Saint-Rémy-de-Provence Things to Do

  • The cloister
    The cloister
    by Beausoleil
  • The garden from van Gogh's window
    The garden from van Gogh's window
    by Beausoleil
  • Saint Paul de Mausole Asylum
    Saint Paul de Mausole Asylum
    by Beausoleil

Most Recent Things to Do in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

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    VIsit the Van Gogh Asylum

    by Beausoleil Written Jan 10, 2016

    St. Paul de Mausole is right beside the Roman ruins at Glanum outside of Saint-Remy-de-Provence. There is plenty of parking at Glanum and a little at St. Paul. However, you can park for free at the tourist office in St. Remy and walk to St. Paul. We did the Van Gogh Walk with maps we picked up at the Tourist Office and you end up at the St. Paul de Mausole Asylum if you do that. (That makes the walk backward if you don't mind doing things backward.) Vincent van Gogh committed himself here from May 1889 to May 1890.

    You enter the main gate and pay a minimal fee to enter. The converted monastery is still a working psychiatric facility so you are limited to certain areas and they are well marked. Be sure to visit the church before going through the beautiful cloister to visit the gift shop and then a reconstruction of the artist’s room. Back outside, in the Van Gogh Field behind the cloister you will see more than 20 large-scale reproductions of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings on the site where they were created. In less than a year he completed over 150 drawings and 143 paintings of his surroundings including some of his most famous works. There are also lots of lavender plants to enjoy in season.

    It is closed part of the winter so check the web site for opening times.

    Saint Paul de Mausole Asylum Vincent van Gogh The church and museum The cloister The garden from van Gogh's window
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    Incredible show in a cave

    by rexvaughan Written Aug 20, 2015

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    Les Baux-de-Provence
    This little village seems to be carved out of the rocky mountains of the park and was in fact the site of a large quarry for building stone. The quarry is now the Carrières de Lumières which plays host to multimedia shows that are unlike any others anywhere else in the world. We went to see the show, "Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael." The show is giant images of the works of these 3 projected onto the 40-50 foot high walls, floor, ceiling and large support columns. Accompanied by music chosen for the art, this is one of the most amazing and unique experiences we have had. I can't really describe it, but imagine seeing Michelangelo's Moses or Pieta or da Vinci's Mona Lisa as a 40 foot image with renaissance mood music in the background. It is spectacular. (As photos were not allowed, unfortunately I don't have any.)
    You can stay as long as you like and maybe see a different show, but the shows last 30 minutes. There is parking right in front of the entrance. It will be pretty cool inside, so a jacket would be handy. It is less than 10 miles south of St. Remy-de-Provence. Cost is 7,5 € per person.

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    Day trip to Aix-en-Provence

    by rexvaughan Written Aug 20, 2015

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    As Aix is one of the most mentioned towns in Provence, we made a short visit just to see the heart of town and have lunch at Les Deux Garcons, a lovely place on Cours Mirabeau that has been there since 1840. We sat on the terrace as we visited in the midst of one of the worst heat waves the area has seen in years, but the interior is beautiful. Go inside, even if just for a trip to the toilet, and admire it. You will see some sketches of some of their famous guests of which there are many. Cezanne was born in Aix and reportedly spent a lot of time at this cafe with his friend Zola. We had the "Formules" which included salad, steak and dessert and was a little pricey for lunch at 28€, but it was to be our main meal that day. I really liked the steak. partly because it was grilled and had a huge dollop of herbed butter on top. Adding some juice, water and coffee brought our bill up to 66.40€, but it was great watching the people and enjoying the historic setting.

    The largest of several fountains on Cours Mirabeau A very nice steak We missed the wedding - these little girls didn't There is a fountain hiding in the bushes
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    Day trip to colorful Roussillon

    by rexvaughan Written Aug 19, 2015

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    If you drive to Roussillon, you can see it from several miles away, as it sits atop a pretty good sized mountain. It is a small village of maybe 1500 people and home to the one of the largest ochre deposits in the world. They no longer mine ochre here and what is left of the old quarry area are the wonderfully multi-hued cliffs and quarry sites. The reds, yellows and browns are enhanced by the surrounding blue sky and evergreen pines. Take the Ochre Trail hike which is not strenuous, at least the shorter one was manageable by a couple 79 year olds. The two trails are well marked and they are 30 or 60 minutes each. Entree is only 2.50 €.

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    Visit both sides of the road at Glanum

    by Beausoleil Updated Jul 8, 2015

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    After you've checked the mausoleum and the triumphal arch, cross the road. There is an entire archeological excavation of a Roman village to visit. There is a very nice gift store and inside is a maquette of the village during Roman times. It's fun to see what it used to look like.

    You can take a guided tour or get a map and walk through on your own. The setting with the ruins tucked into the valley of Notre-Dame-du-Vallon in the beautiful Alpilles is stunning. When you're finished, there is a snack shop where you can relax and unwind while watching people climbing all over the ruins.

    When you're done there, you can walk across the field and visit Van Gogh's asylum nearby . . . but that's another tip.

    Glanum from the Visitor Center Roman ruins at Glanum Roman ruins at Glanum Roman ruins at Glanum Glanum Archeological Site
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    Visit the Roman ruins at Glanum

    by Beausoleil Updated Jul 8, 2015

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    If you are using St. Remy as a base for touring that area of Provence, there are quite a few things to do very nearby. One of the first things to visit is Glanum, a former Roman settlement that is now an archeological dig.

    On one side of the D-5 out of St. Remy (and well signposted) is the parking lot for Glanum with this large triumphal arch and the mausoleum beside it. You don't have to pay to visit this unless you end up paying for parking. You can park for free at the Tourist Office in St. Remy and walk out to the site and we've done that a few times. It is called Les Antiques and on holidays, they often have historical reenactments or other activities in the grassy area behind the Triumphal Arch. The tall monument with the statues inside the top is the Mausoleum of the Julii and supposedly the tomb of the three Julii brothers. The carvings on it are amazing. The Triumphal Arch was a symbol of Roman power and it hasn't survived in as good shape as the Mausoleum but it is still remarkable.

    Open from april 1 to September 30: 9-7
    from October 1 to March 31: 9-12 and 2-5

    Mausoleum of the Julii Roman ruins at Glanum Roman triumphal arch at Glanum Detail of the triumphal arch at Glanum Preparing for a historical reenactment at the Arch
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    Visit the cloisters of St.-Paul-de-Mausole

    by egonwegh Updated Aug 4, 2011

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    Turn south at St.-Remy-de-Provence on the motor way D5. Visit the Cloitre St.-Paul-de-Mausole, see where Vincent van Gogh spent the last year of his life and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. In 2010, we paid an entrance fee of 4 euro.

    Cloitre St. Paul-de-Mausole, garden Cloitre St. Paul-de-Mausole, stone carvings
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    The Birthplace of Nostradamos

    by VeronicaG Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This modest home is the birthplace of Michel de Nostredame or Nostradamos (1503), a Jewish physician and astrologer who became famous for his vague predictions about the future. Unlike many creative souls, he became well-known in his lifetime.

    The second story window to the left is where he was born. Nostradamos lived in a town near his birthplace most of his life.

    It is said that he specialized in treating victims of the plague, a disease that raged through Europe in medieval times. His writing brought him notoriety, respect and wealth.

    The birthplace of Nostradamos
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    Musee Estrine

    by VeronicaG Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Although St. Remy did not appreciate artist Vincent Van Gogh during his lifetime, they remedied the slight by dedicating two rooms of the Musee Estrine in his honor.

    This museum, housed in a former 18th century mansion, primarily features artists of the 20th century. Inside this elegant building you'll see pieces by Alechinsky, Doucet, Gleizes, Eugene Leroy, Edouard Pignon and others. Gleizes, a French cubist painter, actually lived in St. Remy from 1939-1953.

    Musee Estrine is located just a short distance from City Hall. Hours are Tusday -Sunday from 10:30am-12:30p.m. amd frp, 4pm-6pm; Wednesdays from 10:30am-6pm. There is an admission price of 3.20 euros for adults; students 1.30 euros.

    Musee Estrine
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    Drive Along the Alpilles

    by hquittner Written Apr 2, 2011

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    The Alpilles is a 15 miles spur at the southwest edge of the Luberon Mountains beyond Cavaillon with peaks that are 3-400 meters high and essentially devoid of trees and predominantly made up of limestone. In the west edge of the little chain of peaks are remains of a medieval city, les Baux-de-Provence.

    Limestone Mountains Alpilles The Alpilles

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    Examine the Cloister of St. Paul-de-Provence

    by hquittner Written Mar 31, 2011

    The small cloister is adjacent to the church. It is square with only three bays on each side but the number of columns is not triple in each bay but there are two columnettes.The aisles have tunnel vaults. There is no sculpture. The capitals have floral forms and a few are figurative, such as zodiac signs.

    Interior of Cloister Aisle of Cloister Short Bays, Statue and Interor Garden Figurated Elements On Capitals Element of Zodiac
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    Pay Respects To the Bust of van Gogh

    by hquittner Updated Mar 31, 2011

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    Along the side of the church is a bust of van Gogh by Ossip Zadkine. He was not the only famous resident, but Albert Schweitzer occupied the same room during the First World War (both not yet famous). Further on there are vegetable and fruit gardens behind the asylum where many famous paintings by van Gogh were made. It is possible to enter the Asylum and we were shown equipment used in earlier days such as special bath tubs looking like tight fitting coffins used for cooling baths.

    The Bust van Gogh Looking Down Into Center of Cloister from Asylum Cold Bath Treatment Room View From Asylum Into Gardens
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    Walk To the Monastery of St.-Paul-de-Mausole

    by hquittner Written Mar 29, 2011

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    This priory has been known by this name since the 12C when the church was built. It was at this time that the massive bell tower was built and as well as the cloister. It passed into the hands of the Benedictines and then the Augustinians and finally the Franciscans. Finally at the Revolution it became state property. It became an asylum in 1803. In 1889 van Gogh voluntarily entered the institution and remained here for one year.

    Facade Bell Tower Distant View of Church Limited Facade Decoration
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    Glanum Covers A Large Area

    by hquittner Written Mar 27, 2011

    Besides the large number o foundations and some ;lower walls, there are couple of roughly decorated floors with a variety of brick and inlaid stone work but not mosaic.A moderate amount of reassembly work has been doe, such as an archway and walls. Many pieces are in the town museum, the Hotel de Sade.

    Typical Decorated Fine Stone Floor Edge of Town with Alpilles Resetting Walls Replacing Arch Town Against the Alpiilles
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    Study the Ancient Ruins Of Glanum Across the Road

    by hquittner Written Mar 27, 2011

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    Across the road from the Antiquities is the destroyed city of Glanum. It was eliminated in about 270 and the city was seen to slowly rise again nearby as St.Remy. The original city was started in the 6C BC as a Celto-Ligurian sanctuary and developed into a prominent Roman stop after crossing the Alps. After the 4C the site became covered by an alluvial deposit and not discovered until the 19C withsome incidental findings and in 1921 an extensive uncovering began which still cntinues.

    A View of the Glanum site Remains of a Temple Temple (lt) and Base of Baths (center and rt) Entrance A Rare Glanum River God A Rare Glanum River God
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