Tarascon

Le château de Tarascon domine le Rhône

Le château de Tarascon domine le Rhône
Le Château de Tarascon - Centre d'arts René d'Anjou

Ville de Tarascon - Agence Caméléon

Tarascon has an impressive heritage which can be discovered by sharing in the traditions, festivals and art de vivre of this beautiful Provençal town.

Tarascon is a town with a rich historic heritage and still contains some important testimonies to the great architectural periods of history. You will be enthralled by the Château de Provence, an impressive building which was once the residence of the Princes of Anjou. For the Mediaeval Festival during the 3rd weekend in August, the château becomes the majestic setting for sparring and equestrian jousts which will take you back spectacularly to the era of Tarascon tournaments. The château stands opposite the collegial church of Saint Martha, whose crypt contains relics of the Saint.

Martha, who arrived on a beach in Les Saintes-Maries de la Mer with Mary Jacobe and Mary Salome, settled in Tarascon after travelling up the Rhône. By performing miracles, she defeated the 'Tarasque', the monster which then lived on the banks of the Rhône and terrorised the population. In 2005, the highly popular Tarasque festivals which take place each summer were classified as Oral and Intangible Heritage for Humanity by UNESCO. The entire town is an invitation to discover a classified and varied heritage of picturesque streets, archways, cloisters, chapels and splendid mansions. Tarascon is also a Provençal town which cultivates its traditions and its art de vivre on a daily basis. In the preserved old centre, the Souléiado Museum will reveal the manufacturing secrets of the famous 'Indiennes' printed calico from Provence. At the Cité du Cheval, you can meet the future stars of equestrian art and shows. Tarascon, a town which loves its local produce, will meet your gastronomic expectations with its Provençal market, its specialities and its beautiful restaurants. In the surrounding area, between the Rhône Plain and the Regional Natural Park of the Alpilles, Tarascon will be your starting point for long walks and hikes between the Rhône, the Alpilles and La Montagnette.

Les circuits du territoire

Démonstration de catapulte - Château des Baux De Provence

Towers and keeps day trip in Provence !

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This journey amongst towers and keeps transports you from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, with a combination of educational walks and spectacular demonstrations. It takes you from one end of PROVENCE PAYS d’ARLES to the other, via La Montagnette, the Alpilles and Camargue.
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Outdoor activities (2)

  • Garden of the Ch��teau de Tarascon - Outdoor activities

    Places to visit - Park - private garden
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    Facing the castle service quarters, dominated by cypress planted early last century, the King René garden is a haven of greenery in the heart of this magnificent architectural ensemble. At the foot of a linden tree is the "Fountain of Wealth", a reference written by King René d'Anjou”, the "Loving Heart", in which the Heart knight, allegory and literary incarnation of the king, made a stop at the threshold of black fountain in which flows an evil water...

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  • Mas de Payan - Outdoor activities

    Places to visit - Botanic gardens
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    Referenced in the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur, gardens guide book, this botanical garden has an arboretum (oak maple, fruit trees), a vegetable garden and a greenhouse over about three hectares. More than 800 taxa are listed. Access by reservation only from April 15 to November 15.

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Art and culture (4)

  • Ciergerie "l'Abbaye de Prémontrés" - Art and culture

    Museums - Company museum
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    The Candle-Makers of the Abbey of the Prémontrés, a Living Heritage Business, perpetuate the ancestral skills of the White Fathers of the Prémontrés of Saint Michel de Frigolet Abbey in Provence. The Living Heritage Business label is a mark of recognition by the French State, awarded to manufacturers using outstanding industrial and traditional skills.

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  • Théâtre de Tarascon

    Théâtre municipal de Tarascon - Art and culture

    Theatre, cinema, Concerts - Theatre
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    One of the most remarkable Italian-style theatres in the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region, classified as a Historic Monument. In a Royal Order of 10 August 1825, Charles X approved the Municipal Council's decision to acquire land and a church formerly belonging to the Dominicans (15th century) for the creation of a theatre. In 1925, Tarascon, which had 12,000 inhabitants and had been a sub-prefecture for 15 years, chose a disused church near Porte Saint-Jean.

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  • Le Rex - Art and culture

    Theatre, cinema, Concerts - Cinema
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    Two cinema screens. Dolby sound. Air conditioning. General release, original language, 3D and arthouse films; subscription card. All ticket prices reduced on Wednesdays.

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  • Exposition au musée Souleiado à Tarascon

    Souleïado - Art and culture

    Museums - Museum
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    The Souléiado Museum was created in a private mansion which housed an Indian printing site from 1806. This society museum combines the history of our Provence with the traditional production of cotton fabrics. There are printed textiles with colourful motifs known as 'Indian textiles', which are now Provençal fabrics. In this museum, you will discover rare examples of Provençal costumes, wonderful stitching and charming reconstructions of former scenes from everyday life in Provence.

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Practice (2)

Producteurs, artisans, terroir (14)

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Restaurants and cafés (16)

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Sport and leisure (2)

Heritage (32)

  • Hotel Particulier de l'Abesse - Heritage

    Chateaux, areas, battlements - Stately home
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    This civilian building was partially built in the 15th century, sold to the Ursulines and then redeveloped in the early 17th century; it was encompassed into the convent extension and then used as a residence by the Abbess. Only the façade on Rue du 4 septembre still has Renaissance features, such as pilasters and capitals (1619).

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  • Théâtre - Heritage

    Other heritage - Historical theatre - historical opera house
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    This Baroque-style theatre is a former church which belonged to the Friars Preachers. In 1333, having abandoned Jarnègues Island, they settled in the St Nicolas district of Tarascon, where they were given St Jean Batiste Chapel. They replaced it with a very beautiful church, dedicated to the same Saint. In 1825, the chapel was transformed into a theatre, which was officially inaugurated in 1828. It was destroyed by a fire in 1884. The reconstruction of the theatre began in 1887. The façade was completely recreated and a huge, deep stage was built.

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  • Rue du Château - Heritage

    Historical site, archaeology - Square - courtyard
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    Located close to the mediaeval fortress of King René, the Rue des Halles, near the Jewish quarter and the Hôtel de Ville, contains some superb 16th and 17th century buildings. Take the time to stroll along this magnificent mediaeval street which is still just as charming as ever!

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  • Orgue de Sainte Marthe - Heritage

    Religious buildings - Organ
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    The organ sits against the wall which separates the narthex from the main nave. The instrumental part dates from 1484. It was enlarged in 1712 and given a magnificent polychrome chest created by Charles Boisellin. The structure is listed as a national Historic Monument.

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  • Eglise Saint Jacques - Heritage

    Religious buildings - Church
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    This 18th century building is located on the site of a mediaeval chapel of the same name, which was facing ruin and also too small. In 1740, the construction of a new church was entrusted to the Tarascon master builder Antoine Damour, according to plans by the architect Jean-Baptiste Franque, who created the arch system. The Classical-style façade is made from Beaucaire stone. Architectural description:

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  • Porte St Jean - Heritage

    Built heritage - Gate
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    14th century. It has crenellations and barbicans for defensive reasons and took its name from St John the Baptist Chapel, which is in the same area. The superb golden Virgin was installed in 1866, with the inscription: 'posuerunt me custodem', which translates as 'They (the people of Tarascon) made me keeper'. The gate has been a regional Historic Monument since 1930.

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  • Chapelle e Lansac - Heritage

    Built heritage - Chapel
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    This is a Romanesque chapel originally dedicated to Saint Peter. In the 12th century, it became Notre Dame de l'Assomption and at the same time was given to the Arles Chapter. The site of Lansac, a tiny hamlet south of Tarascon, has been inhabited since Roman times, when the residents fled Ernaginum (now Saint Gabriel), where they had originally settled but which was pillaged by the Visigoths. Architectural description:

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  • Porte de la Condamine - Heritage

    Built heritage - Gate
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    The remains of the ramparts are very interesting from an architectural point of view. They include the Porte Saint Jean (17th-18th centuries), the Porte de Jarnègues (12th-17th centuries) and the Porte de la Condamine (14th century). The Porte de la Condamine is listed as a national Historic Monument and the Porte Saint Jean is listed as a regional Historic Monument.

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  • Cloître des Cordeliers - Heritage

    Religious buildings - Cloisters
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    The former Cloister of the Friars Minor, built circa 1550, stands on Place Frédéric Mistral. This beautiful Renaissance-style cloister belonged to the convent founded in Tarascon by this Order in 1362. The monks stayed there until the Revolution, when the convent was sold as a national asset. The town bought the building in 1861 in order to open a crèche, which would be managed by the Sisters of Notre Dame l'Auxiliaire. Their initials (N.D.A.) are engraved on a cross above the entrance door, which leads to a simple room with a wooden ceiling.

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  • Boulevard Joseph Desanat - Heritage

    Historical site, archaeology - Route - Historical trail
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    Joseph Désanat was born in Tarascon (1796-1874). He was courtier and then a charcuterie manufacturer in Marseille, where he practised a number of different professions. He founded and managed the newspaper 'Lou Biou-Abaisso' (The Bouillabaisse. 1841-1842 and 1844-1846). He was a pre-Mistral Félibre and both a journalist and a poet. He wrote at a time when Provençal spelling had not yet been fixed by the famous Maillane writer, and was only 16 when this work was edited.

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