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Architecture in Marseille

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France
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The Fort Saint-Jean
The Fort Saint-Jean site has been occupied since Antiquity but it wasn’t until the 13th century that the Knights of Saint-John (later the Knights of Malta) established themselves here and named the area after them. Some relics remain. The huge square tower was built on the foundations of Maubert tower to defend the port entrance after the Aragonese Sack (1423) by Roy René. The beacon tower was built in 1644 and the Chevalier de Clerville built the fort following Louis XIV’s orders in his major plans for Marseille. He had a hole liable to flooding excavated to isolate the fort from the city. It was used as a garrison than a prison during the French Revolution. During the Second World War, it was used to store the German army’s munitions which exploded in 1944 causing major damage to the fort and Transporter Bridge. The fort was listed as a Monument Historique in 1964 and included in MuCEM in 2013.
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The Old Major
Several buildings have stood on these foundations since the 5th century but the current Roman Provencal style church built in pink stone from the Couronne quarries dates back to the mid-12th century.
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Chateau d'Alpheran
Built in around 1720, Château d'Alphéran was for many years the country home of the Alphéran de Bussan family. It stands in grounds of 30 hectares with a swimming pool, and a cedar 300 years old in the centre. This 18th-century chateau, 10 minutes from Aix-en-Provence, has been restored in traditional style. The estate also enjoys a commanding view of Sainte Victoire mountain.
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The Chateau of Lourmarin
Facing the village of Lourmarin, listed amongst the most beautiful of France, this castle is the first Renaissance Château in Provence. The original, medieval wing, called the Château-vieux or old castle, boasts Italian-style loggias.
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The Tower of the Citadelle
Aristocrat's houses and the ruins of its castle and the Saint-Michel keep, a square tower from the 14th century.
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The cellars of the Saint Firmin Palace
Cave dwelling-like halls, cisterns, underground stairways, olive oil mills, etc, built up and fitted out over the centuries in a big house called the "Palais Saint Firmin". Listed as a Historic Monument.
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Castle of Gordes
The Castle of Gordes is a monument in the municipality of Gordes (Vaucluse, Provence-Alps-French Riviera). It is an attraction for holidaymakers staying in the region.
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The Palace of Pops
Avignon has a magnficent urban landscape. The Rocher des Doms overlooks the city and the Rhône. Here there is an exceptional architectural group which includes the Pont d'Avignon (also known as Pont Saint Bénezet, the Ramparts, the Petit Palais, the Doms Cathedral and the massive walls of the Palace of the Popes, with four impressive towers in each corner. This unique architectural ensemble has been ranked as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The biggest Gothic palace in the world: tour 24 rooms! Museum space, priceless frescoes. Audioguide in 11 languages
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Fort de lEstissac
Built between 1634 and 1640, it sports a plane corresponding to the general provisions of Richelieu's strong. The book tour in the summer, especially the tower, which offers a splendid panorama and houses the exhibition Marine Bio Diversity (presentation of the National Park and the Ile de Port-Cros). A 15-minute walk from the village.
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The Saint Benezet bridge
The Saint Bénezet bridge, a major witness of the history of Avignon, is known throughout the world thanks to the famous song. Built from the 12th century, it was washed away several times by the floods of the Rhone, and finally abandoned in the seventeenth century. Classified World Heritage by UNESCO.
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The Roman Arena
The Roman amphitheatre (or arena) in Nîmes is the best-conserved of the Roman world. It was used for hunting wild animals and for gladiator combats from the end of the first century AD onwards. Many events are held there today.
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The Maison Carree Temple
The Maison Carrée – the only fully preserved temple from Antiquity – has recently been restored. Inside you can watch the film the “Nemausus, the birth of Nîmes”, that presents the Imperial cult and the heroic past of Nîmes and its surroundings.
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Place de la Comedie
Place de la Comédie is Montpellier's central square. Also known as l'OEuf (the Egg) because of its original oval shape, it is one of the largest pedestrian areas in Europe.
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The Fabre museum
The Fabre museum itself is an astounding work of art, an innovative combination of classic and contemporary architecture. Today, the museum offers over 800 works, 900 engravings and 3,500 drawings in its 9,200 m² exhibit area.
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Sainte Anne square
When one gets to place Sainte-Anne (Sainte Anne square), one is surprised by the majestic Sainte-Anne Church (whose bell tower can be seen from anywhere in the city).
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Villa Rothschild Mediatheque Noailles
Open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 9.30 am to 6 pm, in summer from 8 am to 3 pm. Closed between midday and 2 pm for the children's section, video library and record library.
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Musee de la Castre
The Castre Museum is located on the Suquet hill, dominating the city of Cannes. From the top of the medieval tower the views across the bay and the Lerins islands are fantastic and not to be missed! Inside the castle and the nearby chapel is a brilliant collection of paintings, art and archaeological artefacts. The Castre Museum is home to a wide collection of antiquities, particularly from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The 11th-century Saint Anne Chapel houses a remarkable collection of musical instruments from Asia, Africa, America and Oceania. A few rooms dedicated to 19th-century Provencal paintings of Riviera landscapes open out onto the courtyard and a square tower displaying spectacular views. It is surrounded by a beautiful Mediterranean garden with pine trees.
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Palais des Festivals et des Congres
The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès has been created to accommodate the largest festival of cinema in the world. The destiny of Cannes is then drawn naturally. The flagship destination of business tourism, Cannes, lives throughout the year at the rhythm of many international and professional events. The level of excellence is confirmed year after year. No need to attach to it the words "film" or "cinema", the Festival of Cannes for 60 years is the Festival of the 7th Art, the world's largest event of this art which became an industry. The history took life in 1946 after the painful interlude of the Second World War which had suspended the projects of the French State to have an international competition of films. Cannes takes the priority to Vichy, Biarritz or even Lucerne. Cannes sunshine and also the facilities that it offers made it win the project. And especially since Cannes promised the construction of a palace specially dedicated to the festival. With its 88 000 sq.m building, its 35,000 sq.m of exhibition space, and its 15 auditoriums, the Cannes Palais des Festivals et des Congrès rank Cannes as the second destination for business tourism in France only behind Paris. The Palais hosts each year approximately 300,000 congress delegates and around 40 to 50 international professional events. The Cannes Film Festival is today the cultural event with the most media coverage in the world. Only two sports events, the Football World Cup and the Summer Olympic Games run ahead with the media.
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Chapelle Bellini et Parc Fiorentina
This chapel is part of the estate of Villa Fiorentina, a famous Italian-style villa dating from the end of the 19th century and one of the residences that "made Cannes' reputation". The Baroque chapel was built at the request of Count Vitali, whose coat of arms adorns one of its walls.
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Lerins Abbey
Situated on the island of Saint Honorat off the coast of Cannes, the Notre Dame de Lérins Abbey is a Cistercian monastery. The abbey was founded around 410AD when Saint Honorat came here with the intention of living as a hermit but was soon joined by his disciples. Together they formed a community that became “an immense monastery” around the year 427. According to legend, Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, studied here in the 5th century. Today, open or guided tours are offered. The visitor can discover the fortified monastery with the main church dedicated to Saint Honorat in its centre and the Sainte-Marie church to the north. Also the 11th/12th century cloisters that border the common rooms such as the chapter room and refectory. The chapels, numbering seven, are distributed over the island. Finally, the hot shot furnaces remind us that the island and even the monastery had the role of defending the French coast.
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Lerins Islands
Just 20 minutes from Cannes (External link) by boat, the Lérins islands feel a whole world away from the buzz of the mainland. Visitors are seduced by their idyllic natural beauty with quiet sandy paths, rocky coves to explore and swim in, and a fascinating history combining the mystery of the Man in the Iron Mask and the spirituality of Cistercian monks. The archipelago separates the Gulf of Napoule to the west from Golfe Juan to the east, and is composed of two main islands: Sainte-Marguerite and Saint Honorat, just a kilometre from each other. They are not accessible to cars, bicycles or scooters and make wonderful, peaceful getaways for walks, swimming, games of pétanque and long lazy lunches. Oaks and creaking pines cover both islands, as well as a fragrant scrubland of myrtle, cistus, honeysuckle and wild clematis – and there’s plenty of wildlife here too.
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The Villa Eilenroc
At the tip of Cap d'Antibes, on a superb plot of 11 hectares, you will find the villa Eilenroc. This exceptional residence symbolizes the luxury and voluptuousness of the Belle Epoque. It was built in 1867 following plans by Charles Garnier, the architect of the Paris and Monte Carlo opera houses.
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Allianz Riviera
With the appearance of the Allianz Riviera, the City of Nice has acquired a multifunctional facility to help enhance its international reputation as France’s leading business tourism destination after Paris.
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The Promenade des Anglais
The tourist reputation of Promenade des Anglais has gone beyond the French or European borders. At present, the famed promenade is a landmark of Nice, from both an infrastructural and a tourist point of view. In fact, its importance for the commercial and tourist platform of the city is reflected by its structure and use. By following the promenade, visitors have the opportunity to stumble on some of the top attractions and architectural marvels of Nice. First of all, it’s the beaches. Most of the beaches in Nice (either private or otherwise) nestle between Baie des Anges and Promenade des Anglais being accessible from the promenade side. Secondly, sights like the Phoenix Park with its imposing Museum of Asian Arts, Palais de la Mediterranee and Hotel Negresco, all are accessible from the proud promenade. On top of that, the street is lined with bars and restaurants where tourists can relax and have a refreshment. Plenty of the bike stands managed by Velo Bleu are also located on Promenade des Anglais. The promenade obviously has something to offer to everyone: it is ideal for sightseeing tours, it provides access to the beach and it is practicable for roller-skaters and cyclists.
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St Nicolas Cathedral
Inspired by the Muscovite style, it has a very richly decorated interior with many icons, murals and carved woodwork as well as an iconostasis of embossed metal. The primary vocation of this site being a place of worship, certain rules must be respected.
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The Palais Lascaris
An exceptional example of civil baroque architecture, the Palais Lascaris is a recognised Musée de France, devoted to the art and music of the 17th and 18th centuries.
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Old Town of Nice
The Old Town of Nice is made up of tall tenement houses lined up along narrow and dark streets. The ground floors are occupied by restaurants, shops and galleries of local artists. You can buy everything here, from Provence spices to hand-made jewelry and cosmetics. Just go in and let yourself be carried away by the past, which is still present in this place. The Old Town of Nice (Vieille Ville), also called Old Nice (Vieux Nice), lies just below the Castle Hill. In the south, it borders with the Promenade des Anglais, and in the north with the Paillon River, or rather the Promenade of Paillon, because the river has been flowing through the city in the underground channel since 1972. The names of streets in the Old Town are written in two versions: in French and in the local Nissart dialect (niçart). The Old Town of Nice is full of historic tenements, churches and squares. A walk through the narrow and shaded streets allows you to almost move in time and feel the spirit of Old Nice. You just need to know where to look for it.
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Prince's Palace of Monaco
The Prince's Palace is the private residence of the ruling Prince but the State Apartments are open for public visits part of the year. The original fortress and ramparts were built by the Genoese in 1215 and throughout the centuries was transformed into one of the most luxurious residences in the style of Louis XIV. Prince Honore II was responsible for re-assembling the rich collections of art, which had been auctioned off during the French Revolution when the Palace was turned into a hospital for the Italian Army. However, Prince Rainier III is credited for restoring the Palace to its former glory and the magnificent state in which it can be seen today. Beginning at the top of the Hercule Gallery and descending on to the main courtyard is a spectacular double-revolution Carrera marble staircase dating from the 13th century and inspired by a similar staircase at the Chateau of Fontainebleau. Adorning the gallery walls are frescoes of mythological figures attributed to Francesco Mazzucchelli dating from the 16th century and the Genovese artist Orazio Ferrari in the 17th century. The frescoes in the Palatine chapel in the north end of the main courtyard depict the history of Saint Devote, the patron Saint of the Principality. The chapel, built-in 1665, is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
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Boujan-sur-Libron
Probably built on the site of an ancient Roman villa, constant attacks led to the fortification of the village in a circular form.
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Monaco Cathedral
Built with the stark white stones from La Turbie in 1875, this Roman-Byzantine-style building houses the burial places of past sovereigns, including Prince Rainier and Princess Grace.
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Rock of Monaco
The Rock of Monaco is a 62 metre tall promontory overlooking Monte-Carlo's port and the Mediterranean sea. It is also the oldest of Monaco's areas, where the Old Town is located. During the 6th century BC, Greeks founded the colony of Monoikos. Its name comes from Hercules, who was said to have constructed the ancient path that passed through the region from Spain to Italy together with Monaco's port and a coastal road. The road was, thus, dotted with altars to Hercules, and a temple dedicated to him was established on the Rock of Monaco. Nowadays, the rock is home to Monaco's Old Town, with medieval narrow streets and the country's most important monuments: the Palais Princier, Saint Nicholas Cathedral and the Oceanographic Museum.
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Musee de Millau et des Grands Causses
In the centre of Millau, a town hotel from the 18th century houses the museum: 30 exposition rooms dedicated to palaeontology, prehistory and regional archaeology, as well as traditional activities of leather craft and glove-making. Palaeontology: diverse fossils including the famous skeleton of an elasmosaur. Pre-history: furniture from the palaeolithic to the monolithic. Archaeology: the most important collection of vases from the Roman Empire with the production of the Graufesenque workshops. Leather and gloves: a DVD film retraces the specific savoir-faire, rich of ancestral traditions and modern techniques enabling skins to be worked on. A recreated workshop shows how gloves were made. Free for the individuals the first Saturday of the month.
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Beffroi de Millau
Square tower from the end of the 12th century, erected for the king of Aragon Alphonse II, surmounted in the 17th century by an octagonal tower intended to receive the communal drone and the clock. 42 meters high, 210 steps to climb to reach the summit and admire the panorama of the city and the surrounding causses. Last climb, 1/2 hour before closing. Out of season open for groups by reservation.
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The Sant Jordi
One of the legends attributed to Sant Jordi, which rapidly became the most famous, tells of a dragon who scared the inhabitants of a city. To calm it down, a lamb and a young girl chosen at random had to be offered every day.