Posts Tagged ‘Aix-en-Provence’

Repeat post for new followers

The bells at the cathedral in Aix rang out at 3pm, 11 November 1918, after 1561 days of silence, to mark the end of the fighting.  And by 6pm, the crowds were at the Rotonde to celebrate.

Of the 3000 men mobilised from Aix, 720 were dead, 190 disappeared and 500 left disabled. The story didn’t even end here for those left in the north of France. Despite having been away for four long years, the local regiment was involved in occupation and didn’t arrive back in town until 2nd September 1919.  What a homecoming that must have been.

But when I was writing my book (Aix-en-Provence: The Inside Story) and researching the chapter on the effect of World War 1 on Aix, itIMG_7013 seemed that there was some sort of controversy surrounding the troops from Provence but I couldn’t find details.

Then came ‘La Faute au Midi’, a new book and exhibition, which told it all and it was truly an appalling story.

Here is my post from 2014:


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The Hotel Caumont Centre d’Art is re-opening its lovely café on 10th June and will be – finally- launching its exhibition of the colourful works of Spanish impressionist Joaquin Sorolla on 10th July.

The new regime is as follows:

  • internet bookings only
  • masks to be worn
  • temperature check on entry
  • one-metre social distancing
  • no groups
  • no audio guides or coat/luggage storage.

This exhibition promises to be magnifica!


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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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“No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses…The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine,” – Marcel Proust

Being far from an intellectual, I had no idea what people were talking about when they mentioned Proust in relation to madeleines (I had never read any of his work), writes Susan Gish. All I knew was that I am addicted to them. Not all madeleines, just those from Christophe Madeleines. (more…)

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The not-to-be-missed traditional Marche des Rois takes place on Sunday 12th January. It’s very well-known locally but if you are new to Aix, do make sure you get into town for this special event.


The procession, headed by the three kings with their camels, makes its way through town and is followed by all  manner of animals and locals dressed as Provencal characters.  It’s always fun, and Aix is usually lucky to have three camels as they are much in demand across the region on this weekend! (more…)

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The latest in the series of London productions to be transmitted in Aix takes place Sunday 1st December at the town’s 5-star Hotel Renaissance. 

The transmissions are organised by local theatre-lover Karen Wildau who writes:

A play by Arthur Miller barely needs an introduction.  This play, performed at the Old Vic and brought to us by the NTL stars Sally Field (Steel Magnolias) and  Bill Pullman (Independence Day).
It is America, 1947. Despite hard choices and even harder knocks, Joe and Kate Keller are a success story. They have built a home, raised two sons and established a thriving business.
But nothing lasts forever and their contented lives, already shadowed by the loss of their eldest boy to war, are about to shatter. With the return of a figure from the past, long buried truths are forced to the surface and the price of their American dream is laid bare.
Here’s  some of what The Guardian says in its review:

At a time of flux and fakery when lies masquerade as truth, we find reassurance in Miller’s moral rigour.. The play focuses on Joe Keller, a thriving businessman who escaped a wartime charge of issuing defective cylinder heads to combat planes by letting his partner take the rap. Exonerated but hardly guilt-free, Joe is suddenly confronted by the consequences of his actions. His wife, Kate, is obstinately convinced that their son, Larry, missing in action, is still alive. And when their other son, Chris, decides to marry Larry’s fiancee, Joe and Kate realise that the pretences by which they have lived are destined to be exposed.

Miller’s morality is accompanied by psychological insights that Herrin’s production largely captures. Pullman, with his granite profile and spiky hair, lacks the backslapping bonhomie that David Suchet brought to Joe in the last West End revival, but he is excellent at conveying the character’s strenuous self-justification.

Field, meanwhile, is superb as Kate. She combines an innate warmth with a nervy anxiety suggested by the way she encases herself in her cardigan as if it were a protective shield. It has been argued that Kate is the “villain” of the piece in that she puts the sanctity of the home before ethics, but Field endows the character with an essential myopic innocence.


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What a tonic on such a rainy day to read a little about the treat in store for us this summer, at Aix’s outstanding Hotel Caumont Centre d’Art.  They will be featuring the work of (more…)

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All of a sudden it seems that Christmas is upon us and Aix really celebrates Christmas in style.

Here are the main festive markets (more…)

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After a couple of gloomy posts about things closing, it’s good to be able to welcome a new enterprise: BRUT, is a spacious restaurant which opened in the place des Tanneurs last month to offer an interesting menu ofassiettes‘ for diners to combine and enjoy. (more…)

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All of a sudden it seems that Christmas is upon us and Aix really celebrates Christmas in style.

Here are the main festive markets (more…)

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