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Inspiring Life & Travel in France

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Inspiring Life & Travel in France

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Exploring the Charm of Uzès: Market Day at Place aux Herbes

Among the vineyards and olive groves in Southern France, Uzès stands as a witness to centuries of history, culture, and tradition. Founded by the Romans over two thousand years ago, the town has been shaped by time, bearing witness to the rise and fall of empires, the comings and goings of trade, and the spirit of its people.

The Center of Uzès Life: Discovering Place aux Herbes

At the heart of Uzès lies the Place aux Herbes, a bustling square that has been the town’s marketplace since the Middle Ages. Originally designed with houses built in the square, later, the Place was divided into small markets for vegetables, oxen, and chestnuts. Since the 19th century, the Place aux Herbes has been the town’s social and cultural life epicenter. Surrounded by stately 17th and 18th-century buildings and shaded by ancient plane trees, the square has an atmosphere of timeless elegance and historic charm, drawing visitors and locals.

 

Provençal Markets: Market day at Place aux Herbes delights the senses, offering a mix of sights, sounds, and flavors that showcase the region’s best. At sunrise, vendors set up their stalls, arranging displays of colorful, fresh produce, flowers, and artisanal goods.

Wednesday Market: A Local AffairThe Wednesday market in Uzès offers a glimpse into Provençal life, focusing on locally sourced fruits, vegetables, and other delectables. As early as sunrise, the square comes alive with the market’s sights, sounds, and smells. Stalls brim with colorful displays of fresh produce, while the air is filled with the scent of freshly baked bread and pastries. It’s a time for locals to gather, chat, and stock up on essentials for the week ahead – a tradition passed down through generations.

 

Bedlam and Beauty: Saturday Market Unleashed

The Saturday market in Uzès truly steals the show, drawing visitors from far and wide with its irresistible charm and reputation. It is a full-on sensory experience. The boulevard is overflowing with vendors selling everything from chic street clothing and jeans to charcuterie to handcrafted souvenirs. The atmosphere is electric, with shoppers jostling for space and vendors vying for attention with colorful displays. Despite the chaos, there is a particular order in the market, with each vendor carving out their little corner on the walkway.

 

A Culinary Adventure: Fromage to Foie Gras

A short distance from the street vendors is the market’s pièce de résistance, the Place aux Herbes. No visit to the Uzès market is complete without indulging in the sights, sounds, and culinary delights. The Saturday market in Uzès has officially been in existence since 1226. Market Day offers a tantalizing array of options to tempt even the most discerning palate. Cheese lovers are thrilled at the sight of wheels and blocks of fromage. Wine enthusiasts can sample award-winning labels from local vineyards. And for those who love sweets, there’s no shortage of pastries, chocolates, and other treats. It’s a culinary adventure that showcases the best of Provençal offerings.

 

 

Relaxation and Recreation

Place aux Herbes is more than just a market square—it’s a place to gather, socialize, and connect with family and friends. Whether enjoying a coffee, pastis, or a leisurely dejeuner at a busy cafe or browsing the boutiques and galleries, it is impossible not to be captivated by its infectious energy and charm. At its center is “the” fountain—the one I fell in love with at first sight, bringing me back to live in Uzès.

As night approaches, the Place aux Herbes comes alive with occasional street performers, while tables at cafes around the Place fill with tourists and locals. Tiny sparkling lights shine through the branches of the hovering plane trees.

 

Beyond the Market: Cultural Events and Community Spirit

Place aux Herbes is more than a market—it’s a hub of cultural activity and community spirit that brings people from all walks of life. Place aux Herbes hosts various events throughout the year, from art and antique fairs to exhibitions, carnivals, and the annual Truffle Festival. These events offer a deeper understanding of Uzès’ cultural heritage and provide a platform for local artists and performers to showcase their talents. It’s a place where locals and visitors alike can come together to celebrate the rich tapestry of life and create memories that last a lifetime.

 

 

 

 

 

Day trip from Uzes to the Cevennes

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8 Responses

    1. Thank you for the note, and apologies for my late response. I’ll go to Pezenas every chance I can. Love it!

  1. Your photos, your comments, and your slideshow truly capture the beauty and magic of Uzès! As always, you bring it all home to your loyal followers!
    Merci, Deborah ❤️🇫🇷

  2. I image the locals may may not be as excited for this biweekly Market Day tradition. “Spoiled” by the usual bounty of local honey, wine ,cheese, spices , colors aromas and visual sensations. The visitors senses however are indeed overwhelmed. The parade of locals, visitors from all over France and the world are aware, Uzes is a special place. Its architecture is hypnotizing and brings out the photographer in all of us. There no bad photos of Uzes. It is the jewel of France, and in the back of our mind, want to keep it a secret, so it will not be overrun and ruined. Once you visit you are captivated as few places will. Although this is a Market renowned in the region and people travel some distance to get there. The Market is a gift to visitors staying in town since you are in it once you walk out your door. A miracle happens once you return to your rented apartment or home with your bounty of olive oil, soap from Marseille and any number of local treasures. As quietly as the invasion of people and vendors appeared in the early house of the day by mid-afternoon -Viola ! They are gone.

  3. This describes the market at Uzes perfectly. We have visited with friends. My first impression was a wonderful smell – it was a stall laden with mint, absolutely beautiful. Once you have visited this market you are spoiled for any other. Superbe!

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