A Century-old tradition
From Aubagne to Saint-Zacharie, over the centuries, the ceramic industry, pottery and tile factories, has brought life to the towns and villages of the Pays d’Aubagne et de l’Étoile.
The first mentions of tile factories in Aubagne date back to middle of the fifteenth century and are related to the construction of the lower town.
In the nineteenth century, pottery and ceramics represented the most important part of the industry in Aubagne.
The ceramic industry of Saint-Zacharie played a leading role from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century in supplying the Midi (Southern France) and beyond. Today, the most spectacular testimony is still the battery of 4 restored ceramic kilns that can be admired in the center of Saint-Zacharie.
Silent witnesses of this past, chimneys of old earthenware factories or potteries, can still be seen around the streets, especially in Aubagne, at the Faïencerie Louis Sicard, where the ceramic cicada sitting on an olive branch was created in 1895, or at the prestigious Poterie Ravel, which is internationally renowned!
At the beginning of the century, the “Belle santonnière”, Thérèse Neveu had the idea of “santonnifying” picturesque characters of Aubagne and daily life. Thus, she gave a new impetus to the art of santon-making art: the Southern nativity scene.
A historical space is dedicated to her in her former workshop at Marcel Pagnol’s Petit Monde.