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Rians, Aix-en-Provence

At 335 meters above sea level, Rians is a large town located between the Sainte-Baume and Sainte-Victoire massifs. Built in a spiral around its Clock Tower, it has preserved a rich heritage that will delight history and archeology lovers. Rians is a pleasant place where life is good.

What makes this village special?

The village was built in a spiral around the old fortified castle of which only the 12th century clock tower remains. As you walk through Rians, you will discover vestiges of its medieval past: the old ramparts, the Saint-Jean gate, the square tower, the Saint-Jacques hospice, a former relay station for pilgrims on their way to Compostela, founded in 1558, pretty fountains, doors and some bourgeois houses.

Many chapels have disappeared, but there are still a few that are worth a visit, such as the chapel of Saint-Enfant, that of Saint-Pierre or even that of Saint-Estève.

Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth dominates Rians. This Romanesque church, which dates from the 12th century, is very beautiful and famous for its large organ, built and installed in 2004 by Mr. Leray, patron and organist. With its 1,456 pipes and 5 keyboards, this singular instrument releases an extraordinary sonic power. It is possible, on request, to attend a recital, given every Sunday afternoon from 3 p.m., with a visit to the church. (Contact Mr. Leray: 06 87 46 55 85).

Rians is surrounded by vineyards producing the delicious Côteaux-d'Aix-en-Provence. The countryside invites to beautiful walks, on foot, by bike, on horseback or even on the back of a pack donkey. Every year, the second weekend of October, the Pumpkin Festival is the event not to be missed! The streets of the village come alive and fill with gourds of all kinds. Competitions of sculptures, recipes, decorations are launched. Visitors can attend the parades of floats, brotherhoods, folk groups... A festive village and guaranteed atmosphere!

Finally, Rians is the ideal starting point for exploring the pretty bordering villages such as Artigues, Jouques, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance...


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