Old Discoveries in Aix

Most sites in Aix-en-Provence are millenniums or centuries old. Some of these places aren’t exactly known or popular to tourists, while some are a secret behind walls. On a couple of our walks we poked our heads around to get a closer look of what was behind mysterious walls. We wanted to know what was hidden. These places didn’t look residential, and we wondered what these sites were centuries ago. What we found were statues and fountains.

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On another walk we stumbled upon the Chapelle de la Visitation. Unbeknownst to most tourists, this chapel was built between 1647 and 1652. The building is tightly fitted between other buildings and visiting hours are shorter compared to other chapels. It’s definitely not in a popular section, and tourists may overlook it.

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Another old site, but more known, is the thermal baths built by the Romans in 122 BC. Thermes Sextius is now a luxurious spa that has been built over these baths. Just like the Roman times, the water is drawn at a depth of 80 meters, and the natural water temperature is at 90 degrees fahrenheit. The water is thought to be healing and rejuvenating, and in earlier days many people took refuge at the site, including Pablo Picasso and Thomas Jefferson.

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Part of the old tower of the Roman baths.

Living in a modern age, it’s always interesting to discover old sites. It makes me wonder how life was back then…

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