Founded by the Romans in 123 BC, attacked by the Cimbri and Teutones, occupied by the Visigoths, plundered by the Franks and Lombards, and occupied again by the Saracens, Aix started thriving only after the 12th century, when it became a seat of learning and an artistic center. A home and inspiration of Paul Cézanne and a home of many art schools and several universities, Aix is breathtakingly beautiful, charming, and lively. It is full of magnificent architecture that reflects its turbulent and rich history, and the timeless beauty of Provence surrounds it.
Shadowed by the imposing white limestone mountain, Aix is a city for walking – it is the only way to experience the cheerful chatter of students having coffee in one of many outdoor cafes on the main drag of Cours Mirabeau, admire elegant homes and many museums in the Quartier Mazarin, enjoy smells and colors of the flower market in the old town, and sit by one of many magnificent fountains.
Photo: rh 2010/Fotolia
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