One of the most popular attractions in Aix-en-Provence is Place des Prêcheurs, an iconic square located right in the heart of the old town.
Place des Prêcheurs was built during the 17th century by Louis XIV as part of his grand urban design project to transform Aix into a modern city. The square has been used as a public gathering place ever since that time and remains today one of the most beloved spots in Aix. It’s surrounded by some of the oldest buildings in town, including two churches – Saint Jean de Malte and Notre Dame de la Seds – which were both constructed during this period.
The main feature at Place des Prêcheurs is its fountain, which was designed by French sculptor Pierre Puget and completed back in 1693. This impressive structure depicts Neptune holding up his trident above four dolphins, with water cascading down from their mouths onto a large basin below them. On either side are two statues representing Charity (left) and Justice (right). The fountain stands on top of an octagonal base made out of limestone blocks carved with intricate designs depicting scenes from Greek mythology, such as Zeus riding Pegasus or Hercules battling Cerberus.
Today, Place des Prêcheurs serves not only as a reminder to visitors about Aix’s history, but also as an important meeting point for locals who come here to relax or catch up over coffee while admiring its beauty.