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René d'Anjou, the good king of Aix-en-Provence and his fountain

The fountain | François de Dijon / CC-BY-SA
Fountain René of Anjou David d’Angers King René fountain

René in Aix

In the 15th century, city of Aix soared thanks to king René. René was king of Sicilia, duke of Anjou and Lorraine, count of Provence! He made lots of parties in Aix, the city he loved. He founded the Fête-Dieu traditional celebrations and embellished the city with new squares, new streets...

He had his own castle in Baugé, in Anjou, but René wanted to spend his end of his life in Aix, where he wrote poems, painted, learnt Greek, Latin, Italian...

Oh, he loved Aix, its hot and dearly sun... a sun which warmed up the coldest and saddest heart: the old king came in Aix after the death of his first wife, Isabel of Lorraine and their son, duke of Calabria.

Sad and lonely, René? Not at all... Poetry and painting, his two best friends, occupied his days. But he also found his soulmate! He married Jeanne de Navarre, two years after his wife’s death. He was 47 years old: the happy bride was 21!

They were in love, until he died in 1480: he was 72. René was buried in Angers, near Isabel...

The fountain

The king, dearly beloved by people of Provence, deserved his own statue! In fact, it’s a fountain, located at the top of the cours Mirabeau.

Sculptor from Anjou David d’Angers represented René. Look! This one holds a muscat grape in his hand... a kind of grape he introduced in the area! Allegories of Literature and Fine Arts stand by him.

Medallions on each sides represent Matheron, king’s minister, and Palamède de Forbin, Provence’s general Lieutenant. Duchess of Angoulême inaugurated the fountain, on May 19th 1823...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!