Les Carriéres de Bibemus, Aix-en-Provence

Top-heavy limestone

Top-heavy limestone

When Cézanne got away from it all, he didn’t mess around. This remote pine-forested site high on a sandstone plateau was where he escaped city life.

Aix Quarries-6

Before Cézanne discovered it, the site was used by the city of Aix as a quarry. The tall, top-heavy red rocks were chiseled by hand, chipped from the bottom. If you look around Aix, you’ll notice many buildings were constructed from this rock.

Inspiring view of Mont Sainte-Victoire

Inspiring view of Mont Sainte-Victoire

In addition to ideal natural lighting that enhanced the orange rocks and their odd angles, the site offered an incredible view of Mont Sainte-Victoire.

The cabin

The cabin

Cézanne rented a cabin and spent long stretches of time living there and painting. He produced 11 oil paintings and 16 watercolors, featuring the quarries and Mont Sainte-Victoire.

A natural arch

A natural arch

Aix Quarries-5

The only way to see the quarries is on a guided tour, so we booked the hour-long walk in the tourist office. The tour stopped at select vantage points, where we could compare Cézanne’s work to today’s scenery.

Aix Quarries-9

Aix Quarries-8

We drove about 15 minutes from the city center to a designated parking lot, where we met the tour guide. From there, we took a shuttle up the hill and to the quarries.

This is a mystery

This is a mystery

3090 chemin de Bibémus, 13100 Aix en Provence

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