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. Tidy townhouse in Arles Camargue

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  2. Belvedere

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  3. Le Belvedere

    Holiday rental

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  4. City

    Campsite

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Where to stay

Cote Cour
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Cote Cour

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Apartment of 45 m² facing the arenas of Arles. With two inputs, comfortable, very nice summer with the courtyard flower with armchairs. We often take meals in the courtyard.Two beds of 140, corner kitchenette, bathroom. Equipped with all appliances.

Antonelle
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Antonelle

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Mme Riera Pascale
B&B

Mme Riera Pascale

Arles

XVIIth century farmhouse completely restored on 40 hectares of land. 23 tricentenary plane trees will provide pleasant shade in summer. A beautiful swimming pool is at your disposal. We offer you peace and quiet as well as leisure choices. Located just one kilometer from the closest shops, the…

Balechou
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Balechou

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In the heart of the city centre of Arles, in the pedestrian area, the City Break Balechou is an apartment located on the 2nd floor without lift. No possible noise on the 1st floor as the below apartment is unoccupied.The apartment is composed of a living room with open kitchen (4 gas heaters,…

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…

City
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City

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The City Camping is a family campsite situated in Camargue Arles.Ideally positioned, not far from the city centre of Arles while keeping the peace and tranquility of a secluded, you will spend an unforgettable stay in our beautiful Provence.Camping City is equipped with mobile homes for hire and…

At the doors of the Camargue
B&B

At the doors of the Camargue

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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.

La Maison Blanche
Holiday rental

La Maison Blanche

Arles

The apartment is located 10 minutes walk from the historic centre in a quiet area. 20 m² terrace is equipped with a living room of garden, sun beds and parasol allowing you to enjoy a nice view on a flowered park. You have 2 comfortable lounges equipped with a television. The kitchen is…

L'hirondelle
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L'hirondelle

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

Things to do

Boutique Christian Lacroix
Fashion / shopping

Boutique Christian Lacroix

Arles

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

Pure Lavender
Souvenirs shopping

Pure Lavender

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" Arles in winter " special offer : 20% off on our entire stock (except for current sales or promotions) " Le Château du Bois " is a well-known brand of excellence in the realm of natural cosmetics. All their cosmetics are “made in France” and share a dream setting with the magnificent…

The business of Art
Craftsman

The business of Art

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Passionate about textiles and natural fibres, Marie Hélène DESORT learned manual weaving in 1975, with the master Weaver Pierre RYALL, and created his boutique Studio in Arles, his hometown. The entire range of clothing and colourful accessories are manufactured and assembled in the workshop.…

The hand that think
Clay - Pottery - Ceramic

The hand that think

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

Larry
Craftsman

Larry

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Tonello, located in Arles, is a unique in its field, specialising in two different but complementary areas: the creation of reinforced concrete staircases cast on site and the production and laying of the coating. the laying of poured granite or 'Venetian terrace' flooring and the production…

Perfectino
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Perfectino

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Thinh NGUYEN a un parcours atypique fait de rencontres avec des personnes, des matières, des cultures et des regards. Né au Vietnam, Thinh est arrivé en France à l'âge de 3 ans. Il fait des études de cinéma et audiovisuel à Arles, Paris et Aix, ce qui l'amène à parcourir, l'Inde, le…

Place du Forum
Site

Place du Forum

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This Place, in the heart of town, has always symbolised meetings and exchanges. In Antiquity the square was next to the main forum (late 1st century BC), and the economic and political centre of the Roman administration; in the Middle Ages it became the main centre for commercial transactions. It…

L'atelier
Craftsman

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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…

Chantal Bernardi
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Chantal Bernardi

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Furniture upholsterer

Where to eat

Jean-Luc Rabanel workshop
Food guide restaurant

Jean-Luc Rabanel workshop

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Gueule du Loup
Food guide restaurant

Gueule du Loup

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Escaladou
Cuisine de Provence

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Located in the heart of the city of Arles, at the crossroads of the arenas and the ancient Theatre, the escaladou welcomes you lunch from 12: 00 to 14: 00 and dinner from 19 h to 22 h. Provençal specialities are à la carte, to the delight of lovers of authentic flavours.

Saint Pierre
Food guide restaurant

Saint Pierre

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Le Réfectoire
Table 13

Le Réfectoire

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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…

Lou marks
Food guide restaurant

Lou marks

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The comment
Food guide restaurant

The comment

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The Arlatan restaurant offers a menu of simple dishes adapted to the rhythms of the seasons and introduces you to a selection of Mediterranean and Provençal flavours. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The bar, in its flamboyant décor, immediately immerses you in a colorful universe and makes…

Simone & Paulette
Food guide restaurant

Simone & Paulette

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Autruche
Food guide restaurant

Autruche

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'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

The "Navette"

The "Navette"

Terroir

Celebrated at Candlemas, this traditional Provencal biscuit is also a popular sweet treat all year round

The cicada

The cicada

The sun's rays are warming you through the pine trees, but you will not know if the summer is here until you hear THE CICADAS!

The siesta

The siesta

Lifestyle

Provence… the perfect place to relax and chill out

Marcel Pagnol

Marcel Pagnol

Tradition

Everything you ever wanted to know about Marcel Pagnol!