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(4.1/5 based on 380+ reviews for 5 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, wineries, spas
Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It lies 40km east of Aix-en-Provence, in the westernmost point of Var département. It is located at the foot of the Sainte-Baume mountains: baume or bama is the Provençal equivalent of "cave". The town's basilica is dedicated to Mary Magdalene.Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume is not to be confused with Sainte-Maxime farther east on the Côte d'Azur.HistoryThe Roman Villa Lata, remains of which have been identified beneath Place Malherbe in the center of the town, was one among numerous agricultural working Roman villas in the plain that was traversed by the via Aurelia. The Abbey of Saint Victor at Marseille had dependencies in the neighborhood: Saint-Maximin, Saint-Jean, Saint-Mitre, Sainte-Marie. The Romanesque parish church dedicated to Saint Maximin of Trier was demolished in the final stages of constructing the basilica. In the 12th century, Berenguer Ramon I, Count of Provence, established Saint-Maximin as a town uniquely under his care. In 1246, following the death of Raymond IV Berenger, Provence passed through his younger daughter to Charles d'Anjou, brother of Louis IX of France and sometime king of Sicily. The tenuous Anjou presence at Saint-Maximin was fiercely contested by the seigneurs of Baux among other local leaders.
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