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The birthplace of author Marcel Pagnol, Aubagne is a city set in the heart of Provence, in the Huveaune Valley , at the foot of the Garlaban mountain range. The city of Aubagne possesses a well-preserved architectural heritage and its history is strongly tied to exploitation of its clay soils, which have been used since ancient times to produce ceramics, bricks, roof tiles and wall or floor tiles. Aubagne is the production capital of the Provence Christmas figurines ("santons") , the small clay statutes that have been used in Nativity Scenes since the 18th century.
At present, there are some thirty potters in Aubagne , and every other year, the city hosts the largest ceramics market in France. The House of Clay, housed in the Thérèse Neveu Workshops , depicts the history of the period and the story of this type of workmanship.
At the doorstep of Marseille , Aubagne is within easy access of the Concorde Villa Massalia Hotel , and every year plays host to many tourists who come to visit the old city and its ramparts, admire the colorful façades of the beautiful private mansions and stroll through its narrow, shady streets filled with flower boxes, all typical of the villages of Provence. Aubagne's markets are famous throughout the region and one can visit the house where Marcel Pagnol was born, which has been transformed into a museum since 2003 and renovated in the style of that period.