Space Van Gogh

Arles - Lieu culturel

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 byOT Arles

  • Contact

    Place Du Docteur Félix Rey
    13200 Arles

  • Phone

    • 00 00 00 00 00
  • Tours

    Arles et Van Gogh

Nearby

  1. Alyscamps

    Holiday rental

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  2. La Roseraie

    Holiday rental

    Read more
  3. SCI La Maison Molière

    B&B

    Read more
  4. Balladins

    Hotel

    Read more

Where to stay

The patio of Arles
B&B

The patio of Arles

Arles

This old Arlésienne, fully restored house is located 8 minutes from the historic center. Light and airy, it offers large, sober, elegant and comfortable rooms for a restful stopover at the heart of the city.

L'hirondelle
Holiday rental

L'hirondelle

Arles

Pleasant studio with kitchen area, microwave oven, fridge, coffee machine etc. Bathroom (shower, washbasin, bidet, WC) Quiet, window overlooking the large courtyard

Arlesien
Holiday rental

Arlesien

Arles

Not away from the Rocket dock, 30 m² air-conditioned apartment on the 1st floor of a townhouse in the historic center. Main room: living room and corner night with 1 bed 2 pers. equipped independent kitchen. Water room with WC. Internet access. Parking nearby.

Ibis budget palais des Congrès
Hotel

Ibis budget palais des Congrès

Arles

Our Ibis Budget hotel has 64 air-conditioned and soundproofed, modern rooms. This is the essence of comfort at low cost.Our hotel is located 3 minutes walk from the Museum of ancient and facing the Palais des Congrès.You can reach the centre of the old city on foot (20 minutes) or even take the…

Le Pin
Holiday rental

Le Pin

Arles

Mazet or small Provençal farmhouse, situated on a hill covered with pine and olive trees 5-10 minutes of Arles. Small holiday home with everything you could possibly want to relax in the sun under the pines with the cicadas in the background. Under one big pine tree, there is a nice summer…

Arles Fondation
Holiday rental

Arles Fondation

Arles

Enjoy a unique stay in this beautiful duplex and its terrace with views to take your breath away! At the heart of the historic centre between the place of the Forum, the baths of Constantine and the Foundation Van Gogh, it occupies the top two floors of a historic building. The apartment is…

L ' Arlésienne
Campsite

L ' Arlésienne

Arles

Between Camargue and Provence, this beautiful camping 3 * you welcome and welcomes you until 2 November. On-site: heated swimming pool and paddling pool, playground for children, evening entertainment and service restoration, is thought to make your stay more enjoyable! And to enjoy joys of…

Villa Laure
B&B

Villa Laure

Arles

Three guest rooms in villa with garden with trees and flowers.Breakfast included, sheets, towels provided.Very close to Arles (2.5 km from the centre, 1.5 km from the Luma Foundation). Combining the Camargue, Alpilles and Provence. Ideally located between Marseille, Montpellier, Aix en Provence,…

Vacances En Famille
Holiday rental

Vacances En Famille

Arles

Fully equipped apartment, located 2 minutes from the shopping area and 5 minutes from the centre of town, very quiet, ideal for a family, baby supplied accessories: cot, high chair, and also WII, DVD, Internet.

Things to do

The workshop of the temple
Craftsman

The workshop of the temple

Arles

"The workshop of the temple" unique jewellery making workshop. Atelier-boutique where you can perform repairs, transformations and various creations. Current 2014, introductory to the jewellery courses will be implemented, courses 10 days for adults and 6 weeks for students from different schools…

Bridge Van Gogh
Monument

Bridge Van Gogh

Arles

Named formerly bridge of Langlois time: 19th century Type: public Architecture: engineering status: property of the Tourist Office of the Arles class Monument historic (1988) the name of the staff member responsible to keep it and manipulate it, the 'bridge of Langlois' has acquired world fame…

LOULOU of street
Craftsman

LOULOU of street

Arles

Art jewellery. Magali Favier creates fine costume jewellery from silver 925/1000 and precious materials (gold, Tahitian pearls, semi-precious pearls, etc.) only in her Arena Studio. Each item is meticulously hand-made and can be customised. They are all unique. She creates an original world of…

House Plata
Craftsman

House Plata

Arles

We have been cabinet-makers in Arles since May 1968 and specialise in the creation of 'antique-style', patinated, white-leaded and gold-leaf furniture; we respect beautiful furniture and its quality. We became interior designers by developing our design office to meet the requirements of the…

The river Rhône
Landscape

The river Rhône

Saintes Maries de la Mer, Port Saint Louis du Rhône, Tarascon, Arles

The Rhone and its delta have not only given their name to the department, but this peaceful and majestic river also forms the backbone of the Bouches-du-Rhone. From Avignon to the Camargue beaches, the river passes through the most authentic Provençal landscapes. Famous for a long time for the…

Forum Harmonia Mundi
Souvenirs

Forum Harmonia Mundi

Arles

"The specialist record store classical, jazz and world music.The name of harmonia mundi "France" encompasses a much broader reality than the commonly prevalent image, one of the early music label. Harmonia mundi, is firstly a group, implanted in Arles since 1986 and 330 people worldwide. Whether…

The hand that think
Clay

The hand that think

Arles

Workshop, manufacture and sale of ceramic decorative and utilitarian objects.

Farfantello
Souvenirs

Farfantello

Arles

Farfantello est une adresse pour les enfants, petits et grands. Un choix magique de décoration vintage pour la chambre et de jouets rétro qui nous replonge dans nos souvenirs d’enfance. Il faut entrer pour découvrir tout plein d’idées cadeaux et de trésors pour les minots (ananas…

Boutique Christian Lacroix
Fashion

Boutique Christian Lacroix

Arles

Boutique Christian Lacroix, style unique, exubérant, coloré et baroque.

Where to eat

Thyme bar
Table 13

Thyme bar

Arles

Les Milhau are masters in the art of satisfying guests with their charming and relaxed welcome, traditional and faultless home-made Provencal cuisine, a pleasant terrace and reasonable prices. Simple and fuss-free quality.

Plaza (La Paillotte)
Food guide restaurant

Plaza (La Paillotte)

Arles

Restaurant very well located in the centre of the city of Arles. Near hotels, monuments, museums and the Foundation Van Gogh. The restaurant bathrooms with exposed stone walls and beams wood ceilings.The decoration of the restaurant is based on bullfighting and Provence. A beautiful shaded…

Galoubet
Food guide restaurant

Galoubet

Arles

Bistro cuisine around the fireplace in winter and under the arbour when the weather is warm (foie gras, artichoke hearts, veal liver, catfish, roast pineapple, poached pears, etc.).

Next to the bistro
Food guide restaurant

Next to the bistro

Arles

This is Jean-Luc Rabanel's second star-rated establishment, serving friendlier-priced and more family-style food. The gourmet dishes are crafted with the expertise of one of France's greatest contemporary cooks. Traditional salt cod and stewed chicken take on a whole new lease of life here. The…

Garden Cafe - counter Calendal
Cuisine de Provence

Garden Cafe - counter Calendal

Arles

The Garden Cafe is a counter of the Calendal offering on the spot or to take light meals: bio bread sandwiches, small dishes simmered in chinaramaiah, soups, salads, while freshness, sweets, selection of teas weddings brothers, capuccino, beers etc...Pause gourmande in the salons of le Calendal…

Jean-Luc Rabanel workshop
Food guide restaurant

Jean-Luc Rabanel workshop

Arles

Every gourmet knows his name: Jean-Luc Rabanel is one of the stars of French gastronomy and a major personality, who has been tending to his kitchen garden for over 30 years. A master of vegetables, spokesman for organic produce and pioneer of the "locavore" local food trend, this chef transcends…

Le Réfectoire
Table 13

Le Réfectoire

Arles

With classroom chairs and shared tables, the décor is, naturally, reminiscent of childhood canteens. The rest is more state-of-the-art: the reasonably-priced menu is the work of a Michelin-starred chef (Armand Arnal, of La Chassagnette), in a converted industrial building (the former SNCF…

Gueule du Loup
Table 13

Gueule du Loup

Arles

There are no bobbins to pull here and no latches to go up. This little house built in 1780 offers no danger to Little Red Riding Hoods all they have to do is choose between the two dining rooms, one facing the ground floor kitchen and the other with exposed stone walls on the first floor. There's…

Lou marks
Food guide restaurant

Lou marks

Arles

Meeting of traditional and regional recipes, restaurant gourmet Lou Marquès (renovated in 2014 by M Christian Lacroix) offers a classic, refined and tasty cuisine carefully prepared by our chefs.The restaurant's terrace turns into a bistro in the beautiful days and our garden near the swimming…

Inspirations

Tradition

Lavender

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Art de vivre

The Cagole

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Terroir

The Olive

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More inspirations

Serving tourism

Bouches-du-Rhône Tourisme is a non-profit ‘association loi 1901’ organisation.It is entrusted by the Conseil Départemental (or regional council) to promote tourism in Bouches-du-Rhône while respecting the environment and local residents, and guaranteeing visitors a top-quality experience.

The best of the destination

So that everyone’s hopes and tastes are catered for, Bouches-du-Rhône Tourisme promotes must-see destinations which take visitors off the beaten track, using its deep understanding of the area and its neutral role as a non-profit organisation.