Aix-en-Provence: The historical city of art just one hour from Cotignac


With the arrival of the Easter Festival, from March 22nd to April 7th 2024, spring promises to be a radiant season in Aix-en-Provence. The 11th annual festival has an exceptional programme, filled with concerts, operas and ballets in stunning locations all over the city – a real delight for culture seekers, music lovers and dance enthusiasts, who will revel in this celebration of the greatest classical works. But Aix-en-Provence is not just about the Easter festival, this charming Provençal city is full of historical treasures and offers a rich variety of cultural events throughout the year.

A rich and fascinating historical heritage

Founded by the Romans in 122 BC, Aix-en-Provence shows traces of a glorious and colourful past. The city has flourished over the centuries, becoming a leading intellectual and artistic centre. Many examples of these rich and fascinating eras still remain today, offering visitors a true journey back in time.

In the heart of the city, the Cours Mirabeau (main square/street) is a stunning and majestic avenue lined with plane trees and fountains. It is the ideal place to stroll and admire the elegant architecture of the surrounding buildings. The Fontaine des Quatre Dauphins (fountain of the Four Dolphins), a spectacular 17th century sculpture, sits in the centre of the Mazarin Quarter.

The Saint-Sauveur Cathedral is a 12th century Gothic building and another must-see monument in Aix-en-Provence. Its imposing facade and richly decorated interior make it a true architectural masterpiece.

The Hôtel de Ville (town hall), a baroque building from the 17th century, houses the Vieil Aix (ancient Aix) museum. This museum traces the history of the city from its origins to the present day, through a rich and varied collection of objects and works of art.

The Mazarin Quarter, built in the 17th century by Cardinal Mazarin, is an elegant neighbourhood with lovely traditional decorated Provençal facades. This is a lovely area to stroll through and explore the picturesque streets and charming squares.

A city moving to a cultural rhythm

Aix-en-Provence is not only a historical city, it is also a city that celebrates art and culture. Paul Cézanne, the famous post-impressionist painter, was born and lived in this city. His workshop, now transformed into a studio-come-museum, allows you to discover his creative origins and understand his significant influence on modern art.

The Granet Museum, one of the most significant museums in the city, houses an exceptional collection of art, ranging from the Old Masters to more contemporary artists. The museum also holds temporary and more modern exhibitions throughout the year.

In addition to the Granet Museum, Aix-en-Provence has many other museums and cultural hotspots, such as the Tapestry Museum, the Calisson Museum, the centre for contemporary arts 3 bis f, the art centers of Gallifet and Caumont Hotel, and the Vasarely foundation just on the outskirts of the city.

Fondation Vasarely

Aix-en-Provence is also a centre for festivals and cultural events.

The Aix-en-Provence Festival, which takes place in July and August, is one of the most significant classical music and lyrical art festivals in Europe.

Le Sm’Art, the mediterranean contemporary art fair, will be held from 1 to 5 May at the Parc Jourdan.

The International Piano Festival of La Roque d’Anthéron, in October attracts the greatest pianists from around the world.

The International Short Film Festival took place last November, with 80 films in competition.

Aix-en-Provence proves to be much more than an historic city, it is a real cultural star in Haute-Provence. Located just one hour’s drive from Cotignac, this Provençal city has a broad appeal to travellers seeking enriching discoveries.