Miramas, Bouches-du-Rhône, France

Miramas is a French commune, located in the department of the Rhone delta in the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. It is part of the metropolis of Aix-Marseille-Provence. The city covers 25.74 km 2 and had 25,864 inhabitants in 2012. The territory of the municipality is located north of the pond of Berre, about 40 km north-west of Marseille. At the crossroads of the four paths (Roman road) stands a small mount Miramas le Vieux where you can see the pond of Berre, because it is not visible from Miramas city also called Miramas Gare. Located on the plain of Crau, it marks the end of the last Marseille ring road.

The city of Miramas is one of the first municipalities in France to set an exemplary policy of environmental quality. Launched by the Ministry of Ecological and Inclusive Transition and supported by ADEME with the “Zero waste, zero waste territories” project of which Miramas is part to help prevent risks (fire, flood, runoff, transport of hazardous materials..) and reduce nuisances (noise, pollution, etc.), enhance the coastline (the Berre pond, the Poudrerie park) through the application of the Coastal Law and protect the Old Miramas and its base.

The first international meetings were held in Miramas from 23 to November 25, 2017in the presence of the deputy mayor of Roubaix in charge of sustainable development, the mayor of the Rosemont- La Petite- Patrie borough of Montreal, the coordinator of the Zero Waste projects of the city of San Francisco, the mayor of Hernani, of the province of Guipuzkoa in Spain as well as the deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône, vice-president of the Sustainable Development and Spatial Planning Commission of the National Assembly, President of the Institute of the Economy circular, from the regional councilor, member of the Environment, Sea and Forest Commission, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Regional Council, the president of the Scientific Council of the Foundation for Nature and Humanity and professor at the University of Lausanne and many others. These meetings brought together more than 3,000 people around debates, working meetings and round tables to reflect on the perspectives of the circular economy, exchange good practices, invent the solutions and jobs of tomorrow.

The city of Miramas did not develop around its historic core. The arrival of rail in the middle of the 19th century and the creation of a landing stage to the west of the medieval village caused the transfer and then the growth of the population, and the gradual abandonment of the original village.

An original perched village, Miramas-le-Vieux remains a place steeped in history, a playground for lovers of old stones. Installed on a rocky “mamelon” overlooking the Berre pond (wild coast side), Miramas-le-Vieux could be classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France.

The medieval city of Miramaris was named for the first time in a medieval charter dated 1118. It very quickly became a strong defensive place. The town will long remain a possession of the monks of the abbey of Montmajour until the Revolution. Populated by about 400 inhabitants, 1590 marks a historic turning point with the headquarters of the armies of Savoy and the capture of the city.

The creation of the railway line in the middle of the 19th century led to the gradual abandonment of the original site of the village. Today, with its hundred inhabitants, it retains traces of the past. With its remains of the rampart, the ruins of the castle or the Notre-Dame gate, the Saint-Julien chapel, the old village is a little Provençal medieval jewel. The city of Miramas did not develop, like elsewhere, around the historic core. The arrival of the rail and the creation of a landing stage 3.5 kilometers from the original site caused, in fact, a transfer of population and the gradual abandonment of the historic site. In 1821, the village had about 200 inhabitants and there were 200 scattered around the town. But, from 1850, only three years after the opening of the “landing stage”, the village sheltered only 150 people, whereas the locality Constantine counted the double.

The site of Vieux Miramas is a defensive site dominating the entire region, but where space is lacking. The installation of a population on this oppidum dates back to the ix th and x th centuries, when the Saracen invasions of Lower Provence drove people to seek refuge in the hills. The defense and jurisdiction of the village were provided by the abbey of Montmajour and the castrum of Miramas remained subservient to it until 1481, when Provence was attached to the crown of France. This annexation to the kingdom restored security and political stability, and from then on, the defensive site on which the village was established lost its raison d’être.

The monks of the abbey had undertaken gigantic irrigation works which allowed the development of cereals and viticulture in the plain. Farmhouses were established there, but the development of the Crau was not enough to create a new city and the habitat remained scattered there. It was only with the arrival of the railway in the town that a new urban core developed, 3.5 kilometers west of the village. And, from that moment on, the historic site could not resist the attraction exerted by the plain.

The village-station of Miramas did not take on the features of a railway town until after the establishment of a yard. From Constantine to Miramas, or from the station village to the railway town The traffic at the station kept increasing. For the year 1869, for example, the traffic in goods amounted to 80,512 tons. Moreover, the commerce and the traffic of Marseilles developing widely, it was necessary to solve the problem of the sorting of the wagons and the formation of the freight trains that the Marseille city, for lack of space, could not provide. The products shipped by rail having distant and diverse destinations, sorting work was required for imports landed in Marseille and industrial products intended for export.

Until then, the sorting of wagons had been carried out on a small scale in several stations: in Miramas and Arles for North-South traffic, at Joliette, at Marseille Saint-Charles and at Prado station in the South-North direction.; but, with the increase in traffic, a single sorting became necessary. The location of the marshalling yard had to be chosen in relation to Marseille.

Finally, in 1923, the Army set up a warehouse area in place of the aerodrome (becoming the Miramas general reserve ammunition warehouse, ERGMu in 1935). Miramas, far from the fighting of the Great War, suffered during its development several explosions of the National Poudrerie of Saint-Chamas including that of November 16, 1936 and also theAugust 5, 1940 with that of a deposit of 240 tonnes ofpure ammonium nitrate in bags, generating a crater 3 m deep (and up to 39 m in diameter). Miramas, because of its railway and military-industrial facilities, became a strategic target during the preparation of the Allied landing in Provence. TheJuly 12 then the August 6, 1944Predicts that there 17 dead after shelling of the 15 th USAAF. The city is liberated on23 August 1944.

Miramas is a small industrial town at the northern end of the Etang de Berre between Salon de Provence and Istres. Miramas grew in the 20th century around a major marshalling yard on the Marseille-Lyon railway line. There are two places called Miramas: the old village, Miramas le Vieux, and the modern town of Miramas on the plain.

To reach the town centre of Miramas, the main road bordered by flower-beds, cleverly maintained with its landscaped roundabouts. A large main road with plenty of shops and cafes and several plane trees goes through the heart of Miramas.

Nearby, the big town hall square. From the tourism point of view Miramas le Vieux is much more interesting. When you leave the town heading for Miramas le Vieux you will go through verdant countryside, with fields of corn and olive groves. The old village in the distance, on its rocky outcrop. It has a magnificent panoramic view of the Etang de Berre and the whole of the Crau plain. It’s certainly worth the detour. The ruins of the medieval defensive walls, covered with well-preserved stone facing.

The village of Miramas le Vieux has been lovingly restored to preserve the character of the village. Beautiful old houses with a great deal of charm. You can explore the ruins of the ancient medieval castle, the oil mill, the wash-house. Don’t miss the 15th century parish church, and the 12th century chapel dedicated to Saint Julien.

Built in the middle of the 19th century, the marshalling yard of Miramas, one of the most important in the South-East, has experienced strong expansion. Identity symbol of the city, it serves all the national stations. The TGV stops there to reach Lyon, Marseille and Paris in less than four hours.

Miramas entered the history of railways from the beginnings of this mode of transport; the town is one of the sites for setting up a landing stage in the Lyon-Marseille line project, adopted on May 1, 1842. At the municipal council meeting of May 25, 1845, the mayor Augustin Amet proposed a station near the Moutonnet bridge. As the place was not suitable, the place finally chosen was the Ferme du Pasty, or Paty, located at a place called Bivoie d’Entressen, more than 3 km from the village. When the line opened on January 8, 1848, the new station was named Constantine where a new district would emerge.

Rail traffic is increasing rapidly, and a marshalling yard project materializes. With its opening in 1893, the importance of the activity brought new inhabitants working in particular for the railways. On April 26, 1894, a decree confirms the development of the district which becomes “Miramas-Gare”, the municipal capital; the old village takes the name of Miramas-le-Vieux.

Miramas is an important rail hub, both in terms of passengers and freight (passage of the Marseille-Avignon, Avignon-Miramas lines through Salon-de-Provence and Marseille-Miramas through Port-de-Bouc). It hosts the largest marshalling yard in the South East. Rail is thus an essential element of the social and economic identity of the city.

This vocation was confirmed in 2008 with the commissioning of a combined transport terminal (equipment allowing the transfer of goods between trucks and trains) in the logistics area of Clésud. This installation makes it possible to consolidate the freight activity for the municipality. Miramas is permanently at the heart of the challenges of the regional and national economy.

Perched village, Miramas-le-Vieux, known as the “Quillé” offers an exceptional panorama on an unsuspected wild coast bordered by the Poudrerie park. The diversity of the landscapes which surround the village, source of many walks, cannot leave anyone indifferent.

Miramas le Vieux, an authentic medieval hilltop village, is a gem for the city. It is full of everything that makes the charm of Provençal villages: stone, small square, glaciers… and offers a fabulous 360 ° panorama of Provence. You will be able to discover:

Schools. Passing through the rue des Écoles we discover on the right, the first school in Miramas opened in 1866, closed in 1969 then transformed into a public post office. A short walk away is the current school, which almost closed in 1985.
The Pourchiers oil mill. The Pourchiers oil mill is located in the hairpin bend: it is signaled by an enormous grinding wheel weighing more than a ton and two smaller ones, beautifully cut from Crau’s pudding.
The plot. On the square, dominating the square basin where the women came to fill their jugs and the animals to quench their thirst, throne bust, fearless and immortal, that of Jean, Louis, Martin Castagne, former mayor of the village. Behind him, leaning against the rock, we discover a wash house. Today for fun – yes! – a few residents continue the laundry methods of yesteryear. North of the square, a cobbled calade called rue Mireille (the heroine of the poet Mistral) climbs the rock. To access it, the rock had to be cut. Looking up, we can see to the right, dug at a good height a grain silo carved out of stone, or more exactly half of a silo in the shape of a jar, witness to the domestic economy of the ancestors.
The Circle of the Future. Going up the street, on the left, you will discover a house from the Renaissance period with a window framed by a drip edge. Opposite, retaining walls built in the 19th century. Located below, you can see the Cercle de l’Avenir, a meeting place, a real forum, a large distributor of pastis and pétanque balls; this place reaches its peak for the feast of Saint-Julien, patron saint of the village, when it brings together all the Miramasseans at the end of August in the communion of a traditional aioli.
Notre-Dame gate. Continuing ascent – the village has well deserved its nickname of “Quillé” (perched) – we pass a semicircular arch of the Notre-Dame gate, the old main entrance to the village. A hundred-year-old and bistourné pine gives it a light shade. To take a break, you can admire a magnificent landscape of the Monteau district and beyond with a corner of the Berre pond coming to die in the marshes of the old Poudrerie.
The castle. A few more meters, and it’s the arrival at the top on the map of the castle (place Fernand-Julien). On the left, a large curtain wall supported on the east by a square tower gives an idea of the medieval walls demolished in the last century. Of the 12th century castle, only a low and vaulted construction remains, a wall of the great hall with the transom of the vault curiously treated to the window frames, and a passageway arched on a ribbed crossing which opens out on the old courtyard. To the right, facing north, a large wall with walled-up semi-circular openings and the brackets of a balcony represent the last vestiges of the castle from the Romanesque period. These ruins were consolidated by the municipality in 1978 for public performances. Note the rue de Laure, a curious passage under a vault, part of which is in a barrel, the other in a pointed arch.
Old houses. To see a typical 16th century house, you have to take Coupo-Santo Street on the right, where you can admire a pipe cut in stone for the drainage of rainwater. Further to the left, a narrow construction appears, all in height, comprising on the ground floor a stable with a semicircular door and a small skylight; a window with a molded sill illuminates the first floor of this house; the attic, underlined by a cornice, has only a narrow window.Some ruined houses have been remarkably restored by the inhabitants who have come to (re) populate the village.From Place Miramar, you can admire the magnificent landscape of the Monteau, Magdeleines and Delà districts, as well as the Poudrerie marshes, where the village was mirrored in the waters of “la Mar”, there are a thousand of years.
Notre-Dame-de-Beauvezer church. Return to rue Frédéric-Mistral to stroll through the alleys and dead ends; on the facades of old houses, semicircular or lintel doors, mullioned windows and Renaissance windows. On the key of an arch, a vintage reveals the date of making or refurbishment of the building. In the middle of this street, one discovers the parish church Notre-Dame-de-Beauvezer dating probably from the 15th century; above the entrance, a statue of the Virgin in a small niche surmounted by an escutcheon bearing the arms of the abbey of Montmajour, owner of the castle until the reign of Louis XVI. A three-point door with a ridge and an archivolt decorated with a sausage allows you to enter the interior of the church. The building, restored in 1978, consists of a nave with a slightly deviated bay, covered in framework and tiles, and an apse with five sides superseded by ribs. In a turret opening into the sacristy, a spiral staircase provides access to the bell tower with three-bay arcades placed on the triumphal arch.
The town hall. Coming out on the left, an alley leads to a town hall square, a curious building located upstairs: it is accessed by the staircase which leads to a terrace overlooking the street, from which there is a magnificent view of the pond of Berre. Dominating a pediment, the clock ticks the hours on the souls of the village, “Hora fugit”… Under the town hall, sheltered by a terrace, the Chapel of the Black Penitents… which unfortunately we don’t know much about. Immediately begins on a steep slope the Calade which, passing in front of the old presbytery, then the old post brings walkers back to the Louis Castagne fountain. The tour of the old village is over!
The cemetery and the Saint-Julien chapel. To the east of this small square, at the corner of the Pourchiers mill, comes another calade that each Miramasséen will take one day or another, because it leads to the clos de Sainte-Répausole, in other words to the cemetery. The tombs crowd around the only historical monument to which the municipality is honored: the Saint-Julien chapel. It is of all the buildings still present from the Middle Ages, the most beautiful monument.
The scholar Abbé Chaillan gave a complete description of it in the archaeological bulletin of 1925, of which here are a few extracts: “It is located at the very foot of the Miramas castrum, in the cemetery, towards the south. The width of the monument is 5.50 meters, its length 11 meters including the apse of 3.50 meters. The semicircular portal joined to the edge adorned with an oudin, is framed by a simple but characteristic archivolt, with a pretty bead of indentations and diamond-tipped flowers. This decoration and the well-dressed apparatus indicate the 12th century. The bull’s-eye of the gable constitutes the only light of the building. The niche, with a statue of Saint-Julien, which surmounts the portal is dated 1701, it is a restoration. There are seven steps down to reach the pavement of large slabs. All around the walls, blocks of stone form the seats of the faithful. On the main altar, an altarpiece, the work of 17th century carpenters, frames the curious painting of Saint-Julien as a Roman soldier, a falcon in his hand. ”
Religious heritage. For a town of 600 souls, the faith in the Middle Ages was particularly present: in addition to the chapel of Saint-Julien, the village has a parish church “Notre-Dame-de-Beauvezer” which according to a legend, contained the relics of Constantine and Saint Helena. The latter probably disappeared following the collapse of this too dilapidated church, a few years before the Revolution. This religious heritage is supplemented by a third chapel, that of Saint-Vincent still enclosed within the walls of the old Poudrerie, on the edge of the fence adjoining the road by which one reaches the village from Saint-Chamas. Unfortunately, one can only distinguish its shape, completely covered with ivy.

Saint-Julien Chapel
Located “outside the walls”, at the foot of the old Miromaris castrum, inside the current cemetery of Miramas-le-Vieux, the Saint-Julien chapel is the oldest building in the city. Probably built on the site of a pagan temple, transformed into a small Carolingian church, the Saint-Julien chapel dates from the beginning of the 12th century.

This discreet work of Provençal Romanesque art, described as a “rare specimen of a Roman chapel” by Abbé Chaillan and “a pure jewel of Romanesque art” by Paul Lafran, has been included in the inventory of historical monuments since 1928. This chapel is of modest dimensions: approximately 5.50 meters wide to which are added to the four angles thick buttresses 1.60 meters thick, for 11 meters in length including the apse of 3.50 meters. The tiled roof has lost its original appearance. The primitive facade is pierced with a semicircular portal, joined to the ridge adorned with a sausage and framed by a simple archivolt formed by a bead of indentations and stars. The pinion oculus allows light to penetrate inside.

The central niche, added during a restoration in 1701, protects the statue of Saint-Julien who places his right foot on a head. A large staircase made up of seven steps leads to the pavement made up of large slabs then to the left, to the remains of an ambon (a sort of pulpit). At the transom of the barrel vault, above the two arches which reveal the side walls, run cords of moldings up to the pilasters framing the apse in the form of a “cul de four”. This garland takes up the patterns, in harmony with the facade. Near the north wall, a cippus of pagan or early Christian origin from a local quarry has long served as the central pillar of a wooden altar. A large painting represents Saint-Julien, as a Roman soldier. A narrow window open at the end of the apse in the shape of a “bottom of the oven” illuminates the altar in the rising sun. Today, the chapel is only used for religious funerals.

Notre-Dame-De-Beauvezer Church
This parish church, built in the center of the fortified city, near the seigneurial castle, probably dates from the 15th century. Outside, above the portal, a niche houses a mutilated statue of the “Virgin and Child”. It is surmounted by an escutcheon bearing the arms of the abbey of Montmajour, which thus recalls the affiliation with this Provencal center of spirituality. The building would have had relics of the Emperor Constantine and Saint Helena. The burial of the lieutenant of seneschal, Pierre de Biord, leader of the Arles league, buried in March 1592 after being stoned by women in the countryside of Saint-Martin de Crau, has long since disappeared.

The dilapidated building collapsed a few years before the Revolution. Restored several times, the church was definitively saved in 1978. It consists of a single nave with a bay slightly deviated to the east, covered with a wooden frame supporting a tiled roof, and an apse with five sides on ribbed vaults. The keystone bears the coat of arms of the abbots of Montmajour: two papal keys placed in a cross. In a defensive turret, a spiral staircase provides access to the roof. The bell tower frames three arched bays for the location of the bells.

Belval Castle
Belval Castle, a former 17th century fortified bastide, is the symbol of the vernacular heritage characterizing the region. It was transformed into an agricultural building in the 19th century. This bastide, formerly fortified (portal of 1630), was bought by a wealthy lawyer, François Amphoux, ennobled in 1765. Located in a small green valley, Belval or Belle Vallée, has always been devoted to agriculture and livestock. The estate was a hotbed of agricultural research until the end of the 19th century.

The first elements known about the property appear in the cadastral register of 1707. However, some architects date the oldest part of the castle, including a very beautiful carved porch, from 1630. The bastide, the land, orchards and vineyards, near the Bridge -de-Rhaud are surrounded by walls. A few years later, François Amphoux, a wealthy bourgeois from Saint-Chamas and a lawyer at the court, bought the estate. A chapel, an oven, a dovecote, a stable and a “cheese” were added to the building and to the land planted with almond trees and some walnut trees. The farm will become even more prosperous when its owner introduces herds of Merino sheep. François Amphoux is then the most daring artisan of transhumance in the plain of La Crau. He takes the initiative to regroup the herds to lead them in the pastures.

In 1765, he was knighted and became Count de Belleval. He developed the local economy by improving merino wool and advised the inhabitants of Miramas to group together to store the wool and sell it at the most advantageous time. He advocates agricultural education and does not hesitate to welcome young orphans to train them. The estate is at its peak and Amphoux de Belleval known for his initiatives and his writings.

The descendants of Belleval will continue to maintain the property. Then, the success seems to abandon the family and Belval is on the decline. On April 16, 1986, the building and the park became the property of the SAN Ouest Provence intermunicipal authority on behalf of the city of Miramas. In 1997, the municipality of Georges Thorrand definitively removed the area from real estate speculation by buying the 53 hectares of agricultural land attached to it. Restored in its integrity, Belval is now part of the heritage of the town. Its restoration is gradually being undertaken.

The Blowing Snow
The paths of the Poudrerie Saint-Chamas-Miramas offer the discovery of an original historical and natural heritage: a 17th century industrial site dedicated to the manufacture of powder and then explosives. Closed in 1974, it was then bought back in large part in 2001 by the Conservatoire du littoral to make it a protected natural park.

The site is ideal for the production of powder. It has hydraulic power – thanks to the water supply by a canal derived from the Touloubre built in the 17th century. It also enjoys a strategic location for the transport of materials, near the Etang de Berre. From then on, the Poudrerie continued to develop, increasing to 135 hectares in 1917. Mills, canals, reservoirs, series of workshops, retaining dikes to gain land on the Berre pond and even a hydroelectric power station were gradually built up. built. During its three hundred years of activity, the Poudrerie went through several world conflicts. Its production methods adapt to technical and scientific innovations.

After several accidents, including two serious in 1936 and 1940 and a period of less activity, this military industry center closed in 1974. Most of its 250 production and storage buildings were then destroyed. The dismantling of factories and partial soil remediation followed more than 25 years of abandonment.

In 2001, the Coastal Conservatory bought most of the estate from the Ministry of Defense. Depolluted and decontaminated, it makes it a protected natural park. While most of the 250 buildings have been demolished, traces of this industrial and military past have not yet disappeared. There remain the remains of several historic buildings and very rich archives, scattered in several places of conservation.

From 2001, when the Poudrerie was acquired by the Conservatoire du littoral, the site was gradually restored. However, many traces of the old industrial activity remain: an important hydraulic network (canals, reservoirs, etc.), military infrastructures (watchtower), tank bases, storage areas (including underground passages), sheds and old millstone factories (known as “black powder mills”). The mill sector, the subject of security work, is now open to the general public. The park of the old Poudrerie is managed jointly by the municipalities of Miramas and Saint-Chamas through the SIANPOU (Syndicat intercommunal de Ancien Poudrerie) with the support of the South Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region and the Department of Bouches-du-Rhône. An interpretive trail (co-financed by EDF, the Region and the municipalities) invites visitors to discover this unique heritage, both natural and cultural.

Circuit of Miramas
The Circuit of Miramas is located within 2 km of the town. In 1926 it hosted the French Grand Prix which was won by Frenchman Jules Goux driving a Bugatti T39A. Goux, the son of the superintendent at the Peugeot factory, had earlier became famous for winning the 1913 Indianapolis 500 while reportedly consuming four bottles of champagne during the course of the race. Goux had been the first foreign winner at Indianapolis. Today the racetrack is owned by BMW and used as a vehicle test track.

Natural space

Domaine de Cabasse
Located in the heart of the city’s green lung, the Cabasse estate will delight all those close to nature. Municipal leisure center since 1980, it remains today a privileged place for walks which offers all its charm. To discover alone, as a couple, as a family, on foot, on horseback or by mountain bike. For history buffs and enthusiasts, for art photographers, the beautiful building and its land nonetheless have a long past filled with mystery. They were the property of the Abbey of Montmajour (founded in the middle of the 10th century) before being half-abandoned and handed over, according to legend, to a horde of wolves.

Over time, the castle will be subject to successive improvements and abandonment by its various owners, which makes it inevitably uninhabitable. On August 28, 1979, the municipality then decided to buy the domain which became municipal heritage. The castle and the outbuildings were immediately restored and fitted out.

Saint-Suspi Lake
The improvement of the living environment constituting one of the municipal priorities, the Saint-Suspi water plan, created on 4 ha in the heart of the eponymous district, is proof of this research. Located between the Lycée Jean Cocteau with its original architecture and the area of Cabasse with its medieval castle, this leisure center is integrated into a quality environment which brings together a media library, theater, sports complex, golf, etc.

Friendly place of relaxation offered to all, the Saint-Suspi lake sometimes takes on its stage clothes and festive meetings. Each year, the Métis Nights take up their summer neighborhood there, the essential festival of associations organizes its meetings with the population, or even the essential votive festivals involve residents and vacationers in an unforgettable summer farandole.

Poudrerie Park
Closed to the public and unoccupied for about thirty years, the Poudrerie site was spontaneously recolonized by a set of natural environments of remarkable biological diversity. Purchased in 2001 by the Conservatoire du littoral, it is today a protected natural park, open to the public.

The paths of the Poudrerie Saint-Chamas-Miramas offer the discovery of an original heritage both historical and natural. La Poudrerie, owned by the Conservatoire du Littoral, is a site full of natural surprises and a major potential for attractiveness, particularly in relation to the challenges of sustainable development. The site is home to the former Royal Poudrerie which covers 135 hectares. This sumptuous plant cover of the space induces a rich and varied fauna. It includes almost all European families: many insects, fish, amphibians (frogs and toads), reptiles, mammals (bats, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, martens, nutria and even wild boars), but especially birds with more than 130 species represented. Besides the pink flamingos, you can admire swans, herons and egrets, many species of ducks, and raptors.

The surroundings of the marsh are home to fauna and flora typical of Mediterranean wetlands. An astonishing combination of local flora and exotic plants brought by the staff of the Poudrerie park, has been transformed into a vast and lush afforestation which contrasts with the aridity of the heights covered with garrigue.

The park offers different activities all year round:

Making fat balls for birds (February)
Olive tree pruning (April)
Bird Festival (June)
Game Day (June)
Heritage Days (September)
Picking olives (December)
Mountain bike races and exhibitions on the water at the Poudrerie, Adam de Craponne, birds, snakes, olive trees, flora and fauna and insects.
Open to the public of all ages, the park is open every 1 st and 3 th Sunday of each month from 9am to 18pm and every Wednesday from 9h to 17h.

McArthurGlen Provence
McArthurGlen Provence Outlet is the leading brand village in the South of France. Located on the ZAC Mas de Péronne -Boule Noire, it covers an area of 20,000m² including 100 luxury boutiques such as Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Columbia, Converse, IZAC, Desigual, De Fursac, Diesel, Guess, Boss between others, 6 medium-sized stores and restaurants and bars such as Starbucks, Bistrot Provence, The Burger Federation, Dubble restaurant, Farinella, Illy Café and Olivadors. The center also includes several shaded relaxation areas, a playground and adventure playground for children. At the entrance, a public park of 1.6 hectare will be made available. The center is easily accessible with its 1,600 parking spaces.

The village is open every day from Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in winter and from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. in summer. Since its opening inapril 2017, the village has already had more than 2 million visitors. At the end of 2017, the Le Printemps brand opened its first outlet store andapril 2018, Lacoste (company) has opened its shop in the village.

The West Provence Miramas golf course deploys its 18 holes in a serene, soothing and natural setting with varied courses, with a part in the plain where bodies of water come into play and another wooded and steep part in the pine forest, where there is no it is not good to go astray.

Hiking Trails
Miramas is full of hidden treasures. The diverse countryside is beautifully traversed by numerous trails accessible to all. These reveal various points of view of the city and the richness of its heritage. Do not miss the hilltop village of Miramas-le-Vieux on the wild coast of the Etang de Berre and the seven marked trail routes, to be discovered on foot or by bike. Between city and nature, this unexpected trail is like the city, full of surprises. Witness of a sustainable city, respectful of its environment, concerned about people, which favors openness and crossroads, it signs the slogan of Miramas “A city. Lives “. Starting from Maille 2, an exemplary eco-district for its responsible urban renewal in consultation with its inhabitants, it joins the green paths offering many discoveries and activities: totems, stelae, pond, rich flora, shared gardens, 18-hole golf course with restaurant, equestrian center, viewpoint with orientation table.

The Paths of Miramas
Discover or rediscover the city through the mobile application of tourist routes “On the paths of Miramas”. Now the smartphone is your new compass. He will guide you to the four corners of Miramas and reveal the cultural and natural treasures to you.

Cultural events and festivities
Festive city and traditions, Miramas is in turmoil throughout the year. Through a diversified program, the municipality offers a highlight per month. The numerous and particularly active associations enrich this agenda, contributing greatly to the cultural dynamic.

Festive city of traditions, the traditional Provencal festival Racino e Jitello pays homage to the Provençal language and culture around Farandole (Provençal dances), traditional music, Provençal stand and mass and the famous Gardian Games. Showcase of Provençal identity, it traditionally takes place in spring.

At the end of July, for four days in the heart of the summer season, the city lives to the rhythm of the votive festivals. Rides, parade, music, street entertainment, aperitifs-concerts, Camargue show, children’s games, singing competition. Enclosed by a magnificent fireworks displayat the Saint-Suspi lake.

At the end of August, for three days, Vieux-Miramas takes you on a medieval adventure in an exceptional setting. Shows, activities, demonstrations and gift stands are offered to you in the heart and outskirts of the village. Sounds and lights, balls, knights’ camp, combat demonstrations, various workshops (calligraphy, herbalism, weapons, archery and crossbow shooting, wooden games, puppet show, musical strolls, food stands and restaurants of the old village take on the medieval colors.

And at the end of the year, for the Christmas holidays, the town organizes a Christmas market around twenty chalets over several days (six to nine days), with a toboggan run, mini-farm, games workshops, Christmas carols, shows and musical sound and light entertainment.

Racino e Jitello
Racino e Jitello pays homage to the language and culture of Provence. Showcase of the Provencal identity of Miramas, this festival takes place in spring. Parades, stands, dances, music, mass in Provençal, abbrivado or beccerade, this event offers a colorful weekend, during which, to the sound of the galoubet, traditions and modernity come together for a festive moment. Many local and regional associations as well as producers participate to the delight of visitors.

Nature in celebration
Nature en fête is the village of sustainable development in Miramas. Committed on all fronts of sustainable development and very active on the climate and territorial level, Miramas was designated by the State, in 2015, as a national pilot city “Zero waste, zero waste”. Supported by ADEME and other key partners such as Zero Waste, the city is developing an ambitious program to raise awareness among the general public, to change cultures, behaviors and consumption patterns. Nature en fête is the popular meeting place for sustainable development with more than fifty fun and free activities, including guided walks around biodiversity, awareness of how to eat better, etc. Nature en fête is an eco-responsible event for learning, informing and discussing good practices in sustainable development. An event that brings together all the associated players in the territory, on a voluntary basis, to raise awareness among as many people as possible.

Métis Nights Festival
The Nuits Métis celebrate every year all kinds of music with a program of festivities in the colors of the five continents. This festival brings together thirty free shows over three days and three nights. Nestled in lush greenery on the banks of the Saint-Suspi lake (link to the Saint-Suspi lake page), in the heart of Miramas, the Nuits Métis Festival unfolds majestically with its large stage, its counters catering, its nomadic space for intimate musical moments, its Chinese pole for the circus arts, its wanderings around the visual arts and its walks conducive to strolls in the mild summer. Exceptional concerts with renowned headliners, exhibitions, shows, educational workshops and musical tales, this popular family festival attracts up to 12,000 people each year.

Pesto Soup World Championship
To celebrate the summer and share a moment of celebration, the Miramas tourist office is offering a world championship of pesto soup on Place Jourdan. From the morning, the teams, composed in particular of restaurateurs and come from the hexagon to see elsewhere, peel, stem, cut the vegetables which will come to garnish the pots presented to the jury. Family secret, knack for everyone, each their own recipe and their own way of decorating their stand. In the evening, the square takes on a festive air and welcomes, in a friendly and musical atmosphere, nearly 700 guests who have come to feast on this typical dish.

Votive festivals
For four days, in the heart of the summer season, Miramas lives to the rhythm of the votive festivals. Under the impetus of the municipality and associations of Miramas, tradition and modernity come to life to the rhythm of street entertainment and shows: rides, corso, music, street entertainment, aperitifs-concerts, beccerades, Camargue show, games for children, singing competitions, etc. Enclosed by a magnificent fireworks display at the Saint-Suspi lake and a grand ball, this event brings color and cheerfulness to the sky and the streets of the city. It brings together all generations and visitors from different

Medieval festival
Le Vieux-Miramas, an authentic hilltop village, brings a medieval adventure to life in an exceptional setting. For three days, shows, entertainment, demonstrations and gift stands are offered in the heart and around the village. Sounds and lights, balls, knight camps, combat demonstrations, various workshops (calligraphy, herbalism, weaponry, archery and crossbow shooting, wooden games), puppet shows, musical strolls, food stands and restaurants in the old village are draped in medieval colors.

All roads lead to Miramas
With family or friends, this event offers a friendly day conducive to the discovery of unsuspected places and free activities for all. A tourist rally to discover fabulous and unmissable places in the city through free activities: 18-hole golf course and equestrian center, hiking trails, climbing and zipline at the Cabasse estate, guided or fun visits to the Poudrerie park, famous for its biodiversity, Vieux-Miramas, nautical base on the wild coast of the Etang de Berre, the Domaine de lunard. Aboard tuk-tuks or free shuttles, this extraordinary adventure allows you to discover or rediscover the hidden treasures of Miramas.

Train Festival
A city of railway origin, Miramas celebrates the train. The railway heritage is in the spotlight with many activities and events which, for a day, attract and delight visitors. Train exhibitions, model trains, piloting simulations, visit of the switch post, surprise getaways, Olympic games for railway workers, children’s station with many games, concerts, artistic stands, video games, world trains to eat, wagons tales and station scenes… this beautiful event has a multitude of surprises in store for each edition.

Christmas art
In Miramas, the Féerie de Noël is a tradition. The opportunity to discover the magic of these end of year celebrations, the week before Christmas. Each year, a country or region is honored at the heart of a thematic Christmas market around twenty chalets. Events imbued with magic are offered to the public: marvelous parade, spectacular arrival of Santa Claus and his basket full of gifts for children, toboggan run, mini-farm, games workshops, Christmas carols, shows and musical entertainment, sounds and lights.