Salon-de-Provence photo salon09.jpg (11 k) This town, centered between Aix-en-Provence--Arles and Marseilles--Avignon, was a fortified around the hilltop fortress Chateau de l'Empéri. At the center of the now built-up modern town the ancient circular walls have entries through the medieval Porte de l'Horloge (17th-c) and the Port Bourg Neuf (17th-c

Nearby: | Aix-en-Provence 32 km | Arles 40 km | Cavaillon 24 km | Eyguières 10 km | Istres 19 km | Lambesc 14 km | Marseille 49 km | Martigues 32 km | Miramas 10 km | Saint Chamas 16 km | Saint Martin-de-Crau 25 km |

Hotels near Salon-de-Provence: | Salon-de-Provence | 19 km Istres | 24 km Cavaillon | 25 km Saint Martin-de-Crau | 32 km Aix-en-Provence | 32 km Martigues | 40 km Arles |

The 12th-13th-15th century chateau is one of the prettiest in Provence, with walls, courtyards and towers in excellent well-restored condition (see Museums below; photo-6. photo-7).

A popular attraction in Salon is the Fontaine Moussue [photo-1, at night], on the Place Crousillat just outside the Porte de l'Horloge. This 18th-century fountain is covered by a thick mound of moss. The fountain is surrounded by plane trees planted over the centuries: one was planted in 1799 to mark the end of the Revolution and another was planted in 1919 to mark the end of the Great War.

Salon-de-Provence is a busy modern town with loads of shopping possibilities, good hotels and plenty of activities, including flying. The ancient center is a nice tourist site, well worth a visit, but the town would be better as a base for visiting the region rather than a destination for itself.

Nostradamus lived here for the last 19 years of his life. His last residence is now fully restored as a museum on rue Nostradamus (the old rue du Moulin-d'Isnard) in the old center [photo-8, plaque].

Canal. In the 16th century, native son Adam de Craponne built the canal bearing his name. The canal brought commerce and the town prospered. Photo-5 is a pretty fountain with a statue of Adam.

An earthquake in 1909 caused serious damage to the town.

Before the Revolution Salon was the seat of several religious communities. Much more recently, Salon-de-Provence is the seat of the Ecole Nationale d'Agriculture and the well-known Ecole de l'Air. The air base is the home of France's national precision flying team.

History

Name

First record, 9th century Villa Salone

Celto-Ligurian: A Ligurian oppidum is located at Ste-Croix.

Gallo-Roman: The Roman Aurelian Way is still visible crossing the fields on the edge of town. The remains of a Roman monument called "les Antiquités" and a pyramid are located at St-Jean-de-Bernasse.

Medieval: Salon was ruled by the archbishops of Arles from the end of the 10th century. The town became was active commercial center through the 13th and 14th centuries, with markets and fairs.

Office de Tourisme

56 cours Gimon

Tel : 0490 56 27 60; Fax: 0490 56 77 09

Email: ot.salon@wanadoo.fr

Not a great Office de Tourisme compared to many of the smaller villages in the department; not much documentation, and no transportation information.

Museums

Musée de l'Empéri

in the inner courtyards of the 12th-16th century chateau-fortress

Musée Grevin

an historical and war museum and a wax museum

in the old town center

Entry: about 4 euros

Musée Nostradamus

in the old town center, 11 rue Nostradamus

Tel: (33) 490 56 64 31

Entry: about 4 euros

Closed: Sat and Sun mornings


Olive Oil Mills    (List of Mills - 13)

Mas des Bories

M. et Mme. Derni

Location: Vieille Route de Pélissanne

Tel: 0490 560 365

Web: www.masdesbories.com

Olive oil available.

Transportation Salon-de-Provence

Rail

Rail Marseille-Avignon (Schedules)

Bus


Sports

Cycling

Hiking

Maps

IGN (1/25,000) #3143 OT "Salon-de-Provence, Miramas"

IGN Verte (1/100,000) #67 "Marseille, Carpentras"

Most of the surrounding countryside is farmland and airbase. East of the autoroute, north of Pelissanne, are hills and woods with some small lanes and trails suitable for country walks.

Dining

With a wide variety of restaurants to choose from, we spent a fun evening in Pizzassimo on the rue de l'Horloge (in the fortified center of the old town). Pizzas are great, of course, with fresh tomatoes, and the ambience is good -- everybody seems to go there.

Lodging - Hotels