Aix-en-Provence's Fontaine de la Rotonde has stood since 1860 on the Cours Mirabeau, the major avenue that divides the city into old and new towns. One of the most famous symbols of the "City of a Thousand Fountains", its three statues represent the town’s main activities: Justice, Agriculture and Fine Arts.
Aix-en-Provence – Fact Check

Aix-en-Provence, city of fountains

Photo by Jurjen Drenth

Aix-en-Provence – Fact Check Aix-en-Provence, city of fountains

Marseille may be known for its seaport, Avignon for its papal palaces. But in Aix-en-Provence, it’s the fountains you should watch out for.

Tara Isabella Burton
Tara Isabella Burton Travel Writer

They call it the “city of a thousand fountains”. Aix-en-Provence (you can just do as the locals do and call it “Aix”) might not have quite so many, but the carved stone and marble of the city’s fountains – made possible by the creation of the Canal du Verdon and Zola Dam in the late 19th century – are among Aix’s most iconic landmarks.

From the accurately named “Fountain of Warm Water”, a mossy structure oft nicknamed “la Mousse” to the imposing “Fountain of Nine Cannons”, every one of Aix’s fountains has a story.

But none is as striking as the city’s most iconic structure: La Rotonde, built in 1860. Each of the statues flanking the fountain depicts one of the town’s main “essences” – Justice, Agriculture, and Fine Arts. Yet in recent years, the fountains have slowed their flow. Water conservation efforts have led the town council to limit the hours per day the fountains run – they’re shut off overnight between 11pm and 6am.

Still, during a balmy Aix-en-Provence summer afternoon, leaning into the Fontaine de Neuf Canons – and feeling a hundred years of history spraying your face – makes for a perfect refreshment.

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