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Route n°5 : Around the Porte Condamine
Located opposite the château, the Condamine quarter is full of mansions, several of which were financed by the Raoulx family in the 17th century. Start in this historic area and venture into the town’s old lanes to reach Place Crémieux and explore the old Saint Nicolas quarter.
► Porte Condamine (no admission to the interior)
Porte Condamine dates back to 1379 and, though its ravelins and drawbridges are no longer present, it has managed to retain its original medieval look thanks to its two surrounding crenulated towers. It opens onto the road towards Avignon which François I used on his way to Tarascon on February 3rd 1516, upon his victorious return from Marignan. It has now been restored and fitted with a gate with an oak door and a fixed portcullis which gives it a certain historic authenticity.
► Hôtel Raoulx de Mauléon - Rue Jean Jaurès (visit no.1, 3 & 18) (no admission to the interior)
After going through Porte Condamine, you cannot help but notice Hôtel Raoulx-Mauléon’s impressive façade. The mansion was built in the 15th century then refurbished by Charles de Raoulx two centuries later during which period the family decided to settle in a new area and build two other mansions there. With its seven street bays, Charles de Raoulx’s building has an original style mixing Renaissance and Mannerist elements. On the façade are cut pediments decorated with thorny leaves atop openings with gargoyles and flanked by pilasters.
► The former Convent of Ursuline nuns - Place Pie and Place Crémieux (no admission to the interior)
During the Middle Ages, Hôpital Saint Nicolas was located where Place Pie and Place Crémieux are, which are now linked by a covered passage. The hospital was built on plots of land donated by Countess Etiennette of Provence in 1092 to the monks of Saint-Victor de Marseille to build a church and building for the poor and sick. In the 14th century, the monks of Saint-Victor sold the priory church to the Benedictine monks of Saint-Honorat of Lérins who then donated it to the Ursulines in 1636. They then carried out building work to extend and update their convent whilst staying true to the Romanesque style of the church. During the Revolution it was sold as national property and the remnants of the old convent are now part of modern buildings on private properties whilst the Romanesque church has kept its original size. Its interior layout consisting of a central nave edged with aisles bears similarities to the Romanesque chapel in the monastery of Saint Michel de Frigolet in Tarascon. The site as a whole displays a remarkable repertoire of architecture styles from the Middles Ages to the Classical.