Visit Aubagne (Provence, France)
Aubagne is a small town between Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. The town is surrounded by hills and rocky crags, including the Garlaban right behind the town, and the Chaine de la Sainte Baume range to the east.
The big claim to fame of the town is that it was the birthplace of Marcel Pagnol - "I was born in the town of Aubagne under a Garlaban covered with goats, at the time of the last goatherds", he wrote in La Gloire de Mon Pere. Unfortunately Marcel Pagnol doesn't have quite the attraction of Van Gogh or Monet, so the town hasn't built fame and fortune from the association - although you will see several mentions of Pagnol around the town.
Pleasant if perhaps unexciting, having escaped from the tourist industry that has affected much of southern Provence, Aubagne does have some attractions - but they are not always especially easy to find.
The house where Pagnol was born is in the centre of Aubagne, at 16, Cours Barthelemy (a few doors along from the tourist office), and has now been furnished as it was in 1895 so that visitors can better appreciate it as it was at the time of his birth. At Le Petit Monde de Marcel Pagnol (Esplanade de Gaulle) there is an exhibition based around miniature models of characters from the Pagnol stories.
Religious monuments in Aubagne include the 11th century church of Saint Sauveur (at the top of the town, next to a viewpoint across the surrounding hills); and also two chapels: the chapel of Penitents Blancs and the Chapel of penitents Noirs.
The other places of interest you will see as you travel around include the dominant clock tower (dating from 1900); the bread oven on Rue Torte, and a church with an unusual triangular bell tower.
The 'Pagnol connection' is also used to promote several walks through the hills above the town where Pagnol lived, wrote and worked - the Aubagne tourist office can give you details of routes and timings (for these best it is necessary to visit outside July-August, when the paths are closed).
Another way to appreciate the scenery around the Garlaban is to visit 'La Font de Mai', a substantial old farming property in 100 hectares of countryside dedicated to the traditional agricultural activities of the town and region, and featuring also a trail through the vines and countryside above Aubagne.
Photos of Aubagne
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Address: Aubagne, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhone, Provence, 13400 || GPS: latitude 43.2908, longitude 5.57083
Map of Aubagne & places nearby
Highlights close by
La Ciotat 13km
Saint Cyr sur Mer 17km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Aubagne, France
- Cap Canaille - site of natural beauty (9km)
- OK Corral - theme park (11km)
- Parc du Mugel - site of natural beauty (14km)
- Parc municipal du Mugel - remarkable garden (14km)
- Parc du 26e Centenaire - remarkable garden (14km)
- Parc Borély - remarkable garden (16km)
- Parc Longchamp - remarkable garden (16km)
- Jardin de la Magalone - remarkable garden (16km)
- Marseille - town of art and history (16km)
- Chateau d'If - national monument (16km)
Market days in Aubagne: Regular market(s) are held in Aubagne each Tuesday & Thursday & Sunday & Saturday & Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Aubagne (Francais)