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Arles, between Camargue and World Heritage

After Rome, there’s Arles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site! The Roman heritage of Arles is unique and can be seen around every corner: amphitheatre, theatre, Constantine’s baths, cryptoporticus, Alyscamps. Romanesque buildings such as the Primatiale and the cloister of St Trophime are also outstanding.

The entire old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The museums of Arles are doubly worth a visit: in a contemporary building, the Musée Départemental de l’Arles Antique displays 1,800 objects (everyday objects, architectural elements, mosaics, sarcophagi, models, etc.). A visit to this not-to-be-missed site is a must if you want to better understand the development of the Roman city, where you’ll be dazzled by a 31-metre Gallo-Roman barge recovered from the Rhône and the famous bust of Julius Caesar.

After ten years of renovation work, the ethnographic museum created at the end of the 19th century on the initiative of the Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral, a benchmark of Provençal culture, has reopened its doors. Boasting a collection of more than 38,000 objects, the Museon Arlaten shows us how people have lived, thought and worked in the region since the 18th century.

The Musée Réattu, the Musée des Beaux-Arts, is housed in the Grand Prieuré de l’Ordre de Malte. Open to photography since the 1960s (4,000 works today), enriched by exceptional donations (Picasso, with 57 drawings and two paintings, Alechinsky, etc.), very sensitive to sculpture (Germaine Richier, Toni Grand, etc.), in 2008 the museum created a listening room dedicated to sound art. This year, it is presenting a fine exhibition of works by Alfred Latour.

The Vincent van Gogh Foundation in Arles pays tribute to the master and to leading contemporary artists. It is dedicated to promoting his artistic legacy by questioning the resonance of his work in art. Placing his paintings in perspective with the work of contemporary artists will reveal a fertile dialogue. The Vincent van Gogh Foundation in Arles is delighted to be presenting Vincent’s famous “cosmic poem”, The Starry Night (1888), one of the masterpieces in the Musée d’Orsay collection, during the summer of 2024.

LUMA Arles, located in the Parc des Ateliers, is an 11-hectare former railway wasteland, a unique place where the LUMA Tower designed by Frank Gehry and seven former factories from the industrial heritage of the 19th century interact in perfect harmony. Conceived as a journey through the region through the flora and fauna that inhabit it, the 4-hectare landscaped park is a place for life, exchange and leisure open to all.

After the Lee Ufan Museum in Naoshima and the Espace Lee Ufan at the Busan Museum of Art, the Korean minimalist painter and sculptor has chosen Arles as an exhibition centre to showcase his work, as well as to support and sponsor various artistic and cultural activities. It is in the heart of the Hôtel Vernon that he has created Lee Ufan Arles. This private mansion, built between the 16th and 18th centuries, houses the artist’s works on 3 floors, as well as a bookshop and boutique.

The Musée de la Camargue between Arles and Les Saintes Maries de la mer, in the heart of the Camargue, is a real gateway to this vast territory. The Natural Park has set up the Musée de la Camargue at the Mas du Pont de Rousty, a showcase for the region. Renovated in 2013 with sustainable development in mind, the sheepfold, under its original roof structure, offers an immersion into the Camargue of yesterday and today. Historical pieces, interactive installations, games, sound, videos and contemporary works of art invite young and old to surf between past, present and future, far from clichés.

Still in the Camargue, at the heart of the Domaine de Méjanes, the Musée Paul Ricard honours the fabulous destiny of Paul Ricard, visionary entrepreneur and humanist. It’s also an opportunity to discover the history of the Domaine de Méjanes, which is closely linked to that of the Camargue and all the people of the Camargue.

To discover Arles, go to the Tourist Office! Here you can buy your Avan-tage pass (valid for 6 months and giving access to 6 monuments and 4 museums) or your Liberté pass (valid for 1 month and giving access to 4 monuments, 1 museum and the Musée Réattu).

Guided tours and historical re-enactments of monuments, museums and foundations are offered in the town centre and Camargue throughout the year (according to the calendar). For those who prefer to visit on their own, themed walks and walking maps are available online or from our tourist advisors. For the more connected, the Wivisites application lets you choose a themed itinerary with audio-visual and geolocation tools.

Arles is also a venue for major international events. The highlights of 2024 include: the election of the 25th Queen of Arles, the reception of the Olympic flame, the Rencontres de la photogra-phie, music, film and drawing festivals, etc.

Opening hours of the Arles Camargue Tourist Office – Bureau des Lices

Open all year round from Monday to Saturday

Except 25 December and 1 January

Sundays (and public holidays) during school holidays + May and October: 10am to 12.45pm.

Open all day: Easter Sunday and Monday, 1st May

July and August: open every day 7/7

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