Salon-de-Provence and its fantastic heritage has more tricks up its sleeve!
You’ll spot several fountains on your travels… All of them are a sight for sore eyes…
Fontaine Moussue (mossy fountain)
On Place Crousillat
The Fontaine Moussue is the town’s mascot and dates back to the 16th century. It was a popular place for locals to walk and meet up in the cooling Place des Arbres (now Place Crousillat) where there was a fountain in the 16th century.
The town’s officials commissioned the fountain in 1765 and the current Grande Fontaine was built by the sculptor Maurice Bernus in 1775.
Hidden beneath the moss that’s earned it its nickname, this fountain doubles as a trough for when flocks are moved to the summer pastures and is topped by two basins. Limestone deposits, moss and vegetation began to grow on it in the second half of the 20th century and gave it its unique mushroom shape. Stalactites form when it freezes during harsh winters.
Adam de Craponne fountain and statue
This Adam de Craponne fountain is in place of a fountain built in 1760. It was commissioned by the council and unveiled on October 22nd 1854 during an agricultural fair. It pays tribute to Adam de Craponne (1526-1576); the engineer and designer of the canal that bears his name and irrigates the area.
Four sprites frame two texts. One of them, in Provençal, reads:
“Abrade dé la sé néouérido pécaïre, Seloun vezié passi soun maïgré terradou; Crapoune soun enfan li fagué trait de païré li larguet d’aïgue a soun sadou.” It means: “Burnt and overcome by thirst, alas, Salon saw its poor land wilt. Its child Craponne acted like a father, giving it more than enough water.” It was written by Palamède Tronc de Codolet.
Fountains Place du Général de Gaulle
This square was built in 1878 and named after Adolphe Thiers, a local man who liberated the area. It was used as a livestock market. Plane trees and benches were added to it in 1900 and its bandstand brought Salon’s locals here. The bandstand was demolished in 1963 and replaced by a large fountain with jets.
The “little mossy fountain”
On Place Louis Blanc
The fountain is probably very old as it already existed in 1770.
It was the same shape as the Fontaine Moussue with 2 basins on top of each other before the moss took over.
On Cours Gimon
According to the inscription on the pediment, this milestone fountain was built on August 15th 1859. The mayor at that time, Fidèle Reynaud, commissioned it in tribute to Robert de Lamanon (1752-1787) a talented naturalist and geologist who took part in the La Pérouse expedition and was killed on the island of Tutuila when he was 35. This four-sided construction is decorated on three sides with cartouches representing plants (wheat, vines, flowers and fruit), with the fourth bearing a female mask spouting water from the Aubes water plant.
Trez-Castel Fountain and Washhouse
Trez-Castel Fountain was built in 1882 to provide locals with drinking water after they’d spent 30 years asking for it. The council selected the architect Teissier to conduct the work.
This is the last public washhouse still in existence in Salon. Following a report in 1937 detailing a lack of water, space and drainage, it was turned into a standing washhouse. However, it was unsheltered and exposed to the wind, which bothered the local women as it was more than a place to do laundry for them; it was also a place to get together. It was fully restored in 2006-2007.