Seniors Enjoy Brignoles

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It’s a town in Provence called Brignoles (pop. 16,000+), a commune in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southern France, most famous as the summer residence of the counts of Provence. The castle  dates from the thirteenth century. Senior visitors will find that Brignoles is a market town, known for its peaches, honey, olives and olive oil.

From the second half of the 19th century until the 1960′s, Brignoles was a mining center, with bauxite mines and still today the old mines are scattered all over the region. Since those days, the area has evolved towards wine, agriculture and light industry. Also in the past, the marble quarries at Candelon were renowned; you can still see the quarries, about 3 km southwest of town.

The name, Brignoles, is thought to be derived from the Latin brinonia, plum, since plums have been grown in this region since Roman times.

A Stream Flows Through It

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As per usual, senior visitors will find some quality wine in the area. Brignoles is considered the center of one of my favorites rosé wines, Côte de Provence. The town has an annual wine fair, Foire de Brignoles, the first half of April.

The river Le Caramy flows through Brignoles and offers a welcome piece of green in the town center. That’s true from my experience of so many villages in France.  A stream flows right through the heart of the old quarter.

The Palais des Comtes de Provence dates to the 12th century and now houses the Musée du Pays Brignolais. The exhibits include all sorts of items from Brignoles history and an ancient Christian sarcophagus, as well as paintings, etchings and drawings.

Old Quarter Attracts Senior Visitors

The old quarter of the town dates from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. The Place des Comptes de Provence, renovated in 2001, housed the first ever Palace of the Counts of Provence.

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The 13th century Chateau des Comptes de Provence has a regional museum. The museum shows the history and life of the Brignoles area, with contents given by inhabitants of the region. The museum’s chief exhibit is the Bayole tombstone, from the end of the 2nd century.

You may see Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie around Brignoles as they started leasing the chateau in 2008.  After viewing many possibilities in France, the couple found the chateau to be the most beautiful and charming place to raise their family and purchased the chateau.

Brignoles is surrounded by walking trails through forests, and horseback riding very is popular in the area. Market day is on Wednesday and seniors will discover a fragrant flower market every Saturday. For you gourmet folks, a good choice might be the Abbaye de la Celle just outside Brignoles, which is run by the famous chef, Alain Ducasse.

Maybe enjoy a kir royal in the main square around 4 pm and just sit and people watch. That is something I would enjoy.   jeb

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