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Santons are deeply engrained in the culture in Provence.  The nativity displays were a way of evangilising after the French Revolution when Christians were persecuted, churches destroyed and religious freedom denied.

Maxime Coudou is a young man who inherited thousands of santons (or Saints Hommes) from his father’s family, going back five generations.  Every year Maxime and his team of 25 volunteers create a fantastic world in La Garde Freinet showing traditional scenes of life in villages and the countryside of Provence.  There are butchers and bakers, a convent, a school, wine-growers and lavender fields and much much more with figures no larger than 7cm tall.

Dates are 1st December 2022 to 31st January 2023.  Entry is free.

Life at Villa Fontane Provence

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