Saintes Maries de la Mer: The ancient village in the Camargue

What to see and visit in Saintes Maries de la Mer, the history of this ancient village located in the marshland of the Camargue in France.

Holidays in Saintes Maries de la Mer

Saintes Maries de la Mer is a small town located on the southern coast of France in the territory of the Camargue, a vast territory located between the two arms of the delta of the Rhone river which has a characteristic flora and fauna.

It’s considered the home village of the gypsies with long roots in the distant past, when nature allowed the first people to settle in this marshy environment. It is passed down to today the legend of Maries or one that tells how did you get here, around the year 18 AD, the three holy women or Saintes Maries in the tradition of the place since then have always been considered the Protecting the area .

The Pious women, along with their companions, were abandoned along the coast of Palestine to the currents of the sea, on board a boat without oars and sails. Crew were part Giacoma Maria, sister of the Virgin Mary Saloma, mother of the apostles James and John, Lazarus, Mary Magdalene, Martha, Massimino, Sidon.

They also had joined Sara who had managed to reach the drifting boat. Driven by a miraculous wind, the boat with its crew landed on the coast of the Camargue. To give thanks to God traveling companions erected first thing an oratory where some remained to pray while others went around the region to evangelize the people.

The Pious women died here and were buried in the place where it was erected a chapel and then the church, which became part of the defensive system of the town.

What to visit in Saintes Maries de la Mer

The present church is Romanesque very simple and with a nave with five regular spans ending with apse once arched.

The church of Saintes has a look of church and fortress together, placed in a dominant position on both the village and the sea to calm yesterday as today, the people, the travelers and the people who want to pray.

On the right side of the nave is a niche in which are represented the Saintes Maries, or the pious women Giacoma Maria and Maria Salome, inside the boat that made a miraculous landing on the beach.

The relics of the two saints are kept rather high in the chapel from which they are extracted once a year on the occasion of the great pilgrimage that takes place on 24 and 25 May in honor of Saint Sarah, the servant symbol of loyalty and exoticism typical of people wandering for which there is simply the faith and the deep feeling of pride in their race.