- Arles -

At the beginning of May 2014 we spent a few days near Arles (Camargue).

We stayed in a very nice small hotel in Fontvieille named HOSTELLERIE DE LA TOUR
The property has lots of charm and the food is a fantastic.
From here we went on trips to contemplative villages.
But see by yourself:


Arles Arena

Arles has an extremely interesting historical background. Its architectural and art treasures haveoften inspired the odd artist, for example Vincent van Gogh or Frédéric Mistral.

The Greeks settled in here at the 8th Century BC. From the 2nd Century BC the Romans arrived and with them the upturn in this area. The Theatre and the Arena (still very well preserved today) are from this time.

Arles Theatre

Picture for Download are here

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At the western outskirts of the small Camargue you will find Aigues-Mortes, which translates as "dead water". The name originates from the marshlands and the salt plains.

Around 1240 Louis IX acquired the land from monks and founded the city. It has a floor plan of 550 by 300 meters.

A statue of Ludwig, who was canonised (Loius le Saint), is located at the central square of the city. Aigues-Mortes was the starting point of his crusades.

The rampart is completely intact and accessible. The main tower of the rampart is the Tour de Constance.


Picture for Download are here

Les Baux-de-Provence

Les Baux-de-Provence

Les Baux-de-Provence was built on a rocky ridge of the Alpilles mountains, located approximately 30 km northeast of Arles. From here you have a unique view!

During the Middle Ages the lords of Baux were a powerful noble family, whose pedigree goes back as far as King Balthasar of the Orient. Nowadays Baux is owned by the Grimaldi family.

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Fontvieille is a small town of aroud 4,000 residents approximately 8 km northeast of Arles, located in the nature park of the Alpilles. In the south of the town stands a mill which inspired the writer Alphonse Daudet with his "Letters from my mill".

Two parallel Roman aquaducts can still be seen nearby. One of them carries fresh water from the Alpilles to Arles. The other one provided water to run a mill.

Fontvieille1 Fontvieille2



During the 7th Century B.C. a Celtic-Ligurian tribe settled at Mont Gaussier, located on the northern slopes of the Alpilles. They named their settlement after the Celtic God Glan.

During the 3rd Century B.C. the settlement first became Greek and afterwards during the 2nd Century B.C. a Roman property. In the year 260 the settlement was ruined by the Allemanians.

The remaining residents moved further north to the place where today Saint-Rémy-de-Provence can be found.

Glanum is one of the most important excavations in France. Very near to Glanum there is also a triumphal arch which dates back to the period 27 B.C. to 14 A.D., as well as a Mausoleum from the period around year 30 B.C. It was built by 2 sons for their parents.

Glanum1 Glanum2

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Abbaye de Montmajour


Located on a rocky high ground between Arles and Fontvieille the Abbye de Montmajour can be found. During the 10th Century Benedictine monks settled there and built the first church.

The actual Abbaye at this place was built in the 18th Century. After the extreme damage of the Abbay during the Revolution it was partially used as a quarry. The restorations started in 1994. Today the rooms are used by artists as an exhibition space from time to time.

Montmajour1 Montmajour



Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is located where the river Rhône flows into the Mediterranean Sea. Part of this community, which is an old place of pilgrimage, is a vast nature reserve in the Nature Park of the Camargue.

According to the legend, in the Year 40 Mary Jakobäa, Mary Salome and Mary Magdalene with her black servant Sara were stranded at his place. Hence the name.

Sara is the patroness of the Gypsies and every year in May they all meet here to honour her. Every year on the 24th of May Sara is carried in a solemn procession of selected Gypsies from the church to the sea.

Saintes-Maries1 Saintes-Maries2

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Saintes-Maries3 Sara