Arles, a walk through Provence's history
ARLES, the "little rome" of provence
Arles, city of art and history, is an Unesco World Heritage Site since 1981.
Full of Roman heritage from over 2500 years Arles is thus called the "little Rome of Provence".This nickname comes from the importance of Arles in the Roman Empire, for which it was a capital city. Its port, bridge (the first bridge over the Rhône river) and proximity to the Via Domitia allowed the city to become very prosperous at the time.
Set in the delta of the Rhône River, Arles - a lively and authentic town - is probably most famous for its Roman ruins, including the majestic coliseum that marks its epicenter.
In the late 19th century, Van Gogh spent over a year in Arles, attracted to its light and colour, accomplishing his most noted works.
From Arles, southward to the sea, sprawls out the park of the Camargue: a vast and pristine marshland with countless bird species, bull farms, and white horses: a bird watcher and a cycling paradise !
Enjoying a walk, or a bike ride in this unique Roman town is a must-do as it is a melting pot of many cultures (Provence and Camargue) and eras (roman, medieval and contemporary).
Vincent Van Gogh was born in Holland but is considered the most Provençal of the Dutch painters.
Attracted to Provence for its colour and luminosity, Van Gogh spent time in the city of Arles before voluntarily admitting himself to a mental asylum in Saint-Rémy de Provence in 1889. There, he found the serene and understanding environment he needed to concentrate on his art – not to mention the sheer beauty of the surroundings.
During his year’s stay in Saint-Rémy he completed over 150 paintings, considered a major part of his life’s work. You can visit the institution where he stayed, and walk through the streets of Saint Rémy on the “Van Gogh trail”: a series of reproductions of his paintings facing the landscape that inspired each one, complete with explanations
Why not give an eye at our walking or cycling tours in and around Arles