Aix-en-Provence is an area of France with a long, long history.  In fact, the history of the area is so long that it dates back to before France itself.  It is believed to have first been founded more than one hundred years B.C. by the Romans.  The Romans reached the area and discovered the hot springs there and simply did not want to give up the luxury of the life there.  They were even willing to fight to keep it, and shortly after arriving in the area, they participated in the Battle of Aquae Sextiae (which is what they had called the area) in which they defeated invaders.

The French controlled the area for approximately five hundred years without much interference.  However, at the end of the fifth century, the area was taken over by the Visigoths.  (Learn more about the Visigoths at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visigoths.)  Shortly thereafter, the Lombards took over.  Shortly after that, it was the Saracens who ruled the area.  It wasn’t until the end of the twelfth century that the area finally becamse stable again.  At that time, it was taken over as a cultural and artistic capital.  At the end of the fifteenth century, the French finally took control of the area and it has been growing ever since.