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

    Espace Van Gogh
    Place Du Docteur Félix Rey
    13200 Arles

  • Phone

    • 00 00 00 00 00
  • Tours

    Arles and Van Gogh

Nearby

  1. Best Western Atrium

    Hotel

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  2. Jean-Luc Rabanel workshop

    Food guide restaurant

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  3. L'Ancien Moulin à Tabac

    Holiday rental

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  4. Tidy townhouse in Arles Camargue

    Holiday rental

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Where to stay

Museum
Hotel

Museum

Arles

Opposite the Réattu Museum, next to the baths of Constantine and the Rhône Valley, this former mansion of the 16th and 17th century is located in the heart of the historic town, high place of encounter and culture. You will find in this building, calm, comfort, warm hospitality, patio, art…

Marius Ostel
Holiday rental

Marius Ostel

Arles

A 65-square-square-year apartment in a mansion on Rue du Cloître. The two spacious bedrooms each have a shower or bathtub. Its kitchen totally open to the living room has been designed to receive and share good times. You can't be more in the heart of the city, you're a stone's throw from the…

Regency
Hotel

Regency

Arles

A hotel that offers to its international clients a place stay welcoming and quiet.Located in the heart of the city, lined with many free parking, it allows access on foot to all the monuments.

First class
Hotel

First class

Arles

Economic hotel in exit direction Nîmes, in a shopping area in 5 minutes from the centre of Arles, air-conditioned, individual bathroom in each room, TV. Breakfast at will to 5, 90EUR. Public transport nearby.

Les Alpilles
Holiday rental

Les Alpilles

Arles

Apartment of approx. 60 m² for 4 persons, located at 10 minutes walk from the centre of Arles, 2 not the museums départemental Arles Antique and Chamber of Commerce. Apartment with balcony on the 1st floor, sunny in a secured residence with lift. Consists of a kitchen, a dining salon, a bedroom…

Château de Barbegal
B&B

Château de Barbegal

Arles

In a unique setting, facing the Alpilles discover the charm of the rooms of the castle of Barbegal

Rodin
Hotel

Rodin

Arles

Located in a quiet area, only a 15-minute walk from the city center of Arles, the Le Rodin hotel has spacious and comfortable rooms.They have a terrace or a balcony overlooking the pool and the garden.Each air-conditioned room is equipped with a bathroom, TV satellite, mini bar and free WiFi.You…

At the doors of the Camargue
B&B

At the doors of the Camargue

Arles

At the gates of the Cargue, friendliness and quiet, we will receive you with ease.Accommodation located a few km from the city centre. You can relax by the pool.Price for 2 people, including breakfast.

Le Mazet 36
Holiday rental

Le Mazet 36

Arles

Our "typical of Camargue" residence is a model of provencal village.Our accomodations, no. 35 and no. 36 are located in a site of tourism with many activities, all available for tenants. The residence is perfectly closed and secure. Our accomodations, inside this residence have a garden enclosed…

Things to do

Carnet de voyage
Souvenirs shopping

Carnet de voyage

Arles

Au cœur du centre historique d'Arles, nous vous accueillons pour vous faire découvrir notre sélection d'articles tout en couleur. Des toiles basques aux couleurs toniques, déclinées en nappes, sets de tables, torchons ... et aussi, des sacs petits et grands. De la terre travaillée dans…

L ' Arlésienne perfumery
Soap

L ' Arlésienne perfumery

Arles

For the love of Arles or for the love of perfume? Both, no doubt... Eau d'Arles is undoubtedly inspired by the beautiful Arlésiennes and their extraordinary costumes. The fineness of their elegant outfits can be found in this fragrance, which is fresh, flowery and slightly powdery. A beautiful…

Plein Sud
Souvenirs shopping

Plein Sud

Arles

Jolie boutique de décoration qui sent bon le sud comme son nom l'indique. On rêve de maison de vacances au soleil et nos souvenirs d'enfance remontent en découvrant la sélection de pancartes, le coin des enfants, les textiles coloré, les tabliers, les boutis, la vaisselle.

The Marshall district
Site

The Marshall district

Arles

The District of the Marshall ("from the Middle") occupies a modest surface between the city (or town hall) and the arugula, on the edge of the Rhône.Its history dates back to the medieval renaissance of the city, around the 12th century. Habitat, it differs little from the neighbouring districts…

Cloister of St. Trophime
Monument

Cloister of St. Trophime

Arles

Date: 12th-14th century Era: Middle Ages Type: Religious architecture Status: Property of the Town of Arles, listed as a national Historic Monument in 1846 and 1943 and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981 Saint Trophime Cloister is at the centre of the canonical buildings of the episcopal…

Les céramiques de Marine
Craftsman

Les céramiques de Marine

Arles

Marine Carrara welcomes you in his workshop-shop ceramics, where you can see him make his pieces dedicated to the arts of the table.After a degree in ceramic crafts, Navy has spent two years in artist residency in Antibes. And since December, 2017, she asked her bags in Arles. It produces parts…

L'atelier
Craftsman

L'atelier

Arles

Mosaicist formed in conventional techniques of the school of Ravenna, Nathalie Fieno Gets the Medal of the city of Paris in 2006 (echelon vermeil), for the quality of his work and his degree of master craftsman in 2009.His expertise allows him to implement conventional such as enamels, marble…

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…

The Major coffee
Shopping gourmand

The Major coffee

Arles

Coffees from the Major adventure lasts since 1935, year of creation of favorable business. Already installed in the historic district of the hauture, two steps from the Church of the Major, the Amphitheatre and the Roman Theatre, the small business provides homes and Arles coffee a product of…

Where to eat

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…

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.

Saint Pierre
Food guide restaurant

Saint Pierre

Arles

Helena in the kitchen prepares traditional local cuisine, among other specialities such as bouillabaisse, the bourride lotte, aioli and prepared meals of grand mother, restaurant Saint Pierre is located in the city centre of Arles in the District of Trinquetaille, only the Rhone bridge isolates…

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…

Simone & Paulette
Food guide restaurant

Simone & Paulette

Arles

Simone & Paulette is the encounter of Caroline and Numa, two arlésiens who share the same passion for their city, cuisine and hospitality, and who wish to put their talent and their energy at the service of lovers of Arles.Simone & Paulette, is above all a State of mind. Share happy moments…

Gueule du Loup
Food guide restaurant

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…

Autruche
Food guide restaurant

Autruche

Arles

'Neo-bistro' restaurant with a beautiful terrace in the town centre. Modern cuisine and fresh produce in this 'house' which is starting to make a name for itself.

Inspirations

Goat's Cheese

Goat's Cheese

Whether it's served hot with a salad, used to crown a cheese platter, or savoured fresh with honey or olive oil, goat's cheese is an absolute culinary must. Provence's dry, sunny climate is perfect for goat breeding -and that's lucky for us!

The Calanques

The Calanques

Art de Vivre

The 'Calanques' – Genuine little corners of paradise!

Figs

Figs

Francis lived happily close beside his tree...

Picked ripe from the tree, figs are simply to die for. They can also be scattered on trays and left to dry in the sun for 3 days: "That's the best way to keep your figs all winter – we serve figs at Christmas as one of Provence's famous 13 Desserts," smiles Jacqueline Honoré.

Garlic

Garlic

It all starts with a crushed clove...

Provencal cuisine simply wouldn't exist without garlic

Serving tourism

Provence Tourisme est une association loi 1901. Sa mission, confiée par le Département : promouvoir le tourisme dans les Bouches-du-Rhône dans le respect de l’environnement et des habitants et garantir aux visiteurs un accueil de qualité.

The best of the destination

En accord avec les aspirations et les goûts de chacun, Provence Tourisme propose d’incontournables valeurs sûres comme des conseils pour sortir des sentiers battus, grâce à sa connaissance profonde du terrain et de par sa neutralité commerciale.