The Alyscamps

Arles - Monument

In Antiquity, cemeteries were always outside the walls of the town and were often located along major roads. At the start of the Empire, cremation graves, sarcophogi and mausolea were dotted along the side of the Via Aurelia, creating a vast necropolis.
However, the cemetery became extremely significant during the Paleo-Christian era, with the inhumation of the martyr Saint Genest and the burial of the first Bishops of Arles, who were placed in a chapel later surrounded by a large number of tombs grouped together in several rows.
A priory known as Saint Honorat was constructed circa 1040; it depended on Saint-Victor Abbey in Marseille. The necropolis became an important stop-off point on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and the 'chansons de gestes' (songs of heroic deeds) located Charlemagne's battles against the Saracens there, to explain the large numbers of tombs. Dante immortalised this site in his poem 'Inferno'.
The Allée des Alyscamps, which still exists today, was created by the Minimes monks in the 18th century. In 1888, Van Gogh and Gaugin came to paint in these romantic 'Champs Elysées' of Arles. In Antiquity, cemeteries were always outside the boundaries of the town and were often located along major roads. At the start of the Empire, cremation graves, sarcophogi and mausolea were dotted along the side of the Via Aurelia, creating a vast necropolis.
However, the cemetery became extremely significant during the Paleo-Christian era, with the inhumation of the martyr Saint Genest and the burial of the first Bishops of Arles, who were placed in a chapel later surrounded by a large number of tombs grouped together in several rows.
A priory known as Saint Honorat was constructed circa 1040; it depended on Saint-Victor Abbey in Marseille. The necropolis became an important stop-off point on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and the 'chansons de gestes' (songs of heroic deeds) located Charlemagne's battles against the Saracens there, to explain the large numbers of tombs. Dante immortalised this site in his poem 'Inferno'.
The Allée des Alyscamps, which still exists today, was created by the Minimes monks in the 18th century. In 1888, Van Gogh and Gaugin came to paint in these romantic 'Champs Elysées' of Arles. The site consists of an alignment of tombs and an excavated section of the Paleo-Christian necropolis. The path runs along the sarcophogi, which are made of local limestone and generally fairly simple in style, with no decoration apart from a kind of adze or ascia (bent iron axe with a cutting edge perpendicular to the handle) and a corner block with lead piping. Some sarcophogi have a funereal inscription on a cartouche in the centre. Many of these texts are now illegible.
The Allée then continues to the remains of the Paleo-Christian necropolis, in front of the church of Saint Honorat Abbey (12th century). All the Abbey's convent buildings were destroyed after the Revolution. Excavations carried out in the 1930s-1950s unearthed piles of sarcophogi with no décor or epigraphs, placed in funeral enclosures. Shards of ceramics and coins led to them being dated to the 4th and 5th centuries.
In the Middle Ages, this site contained a number of vaults, chapels and funeral monuments. Few vestiges of these constructions remain. Saint Accurse Chapel was built in 1520 at the entrance to the site, next to Saint-Césaire-le-Vieux Church, of which only the Romanesque porch remains. It was built in expiation of the death of Accurse de la Tour, who was killed in a duel by another Arles nobleman. An imposing monument is located further to the right. This is a monument to the consuls, erected in the 18th century in honour of the municipal councillors who died during the 1721 plague. Slightly further on, to the left, is the funeral chapel of the Porcelet family, constructed in the 16th century.
Now isolated between the SNCF workshops and the Route de la Crau is the 16th century La Genouillade Chapel, also once known as the Chapel of the Smallholders, who had their base there.

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  • Coach park

Information provided byOT Arles

Nearby

  1. Thyme bar

    Table 13

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  2. Plaza (La Paillotte)

    Food guide restaurant

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  3. Mas De L'olivier

    Holiday rental

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  4. Les Alpilles

    Holiday rental

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Where to stay

Mas Marin
Holiday rental

Mas Marin

Arles

Detached farmhouse in the countryside, renovated, fenced, near village centre, rated 3*, comfortable, fully equipped kitchen, living room, bathroom, laundry room, 2 bedrooms, garden furniture, barbecue, table tennis, above ground swimming pool and fenced parking.

Arles Rental 2
Holiday rental

Arles Rental 2

Arles

In the historical centre of Arles a Hôtel particulier in the 17th century, stone, this apartment in ground floor with independent entrance is perfectly located, close to historical sites, cultural life, in the heart of the city centre for shopping, aperitifs on the terrace and small restaurants.…

MAS D'EYMARD - Les Tilleuls
Holiday rental

MAS D'EYMARD - Les Tilleuls

Arles

In a farmhouse listed as Heritage of France, called Mas Provençal and built in 1786, situated in the heart of the Crau, below the Alpilles and the Camargue region, Sylvie and Dominique offer 5 charming bed & breakfast in the renovated stables and 3 appartments in the main building. West side…

Gallery eight
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Gallery eight

Arles

Beautiful hotel, ideally located in the heart of the historic centre. Spacious single and double rooms + a beautiful suite. Antique furniture and contemporary comfort.Organic breakfast in an authentic provencal setting or in the green courtyard. Lounge relaxation and art gallery in the ground…

Campanile Arles
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Campanile Arles

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Hotel Campanile new generation fully renovated. We obtained the quality tourism label with 96.8 note. We accept animals. Air-conditioned hotel located 5 minutes from the centre of Arles. Closed private parking. Home 24/24 7j/7 night watchman

Château Cornillon
B&B

Château Cornillon

Arles

Chateau Cornillon is a large mansion in a park with plane trees, chestnut trees, lime trees, magnolias, palms, lavender and laurel and more. Enjoy this Provençal landscape from the shaded terrace in the beautiful Mediterranean sun. We welcome you all year round in our guest rooms and our table…

Mas De L'olivier
Holiday rental

Mas De L'olivier

Arles

In the countryside, 4 km from the city center of Arles, beautiful detached modern house in enclosed garden of 3000 m². Secure private swimming pool of 10 x 5.5 m, heated on request (with extra fee) with sunbathing chairs, direct access by the shaded terrace of 34 sqm (with garden furniture) .…

Le Belvedere
Holiday rental

Le Belvedere

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Your stay in catering in Arles, old city center in a renovated house in the eighteenth century. 2 charming independent housing. Terrace and panoramic view on the Rhone for 2 to 4 people.

Arum
Holiday rental

Arum

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Located in the historical centre of Arles, furnished "ARUM" ground floor, P2, 40 m², Court, all comfort, category 3-star, air-conditioned, free wireless Internet, bed linen, towels, kitchen cloths provided free of charge, excellent location for 2 people, open all year.

Things to do

The hand that think
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The hand that think

Arles

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

Primatiale Saint Trophime
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Primatiale Saint Trophime

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Date: 12th and 15th centuries Era: Middle Ages Type: Religious architecture Status: Property of the Town of Arles and listed as a national Historic Monument in 1840 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in1981 The Christian community of Arles was one of the first in Gaul, with the presence of a Bishop…

Colors of Arles - The shirts of the gardian
Craftsman

Colors of Arles - The shirts of the gardian

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This small family business has made a specialty of Gardian clothing, these guardians of Camargue manade: how Indian shirt, black velvet jackets, trousers in "Mole skin" adorned on the side with a thin black lace skirts covered... Models, the colors of Camargue and Provence, are entirely…

Roland Gilles workshop
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Roland Gilles workshop

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Wrought iron Art, metal carpentry, automation.

The Marshall district
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The Marshall district

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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…

Chapellerie Alexandre
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Chapellerie Alexandre

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Située dans le centre historique arlésien​, la chapellerie Alexandre vous chapeaute en toute saison. Un belle sélection tendance et confortable vous est proposée, choisie au sein d'une dizaine de grandes maisons du chapeau. Messieurs, venez choisir votre chapeau de gardian en feutre de…

Larry
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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…

Boutique Christian Lacroix
Fashion

Boutique Christian Lacroix

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

Sentier du Domaine de la Palissade
Walk

Sentier du Domaine de la Palissade

Arles

Propriété du Conservatoire du littoral, le Domaine de la Palissade s'étend sur 702 hectares au sud-est de l'île de Camargue, à proximité de l'embouchure du Grand Rhône et de la mer Méditerranée. La vocation du Domaine est la protection des milieux naturels et la sensibilisation du public…

Where to eat

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…

Next to the bistro
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Next to the bistro

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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…

Thyme bar
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Thyme bar

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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.

Palao Bistro
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Palao Bistro

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Italian restaurant where there are classics of the country of the Sun but very regional specialities unknown to the general public.A warm and smiling at the beautiful Italian accent

Lou marks
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Lou marks

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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…

Gueule du Loup
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Gueule du Loup

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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…

Plaza (La Paillotte)
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Plaza (La Paillotte)

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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…

Hostellerie of the Source
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Hostellerie of the Source

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Located a few minutes from the centre of Arles, a natural spring ("Source") has been happily bubbling away here since the 19th century in the tree-filled garden, bordering a swimming pool. This Mediterranean oasis, lined with weeping willows and oleander, offers feminine retakes on Provencal and…

Galoubet
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Galoubet

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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.).

Inspirations

Tradition

Lavender

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Terroir

Sardines

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Tradition

Marcel Pagnol

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More inspirations

Serving tourism

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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.