Space Van Gogh

Arles - Cultural place

Garden open and can be accessed freely during the day
Former Hôtel-Dieu, also called Hôtel-Dieu-Saint-Esprit.
Built in the 16th and 17th centuries, the vast quadrilateral of the Hôtel-Dieu has a two-fold context: a period of prosperity and modernisation by the town on the one hand, and a well affirmed tradition as a local hospital on the other hand. Three wings were raised in 1835 to open up new rooms following a serious cholera epidemic. At the end of the 19th century, the hospital received a remarkable guest, Vincent Van Gogh, who depicted the building in several of his paintings. The establishment was open until the 1970s-1980s. The disused hospital then underwent major renovation work to turn it into a broad-ranging cultural and academic site. During this time, excavations in the basement unearthed extremely interesting remains which added to the knowledge of the town all the way back to protohistory.
The buildings form a quadrilateral around a garden. The ground floor opens onto outside via arches which border a gallery walkway which is also present on the second floor. The façades are severe, with small openings, in keeping with the model for hospitals at the time; hospitals were closed places which must not transmit dangerous 'miasmas' to the outside world. The entire building was topped with wooden timbers (pieces fitted together to support the roof) and trusses (horizontal beams which support the oblique beams on the sides of the roof). The ground floor of the west building housed the ancillary services, including the kitchen fitted with a huge fireplace, the laundry, the linen room and other utilitarian areas. The main entrance to the hospital was on what is now rue Dulau. The solid wood door, rebuilt in 1587 by Antoine Pons, was made of pitch-pine (blend of pine species from North America). It is surrounded by two fluted Doric columns and topped with a triangular fronton. Above it, an inscription commemorates the date on which the building was constructed. This portal is listed as a Historic Monument.
BACKGROUND
In 1542, the Archbishop of Arles decided to close the town's 32 charitable establishments and bring them together into just one establishment in the town centre. This initial project remained on hold when the Prelate died. A land recovery policy was implemented, partly on the vast Trinitaires site. The first stone was laid in 1573. The construction of the Hôtel-Dieu spanned two centuries, the 16th century for the north and west wings and the 17th for the other two (work of Jacques Peytret). The work of the new establishment (welcome all sick people, abandoned children and orphans) could be carried out principally thanks to generous sponsors, tax revenue from the hospital and aid from the town. The staff consisted of laymen and monks, doctors, administrative and domestic staff and artisans. Two priests assisted the dying. From 1664, the care of the sick was entrusted to the Hospital Sisters of the Order of Saint Augustine. Vincent Van Gogh stayed there briefly in 1888 and 1889 and was treated by Doctor Félix Rey, before being interned in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Major changes were made to the building in the early 20th century, when it was made to comply with sanitary standards. The Hôtel-Dieu continued to operate until 1974, replaced by Joseph-Imbert Hospital. In 1986, the last medical services left the site, which was then turned into a cultural centre.
In 1986, work began to strip the hospital and transform it into a vast cultural centre intended to house a media centre, the communal archives, the International College of Literary Translators (CITL), a university outpost, a vast exhibition room and a few shops. Following a competition, Denis Froidevaux and Jean-Louis Tétrel were appointed to carry out the renovation work. The two architects used their archive research and the discoveries of a pre-site to adapt their project to the history and original structure of the building. In addition to this structure and the site's mediaeval past, extremely productive excavations uncovered, among other things, a large Roman esplanade (confirming an unknown fact in the town's ancient urban fabric) and a protohistoric necropolis. During this vast operation, the door on rue Dulau was also restored by Férignac in 1988.

Information provided by OT Arles

  • Contact

    Place Du Docteur Félix Rey
    13200 Arles

  • Phone

    • 00 00 00 00 00
  • Tours

    Arles and Van Gogh

Nearby

  1. Next to the bistro

    Food guide restaurant

    Read more
  2. Acacias

    Hotel

    Read more
  3. Les Aquarelles

    Holiday rental

    Read more
  4. T2 Maeva

    Holiday rental

    Read more

Where to stay

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Holiday rental

Les Alpilles

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Mas du Petit Paradis
B&B

Mas du Petit Paradis

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Mas de la Galégière
B&B

Mas de la Galégière

Arles

1 and 3 rooms are double rooms with 50 m² roof terrace on the 1st floor. They include a large room with bed in 180, tv, wifi, air conditioning, bathroom with shower and WC separated.Room 2, suite for 4 people, located on the 1st floor and on 3 levels: R + 1 two beds 80, R + 2 dressing room +…

The patio of Arles
B&B

The patio of Arles

Arles

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Mas D'Eymard
B&B

Mas D'Eymard

Arles

In an authentic classified farm, dating 1786, situated at the heart of Crau, in the feet of Alpilles and near the Camargue, Sylvie and Dominique propose you 5 charming guest houses in the renewed stable. All the rooms evoking Van Gogh (ont the 1st floor), and are equipped with shower-room…

Le Belvedere
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Le Belvedere

Arles

The Belvedere, your Arles stay in heart of the old city, in a completely renovated House of charm of the eighteenth century.Studio + 2 terraces with view on the Rhone and old town, for 2 people. An unforgettable stay.

House Volver
Hotel

House Volver

Arles

A hotel thought as a home... in the heart of the historic centre, 30 metres from the arena.12 different rooms to the eclectic décor: hodgepodge of universe, objects and colors creating a universe to measure.

Of la Muette
Hotel

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Former residence of the 12th and 15th century, completely restored in the heart of the old centre 100 metres from the Amphitheatre.Air-conditioned hotel, free WIFI, garage, pets allowed.

Les Cigales
Holiday rental

Les Cigales

Arles

Villa T2 bungalow (50 m²) for 2-4 persons without animals, fenced Garden (250 m²), about 1.5 km from the city centre. You can park the car in the garden. Quiet area. Kitchen: fridge, 2 hotplates, mini-oven, microwave, washing machine. Living room: sofa - bed, TV. Room: lite does 140. Bathroom:…

Things to do

Léon
Craftsman

Léon

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Leon discovers the world crafts and jewellery by chance from a meeting in adulthood, at the meeting. He then began a new life with the desire to learn this new job that passionate about. In 2000, he established his shop and joined the exclusive club of 12 ecaillistes craftsmen of the meeting.…

Mélani Frères
Craftsman

Mélani Frères

Arles

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Mas Baracan
Wines

Mas Baracan

Arles

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Chantal Bernardi
Craftsman

Chantal Bernardi

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Furniture upholsterer

Atelier mosaïque d'art Schiano Charles
Clay - Pottery - Ceramic

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Creation of large and small decorative and functional mosaics. BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

Sud Labo en Provence
Fashion / shopping

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Perfectino
Craftsman

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Grand Mas du Roy
Olives - Huiles d'olives

Grand Mas du Roy

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Actes Sud
Fashion / shopping

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Where to eat

16
Food guide restaurant

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Cuisine de Provence

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Lou marks
Food guide restaurant

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Plaza (La Paillotte)
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Autruche
Food guide restaurant

Autruche

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Le Réfectoire
Table 13

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Gueule du Loup
Food guide restaurant

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Saint Pierre
Food guide restaurant

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Translation our version of the Essex girl…

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The Olive

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Olive oil, olive soap and olives with herbs… A fruit you can't do without!