L'Antre de la Tarasque
Tarascon - Site
The cave of the Tarasque can be found at 15 bis, Rue des Halles, under the arches of this Middle Age road.
The Tarasque we see here is a 20th century mobile Tarasque; it is the one still brought out today for the racing games during the Tarasque festivals on the last weekend in June.
When King René made the Tarasque festivals popular again in the 15th century, he was merely regulating the Rogation festivals, which had been introduced by the Catholic church to replace secular festivals in the first centuries AD. During this period, a procession with a Tarasque paraded through the streets to accompany the distribution of bread at Pentecost; there has been a mobile Tarasque since at least 1465.
On 14 April 1474, King René created the Order of the Knights of the Tarasque, which still exists today. This Order was composed of young people chosen by the Mayor of Tarascon on Easter Monday to be given the title of 'Tarascaïre'. Once received, these members of the Provençal Order of the Knights of the Tarasque were obliged to conserve the Tarasque Games, celebrate them at least seven times a century and respect the ceremony; they had to 'ensure a great hubbub, weddings, farandoles and feasts' for fifty days and 'give strangers a warm welcome and regale them for the duration of the races, as much as you can'.
These festivals have continued ever since. They have become annual and the character of Tartarin joined the festivities in 1946.
On 25 November 2005, UNESCO declared the Tarascon Tarasque a key world cultural heritage figure by recognising it as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage. This recognition has allowed the Tarasque festivals to be promoted and preserved.
- Accessible for disabled
- Public car park
Information provided by OT Tarascon
15 rue Des Halles
- 04 90 91 03 52
04 90 91 22 96
Where to stay
Located 3km from Tarascon, near the Camargue, new apartment adjoining a farmhouse, on the ground floor with living room and sofa bed. Quiet place with a peaceful garden, shaded and fenced parking. For nature lovers, discover the rich biodiversity of the Alpilles and the Camargue, and finally take…
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Things to do
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