Aix en Provence (or simply Aix) is a city of around 143,000 people in south east France, 19 miles north of Marseilles. Although it is a city, Aix has a relaxed and intimate feel. Here’s a selection of my favourite photographs I took on a trip there in June this year.
A busy ring road encircles the old centre of Aix. Within the centre, the mainly eighteenth and nineteenth century streets make a pleasant place to wander round in.
The Place des Cardeurs in Aix en Provence. This busy square is filled with bars, cafe’s and restaurants, but still manages to retain a grace and poise which is characteristic of the city.
Food and Drink
The chance to sample fine food and drink is one of the major attractions of Aix. The French region of Provence has a distinctive cuisine and there are plenty of chances to buy and eat fresh local produce. This is a refreshing change from the global brands that appear everywhere, although they happily live side by side in this city.
There’s very little to beat the taste of bread baked in a boulangerie like this one.
Like most French towns and cities, Aix en Provence has a vibrant and busy market. If you love food, shopping in a French market is a must.
It Pays to Look Around
Aix has many interesting sights to offer, often in surprising juxtaposition to each other. It’s a good exercise to look upwards as there is always something intriguing to see.
Nearly every street corner in Aix en Provence has a religious statue, often beautifully carved and painted. Sometimes they form a strange partnership with adverts for all sorts of goods.
The area of Provence has always had strong artistic connections and it’s not surprising to understand why. Not only is the scenery breathtaking, but the quality of the light gives everything great clarity, colour and vibrancy. Many famous artists have worked in the area. Including Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, and Matisse. It’s difficult not to be inspired by staying there.
The Atelier de Cezanne is where the French post-modernist artist Paul Cezanne worked during the last few years of his life. After Cezanne’s death the upstairs rooms of the Atelier remained untouched, leaving us a vivid picture of how the artist worked.
Inside the Atelier De Cezanne. This spacious room, brightly lit with floor to ceiling windows, is where Cezanne worked during the last few years of his life. The room is full of his artists materials, personal belongings and props that appeared in his paintings.
Mont Sainte-Victoire. This 101 m high limestone peak was a favourite subject of Paul Cezanne.