Camargue and Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer
Camargue and Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Provence The Camargue is an interesting region in the south of France, very much like its own separate little country. Instead of chateaux or medieval villages, the region comprises vast stretches of marshes and wetlands, pastures, dunes and salt flats. Also intriguing here is the existence of the guardians or cowboys, who work the pastures. When you see them in town, they're decked out in cowboy boots, hats and all!
The seaside village of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is the capital of the Camargue. Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is both the place of pilgrimage for gypsies from the Camargue and all over Europe, as well as the name of its parish church, which is the central attraction of this village. The annual pilgrimage and gathering of the gypsies or gitans takes place here in late May. This village is steeped in history, dating back to the days of the early Christians. Inside the parish church are paintings and symbols that tell the story of the two Saint Marys and Saint Sara, the patron saint of the gypsies.
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