Idée#468 – Visiting the old city of Aix en Provence in France
Aix-en-Provence is a French municipality, situated in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône, in region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. The city was founded in 122 BC, under the name of Aquae Sextiae, in reference to the founder of the city Gaius Sextius Calvinus and in the thermal baths of the city. After a long period of decline, which sees in particular the dismantling of the Roman monuments, the Earl of Provence decided to make their new residence in 1189, to the detriment of the cities of Arles and Avignon.
Aix became afterward a major place of the county of Provence. In the XVth century, the installation of the king René “The Good”, Duke of Anjou, Earl of Provence, King of Sicily, marked the golden age of the city, who will keep for ever the title of ” king René’s City “. In 1501, Louis XII established the Parliament of Provence there which continues until the Revolution. The city thus keept an image of bourgeoisie and intellectual and cultural elite, in the service of the royal authority, the position which cuts with its anti-authority and labor neighbor, Marseille. In the XIXth century, Paul Cézanne, who spend his life there, stayed as the most representative local artist.
Rich in buildings and monuments of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries essentially, Aix-en-Provence attracts numerous tourists by the quality of the buildings, which decorate the streets of the city center, but also by its intense cultural life, as the festival of opera, or the Big Theater of Provence.
Where is it ?
Aix en Provence, Bouches du Rhône, France.