Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur Mas / Magnanerie

The typical Provence house is the mas. It is also sometimes called magnanerie, referring to the mas properties where silkworms were raised.

A mas is a type of traditional Provence farmhouse property being a medium-to-large rural property. It can also be a bastide-style French house, a farm or part of a domaine. It is originally a farm producing fruits, vegetables, grain, milk, meat and even silkworms. These Provence properties are local stone made. Not every farmhouse in Provence can be described as a mas, which has distinctive features:

  • The house is built to have its rear facing the Mistral wind direction, eg facing the north.
  • On this side of the house, windows of very small dimensions are to be seen, allowing to insulate the house against the summer heat or the winter cold.
  • Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur mas are rectangular-shaped houses having gently sloping roofs. Small ones are called mazet or petit mas.

Two main types of Provence Mas

  • The Luberon Mas Lubéron is the central area of Provence. Mas in this area is rectangular or L shaped. It is a classic Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur magnanerie property, originally dedicated to the raising of silkworms.
  • The Camargue Mas Camargue is a marsh plain located south of the city of Arles. The Camargue mas is a French property type really adapted to its environment. It is organized around large spaces and has an interior courtyard. The house itself has generally a U-shape.

The size of a mas property depends on the wealth of its original occupants. The mas was always built of inexpensive, local stones or wood. Stones were generally taken in the Durance River. Some other Provence mas were built with red stones and clay (foremost in the Roussillon area of France). Provence alpes Cote d’Azur mas are nowadays very sought-after types of properties.

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