Roman Finds at the Musée Granet
Aix must be a paradise for archaeologists: building work in town often yields ancient foundations and sewers, but sometimes sumptuous Roman mosaic dining room floors, everyday pottery and glass from the table, and even jewellery, oil lamps and statues. They dated from around 2000 years ago when Aix was the first Roman town in the first Roman province, hence Provence’s name.
Place Saint-Jean de Malte
Closed on Mondays
Aix-en-Provence is known as the City of Water. Settled in 122 BC by the Romans who found natural springs, they called the city Aquae Sextiae after one of their important consuls Sextius Calvinus. The “Waters of Sextius” provided the population with water (both hot and cold) for daily life, animal husbandry and thermal baths. On the site of these Roman baths is a commercial spa called Thermes Sextius.
Virtually every time there are ‘travaux‘ in Aix, the archaeologists who precede the bulldozers unearth Roman pottery, statues, funeral urns, drainage systems and stretches of road.
Dans les Rues D’Aquae Sextiae – Aix Antique is a tour created by Frédéric Paul of Le Visible est Invisible. The company offers walking tours in French, English, German, and Italian helping you understand the first Roman city in Provence. The Roman city is hard to imagine as most traces have been removed, buried or reused, but Frédéric and his team bring history into view.