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Arles, between Camargue and World Heritage

After Rome, there is Arles, a city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! The Roman heritage of Arles is unique and can be seen at every corner: amphitheatre, theatre, Constantine’s baths, cryptoporticoes, Alyscamps. Other remarkable witnesses, the buildings of the Romanesque period are superb, such as the Primatiale and the cloister St Trophime. 

The whole of the old town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The museums of Arles, real jewel cases, are a must-see: it is in a contemporary building that the Museum of Arles Antique exhibits 1,800 objects (everyday objects, architectural elements, mosaics, sarcophagi, etc.). Visiting this museum will enable the visitor to better understand the evolution of the Roman city. You will be dazzled by a 31m Gallo-Roman barge fished out of the Rhône as well as by the famous bust of Julius Caesar.

After ten years of refurbishment, the Museon Arlaten, an ethnographic museum created at the end of the 19th century on the initiative of the Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral, has reopened. With a collection of more than 38,000 objects, the Museon Arlaten tells how people in Provence live, think and work since the 18th century.

The Réattu Museum of Fine Arts is housed in the Grand Prieuré of the Malta Order. Open to photography since the 1960s (4,000 works today), enriched by exceptional donations (Picasso, with 57 drawings and two paintings, Alechinsky, etc.), and very sensitive to sculpture (Germaine Richier, Toni Grand, etc.), the museum created a room in 2008 dedicated to sound art.

The Arles Vincent van Gogh Foundation pays tribute to the master and to contemporary artists. It is dedicated to enhancing his artistic legacy by questioning the resonance of his work in art. Putting his painting into perspective with the work of contemporary artists will reveal a fertile dialogue.

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

After the Lee Ufan Museum in Naoshima and the Lee Ufan Space at the Busan Museum of Art, the Korean painter and minimalist sculptor has chosen Arles to showcase his work in an exhibition centre, but also to support and sponsor various artistic and cultural activities. It is in the heart of the Vernon Hotel that he has created the Lee Ufan Foundation. This mansion, built between the 16th and 18th centuries, displays the artist’s works on three floors and also includes a bookshop and a shop.

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 discover this vast territory. It is at the Mas du Pont de Rousty that the Natural Park has installed the Camargue Museum, a showcase for the territory. Renovated in 2013, with a view to sustainable development, the sheepfold, under its original framework, offers an immersion in the Camargue of yesterday and today. Historical pieces, interactive, playful and sound installations, videos and contemporary works of art invite young and old to surf between past, present and future, far from clichés.

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

To discover Arles,  you should go to the Tourist Office ! There you can buy your pass avantage, (valid for 6 months to access 6 monuments and 3 museums) or Liberté (valid for 1 month to access 4 monuments, 1 museum and the Réattu Museum).Throughout the year (according to the calendar), city guided tours and historical re-enactments are offered in the monuments and museum. For those who prefer to visit on their own, themed walks and hiking maps are available online or from the tourist office frontdesk. For those who are more connected, the Wivisites application allows you to choose a thematic itinerary with audiovisual and geolocation tools. 



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