Mireille by Janice Lert


mireille 1Mirèio in provençal. A word which was music to the ears of Frédéric Mistral, our famous provençal poet. So when he went looking for a name for the heroine of his epic poem published in 1859 which would later win him the Nobel Prize in Literature, he chose this loving word which he had heard his grandmother use during his childhood in Maillane. The word could be associated with the idea of "marvel", or "marvellous", but Mistral "invented" it as a first name, as he explains in his Mémoires et Récits.




Feudal taxes: the first sturgeon from the Rhône river by Janice Lert


The most important of the patron saints associated with the different professions must be Peter, the disciple of Christ. He was a fisherman and so the medieval guilds of fishermen took him as their protector. And there were plenty of fishermen in the Middle Ages in and around Arles because it was, and still is to a certain extent, surrounded by water: the Rhone River, perhaps branches of the Durance, marshes and of course the Mediterranean Sea. Islands were also sometimes placed under Peter’s protection, and this is the case of the little “island” to the east of the hill of Arles, Ile St. Pierre, where the ruins of Montmajour Abbey highlight the skyline today. The spot is no longer an island since the swampy land surrounding it was drained in the 17th century.

Feudal taxes


Apocalypse Now by Carole Rommene

apocalypse now 2Some extraordinary events make the headlines, create a stir for a while, then are all but forgotten. This is the case with a peculiar but true event which took place in August 1951 in Pont-Saint- Esprit, a little town in the Gard department, and which climaxed in what was to become known as the Night of Apocalypse.