During the 13th century, this was the location of the regional headquarters of the commander of the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem. These Knights Hospitallers, or Knights of Malta, had formed into a group in the 11th-century, during the Crusades. The group’s mission was to provide medical care and offer protection to Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land and became the greatest military powers in the region. The Knights came to Provence because at the time Roi Rene, was the ruler of Jerusalem as well as Provence.
Look for the cross of the Order of Malta on the steeple of the church of St. Jean de Malte. The spire is 67 meters (about 200 feet) in height, the highest point in Aix-en-Provence.