In the majestic setting of the Alpilles, between Avignon and Arles, nestles a gem of a city: Saint-Rémy de Provence. Private mansions from the Renaissance and the 18th century, beautifully restored homes, chapels and convents line the winding streets of the historic centre. Shaded boulevards, squares adorned with old fountains and the terraces of the cafés and restaurants are all invitations to enjoy the Provençal way of life.
It's beautiful heritage is crowned by the archaeological site of Glanum and the ancient monuments, such as the Triumphal Arch and the Jules Mausoleum, exceptional legacies of Late Antiquity.
The town, which witnessed the birth of Nostradamus, was and still is a source of inspiration for many artists. Seduced by the setting and the town's atmosphere, many have chosen to live here and numerous studios and art galleries thrive in the town centre.
The Café des Variétés in Saint-Rémy de Provence
Old fountain and bust of Nostradamus
The Antiquities in Saint Rémy de Provence
The cloisters of the Saint-Paul de Mausolée Monastery in St-Rémy
The Mistral de Mondragon mansion, Museum of the Alpilles in Saint Rémy
The lively town centre of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
Façade of the Saint-Jacques Hospital, vestige of the old fortifications
The Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausolé, a gem of Provençal Romanesque architecture, is famous for having taken in and inspired Vincent Van Gogh in 1889 (this is where he painted 150 of his most well-known works). There you can see the reconstitution of the famous patient's room.
A circuit "Promenade dans l'Univers de Vincent Van Gogh" shows you the places that inspired him for his paintings and takes you from the ancient Roman site Glanum to the Estrine Museum.
A few museums offer a fine complement to the discovery of Saint-Rémy's heritage:
- the Museum of the Alpilles, in the magnificent Mistral de Mondragon mansion, with a collection based around regional ethnology, typography and the graphic arts.
- the Estrine Museum, set out in an 18th century mansion, presents a permanent collection devoted to graphic arts and 20th and 21st centuries paintings as well as temporary exhibitions of contemporary painters.
The Vincent Van Gogh Interpretation Centre reviews the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh in a modern lay-out.
- The Hôtel de Sade houses the archaeological collections of the Roman site of Glanum; it reopens its door in September 2016.
Saint-Rémy is also in the heart of a land of gastronomy and, throughout the Alpilles, olive orchards and vineyards have fashioned the landscape and offer us a whole range of renowned olive oils and AOC Baux de Provence wines, of which most of the vineyards are organically farmed. The produce of the land can be found in abundance every Wednesday morning when the weekly market livens up the town centre.
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence has preserved its traditions and its personality. Festive events add flavour to the town's life throughout the year: the Route des Artistes, the bullfights and other bull events, the transhumance festival, the Horse and Antiques fair, concerts and exhibitions.
In the heart of a preserved countryside, the Alpilles offer a whole range of activities: walking and hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, hang gliding, tennis, golf...
In the nearby area, try not to miss visiting Les Baux de Provence, the Saint-Sixte Chapel in Eygalières, the Frédéric Mistral Museum in Maillane, the writer Alphonse Daudet's windmill in Fontvieille, the villages of Maussane-les-Alpilles, Mouriès and Tarascon and its castle.
Arles is just 25 kilometres away and the Camargue with its sea ponds, salt marshes and beaches lets you discover other horizons.