Palais des Papes d'Avignon

 © Jean-Marc Rosier from, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

01 December 2023  |  Tourism

The historic sites of Provence, Cote d'Azur

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region is full of fascinating historical sites that you can easily explore during your stay in the area. The Palais des Papes in Avignon, the Arena of Arles, the Baux de Provence...let's discover the historical monuments.

The Popes Palace in Avignon

The Palais des Papes in Avignon is the largest Gothic palace in history with priceless frescoes, which has hosted 9 popes since its construction began. The current Popes Palace is the work of the two pontiffs who succeeded John XIII: Benedict XII and Clement VI. They built the largest Gothic palace in almost twenty years. In the 14th century, for political reasons, nine popes resided in Avignon and made this city the capital of Christianity.

The Arena of Arles

The Arles Arena is a Roman amphitheater built around 80-90 AD by the orders of Emperor Domitian. The amphitheater is the most important monument of the ancient Roman colony that we are allowed to admire. A monument that is worth the detour in Arles. In their initial elevation, the stands could accommodate around 21,000 spectators, whose flows were organized by a network of doors, galleries and staircases on several floors.

The Baux de Provence

This hilltop village hosts valleys of gastronomic highlights that embody the art of living in Provence. Located in the Alpilles massif, Les Baux is today more of a tourist site than a place to live.

The Château des Baux It was in the 13th century that the rocky spur of Les Baux was crowned by this imposing fortress. This naturally perched and entrenched situation made it possible to observe the surroundings and protect oneself. The architects of the time tamed the site by pruning it to reinforce its defensive character. The Château covers 5 hectares and is entirely classified as a Historic Monument. This castle offers a breathtaking panorama of Provence, from Air to Arles and beyond. In good weather, you can see Mont Saint-Victoire and even the Camargue.

Entrevaux, a medieval town known for its perched Citadel

Entrevaux is a pretty medieval town fortified by Vauban in the 17th century and classified among "The Most Beautiful Villages of France". This charming place is lively with restaurants, terraces, bars and invite you to sit down and enjoy this wonderful place. You will discover along the narrow streets, its fountains, and small squares scattered with tall and colorful houses. To access the Citadel of Entrevaux it takes 30 minutes to walk to climb the 150m difference in altitude which will take you to the front door of the premises.

The Marseille History Museum

The Marseille History Museum was founded in 1983, and presents unique and original collections, tracing 26 centuries of the city's history.

Archaeological remains found: You will be able to admire the largest flotilla of ancient ships in the world. The church of Malaval dating from the 5th century and discovered during archaeological excavations allowed us to better understand the beginnings of Christianity in Western Europe and to reconstruct the manufacture of holy oil. The Cosquer Cave bears witness to human occupation in Marseille, well before its foundation in 600 BC. With thousands of paintings and engravings adorning this cave inhabited 27,000 years ago.

The Fort Carré - Antibes

Fort Carré is one of the first bastioned forts to be built during the Renaissance, under the order of France's Henri II. It serves as a sentinel on the nearby border with the County of Nice and as a defense for the city of Antibes. Previously, Fort Carré experienced its first attack in 1592, against the army of the Duke of Savoy, significantly improved at the end of the 17th century by Vauban, the Fort remained a strategic site until the 19th century. It offers a breathtaking view of the bay of Antibes and the old town.

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Amélie Roca

I am a Community Manager for Pure France as well as the host of Pure France TV, presenting high quality rental homes all over France.

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