Provence!!

By Lynnae Betts

Provence

Provence is located in the south of France. Its official religion is Catholicism. Provence, France is known for its many tourist destinations, the fields of lavender, the beautiful Mediterranean countryside, its festivals, the Santon workshops as well as the well known food such as the calissons.

Some interesting things in Provence

Marseille

Marseille is the oldest and second largest city in France. It has 111 districts. There is lots of water sports and boating that takes place in Marseille because it is located on the Mediterranean Sea with over 57 kilometers of coastline.

Santons-"little saint"

Provence is famous for Santons otherwise known as little saints. These hand made Nativity based figurines date back to the year 1227 and were usually made from painted or gilded wood and were treasured by the wealthy and used as status symbols.Later a man named Jean-Louis Lagnel started making them from clay in 1797, making them affordable for ordinary people. These Santons were fragile because they were not kiln fired. It wasn't until the twentieth century that a man named Therese Neveu had the idea to bake the figures to make them less fragile. The Santons became increasingly popular and even to this day are very sought after. A person who crafts a santon is called a santonnier. The craft is passed down from generation to generation and there are hundreds today in the South of France. From 1803 to present in the month of December the santonniers come to the Foire Des Santonniers were they sell their wares and celebrate. Santons are still handmade and make a great souvenir.http://www.francetoday.com/articles/2012/12/22/the_santons_of_provence.html

Calissons

Callisons are petal shaped cookies usually made from nuts and melons with a sweet white glaze on top. They are usually flavored with oranges but also come in other varieties. There are many legends behind this. One legend says in 1473, King Rene married a second wife. His new bride was very unhappy to marry him. He had these cookies served to her as a gift to cheer her up. It did and they remained happily married until the king died. .Chttp://www.seriouseats.com/2009/07/snapshots-from-the-south-of-france-calissons-d-aix.html