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.
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.
Beautifully preserved medieval architecture, charming shopfronts trimmed in traditional Provence Blue or windows showcasing tantalizing pastry and freshly baked baguettes all added to St. Remy's appeal.
As one rounded a corner another unique aspect of this ancient town appeared, whether it be an aging fountain or a intricately wrought balcony. The narrow streets might lead to patisseries or boulangeries, public squares or petite alleyways filled with a variety of potted flowers.
This medieval town has much to offer the traveler and those who value all things historic.
Formerly this spot was a Roman settlement named Glanum. The South of France has other reminders that it was once part of the Roman Empire...these were the first we saw, and were only about 20 minutes from where we stayed.
Along the roads of St Remy are signboards which mark the suppossed positions where Van Gogh painted. However, to better follow the route, why not arm yourself with a "Patrimoine" brochure that is available in your hotel or the tourist office and you can see for yourself how Van Gogh managed to turn the scene before you into a piece of art. I would say that it was very moving to be able to in the same location as the great artist. Don't forget to visit the Monastere St Paul where Van Gogh seeked treatment for his psychiatric problems outside ot the town.
As you stroll through the streets of St. Remy, you might eventually come upon Place Jules Pelissier, where the town square and Dolphin fountain are located.
The town square fronts St. Remy's town hall (shown in the background), built in the 16th century on the site of a former convent. The flag of France waves daily outside the building.
I couldn't resist having my picture taken at the fountain.
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.
When you're done there, you can walk across the field and visit Van Gogh's asylum nearby . . . but that's another tip.
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.
Open from april 1 to September 30: 9-7
from October 1 to March 31: 9-12 and 2-5
The Mausoleum standing next to the Triumphal Arch, south of St.-Remis is a rare example of an ancient monument that is in pristine condition. It was built during the first years of the 1C AD to honor the grandsons of Augustus, namely his heirs Caius and Lucias, both of whom died as young warriors. On the base of the structure is a square podium with battle scenes. The next level is also a four sided arch housing statues of the honorees. The third level is a circular colonnade with a conical roof which once was topped by a pine cone.
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.
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 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.
The vault of the Triumphal arch is intact and has a coffered ceiling with uniform hexagonal floral centers. The edge of the arch is decorated with groups of flowers and sheaves of leaves and buds. This is probably the first Roman monument in Europe outside of Italy.
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.
Before embarking on any trips on your own in or around St Remy de Provence, do make a trip down to the local tourist office. Outside there is a white-board stating the various programmes that is available for the week. It includes half-day nature trails in the Alpilles or a Vincent Van Gogh circuit.