Aix-en-Provence, France - Stein Travel
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Aix-en-Provence

Marseille may well be the dominant metropolis of Provence but Aix-en-Provence, just 15 miles (24km) inland, is arguably the cultural and tourism capital of the province, attracting numerous holiday visitors. Historically and socially the two cities are, however, at odds. Aix (pronounced 'Ex') is a stunningly beautiful university town whose riches are based on agriculture and academia rather than on heavy industry.

The residents of Aix-en-Provence are sophisticated, regarded by their counterparts in Marseille as being snobbish on a par with Parisians. Aix was founded in 122 BC by the Romans and became the capital of Provence, then an independent country. The famous King René of Anjou (1409-80) ruled during this period. He was well known as a patron of science and the arts and was very popular for his love of wine and festivities. After the union of Provence with France and until the Revolution, Aix-en-Provence remained the judicial and administrative headquarters of the region.

The town has been the inspiration to many great writers and painters including Guigou, Stendhal, Mistral and Zola. Most famous of all is undoubtedly Paul Cézanne, who was inspired by the Provence countryside to produce his masterpieces, some of which can be seen in his hometown at the Musée Granet, in the Quartier Mazarin. Visitors on holiday in Aix-en-Provence can also call at his studio close to the town.

Information & Facts

Language

French is the official language.

Money

The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France. Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some large hotels, though you will get a better exchange rate at the ATMs. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers cheques, particularly in major tourist destinations. Foreign currency is not accepted.

Time

Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between last Sunday in March and last Sunday in October).

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