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Archive for the ‘Patrimoine’ Category

Once allowed a little more freedom to wander, this 4.7km urban walk with its views of Mont Sainte-Victoire should be just what we all need!  Another for the post-lockdown list.

It leads from the 4-hectare Parc Jourdan, down past the university faculties at Cuques, round the side of Casino St Jerome (admittedly not very scenic but has inhouse boulangerie for snacks) over to the lovely Torse park, and up past the Canal Zola to the Lycée Cézanne.  Both ends are on bus routes.

Details in the new ‘Le Mag’, the free town publication: http://www.aixenprovence.fr/Aix-en-Provence-le-Mag

Or download this map and enlarge:

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Aixois and Aixoises – your thoughts and experiences of this ‘confinement’ are indeed wanted by the town archivists.

As in Marseille, they welcome written, photographed, drawn, painted or filmed contributions from individuals reflecting on daily life in your family or business, or comments on decisions taken at national or local level to manage the ongoing crisis.

You can submit them in person once the archive reopens, or send contributions by email.

Details: http://www.citedulivre-aix.com/spip.php?article280

Interesting to help build a portrait of the 2020 lockdown for future generations…

 

Les Méjanes
Bibliothèque patrimoniale et archives municipales
Michel Vovelle
25 allée de Philadelphie
04 42 91 98 88

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‘Les archives de Marseille’ as well as those in Port-de-Bouc have launched an operation to collect up locals’ memories of this strange period in all our lives:  the goal is to make a collection of writings, art, recordings and films which communicate people’s thoughts, feelings and daily experiences.

They feel that, in 10, 20, 30 years, people will have forgotten what happened during this pandemic and so this collection will provide a rich source of first-person accounts; it will also they explain be a goldmine for people wanting to know more about their families.

I don’t know if Aix is planning a similar exercise but will keep an eye out. Meanwhile, details are here: https://www.francebleu.fr/infos/societe/coronavirus-et-confinement-les-archives-de-marseille-collectent-vos-memoires-du-confinement-1587127386

 

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As most of you will know, on May 1st it is traditional in France to buy a little posy of lilies of the valley, a ‘porte-bonheur’, for the household or for friends; they are on sale everywhere, from florists and supermarkets to people selling them ‘a la sauvette’ on street-corners.  My photo shows a typical display, in this case taken one year on rue d’Italie in Aix.

But what will happen this year? (more…)

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Getting fluent in French seems like a  never-ending task to me but I very much enjoy reading thrice-weekly posts from French Word a Day. 

Its author, Kristi, is an American, married to a Frenchman with whom she has two bilingual offspring.  The family are based at La Ciotat from where she sends us observations on French life both in her town or on her travels (then) or tales from house and garden (now).  Each post introduces new words and expressions to help us extend our vocabulary in a very painless way. https://www.french-word-a-day.com/  Recommended … as is her book!

 

 

 

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Photo from La Provence

As if the police haven’t got enough to do right now, they are on the track of the perpetrators of an act of vandalism at the bottom end of the cours Mirabeau where (more…)

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Here’s a book, in English, which takes readers off the usual tourist routes into hidden corners of Provence to find curiosities, probably not even known by locals: a statue of a pregnant Virgin Mary, a moondial in les Alpilles, a hotel room in a tree or a gypsy caravan, a village’s phallic balconies, a fountain that flows with wine, a church in a theatre, an erotic mediaeval bas relief, a countess who returned to life, a Provençal Villa Médicis, a false volcano at La Roquebrussane, a “sheep bridge” at Arles, a rain-making saint, an alchemist’s garden…

Near to Aix, there is lots of information on the tomb of Mary Magdalene at Saint Maximin along with background on the saint whose skull is preserved in the crypt. Author Jean-Pierre Cassely also provides interesting facts about the nearby grotto, its royal visitors and strange inscriptions.

Moving west to Maillane, I was intrigued to read about a cushion in the Frederic Mistral Museum: ‘made from beige leather and roughly sewn it bears the portrait of a face. This ‘cushion of life’ belonged to Native American chief Silver Eagle, who came here during the Buffalo Bill circus tour of France’.  Nobody seems to know how the cushion came here – but Cassely goes on to describe the impact of the tour locally, and the novel ‘The Heartsong of Charging Elk’ which it inspired.  William Cody enters our story yet again.

‘Secret Provence’ is a book to keep in the car, to read as you explore, or an addition to the bookshelf of a hotel/AirBnB.  It’s left me with a list of things to explore, starting with ‘The House of She Who Paints’ at Pont-de-L’Etoile’.

It covers the area from the Camargue up to Bollene, across to Digne-les-Bains and down to Hyeres, a large chunk of the south of France, but oddly both Aix and Marseille are excluded. That’s apparently because they each have a book devoted to them, but in French.

Incidentally, the author who lives locally gives tours of ‘Unexpected Aix’ via the tourist office: https://booking.aixenprovencetourism.com/french-walking-guided-tour-unexpected-aix-2h.html

 

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A leading street artist is exhibiting in a gallery in Aix centre ville.

There’s Marseille’s first ever Oursinade

Museums are free in both towns on Sunday

……and Aix’s fun fair continues

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It’s hard to talk when your mouth is full of yummy, sugar free dark chocolate spread! I can’t get enough of the ‘Paté a Tartiner sans sucre’. Perfect to spread on toast, writes Susan Gish.  I stood there and watched Christophe, my confiture guy at the market – for about an hour. He was jammin’, haha, but I did manage to talk to him in between customers. He is so charming, friendly, and passionate about his product. He smiles all the time. He really enjoys talking to every single person. Children, older people. Those from Aix and tourists from all over. 

(more…)

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The monthly street-party this Sunday in Marseille sounds too good to miss.

One theme is Rugby and visitors can literally have a try on the specially constructed pitch, 25x10m, at the bottom of the Canebiere which is newly pedestrianized. Lots of animators to show how it’s done.

Elsewhere, there are workshops for Circus arts with opportunities for children to learn new skills. Programme here: https://quefaireenfamille.com/dimanches-de-canebiere/

Plus the usual produce market, street-food sales, games, and more and more restaurants open.  If you come in from Aix, parking under MuCEM is easy on a Sunday and you have a nice walk by the Vieux Port to reach the action.

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