Visit Saint-Remy-de-Provence (Provence, France)
Saint-Remy-de-Provence is found at the western edge of the Provence region, where it is the capital of the Alpilles - the hills that dominate this section of the countryside of France.
Saint Remy de Provence is one of the oldest towns in France. It was founded by the Celts more than 2500 years ago and developed by both the Greeks and the Romans. It is in an attractive setting in the valleys of the Alpilles, and is a lovely town to explore.
Enter the town through one of the imposing gateways, the Porte Saint Paul or the Port du Trou - part of the original fortifications of the town - to explore the pretty tree-lined central square, and the surrounding streets containing many lovely old town houses and little features that will catch your eye.
The town is very attractive and everything a Provencal town should be with narrow streets, sleepy squares, fountains and boulevards often shaded by centuries old plane trees. The shops here are quite good too with lots of small boutiques and art galleries and plenty of bars and restaurants to make your stay a pleasant one.
Apart from the attractions of the town itself, there are two reasons why people visit St-Remy-de-Provence.
The first reason is the towns association with Van Gogh. The painter spent the last year of his life at the asylum in the town, where among others he painted the famous 'self portrait with bandaged ear'. Whilst living in Saint Remy de Provence Van Gogh painted more than 150 paintings including many of those for which he is most famous.
There is now a guided walk around the town where you can see the locations of 21 of Van Gogh's paintings, each point marked by a reproduction of the original painting. It is also possible to visit the asylum and monastery at Saint Paul de Mausole. There is a very pretty cloister within. There is also a reproduction of Van Gogh's bedroom. Both the walk and the asylum are a very moving experience if like me you are an enthusiast of the life and paintings of this great artist.
The second big attraction at St Remy-de-Provence is the archaeological site at Glanum, next to the town. The extensive Roman ruins at Glanum have been excavated and now provide a fascinating insight into life for the Romans 2000 years ago (Glanum is a listed French national Monument.
Glanum in fact predates the Romans by several centuries, but most of what we see comes from the Roman period. Among the highlights are the triumphal arch (Arc de triomphe) and a very well preserved cenotaph featuring elaborate carvings. Less remains of the other buildings of Glanum, but there is sufficient to understand the layout of the original town. The Hotel de Sade in the centre of St Remy de Provence, has been turned into an archaeological museum and contains finds from the ruins of Glanum.
Nostradamus Fountain & Galerie Pastel Passion in St Remy de Provence
Saint Remy de Provence is also the birth place of Nostradamus and you can see his house in the town and there is an attractive fountain tucked away on the corner between Rue Nostradamus and Rue Carnot which has a bust of Nostradamus decorating it.
There is a museum, The Musée des Alpilles housed in a former Renaissance house, the Hotel Mistral de Mondragon. The house has an excellent inside courtyard. Many Provencal traditions are displayed in the museum. Another museum, the Musée Estrine, housed in an elegant 18th century house is dedicated to Van Gogh. Unfortunately there are none of his paintings on exhibit here but there are life-sized photos of them and a slide show of his work.
Market day is Wednesday in St Remy-de-Provence.
Photos of Saint-Remy-de-Provence
Click any picture to start the gallery
Address: Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Arles, Bouches-du-Rhone, Provence, 13210 || GPS: latitude 43.79, longitude 4.8325
Map of Saint-Remy-de-Provence & places nearby
Highlights close by
See lots more places to visit nearby and a more detailed map at places near Saint-Remy-de-Provence.
See Provence and Bouches-du-Rhone (the region and department for Saint-Remy-de-Provence) for more travel ideas...
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France
- Glanum - national monument
- Baux-de-Provence - most beautiful village (6km)
- Alpilles - regional natural parc (8km)
- Jardin aquatique « Aux fleurs de l'eau - remarkable garden (8km)
- Jardin de l'Alchimiste - remarkable garden (10km)
- Beaucaire - recommended detour (15km)
- Abbaye Notre Dame de Montmajour (Arles) - religious monument (17km)
- Montmajour Abbey - national monument (17km)
- Avignon - secteur sauvegarde (17km)
- Avignon Centre - heritage site (18km)
The French version of this page is at Saint-Remy-de-Provence (Francais)