Provence

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

A beautiful town of Roman origin, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence has all the flavours and colours of Provence, so much so that it bewitched even Vincent van Gogh.
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Saint-Rémy-de-Provence is a small town in the Bouche du Rhône in western Provence, but it has the character of a much larger city.

Packed with restaurants to suit all budgets and fashionable shops, boutiques and art galleries, the town seduces with its picturesque and exquisitely Provençal charm in the heart of the rugged landscapes of the Alpilles, a small mountain range nestled between Avignon, Arles and Marseille.

Things to do in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Les Antiques

This beautiful town, home of the master chocolatiers, has all the flavours of Provence. The historic centre deserves to be discovered at a leisurely pace, strolling languidly among the craft workshops, shady avenues of plane trees and small squares enlivened by bubbling fountains.

The old, faded shop signs, old people on benches and weathered shutters reflect the ancient and authentic character of this region.

Les Antiques

1Route des Baux de Provence - D5, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Francia

Located south of the city, on the road connecting Saint Rémy de Provence to Les Baux-de-Provence, Les Antiques make up a series of historical monuments that mark the entrance to the ancient Roman city of Glanum.

The Mausoleum and the Arc de Triomphe, both from Roman times, were built to celebrate Caesar’s victory over the Gauls. They are very similar to the Roman arches found in the towns of Orange and Carpentras in the Vaucluse.

Archaeological site of Glanum

2Av. Vincent Van Gogh, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Francia

About 1 km south of Saint-Rémy is one of the best-preserved ancient sites in Provence. Glanum was first founded by Celto-Ligurian tribes before being conquered by the Romans in 27 AD.

During the Roman imperial age, the city acquired the most important monuments typical of a Roman city: the forum, temples, baths, but no arena like those seen in nearby Arles and Nîmes. Glanum, which is very reminiscent of Pompeii, was characterised above all by its religious sanctuary, built around its sacred spring.

Glanum later failed to resist the barbarian invasions and was completely destroyed around 260. The surviving inhabitants then abandoned Glanum in favour of the small neighbouring village located on the plain, less than a kilometre to the north, which would later become St Remy de Provence.

Hotel de Sade

31 Rue du Parage, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Francia

Behind the Renaissance façade of the Hôtel de Sade, in rue du Parage, lies a spectacular concentration of 2,000 years of Saint-Rémy’s history: the 15th-century residence was in fact built on the site of older monuments, whether civil (ancient baths, medieval tower, tithe house) or religious (two successive churches in the Middle Ages and the Black Penitents’ chapel in modern times).

The Hôtel de Sade, reopened in 2015, houses jewels of ancient sculpture and decoration such as the marvellous mosaics of ancient Glanum.

Musée Estrine - Présence Van Gogh

48 Rue Lucien Estrine, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Francia

A true jewel of 18th-century Provençal architecture, the Hotel Estrine was built in 1748 to house the seat of the court of the Princes of Monaco. It was completely restored in 1989 and awarded the Fondation de France’s Living Heritage Prize. Since 2007, it has housed the Musée Estrine, which benefited from an extensive extension and renovation programme in 2014.

To pay tribute to Vincent van Gogh, who lived in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence from 8 May 1889 to 20 May 1890, the Musée Estrin has created a multimedia didactic space dedicated to the painter’s life and work. The Vincent van Gogh Interpretation Centre allows visitors to discover the human and artistic journey of this exceptional personality and his influence on the creation of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The collection of the Musée Estrine is dedicated to 20th and 21st century painting and graphic arts in the lineage of the two great artists who left their mark on the city of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Vincent van Gogh and Albert Gleizes. Each year, two to three temporary exhibitions are organised on important themes of painting or very talented painters and draughtsmen.

Alpilles Museum

51 Place Charles Favier, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Francia

The Museum of the Alpilles in Saint Rémy de Provence, created in 1919, is housed in a former private mansion from the Renaissance period, classified as a Historical Monument, the Hotel Mistral de Montdragon.

Of great architectural value, the building houses an interesting inner courtyard. The museum presents works of international renown, including of course some of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings, but also works by more discreet authors from the region. The permanent exhibition, in fact, evokes various unsuspected or little-known facets of the region’s heritage, such as the traditional costumes of yesteryear or the applied arts.

Market of Saint Rémy de Provence

6Pl. Jules Pellissier, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Francia

On Wednesday mornings, Saint Rémy de Provence organises a large Provençal market that fills the three main squares of the town, in front of the main church of St Martin, bordering rue Carnot and bordering rue Lafayette, and spills out into the streets in between.

This is the best day to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere and experience the city at its best: you can browse among Provençal fabrics, spit-roasted chickens, juicy olives and inviting scents.

The Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausolé

72 VC des Carrières, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Francia

The Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausolé, a jewel of Provençal Romanesque art, was built near the Gallo-Roman city of Glanum and owes its name of Mausole to the proximity of the Roman mausoleum: it appears in the landscape thanks to its beautiful Romanesque two-storey bell tower with a square plan, surmounted by a pyramidal roof.

Inside is its magnificent 11th and 12th century Romanesque cloister. All around is a delicately manicured garden that gives the stone all its grandeur.

The monastery is also famous for having welcomed and inspired Vincent Van Gogh in 1889: it was here that he painted 150 of his most famous canvases. You can discover a reconstruction of his famous patient’s room.

Saint Paul de Mausole still remains a psychiatric sanatorium today. Visits to places open to the public are subject to respect for the tranquillity of the place. In the old chapter rooms and the restored Romanesque staircase, you can discover a permanent exhibition and sale of patient works produced at the Valetudo art-therapy workshop.

From the top of the stairs, one can still admire the panorama of the wheat field that Vincent Van Gogh contemplated from his window and painted during his year of internment in the men’s pavilion.

Map

In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article.

Vincent van Gogh in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

The Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausole

The history and life of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence is deeply linked to that of its most famous inhabitant, Vincent van Gogh, who lived at the Monastery of Saint Paul de Mausole from May 1889 to June 1890.

To discover the painter’s presence in the city, we recommend you follow an enchanting walk created by the municipality. It is an illustrated pedestrian circuit with 21 panels, reproductions of his works, chosen from among the 150 paintings made by the artist during his stay in Saint Rémy de Provence.

This pedestrian walk crosses the most significant landscapes that inspired the great Impressionist artist. You will thus enter Vincent van Gogh’s real or imaginary universe, discovering with emotion landscapes modelled with humility by the hand of ten generations of peasants since Roman times.

Starting from the Monastery, the walk heads towards the historical centre of Saint Rémy de Provence through the Four Cantons district, ending in front of the entrance to the beautiful Centre d’Art Présence Van Gogh, located in the Hôtel Estrine (17th century).

Among the places that inspired Vincent Van Gogh are also some corners of Arles such as the Trinquetaille bridge, the Rhone promenade, rue Mireille and the hospital garden. This trip is an impressive sight to begin to understand how Van Gogh saw the world.

Where to stay in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

In the heart of the town, you will find many accommodation options: you can choose from charming hotels, housed in historic buildings or period mansions converted into B&Bs.

For the town’s most popular events, you should book well in advance. One of the most popular events is the Transhumance Festival, which takes place on Whit Monday morning: the city is transformed into a huge flock of sheep invading the streets on their way to the pastures. The Feria Provençal is also very popular: on the weekend of Ferragosto, the town celebrates the bulls with non-bloody races and bullfights.

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How to get to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

The quickest way to get to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence is to land at Marseille Airport. After hiring a car, you can drive to the town in less than 1 hour.

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence Weather

What's the weather at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence for the next few days.

Tuesday 23
21°
33°
Wednesday 24
22°
33°
Thursday 25
20°
34°
Friday 26
20°
36°
Saturday 27
22°
35°
Sunday 28
22°
36°

Where is located Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence is located at the foot of the Alpilles, a small mountain range just a few kilometres from Avignon, Arles and Marseille.

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