A little history of Aix-en-Provence knights of Malta's priory
A house for knights...
We are now in the old house of Malta order, current Granet museum... Malta order moved here in 1180. They inherited Templars goods, an order cancelled in 1308: they were rich. And mighty!
The construction of the building, dedicated to saint Antoine, dates back to the beginning of the 12th century. One century later, count of Provence Raymond Bérenger built a beautiful church for them. Emperor Charles the Fifth’s troops destroyed the house when Charles besieged the city in the 16th century.
Reraised, it welcomed queen Marie of Medici in November 1600, on her way to marry Henri IV in Lyon!
In 1674, Jean-Claude Viany, the brave prior who also restored Saint-Jean-de-Malta church, reraised a new priory.
... transformed into a museum
But the Malta order was cancelled during the Revolution: the city mayor decided to buy the old building, in 1825, to open a Fine Arts museum. In 1828, the Drawing school opened on the ground floor. On the first floor, they raised a vast gallery for the museum.
A museum based on count de Forbin's (director of French museums) personal collection. Painter François Granet gave several piece of arts, that's why they called it Granet museum!
We can see here Italian, Flemish, French paintings, archaeological collection, 20th century paintings with Giacometti or Mondrian...