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The place des Quatre-Dauphins, legend and nettle tree

The square | Esby / CC-BY-SA
Street District Fountain Place des Quatre-Dauphins in Aix-en-Provence

A very old tree

On this square used to be plant a beautiful nettle tree, about 6 metres high. It was cut down because it had a rotten trunk.

The square

Place des Quatre-Dauphins ("Four dolphins' square") dates back to 1667, laid out, with Mazarin district, by bishop of Aix Michel Mazarin.

Valois and Boisgelin's city houses façades nicely frame the little square, in middle of Aix city.

The fountain

What about the fountain? It was raised in 1667, made by sculptor Jean-Claude Rambot, from Franche-Comté, Eastern France.

A legend says two pipes used to pour cold water and two others hot water... a mineral hot water that fed Sextius thermae: because Aix city was known as Aquae Sextiae, "Sextius' waters", from Roman consul Sextius who set the trend of the thermal springs here.

These very hot waters were useful for several illness. Romans knew it well and they came in Aix for that since centuries!

About the the author

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