Archive for the ‘history’ Category


a new page was added => link above – next to the home and about sections – with maps of the region. Relevant regional maps will be added peu à peu.


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If you try to understand the “bourgeois” way of life in Provence, you should visit the surroundings of Aix-en-Provence, where huge bastides can be found. The bigger ones would be called castles anywhere else : they were both holiday and agricultural domains, and where occuped in the summer time by wealthy families from Aix and Marseille, when the heat became oppressive…

[picture: château de la Pioline, hotel

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A few bastides have become famous and have contributed to the international popularity of Provence and its way of life.

Among them, the Château la Canorgue [picture below] in Bonnieux,  main setting of the film A Good Year (2006) by Ridley Scott and the Bastide Neuve in La Treille, setting of the novel La Gloire de mon Père (1957) that belonged to its author Marcel Pagnol.


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Proof of the wealthiness of its owners, the bastide is often decorated with typical architectural elements. One of the most characteristic ones is the so-called “génoise”, a double roof in cooked tiles that appears at the roofs border. The trend dates back the middle of the 17th century and came originally from Italy.

[picture via]

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A bastide is a local name for a manor house in Provence, in the south of France, located in the countryside or in a village, and originally occupied by a wealthy farmer. It was larger and more elegant than a mas.


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