cézanne came to seek. People know him more
spirit of the painter with his rebellious character, its colors for his love for Sainte-Victoire, but L’Estaque was also
that are downright blending with each other without entitled to rub shoulders with the master.
compromise and are dazzled by the sun and magnified Fascinated by the light on the small village, he would
paint a large number of paintings which will have the by the blue of the sky. A wonderful ode that Van Gogh
tried to explain to his many painters who came to join edifying contrast between the sea and the mountain
him like Gauguin and found in the hundreds of works he as the most beautiful effect. This contrast that is the
bequeathed to Provence. A strong tribute to the region. charm of L’Estaque, a contrast highlighted by the shapes
To discover this aspect of Provencal culture, it is possible Cézanne offered it.
Less classicism, more freedom in tone and colors that to follow the"Van Gogh route" in Saint-Rémy. For this,
there is only one address: the tourist office of Saint-Rémy knock together, as to powerfully show this paradox that
which offers guided tours on the footsteps of the master, he liked so much. And he was not the only one who was
the places where he set up his easel, his Saint Paul room, pleased in the east of Joliette: later in the 20th century,
the village, and many other places that will allow you to it was Derain who sent the Fauvists into attack.
A striking assault which aimed to magnify the intense better understand Van Gogh and Provence.
colors present on the places, dazzling all those who w Paul Cézanne, Aix-en-Provence, the
Saintestayed there. Colors and reliefs that collide and want to Victoire mountain and L’Estaque. Cézanne, a dreamy
vigorosly show these new painters.poet crazy about nature, who bordered his town of
Aix-enDerain, Braque, Dufy embarked on this wonderful Provence. From his earliest age, with his friend Emile Zola,
adventure that allowed them to exercise their passion he showed himself a little inclined to vigor academism in
for new forms – Cubism – on a wonderful terrain.the city, but rather away from a world in which his father
Afterwards, but less marked, Picasso, Matisse painted wanted to transport him. Without glory, he graduated in
in L’Estaque, but these works will remain minor in law, but was interested in fine arts. Rejected by the Parisian
their careers. The so special character of this district school, he returned to his lands and was passionate about
of Marseille is still expressed in these paintings and them. Sainte-Victoire and the village of Tholonet will be
it is now possible to follow the footsteps of all those at the heart of his work, its very essence. He will even
artists who have found a haven of peace allowing them rented a room at Château Noir to be "on the pattern", as
to change their art.he would say himself. A kind of desire to transcend the
colors of his palette and bring them out like a personal
Cinemareality with his colors. A magical intention that come out
in each of his works, such as the sumptuous Mountain Provence is closely linked to thecinema history and has
of Sainte-Victoire seen from Tholonet, or Les Bains de la been mentioned many times in the movies. It all started
Sainte-Victoire. He painted this beautiful setting of many with the lumieres brothers and their famous arrival of a
places as in trying to find faults in his magnificent. What train at the Ciotat station. It is also in this city that the first
he couldn’t do so much he was enthralled by the place. cinema of history was opened, the Eden, now classified
Shimmering colors that clash with the limestone of the as a historic monument where the first projection took
mountain while immersing itself in the places, two place on the 28th September 1895.
legends that meet. A meeting that gave us a great legacy. Since the Lumieres brothers, Provence never stopped
A Paul-Cézanne museum in the center of Aix-en-Provence, inspiring. Marseilles even sounds of "little Hollywood"
the possibility of following the footsteps of the painter when Marcel Pagnol opened his studios. Between the
on the streets of the city. His workshop at Chemin des Occupation and post-war period, Pagnol’s studios hosted
Lauves, the town of Aix-en-Provence and the surrounding many directors. Since 2004, Marseille has reintroduced
areas: Bibémus, the Jas de Bouffan, the Black Castle, the the cinema studios in the neighborhood of the Belle de
Tholonet, Montbriand, many places that bring out Cézanne May. This is especially there that the France 3 Plus belle
and this Provence that he captured over his poetic walks la vie was being started filming.
written with the only creative force of his brush. Magical Currently, the region hosts 500 shoots per year and
moments to live again during your stay in the city of the Marseille is the most filmed city of Hexagone.
good King René. However, Cézanne left another less known Among the best-known films, we can mention the
heritage in painting. L’Estaque, a small Marseille harbor Baker’s wife of Marcel Pagnol filmed in the village of
east of Joliette, between the Mediterranean and the Castellet, Heureux qui comme Ulysse with Fernandel
Nerthe, offered the master a privileged place of painting in Roussillon and more recently, the horseman on the
allowing him to mark this so human art of living that you roof in Cucuron, the film series Taxi in Marseille, Days
can find here. A wonderful beauty between land and sea of glory in Tarascon and The Well-Digger’s Daughter of
that fascinated many other painters before and after him. Daniel Auteuil in the Alpilles or Le Cœur des hommes
A separate place. Just like Cézanne himself. with Marc Lavoine in the Luberon.e
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floor, the common room and finally, on the second floor, the Architectural heritage
rooms and the attic. Single slope roofs are interchangeably
covered with lauzes, slate, or shell tiles of flat terracotta,
Towns and villages more rarely with thatch. In peasant houses, the kitchen
was the living room whose essential equipment consisted w Housing conditions in Provence. From high
of fireplace, Provençal in the Var, with low fireplace and residences decorated with slate to Camargue’s stubby
upper Provence, Marseillaise, with elevated fireplace, sink traditional house, each micro region of Provence has
(the stack) often monolith or terracotta (tian) and finally specific characteristics, depending on the climate, regional
vegetable garden, walled furnace where they put embers materials and local agricultural professional requirements.
to simmered the dishes. The kitchen was often extended In Camargue, traditional houses or master houses are built
through an alcove that housed the conjugal bed. Children in cut stones delivered by boats on the Rhône from the
and grandchildren slept in adjacent rooms or on the first quarries of Beaucaire or Fontvieille. Alongside these rich
floor. In the bourgeois bastides, the distribution of the houses, the outbuildings, the most modest houses to the
rooms was more sophisticated. In the kitchen, only for the huts of guardians, fishermen, salt workers and sheepfolds
were built with materials found on the spot. Branches of preparation of meals, followed the dining room, sometimes
willow, abalones were the frame, wreaths of ”sagno” , reed a living room or a boudoir. Bedrooms were upstairs. Some
serving as “filling of walls” and roof. Some walls were of these residences also included a chapel. Among the
built in clay in wooden formworks. This technique was outbuildings, there was often a dovecote. In Provence, you
restricted to areas of sedimentary soils in the Rhône and will also be told about magnaneries, because sericulture
Durance valleys. It was used only for the construction has been part of the region’s main economic activities over
of peasant houses. Despite its great power of thermal the past centuries. In all the thatched houses, silk worms
insulation, it was considered to be poor and ordinary. were reared, but when rearing was too important, they then
began to build magnaneries intended for the education w In Provence, dry stone is queen. The walls of
of Bombyx mori. The house has always been the family the “restanques”, the cabins on the seafront, the Lure
refuge, and our ancestors, after slaving away during their mountain or called bories on the side of Bonnieux or
entire life, breathed their last breath with theirs. In this Gordes, assembled in hamlets, are genuine works of art.
protected cocoon, no human or evil power should enter. w In valleys and alluvial plains, “hutches”. These high
To that end, rites and practices were done to ensure their heaps of pebbles extracted from the soil during cultivation
protection. This is why objects with some deterrent powers of farmland were used as reserves for materials to build
were attached to plants, animals: Starry thistle, drumstick, retaining walls, often bonded with spikes or fish bones.
cross, earthenware plates, owl. Crossing the threshold of In low and middle Provence, terracotta is practically the
their new home, inhabitants brought bread, oil, salt, laurel, only material used for floors and roofs of dwellings. The
guarantees of defence against external threats. Oustaou, roofs are made of roofing tiles called “canales”.
mas, bastido, campagno, granjo, casteu, meisoun, there are The junction between the roof and the façade is sometimes
many terms that characterize these houses, depending on established by a decorative element called “génoise” . These
the regions, their usefulness and their class. Let us take only are two or three rows of canale roofing tiles superimposed
farmhouse as an example, which contemporary use has in increasing degrees towards the edge of the roof. Floors
extended to all rural dwellings, it can now indicate the great are paved with brown terracotta floor tiles of a square or
estate in Camargue or in Crau or even the buildings of a hexagonal section, called, in this specific case, floor tiles.
In mountain regions, in the Alps, homes are higher than small farm in the Alpilles. Fortunately, architectural charters
in plains. They may consist of three levels: on the ground have been established (especially by the parks) to preserve
floor are the stables, the sheepfold, the cellar, on the first the soul of Provence in keeping with ancestral traditions.
General view of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.
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developing port. It would be transformed into a roadway Art works
from Peyrolles to Saint-Paul-les-Durance. Several harbors
w Bridges and ferries on the Durance. Over the would take turns here. Descriptive and approximate
centuries, ferries then four bridges were implemented statuses, established during changes of lessors, known as
to make communities live. Men of prehistory crossed the the farmers of the ferry in the texts, provide details on the
Durance on tree trunks. In the time of the Romans, a body impressive dimensions of the rowboats. The ferry was built
of utricular boatmens stood in Cavaillon. They sailed with using fir wood with the oak wood curve, of a total length
rowboats or rafts hauled in both directions of the current. of 19 m, 5 m wide and 1 to 6 m high. Wheel and axles,
It was not during dry periods that its power worried the cables, rowboats, poles, wheel clamps, treks, were part of
ancient residents but during storms. 1843, 1887, 1888, the many accessories used by the farmer. The load capacity
1907, remain legendary dates. In 1907, during the flood of the ferry was 80 individuals including bargemen, that
caused by melting snow, the water of Durance covered is 15 horses, mules or oxen. The ordinary engineer of
the plain over 4 km. Jean Giono described this flood the imperial body of the bridges and pavements of Apt
in pathetic terms: “When the snow melted, Durance had estimated the set to be 2,874 francs on September
overflowed, it was a distant silence, at the bottom of the 17, 1813. It was by invitation to tender that the lease of
eastern horizons, as if someone had held his breath, and tenant farming was assigned for a period of 9 years. The
then the thunder bursted out.” Oh! But first of all, from far last lease was brought into effect on January 1, 1823, and
away, the rumbling filled the sky, it was going to give echo ended in December 31, 1831. Unfortunately, Durance’s
to distant hills, and we looked a little better and we saw floods frequently took away the facilities and ferries. In
the Mississippi that we didn’t imagine. Over 4 km wide, the 1833, the last ferry was auctioned at Mirabeau City Hall.
water covered the plain; 50 m from us, it was already deep In 1832, the first bridge came into being. Its life was
and alive, surrounded the farms and the current gave a shortened by the flood of 1843. In 1847, builders envisaged
wake of hangars, garages, sheepfolds, dwelling houses the suspension bridge. These techniques have completely
that looked, by optical illusion, like boats going counter changed the conditions of circulation. But, there too,
current. Often, silted water bursted into blowouts when studies have been reformulated repeatedly. Over time,
a tree came up, with its arms to the sky and fell away. as a result of long preparations, lengthy calculations,
“But the figures also have their indisputable eloquence these giants with long steel hair, several times wounded
when you read that the flow of the river straight above by floods, war and too many visitors, have acquired an
3of the Mirabeau bridge was 46 m  per second at the low excellent reputation all over the world. January 1985,
3water of 1870 and 6,700 m  per second at the worst of Sully’s suspension bridge collapsed. An investigation was
the floods of November 11, 1986.” We let you imagine opened on all the bridges built at the same time, including
the water velocity at the narrow Mirabeau, which is only that of Mirabeau. The results of the expertises are serious,
150 m in its narrowest pass. This capricious demon that the work can collapse under its own weight. In 1986, the
kept mocking the attempts made by men to try to cross total reconstruction of the work was envisaged. On March
it needed to be cleared. In the years 1100-1200, technical 13, 1990 at 1pm, the veteran collapsed in a deflagration.
means of the time gave rise to ferries, the only connection This faithful servant left a place to a young novice consisting
means used until the 19th century on Durance. In 1364, of a bridge with concrete and steel mixed structure. Its
Guillaume Augier de Forcalquier received permission from total reach is 202 m. It is based on bored piles in river up to
Queen Jeanne to establish a ferry and received a right of 30 m deep. The weight of the implemented steel is 320 t.
passage on the goods and the rafts going down the river. Five generations have seen four works of art on Durance.
Over the decades, the Roman road from Aix-en-Provence From the top of its 2,000 years, the Gard bridge continues
to Riez would go along the river to give access to the to contemplate Provence.
The Saint-Bénézet bridge.
© YVES ROLAND – FOTOLIA

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