Bouches-du-Rhône en Paysages - Salon-de-Provence, in the steps of the soap makers

Sport Pedestrian sports Hiking itinerary
  • 13VIS001089_1_WEB.jpg
  • Savon Marius Fabre
13VIS001089_1_WEB.jpgSavon Marius Fabre


The trail "In the footsteps of the soap makers" allows you to admire these residences, whose grandeur is underlined by a rich and dense vegetation, in the heart of the associated gardens and parks.
After the 1870 war, the city of Salon-de-Provence benefited from the success of the olive oil and soap trade, facilitated by the opening of the railway line. This prosperity motivated the construction of private mansions, villas and castles by soap makers and merchants. We invite you to observe the different architectural styles, testifying to the succession of Neo-Classicism, Romanticism in the Gothic style, and Art Nouveau. You can also visit the two soap factories still operating in the city.

1- Starting point: the SNCF train station which is at the origin of the expansion of the oil and soap trade. Turn to the left when leaving the station, along the avenue Emile Zola. On all the route, take time to admire the ironworks of doors and balconies.
2- After 150 m, turn to the right in boulevard de la République.
At the beginning of the street, on your right-hand side, you will see the courthouse, or "villa Armieux", built in 1903 by Edmond Marius Armieux. Occupied during the war, the city of Salon bought it in 1951 to make it the Commercial Court. Magnificent magnolias and a fountain with jets decorate its courtyard.
Walk along the boulevard lined with plane trees and admire the numerous villas and private mansions.
Take time to observe the diversity and quality of the species adorning the gardens: laurel, weeping sophora, blue fir, monkey's despair, cedar, charcoal, yew, and many others.
3- On your left, enter the oldest garden of Salon-de-Provence and its magnificent rose garden.
An arrangement of palm trees gives the perspective towards the former Mas des Louanes, which became a castle after its purchase by Auguste Gaillard in 1880. The garden is now the property of the municipality.
4- Cross the park and go along the castle, to come out on the boulevard Georges Clémenceau. Turn to the left, and after 100 m, turn to the right in the street Félix Pyat.
The Rampal Latour soap factory is a few meters on your left. Pierre Rampal opened it in 1907 after having started in 1885 at the Gounelle soap factory. His Marseille soap "Côte d'Azur" won several gold medals at the 1900 Paris World Fair.
Go up the street to the Boulevard du Lieutenant Charpenel. You will be able to admire 3 villas camouflaged by an imposing vegetation: pittosporum, privet, Indian lilac, chestnut tree, almond tree, eucalyptus, kaki tree, and many others.
5- Continue on the boulevard up to n°102. On the left, a path along a condominium leads you to the entrance of the Pigeonnier park.
Acquired in 1996 by the City, this 8,000 m² park was once the private garden of the Château Le Pigeonnier. The variety of plant species makes its richness: lime trees, bamboos, wisteria, Larissiu pines... Take the time to stroll in the shade of the species, identified by a sign made by the Centre Social Mosaïque.
Go along the old barn (north of the park) to come out on Chemin du Vabre. Cross the road, following the Monte Carlo residence on your right, and an Evangelical cross on your left. Turn right after the residence, on Boulevard Ledru-Rollin.
Take advantage of the descent along the Boulevard to admire the numerous villas of Savonniers and their gardens, such as "les Cigales".
Continue the descent and after 100 m turn right into rue du 4 septembre. You will be able to admire particularly well kept private gardens.
6- At the end of the street, turn slightly to the right and continue straight on the Boulevard Nostradamus. There again, some private mansions are visible.
You go along the Place du Général De Gaulle and its park on your left. After 200 m on the Boulevard, you arrive at the Théâtre Armand on your right.
Financed by donations from passers-by in the street, this theater with its Italian decor is a tribute by Etienne Armand to his actress mistress. The building was inaugurated in 1883, but Armand died well before the first performance. It is now the property of the municipality.
7- Turn to the left as if you were entering the park, then the small street immediately to the right, rue des fileuses de Soie. At the end on the left, you will find the Cercle des Arts et Métiers.
Built in 1886, it was reserved for notables, men only. Although it was intended for relaxation and leisure, the "Cercle" also encouraged the arts and literature, and could be the scene of political quarrels. Marius Reynier founded the Symphony Orchestra there in 1898. Turn right onto Boulevard de la République. After 50 m, take the rue Chanzy on your left. You will pass in front of the former Hôtel des Postes, now the Auberge de Beauté.
Then take on your right, Boulevard Maréchal Foch. For 200 meters, you can admire old private mansions, such as the Hôtel St-Victor
Then turn to the left, rue Jean Marini, then 100 m farther, to the right, Boulevard Aristide Briand.
8- You are almost at the end of the route.
At the end of the boulevard, the Fabre soap factory.
The Fabre soap factory is on your left. Marius Fabre started his production in 1900 at the bottom of his garden, before buying the old soap factory "Chaffard et Couderc" in 1925. In addition to the production workshop still in operation, the soap factory has a museum that we invite you to visit, and a direct sales outlet. When you leave the Fabre soap factory, turn left towards the train station. 50 m after the soap factory, you will see on the left the castle Couderc.
You can enter the parking lot of the Vignoli clinic to admire it as a whole. Continue to the left when you come out of the clinic, until you get back to the station. You can then reach the city center with free shuttles.
Opening period (s)All year round.
Practical information
  • Route :
    • Distance (km) : 3.3
    • Daily duration (minutes) : 60
    • Route : BOUCLE
  • Levels of sporting experience :
    • Level green –very easy
  • Natures field :
    • Hard coating (tar, cement, flooring)


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Bouches-du-Rhône en Paysages - Salon-de-Provence, in the steps of the soap makers
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Bouches-du-Rhône en Paysages - Salon-de-Provence, sur les pas des savonniers
GPS coordinates
Latitude : 43.639172
Longitude : 5.088728

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