Saint-Remy-de-Provence is a picturesque French village that rests at the feet of the Alpilles mountain range. Here visitors can explore ancient Roman ruins, visit historic churches, do some shopping at the weekly market, or sit on a cafe terrace and watch the world go by with a glass of French wine in hand. This is also the birthplace of Nostradamus, and the site where Vincent Van Gogh was treated for psychiatric problems shortly before he died. For a holiday steeped in history, fine French cuisine, and incredible views, Saint-Remy-de-Provence is an excellent choice.
Saint-Remy-de-Provence Main Attractions
One of the biggest attractions in Saint-Remy-de-Provence is the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Glanum. The ruins rest on the southern edge of the village, and the buildings here date from between 30-10 BC. The most impressive building is the Mausoleum of the Julii, a well-preserved funeral monument with a triumphal arch, sculpted columns, and bas reliefs that depict scenes from the Trojan War and the Iliad. Besides the impressive mausoleum, the site of Glanum also includes the ruins of ancient bath houses, residential homes, and temples, as well as the site of a sacred spring.
Another popular sight in Saint-Remy-de-Provence is the Saint Paul de Mausole [french], the 12th century monastery-turned-asylum where Vincent Van Gogh was treated between 1889 and 1890. Van Gogh voluntarily committed himself to the asylum, and it was during this time that he produced the famous painting, Starry Night, as well as over 150 other works. Just two months after he left Saint-Remy-de-Provence, he shot himself and died. Today, visitors can see the room where Van Gogh was confined.
- The Transhumance Festival is one of the biggest festivals in southern France, and a day when thousands of sheep, donkeys, and goats are herded into the streets of Saint-Remy-de-Provence.
- The festival marks the beginning of the season when the animals are herded into the mountains, and it takes place each year on the Pentecostal Day.
- Visit the house where Nostradamus was born in 1503 on Rue Hoche. Although the house is not open to visitors, it is still an interesting building to see for its historical significance.
- Every Wednesday, an open air market takes place where shoppers can peruse the vast array of stalls selling everything from herbs, olives, chocolates, spices, linens, and flowers.
- The old-town is a picturesque place to stroll around, as it features a 14th century protective wall, medieval houses and churches, and pleasant squares with elegant fountains.
- The Saint-Martin church is home to the Festival Organa, where some of the best organ players in the world perform at free concerts held every Saturday evening throughout the summer.
- To see some of the ancient artifacts unearthed at Glanum, visit the Museo Archeologique. The museum is housed in a beautifully restored townhouse in the Hotel de Sade.
- Saint-Remy-de-Provence has many inviting cafes, bistros, and restaurants that serve excellent southern French cuisine. The Marc de Passorio restaurant is renowned for its delicious regional cuisine prepared with a contemporary twist and its scenic location among olive groves and pine trees.