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. Café Le Verdun

    Food guide restaurant

    Read more
  2. La Table du Pigonnet

    Food guide restaurant

    Read more
  3. Grenache

    Food guide restaurant

    Read more
  4. Le Poivre d'Ane

    Food guide restaurant

    Read more

Where to stay

Au Basilic
Holiday rental

Au Basilic

Aix en Provence

A proximité du cours Mirabeau et à 5 mn de la gare routière, appartement de 56 m² situé au 1er étage d'une grande résidence. Salon/séjour avec 1 canapé convertible/1 pers. Cuisine indépendante équipée (LL, MO). 1 grande chambre avec 1 lit/2 pers. Salle de bain avec WC. Loggia vitrée…

Adagio city aparthotel
Resort

Adagio city aparthotel

Aix en Provence

The beautiful residence which combines style and comfort has a privilege location in the heart of the city. Pierre & Vacances City is situated nearby the great fountain "la Rotonde" and the famous Cours Mirabeau. At your disposal : laundrette, indoor car park on charge. Bar and restaurant close by.

Hôtel du Globe
Hotel

Hôtel du Globe

Aix en Provence

This hotel is situated in the centre of the old town, near by the "Therms". The style is modern, it's a comfortable and charm hotel. There is a terrace on the roof. Private garage. You may ask for avalaibility. No smoking etablishment

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.

Cardinal
Hotel

Cardinal

Aix en Provence

Hôtel Cardinal, founded during the Age of Enlightenment, is one of these authentic places with spirit, history, some kind of magic. The 18th-century atmosphere of the rooms and suites blending old-time charm with modern amenities, such as the exquisite dining room serving traditional French…

L'Olympe ADIJ
Hotel

L'Olympe ADIJ

Aix en Provence

This small hotel is located south, near the exit of the Pont de l'Arc, a few steps from CREPS. Parking, rooms with shower and toilet, telephone. The restaurant offers three buffets for a full meal. The hotel is not near the center, it requires a car for evenings in town.

Le Four des Banes - Chambre Verdon
B&B

Le Four des Banes - Chambre Verdon

Aix en Provence

Le Four des Banes est une maison d'hôtes de charme, à 5 minutes en voiture du Centre historique d'Aix en Provence. Une piscine dédiée aux hôtes uniquement. Hébergement au calme et dans la campagne aixoise. WIFI et Parking gratuit à disposition dans la propriété. La chambre Verdon est…

Paul
Hotel

Paul

Aix en Provence

A comfortable hotel situated in town, 150 m away from the spa, from the Palais des festivals and from the picturesque "old aix". A shaded garden for your leisure. Car park "pasteur" 50 metres away. No pets.

Lou Jas De Rafeou
Holiday rental

Lou Jas De Rafeou

Le Tholonet

C’est sur la commune du Tholonet, à 5 km de la ville d’Aix-en-Provence et à 30 km de Marseille, que le gîte de Rafaël, logement de vacances, vous accueillera tout au long de l’année dans le calme et le confort de la campagne aixoise. Dans une maison neuve et indépendante, bâtie dans…

Things to do

Le Petit Duc
Cultural place

Le Petit Duc

Aix en Provence

Le Petit Duc is a concert hall with a program dedicated to song and jazz, open to national and regional artists of all generations, spotted or recognized for their talent. It proposes around forty concerts with a great diversity of styles and approaches testifying to the current lively artistic…

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…

Confiserie Léonard Parli
Greed, Greediness

Confiserie Léonard Parli

Aix en Provence

The venerable House Parli, whose magnificent building is heritage listed Aix adds to the flavor of its products, the elegance of his shop. The manufacture of Calissons has been run by the same family since 1874 and its know-how passed from generation to generation. The secret formula has been…

Les Passagers Aix - Espace éphémère
Fashion / shopping

Les Passagers Aix - Espace éphémère

Aix en Provence

Ce bel espace de 110m² est situé en plein centre-ville d'Aix-en-Provence, dans le célèbre Passage Agard en haut du cours Mirabeau. Sa devanture est pourvue de grandes vitrines qui lui offrent une belle lumière naturelle et une visibilité importante. La boutique est idéale pour des…

Les macarons de Caroline
Greed, Greediness

Les macarons de Caroline

Aix en Provence

Store of macaroons.

Lancel
Fashion / shopping

Lancel

Aix en Provence

Leather good shop.

Sophie Bourgeix
Craftsman

Sophie Bourgeix

Aix en Provence

Specialised in studio portraits, Sophie Bourgeix welcomes you in the city centre in the Maison de la Photographie d'Aix-en-Provence. Call on Sophie's services for your family portraits, pregnancy or new-born baby photographs, keep a trace of the moments that count, and highlight what you love…

Thibault Chappe Photographie
Craftsman

Thibault Chappe Photographie

Aix en Provence

Thibault Chappe is a photographer in Aix-en-Provence. He takes photos for weddings, pregnancy, new-born babies, portraits, advertisements, events or illustrations. Thibault Chappe also organises photo lessons and courses for all levels.

Glam Lab
Fashion / shopping

Glam Lab

Aix en Provence

Le Glam Lab propose une sélection pointue d'accessoires de jeunes créateurs. Les bijoux en cuir semi-lunaire, les robes, jupes et pulls Grace and Mila, les sacs Shine Blossom ... De Amélie Blaise en passant par Eiden, toutes les marques présentées dans la boutique reflètent la féminité.

Where to eat

Fanny's
Cuisine de Provence

Fanny's

Aix en Provence

This little Aix restaurant paints a pretty picture, with its bold red front window and its two dashing young owners. One's first impressions are confirmed with a glance at the menu: simple produce (freshly baked bread, local vegetables from a favourite farmer), seasonal dishes, mixed salads,…

La Rotonde
Food guide restaurant

La Rotonde

Aix en Provence

La Rotonde is a brasserie opposite the famous fountain of the same name in central Aix-en-Provence. The eatery serves generous Mediterranean dishes made on-site using fresh seasonal produce. The menu features carefully-selected seafood, wood-fired pizzas and meat dishes cooked on a Josper oven.…

La Table du Pigonnet
Food guide restaurant

La Table du Pigonnet

Aix en Provence

The chic “bistronomic” restaurant La Table du Pigonnet in the Le Pigonnet Hotel serves traditional French cuisine with Mediterranean and regional influences, bringing out the best in seasonal ingredients. Generosity, sharing and simplicity are the restaurant's watchwords. The new dining room…

L'Epicurien
Food guide restaurant

L'Epicurien

Aix en Provence

Its one bad point? Too small! This raw and cosy bistro is where talented chef Ludovic Aillaud delivers up inspired dishes made with high-quality produce, ever-faithful to his philosophy of enjoying life to the full. This modest man has a nose for good food. The service is fast, the menu is lively…

Le Mas d'Entremont
Food guide restaurant

Le Mas d'Entremont

Aix en Provence

Nestled in 7,5 acres park with ponds and fountains, the Mas d'Entremont restaurant offers a cuisine always prepared with fresh, quality products coming from known producers. The use of seasonal products influences the types and preparation of dishes. The Marignane family and his team will…

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…

Mickaël Féval
Food guide restaurant

Mickaël Féval

Aix en Provence

Nouveau décor "très chic" pour nouveau départ : formé aux plus grandes maisons françaises (Loiseau, Oger, Plaza Athénée...), Mickaël Féval, 40 ans, a repris l'ancien repaire gourmand du chef étoilé Pierre Reboul, parti pour d'autres aventures. Le chef a vite trouvé ses marques : son…

Campanile Aix-en-Provence Sud - Pont de l'Arc - Gril
Cuisine de Provence

Campanile Aix-en-Provence Sud - Pont de l'Arc - Gril

Aix en Provence

Five minutes from the city centre, on the banks of the Arc river, enjoy the restaurant's tranquillity and traditional cuisine with unlimited buffets. The restaurant was renovated in March 2011.

Café Le Verdun
Food guide restaurant

Café Le Verdun

Aix en Provence

Traditional brasserie food with a Provençal flavour: Monkfish stew ("bourride"), meat stew, aioli, red mullet fillet with tapenade, leg of lamb, steak tartare.

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