Aix en Provence Neighbourhoods, Locations and Districts
(Aix en Provence, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France)
The central districts of Aix en Provence, or Aix as it's commonly known, are the oldest and also the most fascinating.
The Old Town in Aix is neatly divided from the city's surrounding modern neighbourhoods by a ring of boulevards.
These outlying districts and neighbourhoods are the location for Aix en Provence's commercial and retail zones, as well as its large university campus and student hub.
Old Town District
Wander around the oldest of Aix's districts and it's easy to become disoriented amidst the maze of narrow streets and charming squares. The Old Town district in neighborhoods is a great place simply to stroll wherever the mood takes you, stopping off to sightsee or to enjoy a coffee and watch the world go by. This neighbourhood, built on the site of the original Roman city, comprises most of Aix's most impressive historic buildings and churches, including the Hôtel de Ville, Ancienne Halle aux Grains, Cathédrale St. Sauveur and Palais de Justice.
To the east of the Palais de Justice lies Aix's 'New Town'. This was the name given to this district when it was modernized - that was back in the 16th century. Today, it's a rather elegant neighbourhood with its rows of townhouses.
To the south of the Cours Mirabeau lies the elegant Mazarin District, named after the archbishop who founded the area. Built in the 17th century, its grid pattern of streets is filled with town houses from that period. Originally, this was the neighbourhood where the middle class and wealthier inhabitants of Aix en Provence lived. Today, it is also a good place to window shop in some of Aix's trendy boutiques.
Cours Mirabeau District
The district immediately surrounding Cours Mirabeau is one of the liveliest in the whole of Aix en Provence. Cours Mirabeau itself is a beautiful 18th-century boulevard, shaded from the hot summer sun by rows of trees and lined by grand mansion buildings dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. A walk along the Cours Mirabeau is a must-do activity for visitors to Aix en Provence. This neighbourhood is also the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee at one of its many pavement cafes.
The district to the north of Aix is generally seen as Cézanne country and is particularly popular with visitors who are interested in the artist's work. Located here are Cézanne's home and workshop. The countryside surrounding Aix en Provence, particularly in the north, provided the inspiration for many of his paintings.