Le cours Mirabeau and its fountains

Aix en Provence - Site

440 metres long and 42 metres wide, Cours Mirabeau links the Mazarin district to the south with the old market town to the north.

Today it is one of the busiest and most lively places in Aix en Provence. With its plane trees, fountains and cafes, the Cours is extremely popular with tourists and residents alike.

Cours Mirabeau was made when the city was enlarged in the 17th century on the orders of Archbishop Mazarin and at the request of bourgeois home-owners who wanted a thoroughfare for carriages and pedestrians.

The road followed the line of the former ramparts, and the richest noble families had elegant houses built along it to show off their success, sometimes ostentatiously.

At No.4 is Hôtel de Villars, built in 1710 and named after the Governor of Provence. Its frontage has a fine entrance framed by four columns with Doric capitals.

Hôtel Isoard de Vauvenargues, at No.10, was built in around 1710. Its plain frontage hides a lavish decor, and its staircase has a metalwork railing from the late 17th century.

At No.20, Hôtel de Forbin is one of the largest on the Cours. It was built in 1656 with Aix stone from the Bibémus quarries, to the plans of Pierre Pavillon. Its beauty derives from the simplicity and symmetry of its layout. It has played host to some distinguished guests: the dukes of Burgundy and Berry, the grandsons of Louis XIV, and Napoleon's sister Pauline Borghese, among others.

The magnificence of Hôtel Maurel-de-Pontevés, at No.38, also known as Hôtel d'Espagnet, reflects the social success of its owner, Pierre Maurel. Originally a cloth merchant, he gained a noble title and his mansion was one of the first to be built in the Mazarin district from 1647 onwards.

The balcony, supported by Atlases, is typical of Aix Baroque art.
Hôtel d'Arbaud-Jouques at No.19, built around 1700, is one of the most beautiful on the Cours, with a façade entirely in dressed stone and an entrance which is probably the most ornate in Aix.

At No.53 bis, on the site of Hôtel de Gantès, Les Deux Garçons Café has been an "Aix institution" since the beginning of the 19th century, and Cézanne was a regular customer there. Next to Passage Agard, at No.55, is the house where Paul Cézanne lived as a child.

There are four fountains along Cours Mirabeau. The most imposing is probably the Rotonde fountain. Its construction in 1860 marked a turning point: not only were its dimensions exceptional for the city, but it was also the first to have a cast-iron basin. The three statues adorning the fountain recall the city's principal professions: Law (facing Cours Mirabeau), Agriculture (facing Marseille) and Art (facing Avignon).

The fountain marked the symbolic entrance to the modern city, without ramparts or gates, and open to the world. Since then Aix has grown and the "Great Fountain" is in the centre of the city.

Built in 1691 by Laurent Vallon, the Nine Cannons Fountain replaced a watering fountain where flocks were brought to drink as they migrated, before Cours Mirabeau was built. Its water was used by the nuns of St Ursule (Lycée Mignet) and then by the Benedictines. The vegetation, encroaching little by little, makes it difficult to identify the sculptures. However, it was listed in 1929. Further on, the Hot Water Fountain, known as the Mossy Fountain because of the thick moss covering it, is the one where the water from the Bagniers spring flows at a temperature of 18°C. This was the first fountain built on the Cours and it is still fed by the spa water.

At the top of Cours Mirabeau is King René's fountain, designed in 1819 by Pierre-Henri Revoil. The statue which adorns it is the work of David d'Angers. It shows Good King René‚ wearing the crown of the Counts of Provence, holding in his hands the sceptre and the Muscat grapes which he introduced to Provence, and with books at his feet (to indicate his patronage of the arts and learning).

Information provided by OT Aix en Provence

Nearby

  1. Le Pigonnet

    Hotel

    Read more
  2. Lou Jas De Rafeou

    Holiday rental

    Read more
  3. Mme Marion Julien - La Campagne

    B&B

    Read more
  4. Lei Faveloun

    B&B

    Read more

Where to stay

Concorde
Hotel

Concorde

Aix en Provence

A green corner, in the heart of town,"le concorde" bids you welcome. Quiet and confortable rooms (49), rooms for disabled people, large underground, car park, lift, sitting room, quiet terrace and garden. Pets are allowed. Location: 10 minutes walking distance to the centre city, neraby shopping…

La Rose Tremiere
Holiday rental

La Rose Tremiere

Aix en Provence

Dans la campagne aixoise, maison de plain-pied de 149 m². Salon/séjour. Cuisine américaine entièrement équipée. 1 chambre avec 2 lits/1 pers. 1 chambre avec 1 lit/2 pers (160x200). 1 chambre avec 2 lits/1 pers. 1 chambre avec 1 lit/2 pers (160x200). 1 SdB spacieuse. 1 WC indépendant. 1…

Les Piboules
B&B

Les Piboules

Aix en Provence

Située à 5 minutes du centre-ville d'Aix-en-Provence et à 15 minutes de la gare Aix-en-Provence TGV, la chambre d'hôtes les Piboules propose une prestation haut de gamme. Entièrement équipé, l'hébergement dispose d'un lit double (2 personnes) et tout le confort nécessaire pour passer un…

La Maison D'aix
B&B

La Maison D'aix

Aix en Provence

La Maison d'Aix : one time there was a private mansion in the heart of Aix-en-Provence replete with refinement, elegance and charm. Restoring life to this private mansion, in which the spirit of the enigmatic Henriette Reboul still drifts, is the challenge which architect Laura Juhen and Louis…

Hôtel Cézanne
Hotel

Hôtel Cézanne

Aix en Provence

Ancient mansion fully renovated in 2008, first "boutique hotel" in Aix en Provence. The hotel is situated in the most enthralling part of the city center. Upon your arrival our team will welcome you with their great dynamism. As soon as your booking is confirmed our E-Concierge will contact you…

Saint-Christophe
Hotel

Saint-Christophe

Aix en Provence

The Hotel Saint-Christophe is ideally located opposite the Rotonde fountain, at the entrance to the pedestrian historic center, less than 50 meters from the Tourist Office and a stone's throw from Cours Mirabeau, museums, Provencal markets and the Grand Théâtre de Provence. In an Art Deco…

Hôtel B&B Le Tholonet
Hotel

Hôtel B&B Le Tholonet

Le Tholonet

A quelques minutes du centre d'Aix-en-Provence en voiture et proche du massif de la Montagne Sainte-Victoire, l'hôtel B&B Aix Le Tholonet se trouve à l'entrée de Palette. Juste à côté des commerces du Domaine de l'Escapade il offre bien-être et accueil personnalisé au meilleur prix, 24…

Sur Les Toits Du Vieil Aix
Holiday rental

Sur Les Toits Du Vieil Aix

Aix en Provence

Appartement climatisé en duplex. Séjour/salon. Cuisine américaine équipée. A l'étage : 1 chambre avec 1 lit/2 pers (160x200). 1 SdB avec douche et baignoire. 1 WC indépendant. 2 terrasses de 4 et 7 m² avec mobilier de jardin. Accès internet. Stationnement public à proximité.

Le Mas d'Entremont
Hotel

Le Mas d'Entremont

Aix en Provence

Located on the hills of Aix en Provence, this charming 4 stars hotel with gastronomic restaurant offers you 6 suites, 2 apartments and 12 rooms, all with private terrace. Our gorgeous garden of one and a half hectare with ornamental lake, pond, fountains, water lily, antic columns gives the…

Things to do

Creamy Café
Cultural place

Creamy Café

Aix en Provence

Creamy is a new café near Cours Sextius where you go for good coffee. Their expert baristas serve single origin espresso, cappuccino, macchiato latte, frappuccino, shakerato, frappe, tea, hot chocolate and freshly squeezed orange juice. There are also syrups to make your favourite drink:…

Cezanne's studio
Cultural place

Cezanne's studio

Aix en Provence

Atelier des Lauves is a real place of memories, where Cezanne has left his mark. On 1st September 1902, Cezanne gradually settled into his large country studio. He worked there every day during the last four years of his life. All of Cézanne's admirers are well aware that this is where you can…

Théâtre du Bois de l'Aune
Cultural place

Théâtre du Bois de l'Aune

Aix en Provence

Théâtre du Bois de l'Aune explores the art of theatre in all its forms. The theatre is based in the Jas de Bouffan area in Aix-en-Provence and stands out as a setting for artistic and mutual mentorship weaving connections between the locals and up-and-coming or renowned artists from home and…

Farinoman fou
Producer

Farinoman fou

Aix en Provence

The success of Farinoman is no longer to be made and the, lovers of good bread in Aix are plenty to rush and taste the precious sesame. The Farinoman fou is a Quebec baker who does not hesitate to mix bread with words, wheat and paste of almonds, cinnamon and grapes and other associations. A…

Longchamp
Fashion / shopping

Longchamp

Aix en Provence

Leather good shop.

Bo La Suite
Fashion / shopping

Bo La Suite

Aix en Provence

BO La Suite est un peu votre armoire idéale. Les accessoires et les quelques jolis vêtements casual ne sont présents qu'en série limitée voire en pièces uniques. Dans une ambiance colorée mais épurée, on trouve les bijoux de la marseillaise Virginie Etc ou de l'aixoise Les Galinettes.

The Bibemus Quarries
Monument

The Bibemus Quarries

Aix en Provence

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…

La Tarte Tropezienne
Fashion / shopping

La Tarte Tropezienne

Aix en Provence

Located a stone's throw from the Place des Cardeurs, the shop of the Tarte Tropezienne offers a selection of pastries and delicacies around the famous tart. The True Tropezienne Tart is created by A. Micka in the village of Saint-Tropez in 1955. La Tarte Tropézienne is a unique blend of two…

Occadeco - Location de vélos
Outdoor leisure

Occadeco - Location de vélos

Aix en Provence

Occadeco is a large shop specialised in bric-à-brac and second-hand objects, located just next to the Aix-en-Provence Tourist Office. This was the first establishment to rent out bicycles in Aix, and cycling fans continue to benefit from a choice of all-terrain and hybrid bicycles rented out…

Where to eat

Lautre Restaurant
Food guide restaurant

Lautre Restaurant

Aix en Provence

The olive tree planted in the middle of the veranda says a lot about the authenticity of the olive oil-based cuisine (oil pressed at the Moulin d’Eguilles) served at this large establishment with garden, set in the town centre. With its lawn, flower beds and lush terrace, Lôtre Restaurant is a…

Vintrépide
Food guide restaurant

Vintrépide

Aix en Provence

Market products and good wine.

Villa Gallici
Food guide restaurant

Villa Gallici

Aix en Provence

A few minutes' walk from the historic centre, this luxury 18th-century Provençal house offers 16 bedrooms and 6 suites, all air-conditioned and individually decorated with LED TV, mini bar and safe. Gourmet restaurant, specialities: Provençal stuffed vegetables, courgette fritters in summer.…

Bastide du Cours
Food guide restaurant

Bastide du Cours

Aix en Provence

Ideally located on Cours Mirabeau in the heart of Aix en Provence, La Bastide du Cours provides a wonderfully warm and relaxed setting. As for the food, our chef, Charly Valdez and his team invite you to travel....his creative cuisine is inspired by flavours from all over the world, blended with…

Grenache
Food guide restaurant

Grenache

Aix en Provence

This restaurant near the town centre was opened by Pierre Chatelain, well-known for his first restaurant "l'Alcôve" (also in Aix-en-Provence). As well as the dining room, it has a terrace that is always a welcome spot in summer, in the shade of the plane trees. The menu has developed around the…

Jacquou Le Croquant
Food guide restaurant

Jacquou Le Croquant

Aix en Provence

Step behind the mouth-watering, vintage window and dive into the rustic, arched stone cellars to take a bite out of south-wastern France! Antonia regales her guests with cassoulet, confits, magret and foie gras… And as all the local goose fans know, Antonia also sells a succulent range of…

Yamato
Food guide restaurant

Yamato

Aix en Provence

Koji and Yuriko Someya welcome and introduce you to all the freshness and exceptional finesse of Japanese gastronomy at lunchtime and evenings. In a simple, chic setting, enjoy all the enchantment and magic of Japan. Taste the subtle and refined flavours of a cuisine known for its delicacy. Take…

Pointe Noire
Food guide restaurant

Pointe Noire

Aix en Provence

Le Bar A Mets is a modern and social setting that has a brasserie, wine and tapas bar feel. The Mazzia brothers wanted to open a bar with local roots and direct links with local producers and artisans. Pointe-Noire, in tribute to their native town in the Congo, is a minimalist monochrome…

La Cantine
Food guide restaurant

La Cantine

Aix en Provence

Located between the Hôtel de Ville and the Palais de Justice, just two minutes from the Cours Mirabeau, la Cantine's menu features dishes from the South of France, served on the terrace or indoors, at either lunch or dinner. You will find fresh, seasonal produce from Provence, Corsica and Italy,…

Inspirations

The Sea Urchin

The Sea Urchin

Terroir

According to Marcel Pagnol, "if we only judged things by appearances, nobody would ever have wanted to eat a sea urchin"

Paul Cézanne

Paul Cézanne

The forerunner of modern art, Cézanne is fittingly celebrated today in his home town of Aix-en-Provence, magnificently portrayed in his work. For the last 40 years, this illustrious painter has been setting the pace for the region's artistic life.

The MEDITERRANEAN SEA

The MEDITERRANEAN SEA

Lifestyle

When we talk about the South of France, what's the first thing we think of? The MEDITERRANEAN SEA! (and the sun of course – it's all part of the package).

Marcel Pagnol

Marcel Pagnol

Tradition

Everything you ever wanted to know about Marcel Pagnol!