May 1st in Provence @CuriousProvence
Ashley TinkerInspireProvencal History & Traditions

May 1st in Provence: Arlésiennes et Gardians

Contributor blog post by Ashley Tinker: Le Fête des Gardians is the annual festival in Arles celebrating the lifestyle and traditions of the gardians (basically the French version of cowboys that rear bulls for delicious daube provençal). There’s an enormous parade, blessings of the animals, a queen is elected and …

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Historical Marseille Photos Vieux Port
AixcentricExploreProvencal History & Traditions

Discover Historical Marseille – What Lies Beneath Ground?

Contributor blog post by Aixcentric: The tourists sitting in the sun outside cafés in the Place aux Huiles and the Cours Estienne d’Orves probably don’t realise that they are perched above an ancient system of canals that dates back at least to Roman times. I am indebted to the website …

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Jean Moulin in Provence History of the Resistance @PerfProvence
ExploreKeith Van SickleProvencal History & Traditions

Discover the Women of the French Resistance in the Alpilles

There was a very interesting talk in St.-Rémy-de-Provence the other night, about women in the French Resistance.  It focused particular attention on St.-Rémy, where I live part of the year. The talk was organized by the local historical society and featured two historians who specialize in the subject.  The event …

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In the Footsteps of the Resistance in Provence
InspireJulie WhitmarshProvencal History & Traditions

In the Footsteps of the Resistance in Provence

In the centre of the pretty village of Saint Saturnin les Apt is a peaceful square (home to the vibrant Tuesday morning market), and to one side is a small garden area that sits in front of a dramatic stone wall, which is a memorial to the dramatic and devastating …

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French Foreign Legion Historical Image
InspireModern TrobadorsProvencal History & Traditions

The French Foreign Legion from Hollywood to Aubagne to Paris

It’s Academy Award season, and as it was with me a year ago when I wrote of Marcel Pagnol, I am drawn back to Provence, in fact to his hometown of Aubagne. On this occasion it began last fall when I was discussing with my wife Benedicte, who is French, …

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French Bakery
InspireMargo LestzProvencal History & Traditions

A French Superstition: Bread and Bad Luck

Contributor blog post by Margo Lestz: The French are a superstitious lot. They have many traditions that predict whether good or bad luck will follow a certain action. One such superstition states that you should never lay bread on the table upside down. It’s widely known that this action invites …

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La Rotonde #AixenProvence @margo_lestz
InspireMargo LestzProvencal History & Traditions

Good King René and His Fountain

Contributor blog post by Margo Lestz: Aix-en-Provence, the City of a Thousand Fountains Aix-en-Provence is known as the city of 1,000 fountains. However, since the folks of this area have a reputation for exaggeration, we should probably take that with a grain of salt. The real number might be closer to …

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Aix en Provence Archaeologists Find Cemetery in centre ville @Aixcentric
AixcentricInspireProvencal History & Traditions

Aix en Provence Archaeologists Find Cemetery in centre ville

Contributor blog post by Aixcentric: The ‘dig’ being carried out ahead of the redevelopment of the Place de la Madeleine has already yielded results in that skeletons are being exhumed and taken for examination. As expected, there was a 16-18th century cemetery beside the church. The archaeologists are also hoping …

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trio-of-statues @Margo_Lestz
ExploreMargo LestzProvencal History & Traditions

The Virgin Project of Nice, France

Contributor blog post by Margo Lestz: Did you know that the city of Nice, France almost had a 49 foot (15 meter) tall statue of the Virgin Mary standing atop the Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill)? In the 1980s, the idea of the “Virgin on the hill” came to the …

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Angelus Church Bells Provence
Ginger and NutmegInspireProvencal History & Traditions

Angelus the Church Bells of Angels in Provence

Ginger and Nutmeg live near to the village church. When they first return to France it takes several days to get adjusted. Between the 8-hour time change and the village bells, there is no need to wear a watch. The clock tower bells chime every hour, day and night. Angelus …

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