Aix en Provence is rich with history, especially with the fountains, cathedrals, and mansions in town. The mansions in particular piques my interest as they are old and not your average mansion. Who once lived there? When was it built? Are there any spirits lingering? These are some questions I bear in mind when admiring these homes because I know they all have their own unique story to tell.
We visited one of these historical houses, the Pavillon Vendôme. The house is set in a French garden and bordered by a stone wall and tall trees for privacy. Originally commissioned by the Duke of Vendôme and built in 1667, the house was used for his love affair with his mistress. After the Duke passed,the house was later owned by a painter and then served as a Catholic boarding school for girls in 1789. In 1906, the house was bought by another artist, Henri Dobler. After his death, the house has served as a museum and is now a historical monument.
We walked the grounds of the lovely garden and noticed how peaceful and quiet it was there. Although a visiting site for tourists, there were no crowds.
Just a ten minutes walk from our apartment, I’m glad I learned about this place. If you’re in Aix and decide to visit, the gardens are open all year round, but to tour the exhibitions inside the house you will need an appointment.