Léo Lelée - Illustrating Arlesian traditions by Janice Lert

Leo Lelee 2No one, not even Vincent Van Gogh, has ever captured in pictures the soul of the inhabitants of the region around Arles as well as Léo Lelée. And Lelée was not even a provençal! He was born Léopold Albert Lelée on December 13, 1872 in Chemazé (Mayenne). His father was a teacher and after graduating from the lycée in Laval and winning a drawing competition, he continued his studies in Paris thanks to a scholarship offered by the Mayenne general counsel.


A bible carved from stone: the Abbey Church of Saint-Gilles by Janice Lert

The little town of Saint-Gilles has a long and prestigious past. It is hard to believe that this town was once an important port. Actually an old branch of the Rhône River allowed boats, from the period of the Greeks through the Middle Ages, to go from the Mediterranean Sea into Gaul. The Greeks traded with the locals, and the town would have a commercial role for centuries thereafter.

the Abbey Church of Saint Gilles


Let's talk about Saint Giles! by Janice Lert

Let s talk about Saint Giles

Philippe BrunelAn interview with Philippe Brunel, director of the Saint-Gilles Tourist Office.



Abbé "Sans-Peur" Solier, the fearless friar of Languedoc by Brian Langston

Abbe Sans Peur Solier 1Brian Langston tells the story of one of the forgotten heroes of the French Revolution who led a band of Languedoc resistance fighters opposing the religious oppression of ‘The Terror’. One of the forgotten folk heroes of late 18th century France is a humble parish priest from the Cévenol village of Colognac, who for years led an outlawed band of religious brigands and became a thorn in the side of the revolutionary government.


The allied invasion through Provence, August 1944 Adapted by Janice Lert.

To force the Germans out of occupied France, the Allies had imagined an invasion through Provence which had been on the drawing boards since August of 1943. The invasion was code-named “Anvil” and the principal argument in favour of it at first was the request by the Russians that the allies open up a new front in Western Europe to ease pressure on the Eastern front. At the time, the invasion through Normandy had been code-named “Sledgehammer”, and the metaphor of crushing the Germans between the sledgehammer and the anvil in France was appealing.


A troubadour song : The Romance of Arles by Janice Lert

A troubadour song 1The Romance of Arles (Roman d’Arles) is a troubadour song performed in Occitania by travelling entertainers in the Middle Ages going from castle to castle to recite historical poems, sometimes accompanied by music. These songs usually recall heroic deeds of knights in defence of Christianity. The best known of these poems are about Charlemagne and his family, and they often concern battles fought against the Moors or Sarracens. Several of these poems speak about Arles: they could have been sung in the courts of the castles of the Arlesian aristocracy, but also in those living in the Alpilles towns such as Les Baux or Saint-Rémy.