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Historical Sites 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 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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Eglise Saint Louis
A mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles, this thirteenth century building offers a beautiful display of 19th c. stained-glass windows produced by the Metz-based Maréchal workshop.
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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 Citadel of Saint-Tropez
Dating from the 17th century, bought by the municipality in 1993, this listed monument is one of the most visited historical and cultural sites in the Var. This monument is composed of a hexagonal dungeon, an entrance with adjoining curtain and bastions.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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Canal du Midi
Ranking World Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO December 7, 1996 has given a soul to one of the oldest still operating channels, now dedicated to tourism. Built during the reign of Louis XIV, from 1667 to 1681, called the Royal Canal to the French Revolution, a distance of 240 km. Large 20 to 24 m, 2 m deep on average, there are 69 locks and 350 works spanning his course and facilitate its airworthiness.
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La Graufesenque
In the 1st century AD, for two centuries, more than 600 potters produced the red, shiny sigillated ceramics, distributed throughout the Roman Empire. The remains of workshops, ovens, residential houses, sanctuary bear witness to this. Historical presentation. The circuit on the site. Visit a part of the village of Gallo-Roman potters with a view of sanctuaries, baking ovens, workshops and residential houses. The visit lasts on average one hour.
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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.
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St. Francis and the Basilica
The World Heritage Committee included on its list the Basilica and other sites important to the Franciscan Order, due to the fact that they represent an amalgamation of masterpieces stemming from creative human genius
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The Midi Canal
The work of Pierre-Paul Riquet carried out in the 17th century to link the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, the Midi Canal has been listed as a UNESCO world heritage since 1996.
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The Royal Castle of Racconigi
The Royal Castle of Racconigi is situated in the province of Cuneo in the region of Piemonte. It was the official residence of the Carignano line of the House of Savoy and is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy included by UNESCO in the World Heritage Sites list.
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Chateau des Ducs de Savoie
This former residence of the Ducs de Savoie is currently the seat of the Préfecture et du Département de la Savoie.
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Lyon Gallo-Roman Civilisation Museum
The Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilisation astounds the visitor with its avant-garde architecture and carefully-chosen exhibits, nudging you to uncover more of what Lyon’s Roman, Gaul and Celtic forebears got up to. Facing the rising sun and the Alps, way up over the Confluence of Rhône and Saône, the Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilisation chronicles five centuries of the city’s history under Rome when Lyon was known as the dazzling capital Lugdunum. Dug deep inside Fourvière hill in the 5th district of Lyon, with its two huge windows overlooking its neighbouring Amphitheatre and Odeon, the Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon is akin to a submarine, set to journey through the undergrowth and vestiges of this ancient civilisation. Step on-board and be subtly wowed by polychrome mosaics, the sarcophagus of the triumph of Bacchus, the unique Gallic Coligny calendar, a plan-relied of the ancient town, a rare circus mosaic, not to mention the Tabla Claudiana, reproducing a speech by the emperor Claudius, all set inside an avant-garde architectural experience whipped up by Bernard Zehrfuss.
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Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere
The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière is a vital part of the Lyon cityscape and you’d be a fool not to go up there. Mr Mayor, Gérard Collomb, even calls it a “treasure of humanity”. With one of the best views over the entire city, it understandably draws in busloads, who all load off to celebrate Mary and the paraphernalia of Christianity. Then you have those who hike up there for a brisk morning walk to lord it over the panoramic view and feel regal. The beautiful white Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere, known by locals as the upside-down elephant, sits on the top of Fourvière hill, aka the ‘praying hill’, in Lyon’s 5th district, where the world of Catholics rubs shoulders with vestiges of Ancient Rome. From its dominant position, looming over the city below with vantage points aplenty, Fourvière has become a symbol of Lyon, attracting over 2 million visitors annually. Designed by Pierre Bossan, Fourvière basilica draws from both Romanesque and Byzantine architecture, two non-Gothic models that were unusual choices at the time. It’s actually one church on top of another.
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Place des Terreaux
Place des Terreaux was once a huge bog, believe it or not. Today, the famous Lyonnais landmark deserves a visit, either as a starting point to explore the presqu’île and the City Hall area, or as a beautifully-constructed square to while away the hours. Place des Terreaux is a famous Lyonnais square, grand and grey. It’s a perfect rectangle in fact, located in the 1st district of Lyon inside the peninsular or ‘presqu’île’ between the Rhône and Saône rivers, at the foot of the Croix-Rousse hill. It’s a Lyon landmark and a UNESCO heritage site, the place to meet, inside which you can sip beer in the outdoor cafés, perch on the steps of the Fine Arts Museum and observe the Bartholdi fountain, or pop into the beautiful City Hall to pay new mayor Mr Képénikian a visit.
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Chateau de thorens
950 years of history through keeps, guardroom, kitchen: richly furnished rooms, decorated with artworks. Residence of St François de Sales and holiday destination of the Prime Minister of Piedmont-Sardinia Count Cavour, this castle contains many memories.
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Uviglie Castle
The property with its ancient park because of its architectural importance and its artistic heritage, it is under the Royal Law Decree of June 1939 and it belongs today to the Società Semplice Castello d’Uviglie.
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Couvent Des Jacobins
In this building entirely made of bricks, the contrast between its massive or even austere aspect of the exterior and the extraordinary lightness of the interior architecture where the famous palm-tree ribs thrust upwards.
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Baron Gamba Castle
Gamba Castle Built at the beginning of the 1900s from the designs of the engineer Carlo Saroldi, it was commissioned by Charles Maurice Gamba, husband of Angélique d‘Entrèves, daughter of Count Christin d‘Entrèves. Since 1982 it has been the property of the Valle d’Aosta Autonomous Region. After a complex restoration, today the castle houses an exhibition route that winds through 13 rooms, displaying over 150 works of art such as paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings and photographs belonging to a regional collection dating back from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day. Alongside the works of the 20th-century masters, including sculptures by Martini, Mastroianni, Manzù, Arnaldo and Giò Pomodoro, and paintings by Casorati, De Pisis, Carrà and Guttuso, the collection documents Italian figurative art produced from the second half of the century up to contemporary study exponents, such as Schifano, Baruchello, Rama and Mainolfi. A vast and varied selection of works testifies to the movements that have animated the Italian art scene over the past 25 years: for example, the exhibition hosts representations of Informal art, Geometric abstraction, Transavantgarde and Pop art. Particular importance is given to Valle d’Aosta region through the activity of local artists, or those active in Valley, on regional commission. For visitors seeking both learning and distraction, the exhibition offers a series of services designed to bring different groups of visitors (families, adults, schools, children, young people) closer to modern and contemporary art through workshop activities, guided tours and events.
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Reformation Wall
At the heart of the Parc des Bastions, the main protagonists of the Reformation, John Calvin, William Farel, Theodore Beza and John Knox, are depicted in giant statues and bas-reliefs. Geneva's 'Post Tenebras Lux' motto is engraved in the wall. As you leave the park, explore the splendid Place de Neuve and its various artistic haunts.
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Geneva Old Town
The Vieille-Ville is the largest historic town in Switzerland, and is dominated by St. Peter's Cathedral, the symbolic location of the Reformation. Climb the 157 steps to the top of the tower for a unique panorama of the city. Then take a stroll in the charming surrounding alleys and passageways, each telling its own story about Geneva's history.