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  Villages /  Salon-de-Provence

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• Bouches-du-Rhône (13300)   • Population: 34,054  • Altitude: 90 m

Gallery of 8 photos for Salon-de-Provence

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

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 of Salon-de-Provence


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.


• GPS: 43.640506, 5.086604


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.


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.


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

Transportation Salon-de-Provence

Charleval - Mallemort - Salon Bus

  • There are several buses a day between Charleval and Salon-de-Provence, going thorough the towns of Charleval, Mallemort, Alleins, Lamaron and Salon-de-Provence.

Department 13, Bouches-du-Rhône Buses

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