The Bibemus Quarries

Aix en Provence - Monument

The ochre molasse quarries of Bibemus used to supply the pale stone that is so characteristic of numerous monuments in the city of Aix en Provence.

Situated between the route du Tholonet and the route de Vauvenargues, Bibémus refers to a rocky plateau, part of which was used as a stone quarry for a long period.

Use of the quarries goes back to ancient times and the stones were used to build Aix in the 17th and 18th centuries. In Cézanne's era, the quarries were practically abandoned. The painter rented a small hut there where he could keep his canvases and even sleep if he needed to. There he painted 11 oils and 16 watercolours in this landscape where mineral and vegetable complement each other.

As well as the viewpoint of Mont Sainte-Victoire and the nature portrayed in the painter's works, the site contains the very unusual motif of the orange rocks in geometrical shapes, from which Cézanne drew striking works that heralded Cubism and are renowned the world over.

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Where to stay

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