Fos-sur-Mer, a charming village steeped in history
First mentionned in 923, le Castrum de Fossis was built upon a rocky ridge now known as L’Hauture. The promontory is 32m high and dominates the landscape.
The castle is one of the oldest and largest of lower Provence and in past times served as a lookout over sea-borne and river-borne activities, and also to survey harvesting of the salt marshes. Parts of the castle have been classed as listed buildings since 1937.
The site is open to the public all year round.
For guided visits just call the tourist board +33 (0) 442 47 71 96.
Located in the village centre, Place de l’Ancien Hôtel de Ville, the village museum houses an amazing display of santons. Santons (in Provençal "santoun," or "little saint") are clay figurines of various sizes, hand-painted and sometimes dressed in traditional costumes and date back to the 13th century. Not only used to depict the Nativity scene, they also illustrate the Provencal way of life through traditional characters, professions or trades.
Fos-sur-Mer's particular display addresses village life in the early 20th century. Inspired by old photographs and accounts from elderly residents, local craftsmen have meticulously crafted 8 scale models, some automated, each scene illustrating how the villagers of Fos lived and worked.
Scenes include the mediaeval site of L'Hauture; the street l’Allée des Pins; traditional trades and crafts; Provençal jousting; fishing au calen, which is a netting technique; salt workers in the Salins du Midi; the history of the Lafarge cement works and the Van Gogh bridge; gentry at the beach; la manade or semi-feral group of Camargue cattle or horses led by a gardian, or herder; and village life in the town square.
The museum is open to the public all year round and requires reservation, simply call the tourist board +33 (0) 442 47 71