Blogging from A to Z Challenge
The letter for today is a tough one but my choice of topic, the town of Aix-en-Provence in France, is known simply as 'Aix' (and pronounced 'X').
As the name suggests, the city of Aix is located in Provence. A large fountain at the centre of La Rotonde once marked the entry to the town.
|La Rotonde Fountain, Aix-en-Provence|
Across the road, a statue of hometown artist Paul Cézanne gazes at the fountain through the traffic circling the roundabout. Mont Sainte Victoire was a favourite subject in Cézanne's paintings.
|Statue of Paul Cézanne|
From La Rotonde leads a grand promenade, the Cours Mirabeau, which is lined with shops and restaurants and shaded by plane trees.
|Cours Mirabeau, Aix-en-Provence|
|Plane Trees, Cours Mirabeau|
|Provençal Prints, Cours Mirabeau|
Along the Cours Mirabeau you'll find two odd fountains, the Fountain of the Nine Canons and the Mossy Fountain, which is fed by water from a nearby thermal hot spring.
|Fountain of the Nine Canons (1691)|
|The Hot Water or Mossy Fountain (1734)|
A short distance off the promenade in the Mazarin Quarter is another fountain, the Fountain of the Four Dolphins.
|Fountain of the Four Dolphins (1667)|
|Building Facade, Mazarin Quarter|
At the other end of Cours Mirabeau stands the Fountain of King René.
|Fountain of King René (1819)|
Legend has it that the calisson, a traditional Provençal candy, was created for the king's wedding feast in 1473.
|Calissons in Aix-en-Provence|
The calisson is made of ground almond paste, sugar and candied cantaloupe, shaped as an almond and topped with a layer of white royal icing.
This was King René's second marriage and the calisson was intended to cheer up the bride, Princess Jeanne de Laval, who was half the age of the king. They remained married for many years so perhaps the tasty confection worked!
Next: "Y" is for Yacht